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12 February 2018 @ 07:32 pm
The Randomiser: The Sea Devils  
One of the things I hadn't really appreciated about the Pertwee era until I started this Randomiser thing, is the way that it straddles a transition from a form of storytelling who's roots were very much in a serialised form where each episode, although part of a larger story, is primarily focused upon moving from the cliffhanger at the start to the cliffhanger at the end, to a form of storytelling which is more coherent.

Despite its position in the middle of Pertwee's run, the structure of The Sea Devils, still feels fairly serialised. I wonder if this is partly a signature of writer, Malcolm Hulke, since I felt much the same way about The Silurians. The first episode is concerned with the mystery at the fortress, we move to the naval base in episode 2, the prison in episode 3 and so on. We even have two human antagonists, Trenchard in the first half of the story and then Walker in the second.

The Sea Devils has quite a different feel to The Silurians despite following many of the same story beats. The addition of the Master adds a whole new plot thread, while the emphasis of much of the action is focused around the access the production crew had to Royal Navy boats. Actually this all looks really impressive, the actual realness of the ships and crews definitely adds to the look of the story.

In general I am less sympathetic to either the Sea Devils or the Silurians than the plots of these stories would like me to be. They both have a tendency to attack first and then act as though they have been betrayed when the humans quite understandably retaliate. At least with the Silurians some time was taken to show differing points of view within their community so that their actions were more a mirror to that of the humans.

Ultimately this is a pacey story, that undeniably looks good, but I don't think it has the depth of The Silurians (I suspect few would argue that it does) and is much more of a runaround.

This entry was originally posted at https://purplecat.dreamwidth.org/483829.html.
daniel_saunders: Leekleydaniel_saunders on February 12th, 2018 09:28 pm (UTC)
I'm glad I'm not the only one who finds the Silurians and Sea Devils more violent than the Doctor (or the story) seems to think (even more so in Warriors of the Deep). I was worrying I was becoming blimpish in my dotage!

I agree that this is inferior to The Silurians, but I do have a fondness for it. It was the third story I ever saw, back in the 1992 repeat season, and it really captured my imagination as an eight year old child. The sword fight in particular was endlessly copied by me and my friends in the school playground, complete with the Doctor's mid-fight one-liners ("That's public property" etc.), which seem corny now, but were Wildean in their wit to us. Plus the Sea Devils rising from the water is an iconic Doctor Who moment, one copied a couple of times by JNT, but strangely never in the new series. I think the Sea Devil masks are pretty good for the time too, and I like the fact that they wear 'clothes' - underlines the point that they are supposed to be people, not monsters.
louisedennis: Who:Threelouisedennis on February 16th, 2018 04:25 pm (UTC)
I think it's a remarkably good-looking story, if you take my meaning. The sets are in general convincing (unsurprising in many cases) and the action sequences well thought out.
liadtbunny: DW bw Masterliadtbunny on February 13th, 2018 03:22 pm (UTC)
I enjoy the Master-ing around and The Clangers:) Also I want a big hovercraft thanks to 'The Sea Devils'.
louisedennis: Who:Masterlouisedennis on February 16th, 2018 05:43 pm (UTC)
It is a good Master story - and a pretty good Jo story as well.