OVERALL EPISODE NUMBER: 201
STORY NUMBER: 042
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 06 April 1968
WRITER: Victor Pemberton
DIRECTOR: Hugh David
SCRIPT EDITOR: Derrick Sherwin
PRODUCER: Peter Bryant
RATINGS: 6.6 million viewers
FORMAT: CD: Doctor Who: The Lost TV Episodes Volume 5 (1967-1969)
TELESNAPS: Fury from the Deep: Episode Four
"This is a struggle for power! Matter over mind. I'm convinced all these people Mrs Harris, Chief Robson, Mister Van Lutyens, have all been overcome in this struggle and goodness knows how many more people!"
Control is struggling to raise two more rigs. Victoria can't sleep, she's starting to be bothered about all the trouble the Tardis crew keep finding themselves in. Harris, searching for his wife, finds Robson on the beach. Van Lutyens goes to inspect the impeller but is grabbed by the seaweed. The Doctor and Jamie descend to help him. Megan Jones, the gas company head, and her aide Perkins arrive. She doesn't believe Harris' stories about the weed. Mr Oak & Mr Quill have assumed responsibility for the lift to the impeller, trapping Jamie & The Doctor. All they can find of Van Lutyens is his torch. They escape via a ladder. A helicopter visits the rigs and finds them covered in foam and weed. Harris wants to blow them up but a distraught Robson arrives keen to protect his life's work. He leaves as the Doctor arrives who says he believes Van Lutyens is dead and Robson is controlled by the weed. Jamie searches out Victoria and finds her in the pipeline room. She identifies those who took her there: Oak & Quill. The control rig calls the base: They are being overrun by foam and weed which is then found in the observation pipe in the base.
And the tension mounts as the weed closes in.....
What we do also have here is some nice foreshadowing of the sixth episode as Victoria twice passes comment on the dangers of her life in the Tardis.
VICTORIA: Jamie. Jamie? Jamie, you asleep?And then later with Jamie:
JAMIE: I'm just resting my eyes.
VICTORIA: I don't know how you can with all this trouble going on.
JAMIE: Oh, don't worry. The Doctor will work something out. He always does.
VICTORIA: Yes. What then?
JAMIE: What do you mean, what then?
VICTORIA: Where will we be next?
JAMIE: Oh, Victoria, you know better than to ask a question like that. We never know where we're going to land one place to the next. It's half the fun, isn't it?
VICTORIA: Is it?
JAMIE: Victoria, what's the matter? You've been acting very oddly ever since we got here.
VICTORIA: Oh it's nothing. It doesn't matter.
JAMIE: Look you'll worry the Doctor if
VICTORIA: Jamie, I said it was nothing. Just go back to sleep.
JAMIE: Aye. Well I wouldn't worry about that old bit of sea weed. The Doctor'll work something out.
VICTORIA: Yes, but will he? There's so many questions. The weed grows. Feeds off natural gas. But how fast does it grow? What happens to those that touch it? Oh, Jamie. Jamie, I'm frightened!
DOCTOR: Oh, I'm sorry, Victoria. Did I startle you?
DOCTOR: Where's Jamie?
VICTORIA: Up there. He's still asleep. Nothing would wake him except a bomb dropping.
DOCTOR: Oh good.
VICTORIA: Doctor, what's happening?
DOCTOR: Well, I'm not sure, Victoria. I'm not sure. Looks so peaceful out there, doesn't it?
VICTORIA: I heard that noise again.
VICTORIA: Well, what are they doing about it?
DOCTOR: Well, we have to wait.
VICTORIA: Wait? But what for? For one of those awful creatures to come and attack us all?
DOCTOR: Now, Victoria, it's not as bad as all that, you know.
VICTORIA: Isn't it? Even you don't know really how bad is it, do you?
DOCTOR: Well, no, not exactly.
VICTORIA: Every time we go anywhere something awful happens. Daleks. Cybermen.
VICTORIA: Yes, and Yeti. Why can't we go anywhere pleasant, where there's no fighting. Just peace and happiness.
VICTORIA: Oh Jamie, why are we always getting into trouble like this? It's the same everywhere we go.Recently companions have disappeared without warning: here there's some foreshadowing. If they'd have had Ben & Polly finding out that it was the day they left London in Faceless Ones 1 or 2 that would have made their departure in episode 6 of that story less a surprise.
JAMIE: How do you mean?
VICTORIA: I don't know. I'm just fed up. I'm tired of one crisis on top of another. I just want some piece and quiet.
JAMIE: But, Victoria, are you not happy with the Doctor and myself?
VICTORIA: Oh yes, yes, I am. But I just...
Quite a bit of this episode survives thanks to our scissor happy friends the Australian censors who hacked a bit out of almost all the episodes. Some of Van Lutyens in the impeller shaft can be seen, including the lingering shot of his discarded torch as he's dragged down to his doom. Then we can see The Doctor & Jamie, also in shaft, fighting against the weed and foam. All this footage is on Doctor Who - Lost In Time and it looks pretty grim stuff. Any chance someone can find a copy so we can see what the rest of the episode looks like?
Joining the cast this week is Margaret John as Megan Jones, who was previously mentioned in part 1. It's her only classic Doctor who part but she reappears in modern Doctor Who as Grandma Connolly in The Idiot's Lantern. She was in the very first episode of Blake's 7, The Way Back, as the Arbiter and has two episodes of Doomwatch to her name appearing in Friday's Child, the missing second episode, as the Defending Solicitor and Waiting for a Knighthood as Mrs. Joan Simpson, which exists and can be seen on The Doomwatch DVD.
Her assistant Perkins is played by Brian Cullingford who later appears as a technician in the missing third season Out of the Unknown episode Immortality Inc. He's the second assistant called Perkins we've seen recently. There was also one in Patrick Troughton's second story, The Highlanders, and that story was the only previous job for this story's director, Hugh David.
Chief Baxter, glimpsed briefly on the screen, is played by Richard Mayes. He was in The Murderer, an episode of the early TV science fiction serial A for Andromeda as the Teacher. This is one of the episodes which also features Peter Ducrow, the guard in episode 1, as Doctor Hunter.
Mr Oak, the smaller, rounder and more vocal of our pair of villains, is played by John Gill who had had a career stretching back to the very early 1950s. He appeared in This Sporting Life, which starred first Doctor William Hartnell, and worked solidly through to the late 1990s when he was in his mid 80s!
Meanwhile the tall, thin silent Mr Quill is played by Bill Burridge. He'd already been an extra in The Savages and the masked priest who is assigned to sacrifice the Doctor and his companions in The Underwater Menace part 2. He'll return as a villager/coven member in The Dæmons episodes 3-5 and Frontier in Space episode 2 as a Draconian. He too has a pair of Doomwatch episodes to his name appearing as a man in both Hear No Evil and Flood, neither of which survive.