a real world point of view
|Fury from the Deep|
|Novelised as:||Fury from the Deep|
|Main enemy:||The Weed Creature, Mr Oak, Mr Quill|
|Main setting:||England, 1968|
|Number of episodes:||6|
|Premiere broadcast:||16 March - 20 April 1968|
|Doctor Who television stories|
|The Web of Fear||The Wheel in Space|
Fury from the Deep was the sixth story of Season 5 of Doctor Who. It was the final serial in which Victoria Waterfield appeared as a regular member of the cast. It concluded her overarching story arc by ostensibly giving her foster parents to replace the father she had lost in her introductory story, The Evil of the Daleks. It also saw the first appearance of the sonic screwdriver.
The TARDIS lands on the surface of the sea, just off the east coast of England. The time travellers use a rubber dinghy to get ashore, where they are shot with tranquilliser darts and taken prisoner by security guards as they have arrived in the restricted area of a gas refinery.
At the refinery base, run by a man named Robson, the Second Doctor learns that there have been a number of unexplained problems with the pressure in the feed pipes from the offshore drilling rigs. It is later revealed that one of the rigs has sucked up a parasitic form of seaweed, which is capable of releasing poisonous gas or a strange kind of foam that allows it to take control of the minds of those it touches.
The weed spreads rapidly and seems set on establishing a huge colony centred around the rigs. The Doctor makes the chance discovery that it is very susceptible to high pitched noise; consequently he is able to use the amplified sound of Victoria's screams to destroy it. Victoria elects to stay with the family of one of the refinery workers, Harris.
The Doctor, although sharing Jamie's sadness at her departure, understands her decision to settle down to a quieter life.
Episode 1 Edit
The Doctor, Jamie and Victoria land on the sea near the coast of England. They take a rubber dinghy to a beach that features a surprising amount of foam. After a playful foam-fight, they are drawn to a pipe marked Euro Sea Gas (ESGO). The Doctor uses his sonic screwdriver to open a box allowing them to peer inside the pipe. They can hear a slight noise, like a heartbeat, coming from inside, but the Doctor suspects it's simply a pump. They are suddenly shot down by an unseen sniper.
When the travellers regain consciousness, they are inside the nearby ESGO refinery and under guard. Chief Robson arrives and begins to question them, his subordinate Harris giving them the antidote to the tranquilliser they've been stunned with. Robson orders them kept imprisoned until he can question them further. Harris is more sympathetic, and tells the Doctor that they have lost contact with one of their rigs at sea; the crew aren't answering. There has also been a drop in pressure in feed lines from the rigs, lines the Doctor was seen tampering with.
Harris's wife Maggie is prevented from entering the refinery due to the emergency. The Doctor tells Harris about the movement they heard in the pipes, but Harris assures them that nothing could get in them. Harris tells the Doctor that Robson would never allow the gas flow to be stopped, even to investigate.
Technician Price reports to Robson in the Control Hall that communication is reestablished with Rig D. Carney, the man on the rig, seems alright, except he is slightly evasive, and seems to keep his voice to a whisper. They then lose contact. Harris tells Robson about the Doctor's suspicions, but Robson dismisses them. Harris offers to show the Chief evidence that he's compiled which substantiates the need to stop the gas flow. Harris is incredulous when he finds the file missing from his briefcase. Eager to put Harris in his place, Robson allows him to return home to find the file.
Victoria uses a hairpin to pick the lock of their prison door, while the Doctor and Jamie try force. Their methods both work, simultaneously. Meanwhile, Harris meets up with his wife and asks her to look for the file in his desk at home. She discovers the file with a piece of seaweed stuck in it; she is shocked when she is stung by it. She tosses the seaweed outside, but it starts to bubble and writhe.Van Lutyens, a representative of the Dutch government, has returned from Control Rig, and tells Robson how restless the men are. Robson and Van Lutyens argue about the importance of the morale of the men. Robson gets a call from Baxter, Chief at the Control Rig, and reports that he thinks something is in the pipes; it's making a sound like a heartbeat. The Doctor and friends overhear this conversation and move to investigate on their own. The men send Victoria back to the bunk room where they were imprisoned, but she goes off on her own.
Maggie is starting to feel ill and calls her husband. Harris then asks Robson to allow him to go home; the staff doctor is out on the rigs. Meanwhile, someone in the oxygen store is trying to deplete the supply, but Victoria happens upon this and turns off the valve. The saboteur locks her in, and opens the ventilator in the room
The Doctor and Jamie find the Pipeline Room, and using his stethoscope, the Doctor is convinced something is in the pipe.
Through the ventilation grille, masses of foam and weed pour into the room, attacking Victoria. The whole base hears her scream, but as her voice echoes through the entire base, no one knows where to find Victoria.
Episode 2 Edit
The Doctor and Jamie frantically search and, finding the Oxygen Store, release Victoria. As she tells her horrifying tale, the Chief Engineer discovers the cylinders empty. Robson accuses the girl, but others point out the door was locked from the outside. The refinery crew note the presence of some kind of toxic gas in the room.
Harris has found Maggie at home, dazed. Unbeknownst to them, she reacts to the growing and pulsating of the seaweed outside. He plans to get help, even it's from this mysterious Doctor. After Harris leaves, Maggie rises, trance-like. She walks to the patio door, opens it and sees the mass of foam outside. She screams, recovering control, and slams the door.Robson is convinced the movement heard is simply a mechanical fault. He absolutely refuses to stop the gas flow, even as the pressure continues to drop. Harris begs the Doctor to come and help his wife, but Robson curtly refuses to let him go. He eventually relents, seeing the look on Harris's face. Maggie, having recovered slightly, answers the doorbell to find Mr. Oak and Mr. Quill at the door. They are maintenance men and request access to her kitchen for an inspection. She reluctantly lets them in.
Van Lutyens and the Chief Engineer decide there must be something wrong with the impeller itself; pressure is either dangerously high, or far too low. Van Lutyens fears an imminent explosion in one of the pipes.
At the Harrises' living quarters, Oak and Quill appear to be pawns of the weed, and attack and knock out Maggie by exhaling toxic gas from their mouths.
Robson impresses the crew by engineering a release of gas pressure. But feed out to receiving stations is still dropping, the impeller still slowing down. Price reports that contact with Rig C has been lost. Harris brings the Doctor and friends to his home, but they discover Maggie unconscious, the house full of gas.
Van Lutyens again tries to reason with Robson, but Robson is full of contempt for him, Harris, and all the others trying to tell him his job. As they argue, the impeller grinds to a halt. The entire refinery is flooded with the heartbeat sound. Van Lutyens believes he knows where the blockage is likely to be and tries to get the Chief Engineer on his side, finding him willing to listen but reluctant to cross Robson. Van Lutyens is insistent, hearing the heartbeat and sensing a creature's presence, "in the darkness, waiting."
Episode 3 Edit
The Doctor, Jamie and Victoria collect a specimen of weed, while Harris attends to his wife. Noticing they are suddenly free, they head to the TARDIS to test a sample of the weed. They note that the weed gives off a toxic gas, and Jamie sees through a microscope that the weed has molecular movement; the weed is alive.
Harris gets Price to send someone over to attend to Maggie. Robson is enraged to discover Harris has let the three prisoners loose. The impeller starts working briefly, but Robson erupts when it stops again, verbally attacking Van Lutyens and Harris. Van Lutyens forces Harris to remain with the crew, fearful Robson is losing control, and that Harris may have to take over. Harris, Van Lutyens, and the Chief realise Robson might see reason if they approach him together.Victoria spots the creature she saw in a book the Doctor has: a book of legends and superstitions. Jamie starts sneezing, a reaction to the gas; the weed is growing out of the tank! Victoria screams as the Doctor and Jamie close and secure the lid. They head back to the Harrises' quarters.
Robson is extremely defensive at this confrontation by the three of them, including his trusted friend the Chief Engineer. He completely flies off the handle, and storms out. Robson returns to his cabin, slumping down in exhaustion. Oak locks him inside, and the weed creature attacks him. Harris unknowingly releases him, but Robson runs off.
Upon their return to the Harrises', the travellers discover Maggie gone, the house being overrun by weed and foam. Harris tells Van Lutyens about the creature he saw in Robson's quarters, and Van Lutyens connects it with the attack on Victoria in the Oxygen Store. Van Lutyens convinces Harris to take control. He has informed his superiors in the Hague, and Harris contacts the ESGO Director of the Board, Megan Jones.
Victoria is finding herself longing for... she's not sure, but she wishes she wasn't so scared all the time. Upon their return to the Impeller Room, the Doctor tells the crew his findings: the seaweed is the cause. It is a parasite, and emits a toxic gas. Harris tells the Doctor about seeing the creature. The Doctor is horrified when Price reports that the matron from the medicare centre never picked up Maggie.
On the beach, Maggie is standing along the shore, met by Robson. They both are under the control of the weed. Confirming Robson knows his task, she walks directly into the sea.
Episode 4 EditPrice is unable to raise communications with a third rig at sea. As the engineer and crew work in the Impeller Room, the heartbeat sound rises again from the depths. As Jamie and Victoria rest, Jamie is confident the Doctor will see them through this, enjoying their travels in the TARDIS. Victoria is less confident. She ponders all the facts they've learned, and frightens herself. But the Doctor arrives and, telling her the latest news, Victoria is frustrated that they must wait, possibly to be attacked again by the weed. She longs to be someplace pleasant and peaceful.
Harris discovers Robson on the beach. He questions him about Maggie, and Robson says he will find her, very soon, then leaves enigmatically. Van Lutyens is planning to investigate the base of the impeller shaft to see what really is going on down there; neither the engineer nor the Doctor can dissuade him. Oak and Quill are at the lift controls and lower Van Lutyens down. He cautiously investigates, opening a hatch and peering into the chamber below. He realises the entire chamber is a mass of foam and weed. The Weed Creature attacks and pulls him down into the chamber. Raising the lift to find no Van Lutyens, the Doctor and Jamie go down after him.
Harris, exhausted and scared for his wife, is informed that Megan Jones has arrived at the refinery. He is then told about those in the impeller shaft; it's too late to bring them back up. The Doctor and Jamie find Van Lutyens' torch, but not him.
Megan Jones and her assistant, Perkins, arrive, and Harris and the Chief Engineer go to meet her and inform her of the situation. Harris leaves Oak and Quill in charge in the Impeller Room, with Victoria worriedly waiting and listening. Jones is dismissive of the idea of a seaweed creature, but Harris says he's seen them. She allows the use of the company helicopter to inspect the rigs. Jones wants to see Robson, but Harris is reluctant.
The foam quickly rises as the Weed Creature moves to attack the Doctor and Jamie, and they discover the lift has been sent back to the top. Fortunately, there is a maintenance ladder, and they begin climbing. Oak and Quill leave, ignoring the warning lights; they are seen locking the door to the Pipeline Room. But the Doctor and Jamie make it out and worry about the disappearance of Victoria.
The helicopter pilot reports foam and weed on all three of the rigs, with no sign of life. Harris asks Jones to allow the rigs to be bombed out of the sea. Robson bursts in, having heard this, and angrily rejects this idea, treating it like a personal attack. But soon he seems to lose coherence, and stumbles out. The Doctor meets Megan Jones, reports what he's seen, and says he believes Robson is under the control of the weed. Harris believes him, and Jones is willing to listen. Suddenly, there is a communication from Control Rig: Baxter is in a panic, saying the creatures are all around them. His cries subside only as the communication is cut off.
Jamie locates Victoria, unconscious in the Pipeline Room. For a brief moment he thinks she's dead, and is angry when he thinks she's tricked him, but she was merely unconscious. She accuses the two engineers. As they are talking, they hear the heartbeat rising, and can see the Weed Creature through the transparent panel in the pipe. They bring the Doctor, Jones, and everyone to see it. The Doctor calls it the first part of the invasion.
Episode 5 Edit
The Doctor hopes to find the nerve centre of the weed, as it is their best chance to destroy the creature. Price reports that all of the rigs are now out of contact. The Doctor fears the weed has taken over the crew and the rigs. He rejects Harris's idea to blow up the rigs; this would simply spread the weed. Megan Jones realises the weed has under their control the one man who knows the entire structure of the rigs and refinery, Robson, and orders that he be found. The Doctor also realises that pure oxygen must be toxic to the weed. Oak and Quill arrive at the Oxygen Store.
Meanwhile, Robson is found in his quarters, and Jones goes to see him, hoping their old friendship will give her a chance to reach him. She tries several approaches but finds him uncommunicative. At one point he cries out for help, but he is of no help. A guard remains outside.
Victoria wishes they could return to the TARDIS, but of course they can't leave. The Doctor deduces that the weed's next move is to attack them at the refinery. Jones and Harris decide they must put the oxygen supply room under guard. Robson wakes suddenly and, hearing instructions in his mind, moves to the door. He attacks the guard, disabling him with gas from Robson's mouth; weeds are visible growing from his arms.The Doctor, Harris, and company deduce that someone else in the refinery is working with the weed and, seeing Oak and Quill surreptitiously leaving, stop them. Victoria screams as the two are knocked out; Jamie compliments his own strength, but the Doctor suspects it wasn't that that rendered them unconscious.
The crew find the weed breaking through the pipeline, eventually engulfing the Pipeline Room. In the panic, they realise that Victoria is again missing, but the Impeller Room is being sealed, and the Doctor and Jamie must squeeze out of the last door. Victoria has been kidnapped by Robson, and he steals a company helicopter. Once they realise what has happened, the Doctor talks to Robson via R/T, and Robson tells him to "come over to us" if Victoria is to live. The Doctor wants to go, but Jones is hesitant to let go what may be their only hope. He and Jamie are flown in another helicopter to the Control Rig, where Robson has taken Victoria.
The Doctor and Jamie cautiously investigate the deserted rig. Victoria calls out, but the Doctor advises it may be a trap. Moving with care, they open a door to discover Robson, waist deep in foam, fronds of weed encircling his neck and arms. He has been waiting for them.
Episode 6 EditRobson tells the Doctor that he will help "our new masters" with the conquest of Earth. Jamie finds and releases Victoria. Robson exhales gas to try to capture the Doctor, but when Victoria screams, Robson clutches his head and is disoriented. The three of them escape outside. They are unable to flag down the helicopter, so the Doctor gleefully tries to fly Robson's. As they lift off, the foam rises as if to pull them back. The Doctor's lack of flying ability makes it an extremely dangerous ride, but the pilot of the other helicopter contacts them and directs him.
Harris, Megan Jones, and Perkins await word from the Doctor. Harris thinks they must evacuate, but Jones says the Doctor still has ten minutes. Perkins is ordered to get on to the defence minister and get tanks of oxygen sent at once.
The Doctor returns and tells them that the man Jamie fought with has almost completely recovered, the weed has withered and died off his body, and that noise was the answer. The Doctor has finally realised it was Victoria's scream that has always repelled the weed. His plan is to kill the weed at the Control Rig, its nerve centre, by sending massive waves of noise through the pipelines from the refinery. Using equipment in the refinery's Control Hall, Price records Victoria's screams as she sees the weed breaking in through the impeller shaft. The Doctor uses the equipment and recording to create sonic laser sound waves, using hand-held speakers to kill the Weed Creature as it breaks into the Control Hall.
Robson and Maggie suddenly appear on the monitor from the Control Rig, alive and well; everyone taken over by the Weed Creature has been released.
Having dinner at the Harrises', Robson, the Doctor, Jamie, and Victoria enjoy their hospitality. The Doctor realises, however, that Victoria doesn't want to go back to the TARDIS. The Doctor asks the Harrises if they would mind Victoria staying with them for a time, to which they quickly agree. Jamie is resistant to this idea, but the Doctor insists that they respect Victoria's decision. They stay overnight and, in the morning, the Doctor and Jamie return to the TARDIS without Victoria. Asked where he'd like to go, Jamie tells the Doctor, despondently, that he couldn't care less.
- The Doctor - Patrick Troughton
- Jamie McCrimmon - Frazer Hines
- Victoria Waterfield - Deborah Watling
- Robson - Victor Maddern
- Harris - Roy Spencer
- Price - Graham Leaman
- Guard - Peter Ducrow
- Maggie Harris - June Murphy
- Carney - John Garvin
- Chief Engineer - Hubert Rees
- Van Lutyens - John Abineri
- Chief Baxter - Richard Mayes
- Quill - Bill Burridge
- Oak - John Gill
- Megan Jones - Margaret John
- Perkins - Brian Cullingford
- Assistant Floor Manager - Margot Hayhoe
- Costumes - Martin Baugh
- Designer - Peter Kindred
- Film Cameraman - Ken Westbury
- Film Editor - Colin Hobson
- Incidental Music - Dudley Simpson
- Make-Up - Sylvia James
- Producer - Peter Bryant
- Production Assistant - Michael Briant
- Script Editor - Derrick Sherwin
- Special Sounds - Brian Hodgson
- Studio Lighting - Sam Neeter
- Studio Sound - David Hughes
- Theme Arrangement - Delia Derbyshire
- Title Music - Ron Grainer
- Visual Effects - Peter Day, Len Hutton
- Euro Sea Gas extracts gas from the sea.
The Doctor Edit
- The Doctor finds flying a helicopter difficult. He's guided by radio.
The Doctor's items Edit
- The Doctor uses his sonic screwdriver to open a pipeline inspection hatch.
Drugs and medicines Edit
- U4 is a drug that is used as a neural stimulator.
- Victoria mentions Cybermen, Daleks and Yeti and that "Every time we go anywhere, something awful happens".
- The Doctor's TARDIS materialises mid-air, spiralling down to land on the surface of the sea.
Story notes Edit
- This story had a working title of The Colony of Devils. This was changed as the BBC was concerned about the use of 'devils' in a family programme.
- This story features the first appearance of the Doctor's sonic screwdriver, here having the appearance of a small penlight torch.
- Peter Ducrow provided the voice of the guard in Episode 1 (heard over a speakerphone) on duty at the main entrance of the ESGO refinery, who refuses Maggie Harris access. He is perhaps better known as Adam Adamant's arch-enemy, the Face, a leather-masked villain who spoke in sinister whispering tones, in the offbeat fantasy series Adam Adamant Lives! (1966-67). That series was produced by original Doctor Who producer Verity Lambert.
- A sneak preview of the Doctor's latest forthcoming adversary was featured in the two-page behind-the-scene article The Monstrous World of Doctor Who, written by Gay Search, which was published in Radio Times (cover dated: 20-26 January 1968) for the week of transmission of TV: The Enemy of the World Episode 4.
- Very little footage survives of this story, making its episodes several of the missing episodes that do not exist in the BBC's archives. However a full set of telesnaps and soundtrack do exist for this story.
- In July 2003, 3 minutes 32 seconds of footage from episode 6 of this story were recovered from the BBC Archives at Windmill Road by Andrew Martin. The footage was on 16mm negative film and consisted of scenes of the Weed Creature attacking the Control Room. However, this footage is not from the broadcast episode, but is actually shots that were removed during editing and was never broadcast. This footage has no audio.
- Margaret John (Megan Jones) would later play Grandma Connolly in TV: The Idiot's Lantern.
- Since overall story titles were introduced with TV: The Savages in 1966, this is the first time that the title did not begin with the word "the." The next such story was TV: Spearhead from Space in 1970.
- Episode 1 - 8.2 million viewers
- Episode 2 - 7.9 million viewers
- Episode 3 - 7.7 million viewers
- Episode 4 - 6.6 million viewers
- Episode 5 - 5.9 million viewers
- Episode 6 - 6.9 million viewers
- There is a myth that someone had stolen an episode of Fury from the Deep when it was at Villiers house. Its film can was found with a different film inside it, which had nothing to do with Doctor Who.[source needed]
Filming locations Edit
- Red Sands Sea Fort in the Thames Estuary
- Botony Bay near Kingsgate, Kent
- Ealing Television Film Studios, Ealing Green, Ealing
- Lime Grove Studios (Studio D), Lime Grove, London
Production errors Edit
to be added
- Victoria mentions that the TARDIS always seems to land on Earth. (TV: The Abominable Snowmen, TV: The Ice Warriors, TV: The Enemy of the World, TV: The Web of Fear).
- This is the sonic screwdriver's first appearance. It would continue to appear until being destroyed in TV: The Visitation. A rebuilt or new one then appeared years later in TV: Doctor Who, and some form of it has been used often since.
- Victoria does not appear again until PROSE: Downtime.
- The TARDIS can take off like a rocket; it's not seen to do this again until TV: The Runaway Bride.
Home video and audio releases Edit
Surviving clips from this serial are viewable as special features on the Lost in Time DVD release.
A CD and cassette of the story have been released.
- Fury from the Deep at the BBC's official site
- Fury from the Deep at BroaDWcast
- Detailed synopsis of Fury from the Deep at the Doctor Who Reference Guide
- Fury from the Deep at Shannon Sullivan's A Brief History of Time (Travel)
- Fury from the Deep at The Locations Guide
- Fury from the Deep transcript