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Audio Drama Review

Book Cover

Doctor Who
The Sea Devils
(Original BBC TV Soundtrack)


Starring: Jon Pertwee and Katy Manning
BBC Audio
RRP: £15.99
ISBN: 978 1 4056 7683 0
Available 07 January 2008

On their way to visit the Master, who is in prison, the Doctor and Jo Grant start to realise that there is something very wrong, not only with the Master’s captivity but also on a sea fort, whose only two custodians are attacked and one of them killed. Fighting his way through a disbelieving military, and the nefarious machinations of the Master, the Doctor realises that another branch of the Silurians has awoken from their slumber, but will he have any more luck in brokering a peace between the Silurians and the human race?...

Television on an audio disc, without a picture, what will they think of next? We truly live in a time of wonders. To coincide with the BBC’s release of the Silurian themed Doctor Who DVD box set, Beneath the Surface, BBC audio has released audio versions of the same shows.

The Sea Devils is the second of the three Silurian stories. The Television show was originally broadcast in 1972. Taking the helm, as the Doctor, is Jon Pertwee with Katy Manning playing his companion Jo (Every time I think of her that infamous Dalek picture keeps popping into my head, if you don’t know what I’m talking about then you're probably too young to look at the picture anyway). The story is greatly enhanced by the inclusion of Roger Delgado’s version of the Master.

Whereas, some of the shows work better as an audio CD, mainly due to the fact that you don’t have to suffer the bad sets and dodgy costumes, this is not the case with The Sea Devils, more correctly the show loses as much as it gains. The costumes were not too bad, the Devils moved in a convincing way and there was tons of outside filming. Add to that the number of vehicles used in the show and I think that this story actually loses something without the visuals; okay I’ll concede that I never thought the fight scenes were very convincing, so not being able to see these in particular is a bonus. The worse loss is Roger Delgado’s facial reaction to the Clangers - which still causes debate over whether the Master thought that they were real.

The six episode story uses the same audio as the DVD release with Katy Manning filling in the gaps so that listeners can make sense of the whole thing. The story runs to a whopping two hours and forty minutes and is spread across two CD’s. Not to be outdone by its bigger DVD cousin, the CD has an extra in the form of an interview with Katy Manning.


Charles Packer

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