Broadcast: 16 March-20 April 1968

Average Viewing Figure: 7.2M

42) FURY FROM THE DEEP

16 March - 20 April

Average Viewing Figure: 7.2M

Plot

On a gas refinery a parasitic weed creature begins to takes over the minds of the refinery's workers 

Cast

Patrick Troughton (The Doctor), Frazer Hines (Jamie McCrimmon), Deborah Watling (Victoria Waterfield), Victor Maddern (Robson)

John Abineri (Van Lutyens), Roy Spencer (Harris), Graham Leaman (Price), Peter Ducrow (Guard), June Murphy (Maggie Harris)

John Garvin (Carney), Hubert Rees (Chief Engineer), Richard Mayes (Chief Baxter), Bill Burridge (Quill), John Gill (Oak)

Margaret John (Megan Jones), Brian Cullingford (Perkins), Peter day (Weed Creature)

Uncredited Cast

Robert Pierson, Bill Straiton, Vic Taylor, Bobby Beaumont, Wallace Winding, Tom Wadden, Terry Nelson, Michael Durham (Technicians)

Derek Chafer, Charles Finch, Raymond Turton, Roy Stevens, Roy Pearce (Guards), Mike Smith, Keith Sissons (Helicopter Pilots)

Peter Day (Weed Creature)

Crew

Victor Pemberton (Writer), Ron Grainer (Title Music), Dudley Simpson (Incidental Music), Bryan Hodgson (Special Sound Effects)

Peter Day (Visual Effects Designer), Martin Baugh (Costumes), Sylvia James (Make-Up), Sam Neeter (Lighting), David Hughes (Sound)

Ken Westbury (Film Cameraman), Colin Hobson (Film Editor), Derrick Sherwin (Story Editor), Peter Kindred (Designer)

Peter Bryant (Producer), Hugh David (Director)

Broadcast

Number of Production Days: 16

Filming Locations

  • Red Sands Sea Fort, Thames Estuary

  • Botany Bay, Kingsgate, Kent

  • Ealing Film Studios: Stage 3

  • Denham Aeordrome, Denham, Bucks

  • Lime Grove: Studio D

  • Ealing Film Studios

  • Television Centre: Studio 1

Deaths

  • [death fails to follow The Doctor this time]

Production Days

  • 16 Days between Sunday 4 February - Friday 29 March 1968

Production Errors

  1. The shadow of a camera (or another piece of television equipment) can be seen on Oak's face she is about to aim gas at Maggie 

  2. Van Lutyens' torche is pointed towards the left wall when he is pulled into foam by the weed creature. However, in the shot which focuses on the torch, the torch has changed position and is pointing more towards Van Lutyens ​​

Working Titles

  • Doctor Who and the Colony of Devils

  • Colony of Devils

Verdict

An odd mismatch of characters, too many stereotypes to count, and killer seed weed all add up to what is the best base-(in this case an oil refinery)-under-siege narrative in the whole Troughton era. There are moments of painstaking arguing back and forth between characters whom all have different agendas, and a plot that takes far too long for The Doctor, and his companions to get involved in.

At its heart, Fury from the Deep is more Victoria’s story than anything else. Travelling with The Doctor has become a tiresome and ‘horrific’ affair for her. The events are almost played out from her point-of-view, and her departure is slowly built-up, where the last then minutes are dedicated to her saying goodbye to her dear friends, and not leaving on an impulse last minute.

Fury has some memorable horror moments but they themselves are sandwiched between moments which make big deals out of nothing, dead ends plot detours that led to nothing, and amateurish attempts at slapstick comedy, where The Doctor pilot a helicopter to escape the monster, and a resolution which is spoiled continually throughout the first five episodes.

The best of using ‘nothing’ to create something is what makes Fury a marvellous piece of television. Moments of foam machine overload and overkill, and sound effects cleverly disguise the full appearance of the Weed Creature, we never see what it actually looks like. Between all of this, moments of horror make the finished product, a hiding behind the sofa ordeal, and perhaps Dudley Simpson’s best score for the show of all time. It would be very easy to listen to the soundtrack, and never losing sight of what makes certain scenes so terrifying. Mr Oak and Mr Quill (a Nosferatu-Esque technician) are a perfect blend of ‘comedy’ and ‘horror’, two elements rarely seen together.  

Fury is the serial where the six-parter template (almost works), the legwork is there, you just to get from all of the filler or rather (foam) to get to the best that Fury has to offer. ****