- Actors: Patrick Trougton, Anneke Wills, Joseph Furst, Michael Craze, Frazer Hines
- Format: NTSC
- Language: English
- Number of discs: 1
- MPAA Rating:
- Studio: BBC Canada
- Release Date: May 17 2016
- Average Customer Review: 17 customer reviews
- ASIN: B00KB614HQ
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #5,259 in Movies & TV Shows (See Top 100 in Movies & TV Shows)
Doctor Who: The Underwater Menace
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The TARDIS lands in the lost city of Atlantis, where the crazed Professor Zaroff has convinced the Atlanteans that he can raise their city from beneath the sea. But the Doctor discovers the terrible truth behind Zaroff s plan he intends to destroy the entire planet. With the doomsday clock ticking, the Doctor and his companions must battle to prevent the apocalypse....
Audio Commentary for all 4 episodes A Fishy Tale: making-of documentary (28:30) The Television Centre of the Universe Part Two (32:10) Photo Gallery Radio Times listings
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Still, the story is great fun with Patrick Troughton finally finding his feet as the Doctor as he battles the evil Professor Zaroff, a mad scientist who has taken over the sunken city of Atlantis, turning half the population into bizarrely cheap-looking Fish People as part of his plan to destroy the world by draining the ocean into Earth's molten core.
Why does he want to destroy the world? Well, apparently simply because he can... (Joseph Furst gives a wonderfully campy but totally committed performance as Zaroff, but I remember thinking while watching that this would have been a perfect part for Bela Lugosi if he had still been alive!)
A silly story to be true, but important because it is really the first time, barring the Daleks, that the Doctor has to take a true moral stand against a monstrous villain with the realization that he is the only one who can stop him and leads directly to his legendary speech in the next story "The Moonbase" ("There are some corners of the universe which have bred the most terrible things, things which act against everything that we believe in. They must be fought." ). It is also the first adventure where young Scottish companion Jamie travels in the TARDIS, and Frazer Hines shows early on why he was one of the most beloved of the Doctor's original assistants.
Speaking of Hines, he is there on the commentary track along with fellow companion Anneke Wills as well as Troughton's son Michael, so while the extras are not as flush as they used to be (BBC Video was basically forced by fans to finally release this story after pretty much cancelling the entire line, so what frills we get are a blessing), there is still a nice "Making Of" feature (complete with a poor unfortunate young woman who volunteered to dress up as a Fish Person on England's cold and rocky shore...) and the final long-delayed Part Two of the tour of the BBC Television Centre where the show was made which has since been torn down (ah, progress... how I hate your smug, fresh-faced smile!).
Definitely worth checking out for the curious and the dedicated. For everyone else, well...
It seems to me that BBC has been 'phoning it in' for the last few restorations. Assuming they ever find enough pieces to release the remaining 19 episodes, I question whether it would be worth buying them.
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