While people were interested in March Madness, and the release of Falcon and the Winter Soldier and the extended version of Justice League, BBC America had a special treat for Doctor Who fans.
It presented an animated version of one the “lost stories”, Fury From The Deep, where the Doctor tries to save some natural gas rigs from living and angry seaweed. The style of the story may be different from the current version, but it’s a great look back at the really old days from the show.
The style of the animation is similar to the previous special, The Faceless Ones, although the facial expressions were a bit better. I noticed Victoria Waterfield looked a bit sad much of the time, but that’s to show that she’s thinking that life of the TARDIS is wearing down on her.
Anyway, the Doctor, Jamie and Victoria discover something wrong in the pipes of a gas refinery off the eastern coast of England. He’s rebuffed by a temperamental boss named Burton, but his second in command, Harris, starts to listen when strange noises are heard.
It’s discovered that some living seaweed is not only blocking the pipes but also releasing toxic gas that could threaten the world. It’s also taking control of the major staff including Burton, and Harris’ wife.
Victoria has a difficult time as she’s attacked by the weeds, but her reaction turns out to be an unexpected weapon.
Some of the character design was very good, especially two guys known as Mr Oak and Mr. Quill. The crew did a good job keeping their original look for the animated version.
If there were any flaws, it was in the story where it was resolved a bit too neatly, especially about how the people who were affected by the seaweed recovered. It should have also been made clearer that Burton was affected early, which would have explained his very erratic behavior. Otherwise, it’s a great look at the really old days of the Doctor.
Oh, and the story includes another “Wanted” poster of the Master (Roger Delgado version). Just like the one in The Faceless Ones, it would be strange to see such a poster since it’s four years before he arrived on Earth to cause havoc.
The story is famous for several reasons. One of them is Victoria’s exit from the TARDIS, but also the first appearance of the Sonic Screwdriver. It’s not as fancy as it is now, but it’s been a lifesaver especially in the modern era.
You can see the trailer here, and the DVD available online at Amazon, BBC Shop and lots of other places. It’s also available at AMC Plus, and BBC America’s site if you sign up.
There’s no firm news on whether more “lost episodes” will be turned into animation. There’s speculation titles like The Web of Fear and The Evil of the Daleks are planned. It would be great to take on First Doctor episodes including The Tenth Planet or The Massacre. Hopefully we’ll hear more soon.