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Doctor Who The Underwater Menace DVD Review

the-underwater-menace-fish-people

Doctor Who The Underwater Menace

Review by Paul Bowler

the-underwater-menace-fish-people

The TARDIS materialises on an extinct volcanic island, where the Doctor (Patrick Troughton), Polly (Anneke Wills), Ben (Michael Craze), and Jamie (Frazer Hines) are soon captured and taken below the surface of the Earth, where they discover a hidden civilisation and the lost city of Atlantis! In their culture, the Atlanteans worship the goddess Amdo, they also use Fish People – civilians who have been surgically altered to enable them to breath under the sea and farm their plankton-based food source. The crazed scientist Professor Zaroff (Joseph Furst) has convinced everyone that he can raise Atlantis from the sea, but he also secretly plans to drain the ocean into the Earth’s molten core, where the extreme superheated steam subsequently generated by his cataclysmic scheme will cause the entire world to explode!

The TARDIS crew meet two shipwreck survivors, Sean (P.G. Stephens) and Jacko (Paul Anil), and they get the fish people to revolt and stop working, but can the Doctor find a way to foil Zaroff’s mad plot in time?

The Underwater Menace is the 1967 four-part adventure from Season Four of the classic series, Directed by Julia Smith, it was also the third story to feature Patrick Troughton as the Doctor, together with Anneke Wills as Polly, Michael Craze as Ben Jackson, and Frazer Hines as Jamie as the Doctor’s travelling companions. The last known prints of this story – all save Episode 3 – were destroyed in 1974, but in 2011 the news broke that Episode 2 has been returned to the BBC by a private collector (Terry Burnett), and preparations commenced to release the Under Water Menace on DVD in early 2013. Sadly the Doctor’s old enemy of cancellation struck again – due to a number of circumstances – and the stories release on DVD didn’t take place. But, with fan pressure building, together with a petition of 2,761 signatures, BBC Worldwide eventually reversed its decision and The Underwater Menace is now finally available on DVD, with a wealth of extra features, documentaries, and commentaries to bring the Doctor Who DVD classic range to a close in fine style.

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