THE UNDERWATER MENACE

Season 4, 1967; 4 episodes


This four part story from Season 4 was writer Geoffrey Orme's only contribution to Doctor Who. Perhaps it's just as well.

Ever since Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein, the standard SF/horror villain has been the mad scientist, who misuses his scientific knowledge to create havoc, or possibly destroy the world. The Underwater Menace is no exception.

The story had to be rewritten at the last minute to include the new regular Jamie, originally intended to be a one-off character in the Highlanders. The story follows on from that story, where the Doctor, Ben, Polly and Jamie find themselves on an island shore by an extinct volcano. The volcano leads to the sunken civilization of Atlantis, where they encounter the manic Professor Zaroff, played with an outrageous German accent by Joseph Furst. Zaroff intends to raise Atlantis from the ocean, but the Doctor forsees an unpleasant side effect. But before the travellers can do anything about Zaroff, they must avoid becoming the main course for some hungry sharks...

One writer called the story "The Doctor Who equivalent of Plan 9 From Outer Space".

Episode three of The Underwater Menace remains the earliest surviving Troughton episode. It was retained by the BBC because of the "underwater" special effect scenes. A few seconds are all that exists from the other episodes, originally excised by Australian censors. These "Censor Clips", plus the complete episode 3, can be found on "The Missing Years", included in "The Ice Warriors" video release.


Click to read the script for:


Introduction by GARY ZIMMER (g.zimmer@ballarat.edu.au).


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