Feb. 12th, 2018

purplecat: The Third Doctor (Who:Three)
One of the things I hadn't really appreciated about the Pertwee era until I started this Randomiser thing, is the way that it straddles a transition from a form of storytelling who's roots were very much in a serialised form where each episode, although part of a larger story, is primarily focused upon moving from the cliffhanger at the start to the cliffhanger at the end, to a form of storytelling which is more coherent.

Despite its position in the middle of Pertwee's run, the structure of The Sea Devils, still feels fairly serialised. I wonder if this is partly a signature of writer, Malcolm Hulke, since I felt much the same way about The Silurians. The first episode is concerned with the mystery at the fortress, we move to the naval base in episode 2, the prison in episode 3 and so on. We even have two human antagonists, Trenchard in the first half of the story and then Walker in the second.

The Sea Devils has quite a different feel to The Silurians despite following many of the same story beats. The addition of the Master adds a whole new plot thread, while the emphasis of much of the action is focused around the access the production crew had to Royal Navy boats. Actually this all looks really impressive, the actual realness of the ships and crews definitely adds to the look of the story.

In general I am less sympathetic to either the Sea Devils or the Silurians than the plots of these stories would like me to be. They both have a tendency to attack first and then act as though they have been betrayed when the humans quite understandably retaliate. At least with the Silurians some time was taken to show differing points of view within their community so that their actions were more a mirror to that of the humans.

Ultimately this is a pacey story, that undeniably looks good, but I don't think it has the depth of The Silurians (I suspect few would argue that it does) and is much more of a runaround.

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