Doctor Who: The Sea Devils (1972) starring Jon Pertwee, Katy Manning, Roger Delgado
Doctor Who: The Sea Devils – the Third Doctor and Jo check on the Master’s prison, and find out about mysterious ship disappearances. Then …
In short, The Sea-Devils is a very enjoyable Doctor Who story arc, featuring the Third Doctor, Jon Pertwee. He and his nemesis / opposite number The Master are at their peak. It’s fun, fast-paced, and thoroughly enjoyable.
The Doctor and Jo visit the Master, who’s being held prisoner on an island. He claims to be reflecting on his life, and repenting of his actions. Once they leave, however, it’s clear that the Master is actually running the prison. While there, the Doctor and Jo learn that several ships have been sunk recently in the vicinity. The Doctor decides to investigate.
The Doctor and Jo are trapped on the fort by a Sea Devil, that destroyed their boat at the end of the previous episode. Meanwhile the Master convinces Trenchard to help him steal some electronic components. The Doctor is eager to make peace between the Sea Devils and humanity. But the Master is up to something …
And the episode ends with a sword fight between the Doctor and the Master! Yes, it’s silly to have a rack of swords outside a prison cell, but it makes for an exciting conflict. And the defeated Master throwing a knife at the Doctor’s back!
Jo Grant: Those things that attacked us. You said you’d seen something like it before.
The Doctor: Something very similar, certainly. They emerged from some caves in Derbyshire.
Jo Grant: The Silurians, wasn’t it? The Brigadier was telling me.
The Doctor: That’s a complete misnomer. The chap who discovered them must have got the period wrong. No, properly speaking, they should have been called the Eocenes.
The Doctor is held prisoner by the Master and Colonel Trenchard. So, Jo attempts to rescue him. Meanwhile, the Master plans to summon the Sea Devils from the ocean. He plans to use them to destroy the human race, then use them to conquer. The special sonar submarine, sent to investigate, is being attacked underwater by … something. At the end of the episode, the Master, Trenchard, and his men arrive, with the device that the Master’s constructed from the stolen parts. And he summons the Sea Devils.
Trying to escape, the Doctor and Jo literally navigate a mine field. Next, we see the submarine is under attack by the Sea Devils. Meanwhile, the gullible Trenchard is fooled by the Master’s lies … again. The Doctor attempts to persuade Captain Hart of the Master’s danger. Poor Jo doesn’t get her cheese sandwich — a very funny moment to lighten the episode.
Trenchard finally begins to realize that the Master’s been using him, as the Sea Devils attack the prison. But, too late. Eager to make contact with the Sea Devils, the Doctor travels to the seabed by the fort via bathysphere.
The Sea Devils capture the Doctor, and take him to their undersea base. Once there, he tries to make peace with them. But the Master wants none of that! Until the Navy interferes by bombing their location. The Master convinces the Sea Devils to pretend that the attack was successful, and the Navy calls off the attack.
Meanwhile, the Doctor rescues the submarine captain, and they go to retake the sub. But the Sea Devils prevent their escape with a force field. Until the Doctor convinces them to fire torpedos at the underwater cave wall, even that it risks destroying the submarine. And the Master plans to attack the Naval base before the Navy can do anything about it.
The Sea Devils come to the surface and attack the Naval base. The Master forces the Doctor to help create a machine to awaken their colonies across the world. But first, the Doctor makes sure a test misfires, so the humans can escape their captivity. Then, Jo escapes and enables a Naval counterattack.
The Master escapes with the device, resulting in a boat chase scene, as the Sea Devils retreat to the sea. But the Doctor and the Master are recaptured by Sea Devils, and taken to their base. And Walker is planning a nuclear strike! Then, the Sea Devil Chief has both Time Lords imprisoned. But the Doctor has an ace up his sleeve …
Master: Once they see that the device works properly, they’ll release me.
The Doctor: I very much doubt it. You see, before you reactivated it, I reversed the polarity of the neutron flow.
Master: You did what? You realise what will happen?
The Doctor: Oh, yes. Do you?
Master: Well, there’ll be a massive reverse feedback into their whole power system.
The Doctor: Exactly. In about ten minutes from now the whole place should go up. Enjoy your revenge.
From a top-security prison on a remote island, the Master is aiding the Sea Devils’ plot to eliminate the human race.
- Horatio Nelson was a personal friend of the Doctor.
Cast of characters in The Sea Devil
- Jon Pertwee (The Curse of Peladon, The House That Dripped Blood) … The Doctor.
- Roger Delgado (Frontier in Space, The Mummy’s Shroud) … The Master
- Katy Manning (Planet of the Daleks) … Jo Grant
- Edwin Richfield … Captain Hart. The Navy’s equivalent to the Brigadier. He’s slow to believe the Doctor’s story about an aquatic invasion. But a man of action once he’s going.
- Clive Morton (Kind Hearts and Coronets) … Colonel George Trenchard. Ostensibly, in charge of the prison, where the Master’s being held. In reality, however …
- Donald Sumpter … Commander Ridgeway
- David Griffin (Keeping Up Appearances, Trog) … Lt. Commander Mitchell
- Hugh Futcher … Hickman. First onscreen victim of the Sea Devils. One of the maintenance workers at the old fortress, that’s being refit to be a sonar station.
- June Murphy … 3rd Officer Jane Blythe. Very reliable officer, who prompts Captain Hart into action. Multiple times!
- Peter Forbes-Robertson (Island of Terror) … Chief Sea Devil.
- Pat Gorman (The Elephant Man) … Sea Devil
- Norman Atkyns … Rear Admiral.
- Martin Boddey (Tales from the Crypt)… Secretary Robert Walker. The self-important, self-absorbed politician. Willing to lose the submarine, and many more. for the greater good, of course.