Serial Review: The Sea Devils (Season 9)
Being that I’m a huge fan of “The Silurians,” the serial for which this is a sequel, I had high expectations coming in to “The Sea Devils.” Luckily, my expectations were essentially met; aside from a little bit of padding around the middle, I think this is one of the best serials in the classic series, and the perfect example of what a Pertwee story done right could be.
The Master is in jail, but is clearly up to something. The Doctor and Jo stop by to pay him a visit and discover that a bunch of Royal Navy ships have mysteriously disappeared not far from the location of a previous abandoned base. Naturally, being the Doctor, he has to go see whats what. As it turns out, it is an offshoot of the Silurians, a race of humanoid reptiles who occupied the Earth many years before apes evolved to become men. To make things worse, they are in league with the Master.
The tone of this serial is perfect, especially early on. By the end of the first episode, I knew I was going to enjoy it profusely. Pertwee is on his A game as always, and remarkably Katy Manning is the least annoying she has ever been as Jo Grant. There is the usual ridiculousness of the costume design of the titular villains, but they make up for it with some pretty cool technology and just general interest that goes behind the funny suits.
If you like your Doctor Who stories to have some action, there’s a lot of that. Even better, there’s a sword fight between the Doctor and the Master that is one of the coolest things ever. Sure, it is unnecessarily shoehorned into the story for the sake of it, but it’s awesome enough to be forgiven. Excellent story, probably in my top five.