Doctor Who (Patrick Troughton) – The Underwater Menace

 

The first Patrick Troughton story that has film intact so I can finally see Doctor number two in action!!

Geoffrey Orme wrote this four part story that aired from 14 January to 4 February, 1967.

Returning to Earth, the TARDIS arrives on a volcanic island, where the Doctor (Troughton), Jamie (Frazer Hines), Polly (Anneke Wills) and Ben (Michael Craze) encounter some humans who take them underground, and there below the surface, the discover the lost civilization of Atlantis. The culture is technically advanced, modifying people to incorporate gills, turning them into a fish slave race, and their main scientist, Professor Zaroff (Joseph Furst), has a plan to restore Atlantis to the surface and reclaim its former glory.

The Doctor, who now that I’ve actually seen him in action, is quickly becoming a favorite, is impish, fun, a little devious and has a real sense of joy about him. He’s just so much fun to watch on-screen! He’s also the only one that sees the error in Zaroff’s plan and the fact that the professor is quite mad.

Initially the Doctor tries to convince the governing body of Zaroff’s intentions, but is blocked by the professor himself, all while Ben and Jamie find themselves working in the mines, and Polly learns she is to be turned into part of the fish slave race.

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The story moves pretty quickly, as coups are attempted, secret passageways are discovered, and the mad threat that is Zaroff is revealed to the people of Atlantis! This was, for me, an undeniably fun episode, because two of the episodes are still intact, and simply being able to watch this Doctor in action actually makes him that much more amazing; watching his physical performance, and not just seeing pictures and hearing him… this Doctor is just a lot of fun.

I am starting to feel that the TARDIS is getting to be a little full though, and although I don’t know when it is, I know Polly and Ben will probably be taking their leave soon, and then I imagine the stories may end up being a little tighter, as there won’t be as many characters to service each episode.

And honestly, I just want to get a little further along into Troughton’s run, to when there are stories in full to be watched, so I can see this incarnation of the Time Lord do his thing!

Still, this one was a fun story, and it was fun to see Joseph Furst chewing scenery, I had only ever seen him in Diamonds Are Forever before this, but I couldn’t for the life of me remember where I’d seen him as I watched the story!

Next time around, the cybermen return with a new look in The Moonbase!!!

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