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Patrick Troughton - The Missing Stories: Fury from the Deep

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Author Topic: Patrick Troughton - The Missing Stories: Fury from the Deep  (Read 215 times)
Vampyros Adric
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« on: August 29, 2011, 11:50:29 pm »

As I write this review, I am sitting in my study and trying to write an article on Anglo-German approaches to regulation of protest within the criminal law. Unsurprisingly this is not going well for two reasons. 1. I have the attention span of a very very stupid goldfish. 2. I have a classic audio soundtrack playing at the same time as i'm trying to write. So i thought i'd come on here and share my thoughts on this classic missing adventure, because, actually, it is rather brilliant and also one of the fabled missing stories...



But already my cunning work displacement plan runs into trouble. It is at this point that the regular visitors to this little part of the forum will be expecting me to plagiarise from the blurb at the back of the box. However this time I am at something of a loss...

"Patrick Troughton stars in this digitally remastered soundtrack of a classic "lost" TV adventure. The TARDIS brings the Doctor, Jamie and Victoria to the south coast of present-day Earth. Something nasty is lurking in the gas pipelines of the North Sea."

This is briefer than I would normally hope for so I shall provide a little bit of colour to those of you unfamiliar with this amazing tale. It is set at a Eurosea Gas Refinery, and sees the appearance of a scary form of intelligent, killer seaweed with parasitic nature and mind controlling abilities. It infiltrates itself amongst the crew of the refinery causing suspicion and potentially causing an explosion that could wipe out most of Britain. Alongside this is the refusal to recognise the danger by the paranoid Controller Robson, a driven, brute of a man, blinded with a determination to keep the gas flow running no matter the cost. Meanwhile, Victoria is becoming increasingly aware that travelling in the TARDIS comes at a terrible price.

My review is simply this: if you haven't heard this story, and you love the show then you absolutely need get a copy of this soundtrack immediately. It has tension, terror and despite the lack of visual reference, the soundtrack creates a wonderful sense of claustrophobia. The script, penned by Victor Pemberton (who was script editor on Tomb of the Cybermen) is of its time, but manages to still have resonance with themes of obsession, paranoia and betrayal. The story rattles along at a wonderful pace and if, by the middle of episode 2, you're not shouting at the CD player "Just turn off the gas flow Robson you tit!" then you're a better person than I am.

As with some of the earliest audio adventures there are two versions of this in existence. The CD release contains linking narration by stalwart Fraser Hines and benefits from some smart audio manipulation by the restoration team. If, however, you are feeling in the kind of mood to have 3 hash browns at breakfast and then go in to work "commando" then why not try and track down a cassette copy of the story with linking narration by Tom Baker. Baker narrates this as the Fourth Doctor recounting a tale from his earlier regeneration and adds a certain whimsical quality (even if he does talk over the actual dialogue and not particularly convey what is happening very often). But which ever version you get (and I think both versions are "out of print" so as to speak so you are probably going to be trying the Bay of E) you will be getting a truly magical piece of Classic Who.

Anyway, back to the Versammlungsgesetz and the criminal law... Or I could just watch Tomb of the Cybermen one more time.....
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« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2011, 01:24:55 am »

I haven't listened to either of the audio versions, but I have got the reconstruction, and it's an awesome story, and only in small part for the sonic screwdriver's debut (being used, bizarrely, as a screwdriver).  I would take issue, though, with the synopsis calling it the present day (assuming they mean contemporary with the story being made).  The whole oil-drilling operation was very futuristic for the time, and they refer somewhere to it having been going on for some time (15 years? 20 years? Something like that).  Oil drilling in the North Sea was only just starting at the time the story came out, so my guess is that this should be round about the 80s.
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Vampyros Adric
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« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2011, 09:41:31 am »

I haven't listened to either of the audio versions, but I have got the reconstruction, and it's an awesome story, and only in small part for the sonic screwdriver's debut (being used, bizarrely, as a screwdriver).  I would take issue, though, with the synopsis calling it the present day (assuming they mean contemporary with the story being made).  The whole oil-drilling operation was very futuristic for the time, and they refer somewhere to it having been going on for some time (15 years? 20 years? Something like that).  Oil drilling in the North Sea was only just starting at the time the story came out, so my guess is that this should be round about the 80s.

It really is an amazing story Smiley Having seen some of the screen shots of the costumes I think I probably agree that the synopsis is a little out of sync - this was clearly meant to be a "future" story. I would also agree that it was meant to be set about 20 years in the future - this means they aimed it in the late 1980s. Which ironically puts it about 25 years in the past for us. Wibbly wobbly timey wimey Cheesy
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