It’s been a lean 12 months for Doctor Who fans. The season 12 finale aired almost exactly a year ago and we’re still facing a COVID-induced wait for season 13. Along the way we got a neat New Year’s Day special in “Revolution of the Daleks” and a smattering of fun Big Finish stories, but the show’s devoted audience is crying out for something new. Well, what’s coming to AMC and BBC America next month is far from “new”, but most of you won’t have seen it.
In the 1960s nobody predicted that audiences sixty years in the future would care about some weird British sci-fi show and as archival tapes were expensive, many old episodes of Doctor Who were wiped. Since then there have been many efforts to resurrect these ‘lost’ episodes, which are occasionally found in overseas video archives and private collections. But while we have all the audio tracks, some only exist on video a few disconnected seconds of footage – like Patrick Troughton’s 1968 serial “Fury of the Deep”.
This adventure sees Troughton’s second Doctor journeying to a refinery base that’s inadvertently disturbed a species of parasitic seaweed. All too soon its victims have begun turning into hideous seaweed creatures and if the infection escapes humanity is… doomed! I won’t spoil too much about what happens, but it’s an interesting ride if you have the stomach for the slow pace of 1960s British sci-fi.
“Fury of the Deep” has long been among the most highly regarded lost serials, so BBC Studios decided to recreate it in animation. This was released on DVD and Blu-ray in September 2020 and will now be shown on AMC+ and BBC America. Both are airing all six-episodes back-to-back, with AMC+ showing it beginning March 15 and BBC America on March 21.
If you’re only familiar with post-2005 Doctor Who the classic show can be a bit of a shock when it comes to pacing and acting, but give it a chance and you might be nicely surprised. Plus it’s always good to acknowledge the rich history of one of the most iconic science fiction TV shows ever.