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Reviews for The Underwater Menace

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Cliches Beyond Number

By:David Layton, Los Angeles, United States
Date:Thursday 22 June 2006
Rating:   4

The Underwater Menace is definitely one of the lesser of the Doctor Who TV productions, a silly mad scientist story that goes into total implosion due to bullonium well above critical mass. We have to believe: a) that there was a real Atlantis, b) that its people somehow survived in total isolation from the rest of the world, c) that only mad professor Zaroff managed to figure out where it was, d) that the Atlanteans believe mad professor Zaroff's lies, e) that Zaroff is a kind of universal genius capable of deriving both miracle foods and nuclear generators, etc.... And as for the rest of the characters, well there is a stock Irishman, a stock rabid priest, a stock stupid tribal leader, etc... Only Patrick Troughton rescues this one.

Cheese and Hams

By:Doug, Pocono Summit, PA, USA
Date:Thursday 6 September 2007
Rating:   3

The Underwater Menace is silly, silly, silly. When the TARDIS crew stumbles into Atlantis, it's Dr. Who vs. Dr. Evil! Yes, Dr. Zaroff is like Dr. Evil with a full mop of frizzy hair and a Russian accent. Except he's about 1/1000th as funny. He has convinced the Atlanteans that he is working on a scientific way to raise Atlantis. But the Doctor (who signs a note as "Dr. W" in episode 1) realizes that Zaroff's plan will actually blow up the Earth! Atlantis will be raised all right - in a thousand pieces as it flies into outer space! Mwuhahahaaaa! Zaroff is able to provide power for sections of Atlantis and is able to rig up a drill that will penetrate down 15 miles into the earth's crust, but he can't build a refrigerator!

I must admit, though, that it is pretty cool to see Troughton on video here in the sole surviving third episode of The Underwater Menace, which I believe is the earliest video footage of his Doctor that has been found. But even he is not immune, and gets his share of over the top hammy silliness.

Even as intentional cheese, The Underwater Menace is little more than a rather embarrassing curiosity...

It may well be silly but...

By:Matthew David Rabjohns, Bridgend, United Kingdom
Date:Tuesday 28 September 2010
Rating:   9

For me The Underwater Menace is nothing short of entertaining. Yes, it may well be silly and camp and may be full of cliches as the other reviewers below have said, but the way they are all portrayed has never been more entertainingly done.

Joseph Furst maybe one of the most over the top actors here as the insane Zaroff, but this for me is by no means a really bad thing. You can sense the fun people had making this kind of story. It may not be oscar winning stuff, but for me it is so flipping cool and brilliant that that doesnt really matter or bother me in the slightest.

And as for any Doctor Who, there are some rather nasty bits thrown amoungst the laughable bits. The shooting scene on screen of Thous and his guards may be far from convincing, but on audio it doesnt matter, and Joseph's delivery of that oh so famous line is oh so memorable. But the drowning of Zaroff is again memorable and pretty explicit. And actually, the plot of the story isnt too unbelievable either.

And the fish people design isnt too bad either. And you cant see the strings on audio holding the poor fellows up. Theres even a shark filled well and a pet octopus. So this is not the allround goof so many people seem to think it is, by any means. Robots of Death and Pyramids of Mars are far more tedious than this nice little ott tale.

And the cliffhanger ending to episode four is excellent too, really making you want to come back to see what will happen to the crew of the TARDIS. The episode endings of Pat's time have always been amoung the best the series ever done.

And Pat Troughton again is in fine comic form. And yet again he fits all his disguises so very well indeed. Pat brought so much brilliantness to the role of the Doctor. Him as the gypsy sailor is one of the most memorable of his disguises, he does look rather wierd to say the least with those glasses!

And the thought of being turned into one of the fish people is a good plot line for Polly. Though she doesnt quite get as much to do as in some of the surrounding stories. But she is such a good actress and it is clearly evident on screen or as in here, just on audio.

Perhaps the only oddity here is that there is no narration at all to explain the fish strike action bit in episode three. So for nearly two minutes one still wonders what the fish people are actually doing. It could have been explained so its totally clear. But aside from this, I still really like and enjoy this romp which was Pat's third story in the role of the Doctor. And he already seemed to know the part so well, with all his foibles and isms.

Patrick Troughton's time in Doctor Who for me ranks as the best period in the shows history. Never again would Doctor Who for me continually boast the brilliantness of his era. He was a clown and a buffoon, but also caring and deep, and still true to the original outline of the character, in that he still kept the mystery inherent in the character. One can never quite figure him out. And that is a good thing.

So, the Underwater Menace is silliness. But its about the most highly enjoyable silliness ever to have been experienced by me!!!!

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