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Phantoms of the Deep

Released May 2013. 2 episodes.

Writer: Jonathan Morris
Director: Ken Bentley

Roots: Quatermass and the Pit, The Abyss. Below, Seaquest DSV.

Intertextuality: The Erebus' carbon nanotube hull is constructed from the same material as the Great Space Elevator in Jonathan Morris' Companion Chronicle of the same name.

Goofs: Jimmy's submarine was torpedoed by the Japanese in July 1940, over a year before they entered the war.

Dialogue Triumphs: "I don't want to die without knowing why- I'd be terribly irritated for all eternity!"

"Oh, Romana! I should never have let you get involved with an inveterate troublemaker like me!"

"The effects should fade in, ooh, a couple of hours. I'd make the most of them while you can. Think deep thoughts!"

Double Entendres: "It's been down here too long, it's gone soft!"

Continuity: The DSV Erebus was built for technological and biological deep-water research. It has flat floors and is constructed in touch carbon material (see; technobabble). Covertly, the Erebus is on a mission to find a suitable dumping site for radioactive waste, well away from other life forms. It is equipped with a two-man mini sub.

The 'Goblins'' spacecraft interior resembles a cross between the inside of an oyster and the womb. It is controlled by an artificial intelligence, having no windows, controls or crew. The Goblins are beings of etheric energy; echoes of a long-dead race, using psychic powers to generate a force field to preserve their local ecosystem and physically boost the intelligence of life forms around them so that they might inhabit their bodies; Jack is saved due to his latent psychic ability.

K9 has motivational circuits, a cerebral core, and recently underwent a molecular recalibration. The Doctor claims he built K9 Mk 2, and refers to him as his "second best friend."

Romana says she intends to write a thesis on the Doctor's sanity one day.

The Doctor (barely) survives upwards of thirty-five atmospheres of pressure, although one of his hearts shuts down during the ordeal.

Location: the Mariana Trench, 11 kilometres below the surface (and then some), 2040.

Links: Romana mentions the TARDIS randomiser and the Black Guardian- the Doctor counters this, referring to the false trail he himself laid (The Auntie Matter) The Doctor's line "Fascinating things, rocks, aren't they?" may be a nod to the similar line in Destiny of the Daleks.

Unrecorded Adventures: The Doctor claims he once parked the TARDIS in the heart of a star and "barely dented the paintwork", and as a strong swimmer pulled Julius Caesar out of the Tiber.

The Bottom Line: "Just because something's imaginary doesn't mean it can't harm you."

Quatermass and the Abyss, anyone? A fun setting with some spooky elements adds some sparkle to a tried storyline. Alice Krige is good in this, and Baker sounds as though he's having fun as well. Nothing earth-shattering, but a pretty good story for a mid-season placement. Can't we just end things here?

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