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Countless plot holes, and two wasted historicals land this not-so-Special somewhere in the bottom-two of the Whittaker era

It was a dark and stormy night in the middle of the day on the road to Mandalay, when Shih Yang rocked up beachside with a writ for mayhem and unleashed an ancient ocean demon, all because keeper of the secret order’s secret secret Ying Wai had a chip off the old blockhead son who didn’t want to fight until he got his dad killed, and then wanted nothing else if it meant he could take revenge on the woman who didn’t do it.

Into this gallimaufry of gibberish stumble Team TARDIS, finally landing on a beach the one time in the Doctor’s history they weren’t aiming for one. Long John Bishop gets hooked into comic sidekicking, while Yaz and Doc must match wits with a Meg-mastering Sea Devil who wants to swirl the stars and flood the Earth. Speaking of seeing stars, changing the pressure and getting super-wet BSCOW over…

Here's what we think of N174 Legend of the Sea Devils — The 2022 Easter Special

We rate Doctor Who stories on a scale from 0.0 to 5.0. For context, very few are excellent enough to merit a 5.0 in our minds, and we'd take a 0.0 Doctor Who story over a lot of other, non-Whovian stuff out there.

Leon | @ponken

0.3

Drew | @drewbackwhen

0.8

Here's what we think of N174 Legend of the Sea Devils — The 2022 Easter Special

We rate Doctor Who stories on a scale from 0.0 to 5.0. For context, very few are excellent enough to merit a 5.0 in our minds, and we'd take a 0.0 Doctor Who story over a lot of other, non-Whovian stuff out there.

Leon | @ponken

0.3

Drew | @drewbackwhen

0.8

Here's what you think 6 Responses to “N174 Legend of the Sea Devils — The 2022 Easter Special”
  1. Izaak | @msmonsteradams

    Okay, now just hear me out here but, so 3.2 Wait wait wait! Hang on! Let me explain! I can explain you see I love the Sea Devils, my favourite story is Warriors of the Deep- no no no don’t leave just give me a second, just, please for a minute let’s all put our guns down and talk, okay? So.

    This is harmless fun, it’s a real middle story but it’s a solid hour of swashbuckling with incredible Sea Devil costumes and some lovely scenes between the Doctor and Yaz. As a big Thasmin fan, watching the Doctor desperately try to prevent the poles switching while gently letting Yaz down is the highlight of the episode; not the result I wanted (boo!) but a gentle reminder that not all relationships go the way you want them to. (Also liked the small touch of the base lights going pink after Doc admits that Yaz would be her person if she were to have a relationship.)

    Aside from that, that one Sea Devil took a swinging pulley to the balls! Ouch!

    You know what, I talked myself up. 3.3! Where are you going? I have more to say about… hello? Hello? Anyone?

  2. GP Haynes | @FindingGspots (Insta & YouTube)

    Hello lovely people,

    I really wanted to like this!

    The production is ( mostly ) gorgeous, and the updated modern Sea Devils look incredible.

    But there are so many holes and niggly little things…why, why why!

    But first, please, why is Dan so stupid? He is just so annoying. Grrrrrrrrr. Go already…

    This episode did start promisingly, and I have to admit, parts of it were very entertaining…but not engrossing

    I feel like the whole thing is half finished or rushed. What happened?

    Why are some parts of the CGI seamless and realistic, but other parts ( Like the sea battle ) look so fake?

    It took me out of the story.

    Some scenes go abruptly to the next without explanation?

    And don’t get me started on the sword fight and the flat humour dispersed in said fight! Sorry but Dan and Yaz should be DEAD

    Oh dear, this is not easy. What to rate to this then? Maybe straight down the middle, I think? OK slightly left

    Mmmmm 2.4 ……I think? ☹️

    Cheers

    GP Haynes

    Australia

  3. Michael Ridgway | @bad_movie_club

    Likes:
    • Sea Devils! Looking as wonderfully rubbery as they did in the Classics! Complete with poorly synchronised speech-to-mouth movement. Harrah!
    • A significant step-up in the cultural sensitivity department on the last ‘Oriental’ adventure, Talons of Weng Chiang.
    • A cool sea monster. Wait a minute, what happened to that?

    Beefs:
    • How many times does the Doctor have to save humanity from being murdered by the Sea Devils before she/he stops calling them ‘conflict averse’ and ‘honourable’. And why does the Doctor get tetchy when the chief Sea Devil is (justly) killed (this guy slaughtered a village!) but then is happy to implode the Sea Devil’s base, killing all of them?
    • Some of the (non-CG) sets seemed a little on the ‘cost saving’ side. Presumably having the local primary school decorate the Sea Devil’s ship saved some budget for the next episode.

    Rating: 2/5 villagers randomly hacked to bits by a loony Sea Devil. Ouch.

  4. Kieren Evans | @kjevans2

    Hi folks

    Oh dear, what happened here? The editing? The green screen? This is a mess. Stuff happens for some reason, and a lot of it is off-screen with weird jump cuts in the action. Barely longer than a normal ep, not much of an Easter special. Covid seems to fucked this one over a lot more than the previous story.

    A single person can not crew a sail ship of that size on their own. Yes, the show brought attention to the fact she was on her own but that doesn’t make it possible. Madam Ching is an interesting historical character, or should be…Not really here. Also significantly less incest in this one than real life, which I suppose is to be expected from a family show. This should be interesting stuff but it just feels weightless. *Sigh*

    Ah a Not Myrka. There’s a Sixth Doctor audio, Bloodtide, with the Silurians where they use a Myrka and it sounds more effective than this thing.

    How am I even supposed to rate this one? It looks cool in places and I like the update to the Sea Devil design (I for one hate the human look to the post-2010 Silurians). But generally the story is anti-engaging and thus is a struggle to watch for a review. Yaz and Doc on the beach at the end is sort of nice but it’s all too late in the character arcs as we know the end is next time (6 months away at time of transmission of this one). 1.2/5 (That’s my lowest score for Jodie)

    Cheers

    Kieren

  5. Oli Raven | @FoggyDrWho

    Hi – a rare review in glorious HD here!
    Turns out my gratefully-accepted-but-hardly-coveted gift of this story on DVD was actually a Blu-Ray, which shows how much attention I’d been paying to the packaging as it sat on the shelf gathering dust. I’m sure loads of fellow Whovians were in a hurry to rewatch this story…

    Anyway, what have we got then? Classic monster! Lesser-known female historical figure! All a bit of a mess! It’s the Chibnall trifecta!!!

    A couple of moments of haphazard editing suggest they thought they were getting a full TV hour then had to slice it down to 45 minutes at fairly short notice. Having enjoyed reruns of The Sea Devils in the early 1990s, I feel this story doesn’t do the titular monsters justice. Then again, nor did Warriors of the Deep
    .
    Nice of the writers and production crew to try to bring them back in a meaningful way though. Bit like Planet of the Dead in that it’s the last chance for a ‘romp’ episode before the end of an era, yet falls a bit flat (no Routemaster buses in a Middle Eastern dictatorship this time, at least).

    The regulars are fine here considering the poor material, whilst the guest cast do their best but fail to raise the adventure above mediocre levels of entertainment.

    Granted, I know I’m not exactly in the target demographic for primary school history lessons nowadays, but anything I learnt about the characters and piracy in centuries-old ships on the South China Sea I must’ve immediately forgotten because it wasn’t presented in a clear or compelling fashion.

    This one also invites unflattering comparisons to the last Doctor Who episode set on a pirate ship as it sadly fails to feature either Lily Cole or Karen Gillan this time.

    Overall, I award it 1.9 sunken treasures out of 5.

    “heeey…” Oli Raven “¡ai!”
    [to the tune of the ‘Macarena’]
    (Insta: @foggydrwho)

    P.S. Yes, it was you two who suggested killing off Diane just to give Dan some more motivation in your Vanquishers review. A rare lapse of judgement there, gentlemen.

    P.P.S. And yup, Greatest Day is indeed rubbish, I was just leaning into the ‘being creepy about Aisling Bea’ schtick a bit too much there.`

  6. Peter Zunitch

    I just wanted to say you guys stink. I mean really rot.

    Yeah I watched this. Yeah I wasn’t thrilled but I came away thinking it was an okay romp. Yet now, out of curiosity I listen to the podcast to see if I can get an inkling of why it drew such ire in your later podcasts… And everything you’ve said here is totally right!

    Thanks guys, way to sour the pudding. Episode ruined for me.

    Seriously, very funny and enlightening podcast. Thank you

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