It’s not every day you are heading towards the Mariana Trench in the deepest darkest Atlantic when you spot a blue police box and that’s before we meet the ‘Phantoms Of The Deep.
‘Hallo there’, the Fourth Doctor (Tom Baker) is unfazed by the TARDIS arriving underwater and running…er…swimming into a scientific team exploring the deep dark parts that not many people have ever reached. He’s brought Romana (Mary Tamm) with him who is equally at home; being a Time Lady, she’s always ready for adventure. K9 (John Leeson) the metal dog with a brain the size of a planet adapts well, although he is never required to utilise his water wings in this adventure which is a shame because he might be good at the doggy paddle.
Writer Jonathan Morris captures the quirkiness of the Fourth Doctor and manages to successfully incorporate the doggedness of K9 into the watery adventure. He creates a creepy atmosphere with the mysterious phantoms and successfully moves his pawns (or maybe prawns in this case) around the storyboard.
The banter between the Doctor and both his companions is a particularly highlight of this story. With the addition of Alice (‘Star Trek’ acting royalty) Krige and, as ever, a great supporting cast and the claustrophobic mood helped by the sound effects and music you’ll believe a dog can swim. (OK, I made that bit up) Morris creates a good old-fashioned yarn and the bottomless waters of ‘Phantoms Of The Deep’ underlines how alien even an Earth environment can be. Clearly Morris has been watching some James Cameron films for inspiration.
Oh and check out the cover picture of Tom Baker in his diving suit. Sweet.
(pub: Big Finish. 1 CD 60 minute story. Price: CD: £10.99 (UK), Download: £ 8.99 (UK). ISBN: 978-1-78178-058-9)
cast: Tom Baker, Mary Tamm, John Leeson, Alice Krige, John Albasiny, Charlie Norfolk and Gwilym Lee
check out website: www.bigfinish.com