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-19-induced wait for more. 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 fresh. Well, what’s coming to AMC and BBC America next month might be far from new, but most of you still 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’ve been several efforts to resurrect these ‘lost’ installments, which are occasionally found in overseas video archives and private collections. But while we have all the audio tracks, some only exist on video via 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 15th and BBC America dropping it on March 21st.
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 pleasantly surprised. Plus, it’s always good to acknowledge the rich history of one of the most iconic science fiction TV series ever.