Comrades of the Deep

An alternate Programme Guide by Charles Daniels

The One Hundred and Thirty-Fourth Entry in the Charles Daniels
Unauthorized Programme Guide O' Trotsky

Serial 6L - Comrades of the Deep -

 The year is 2084 and the world is still wrapped in the fragile chaos
of endless Soviet terror.  The TARDIS arrives inside Sea Base 4,
an undersea military base which protects peaceful democracy for
all mankind via the threat of apocalyptic nuclear destruction.

 The base commander, Brent Hall, mistakes the Doctor, Tegan and
Turlough for communists, but is forced to enlist their help when the
base is attacked by a mysterious men in cheap costumes -
The Silly Lurians.

 The Silly Lurians worship their twisted gods - The Bilurians -
so much that they wear tacky fancy dress costumes to appear like
them.  The Bilurians are using their pathetic human devotees to
infiltrate the undersea base, waiting until their glorious moment
of hostile takeover. The Bilurians are Earth Reptiles, led by Ishtar,
the surviving member of a cult of Bilurians who worship another
aquatic race -- The She Devils.

 The She Devils meanwhile have taken to worshipping a vicious
marine crab creatures known as the Macra.  When the Doctor discovers
the Macra also have a complex religion dealing with yet ANOTHER
underwater menace he is forced to start sketching a rough diagram
on a piece of scrap paper just to keep up.

 After running out of different colored pens the Doctor gives up
in frustration and informs Commander Brent Hall that all these
sea monsters are up to no good and must be destroyed.

Brent: What makes you think these creatures are dangerous?

Doctor: They are monsters, without pity or compunction.  They
        kill any force that gets in their way with extreme
        prejudice.  They control their followers with mindless
        propaganda and exist solely to spread their own political
        and economic agendas.

Brent: Sounds fine to me.

Doctor: Yes, but.....THEY'RE SOCIALISTS!

Brent: My god man!  Why didn't you say so!?  I'll get the
       concussion grenades.

 The Doctor and Brent discover that the Silly Lurians plan to launch
the seabase's nuclear missiles at key targets in the United States
and Europe - thus giving the Evil Empire complete control of the
planet!  The Silly Lurians, Bilurians, and She Devils praise Lenin
and Stalin - proving their insane level of malevolence.

 The Doctor is horrified and exclaims that the threat to the earth -
"Is beyond time, space, and control!"

 This quote launches a surreal scene in which the members of
Blue Oyster Cult rock out and dance with the various monsters in
a highly choreographed dance set.

 After this The Doctor attempts to reason with the Silly Lurians,
suggesting a peaceful co-existence with the capitalists.
But the Silly Lurians, twisted by evil red lies, refuse.

 The She Devils continue to wipe out the crew of the base, but
the Doctor uses his secret Time Lord powers to control the Macra
and make them get..."friendly".   The She Devils can not resist
the Macra and before they realise they are all wiped out by
"a bad case of the crabs".   The She Devils all die - much to the
Doctor's remorse.

 After their dramatic deaths the Doctor sits quietly in a dark
corner and mutters "There should have been another way" - which
is the cue for yet another rock ballad by Blue Oyster Cult, this
time the song - "After Dark".

 Empowered by the riveting rock anthems surrounding him, the
Doctor constructs an ultra-violet light projector out of an old
battery-powered flash light and uses this as a portable laser
weapon against the Bilurians.  After mowing down the Bilurians
in cold blood, the Doctor is again greeted by another song -
"Veteran of the Psychic Wars".

 Finally the Doctor approaches the Silly Lurians and calmly
explains that he's just brutally killed their gods - and their
gods' gods -- AND their gods' gods' gods.  At first they refuse
to believe him, but then he shows the color coded flowchart
he prepared earlier and clears up the whole affair, amidst
cries of "OHH!  So that's how that works.  I did wonder what
the giant crabs were all about."

 The Doctor asks the Silly Lurians to return home to Dorset
and pretend none of this ever happened.  To the Doctor's surprise
they immediately agree and offer him a lovely gift basket for his

 Tegan and Turlough are delighted to see an end to the death and
violence -- but the Doctor and Brent are quick to remind them that
the world is never truly safe until the Soviet Threat is destroyed
and Earth is made safe for democracy.

 The Doctor, Companions, and Sea Base crew gather with Blue Oyster
Cult and sing a truly inspiring version of "God Save The Queen".

Book(s)/Other Related -
Doctor Who & The Communist Reptiles
Doctor Who & The Attack of Robo-Stalin!
2084 - Beyond George Orwell

Goofs -

In episode three, the Silly Lurians are clearly wearing
Journey T-shirts

The super-futuristic material used to construct the under sea bases
of 2084?   Polystyrene!

Fashion Victims -
In episode three, the Silly Lurians are clearly wearing
Journey T-shirts  (Double points!)

Technobabble -

"Of course!  If I reverse the polarity of the neutron flow - these
DuraLife Flashlights will become Ultra-Violet Death Ray Guns!"

"Are you sure about that?"

"Yes!  Read the warning on the back!"

"DANGER!  Keep out of hands of children.  This flashlight easily
converted into super death ray.  If swallowed, contact a physician

Links and References -
The Doctor mentions seeing the She Devils again gives him a bizarre
craving for toast.

Untelevised Misadventures -
After Turlough makes an off hand joke about how the time lords
probably forced the Doctor to date a Bilurian, the Doctor becomes
noticeably uncomfortable and simply says "They actually prefer
Earth Reptile you know?"

Groovy DVD Extras -
The special fan made short film "The She Devils - Wild In Las Vegas"
which was briefly banned in Poland.

Dialogue Disasters -


 Brent: Socialists, eh?   We'll sort them out!  Show these
        lizards the meaning of Democracy!

 and -

 Brent: Goddamn commie amphibian bastards!


Dialogue Triumphs -


 Tegan: What year are we in?

Doctor: Around two thousand and eighty-four.

 Tegan: AD?

Doctor: For Christ's sake Tegan!  We're in an undersea base
        run by Americans!  OF COURSE AD!

 Tegan: Little seems to have changed since my time.

Doctor: Absolutely nothing, Tegan. There are still the two power
        blocs, The US and Soviets, fingers poised to annihilate
        each other.

  Doctor: I sometimes wonder why I like the people of this miserable
          planet so much.

Turlough: I think it's the sex.

  Doctor: Oh yes!  Of course.  Silly me.


 Brent: I just gunned me down a reptile communist!  GET OUT
        THE BOOK!

Doctor: Got it.

 Brent: What's it say?

Doctor: Reptile Communist....hmm..AH HERE!   Says, 5 points.


Viewer Quotes -

"I sort of suspended my disbelief and BELIEVED that this was really
an undersea base -- UNTIL the light and laser show and the needless
appearance of Blue Oyster Cult, who will no doubt all be dead by
2084.  What are these?  Clones??  They don't work with this story
at all!"  - James Jefferson (1984)

"You know, when I think of cramped, desperate undersea nuclearbase --
I think FLOODLIGHTING!!"  - Charles Daniels (2004)

"The Silly Lurians, Bilurians, and especially the She Devils seemed
to have been redesigned for the hell of it -- to make them look
more 80s.  And the WORST thing you can do to ANYTHING is make it
look 'MORE 80s'.  I mean what the hell was going on with the side
ponytails, mullets, and all those damned multi-colored Swatches???"
                                 - Bongo Johnny (1998)

"This story threw me off from the first second!  Why did they
swap the regular theme song for 'Fire of Unknown Origin'?"
                                 - Jimmy (1985)

"There's something REALLY stupid going on here - the Bilurians
and She Devils now identify themselves by those names!  Apparently
there is some massive human unconscious that can correctly name
aliens on sight.  I wonder if this ability is somehow connected
to the amazing fact that women seem to magically avoid me -- as
if they are all guided by the same super-shared-consciousness."
             - TimeLordStalker16, rec.arts.drwho (1992)

"There's another REALLY stupid thing going on here - there is some
really curious dialogue and I thought it was hinting at some awesome
unseen prior encounter between the Doctor and the Silly Lurians.
I was really excited by this because it gave me the impression that
there is some magical series of unscreened Doctor Who adventures
out there - waiting to be told.  But...ummm..I recently learned
these weird ass pieces of dialogue were actually intended to be
continuity links back to the earlier transmitted stories; it's just
that they are so wrong, and insane, and totally screwy that they
actually contradict everything we thought had been established in
those stories -- and in some cases even RETCON!  So why the hell did
they even bother to bring back these monsters?   The only explanation
I can envisage is they saw the word "She Devil" written on an old
script and thought "Ohh..that sounds cool!" and didn't bother to
actually READ the script, or review the episodes, or actually talk
to anyone who could remember anything about them!"
             - TimeLordStalker16 (1992)

"There's YET another stupid thing going on here -- but this one
is just...TOO STUPID.   I give up."   - TimeLordStalker16 (1993)

Psychotic Nostalgia -
"Those damned reptiles stole my parachute pants!"

Peter Davison Speaks!
"When I heard they were bringing back the Silly Lurians I was totally
thrilled.  When they mentioned the Bilurians would be back, I was
joyful beyond words.  When they told me the She Devils would appear.
I went insane with glee.  And then, when they announced the Macra
would be returning in the story as well -- I cried for 3 weeks."

Blue Oyster Cult Speaks!
"All those songs that weren't good enough to get into Heavy Metal...
well, they had to end up somewhere."

The Macra Speaks!
"I was besides myself with enthusiasm.  I mean the amount of roles
I had been getting was pretty limited -- even in sci-fi.  I mean,
a Doctor Who serial in the 60s, a pretty good scene in
The Land that Time Forgot, and of course the once and a life time
chance to match off against the king of monsters in 'Godzilla Vs.
The Sea Monster", but then...WHAT?  I was sure it would be a pot
of boiling water next.  That's a tough way to end a career."

Rumors & Facts -

 Comrades of the Deep is a classic case of well-written scripts being
let down by inappropriate production - in this case JST shoehorning
in needless rock anthems only vaguely related to the plot.

 The basic premise - Lizards attacking an American sea base during
the middle of an orbital nuclear cold war against the Soviets --
is pretty cool.  The fact that this all takes place in 2084, makes
it even more amusing in retrospect. The return of the Silly Lurians,
Bilurians, and the She Devils is, in principle, completely ass
kicking good.  Unfortunately, much of this potential is simply thrown
away to fit in a longer version of "Joan Crawford Has Risen From
the Grave".

 A major failing in the production is the realisation of the monsters.
Frankly, The Macra looks simply terrible, in fact it looks WORSE
than it did when it appeared in the 60s, which is suppose to be
impossible.  The scenes in which various members of the cast scream
in abject horror at the very sight of seems highly amusing at first -
but after some careful consideration...If I saw a monster that looked
THAT CRAP, but I knew that it could somehow still kill mind
would be locked in a senseless dread.

  The strangest scene in this story HAS to be Peter Davison's
surreal Bruce Lee kung fu-style attack on the Macra.  I never
knew that Davison could leap in slow motion whilst screaming

 Meanwhile, when you start to look behind the scenes thing begin to
make some sort of sense.  JST had been disappointed with the popular
reaction to season 20 and decided that what Doctor Who really needed
was an anti-Communist rock opera story.  JST decided that the time
was also right to bring back a classic Doctor Who monster.  When
no candidates immediately sprang to mind he asked his fan advisor,
Ian Levine, who suggested his personal favorite - The Macra.
JST immediately agreed and was shocked three weeks later when
someone told him what exactly the Macra were and how much money
a giant crab costume would cost.  Instead of dropping the Macra,
JST decided to remedy the situation by picking some other monsters
to appear in the story -- seemingly at random.

 The classic monsters were totally re-designed at enormous cost.
Saward suggested to JST that his "rock opera vision" be associated
with another story as it did not logically fit within the
claustrophobic, future cold war, atmosphere required by the script.
However JST had struck upon the idea after being accidentally
electrocuted by a wet light bulb, and he made it a personal policy
to follow such things.

 JST contacted various groups and finally hired the highest bidder -
Blue Oyster Cult.  JST requested that Blue Oyster Cult write and
record a new series of songs focused on - "the horrors of a
reptilian communist threat".  When Blue Oyster Cult informed
JST of the cost associated with writing, producing, and performing
a whole new set of material, he shifted his requirement to
"Okay, well then, just give us any old unused crap you have laying
about the place."

 Further issues occurred when JST hand picked the director for
the serial.  After seeing a film entitled "Glen or Glenda", JST
was emotionally moved to tears and invited it's director - Ed Wood -
to full control of Comrades of the Deep.  Ed Wood was a great believer
in a non-traditional theory which basically stated that actors
did their best work when cold reading lines they'd never seen before.
Consequently, Ed would only allow just one or two takes. Things got
so bad that, at one point, Fielding and Davison believed they were
rehearsing a scene -- and therefore were smoking and complaining
how crap the dialogue was -- when in fact this was Wood's final shot
for that sequence.

 This story was universally panned except in France, where it was
mistaken for a comedy and received several major awards.