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The Sea Devils: Misc


Dr Who

Up to date as of January 31, 2010

From TARDIS Index File, the free Doctor Who reference.

For the titular race, see Sea Devil.
"We will be the victors in the war against Mankind!"
―Sea Devil leader
The Sea Devils
Series: Doctor Who -
TV Stories
Season Number: Season 9
Story Number: 62
Doctor: Third Doctor
Companions: Jo Grant
Enemy: The Master
Sea Devils
Setting: Earth; 1972
Writer: Malcolm Hulke
Director: Michael Briant
Broadcast: 26th February - 1st April 1972
Format: 6 25-minute episodes
Previous Story: The Curse of Peladon
Following Story: The Mutants



The Doctor and Jo visit the Master in his high-security prison on an island off the south coast of England and hear from the governor, Colonel Trenchard, that ships have been mysteriously disappearing at sea.


Episode One

The Doctor and Jo visit the the Master, now held in captivity on a small island prison, after being captured by UNIT. The Master is being held indefinitely and is the only prisoner. He is watched by CCTV and the island is patrolled by armed guards – trained to resist the Master's hypnotic powers – and even protected by minefields. He claims to have reformed – but refuses to reveal the location of his TARDIS.

As they depart, the old-school patriotic governor, Colonel Trenchard, tells them that some ships have been mysteriously disappearing. The Doctor cannot resist investigating and he and Jo are soon attacked, while examining a Sea Fort, by an underwater Silurian.

Episode Two

This man-sized bipedal lizard is called a "Sea Devil" by a crew member who's been driven half mad. They escape to the nearby naval base, HMS Seaspite run by the efficient Captain John Hart; despite the Doctor's eccentirc behaviour (such as claiming to have known Nelson personally), an alliance forms. Hart is in charge of the adaptation of the sea fort for use as a SONAR testing station. The Doctor meanwhile discovers that the Master, assisted by a misguided Trenchard, is stealing electrical equipment from the naval base to build a machine that will control the Sea Devils.The Master throws a dagger at The Doctor's back.

Episode Three

The Doctor survives and hears The evil Time Lord intends to use the reptiles as an army to enable him to conquer the planet, and he begins by using the machine to summon some of them from the sea – forcing the Doctor to employ his sonic screwdriver to repel them by exploding mines on the beach.

Episode Four

Soon, however, a battle for the prison ensues, during which Trenchard, who had believed he was aiding his country against enemy agents, is killed. The Doctor and the Master duel with swords, but eventually he and Jo are forced to flee to HMS Seaspite, where Hart tells them a naval submarine has disappeared. The Doctor investigates in a submarine bell and is seized by the Sea Devils, who take him to their leader. The Doctor enters the Sea Devil's base and tries to encourage peaceful negotiation, recalling how he had failed to broker an agreement between mankind and the Silurians. The Master, too, ventures to the Sea Devil base, intent on provoking war, but matters are left unresolved when the base is attacked by depth charges. Jo then realises the bell is empty.

Episode Five

This attack has been ordered by a gluttonous and short-sighted politician, Robert Walker, who has arrived at HMS Seaspite to take control of the situation and is intent on repeating UNIT’s actions on Wenley Moor: blowing up the creatures, but this time with nuclear weapons. Hart and Jo are opposed to the attack but at least it allows the Doctor cover to flee, even if he has failed in his initial attempt to sue for peace.The sea devil aims it's gun at the three people.

Episode Six

The Doctor persuades Walker to allow him a final attempt at negotiation, but in the meantime the Sea Devils capture the naval base. They have been inspired to such actions by the Master, who still wishes to instigate a war. The Master then forces the Doctor to help build a machine to revive Sea Devil colonies all over the world. Returning to the Sea Devil base the Master activates the device, whereupon the Sea Devils imprison both Time Lords as they are now both equally useless to them. However, The Doctor has sabotaged the machine and he and the Master escape the base using escape equipment from the captured submarine.

As they are rescued, massive power feedback from the sabotaged machine destroys the Sea Devil colony before the military attack can begin. As usual, the Master is able to escape capture (this time by faking a heart attack, hypnotizing a man into switching places with him, and hijacking a rescue hovercraft) and flees the scene.





Foods and beverages

  • The Doctor consumes several sandwiches throughout his time at the naval base, and whilst visiting the Master.

Races and species

  • The Sea Devils are the 'aquatic cousins' to the Silurians; however, the Silurians' name is a misnomer. The Doctor blames their discoverer for this mistake, and calls them Eocenes.

The Doctor

  • The Doctor is a trained diver and accomplished golfer.

The Doctor's items


  • Jo can operate a hovercraft.

Story Notes

  • This story had the working title The Sea Silurians.
  • The scene involving the Master watching The Clangers was a last-minute addition, added because the first episode was missing 90 seconds of the standard run time.
  • This is one of two stories where the Third Doctor utters the full line "I reversed the polarity of the neutron flow.". The other is in The Five Doctors.
  • The Sea Devils are never named as such (except the fort survivor rambling about sea devils).
  • The Doctor remarks that he was a personal friend of Horatio Nelson.


  • Episode 1 - 6.4 million viewers
  • Episode 2 - 9.7 million viewers
  • Episode 3 - 8.3 million viewers
  • Episode 4 - 7.8 million viewers
  • Episode 5 - 8.3 million viewers
  • Episode 6 - 8.5 million viewers


  • Roger Delgado was afraid of the water and it took great courage for him to film the scene in which the Master and the Doctor are rescued from the sea by the Navy. (This was frequently recalled by Jon Pertwee in later interviews, but according to Delgado's widow Kismet it is untrue. Delgado was actually worried about getting his costume wet, as there was no spare available.) (Delgado's fear of water is also recalled during the DVD commentary of The Sea Devils by Barry Letts and Terrance Dicks)

Filming Locations

  • The exterior of the Master's prison was an actual sea defence fort in the Solent built in the 1860s off the coast in anticipation of a feared French invasion which never came to pass. Abandoned at the time of the story's filming, it has since become a hotel resort. In July of 2007 the fort came up for sale after the company owning the hotel collapsed and its owner was jailed.
  • Fraser Gunnery Range, HMS St George, Portsmouth
  • No Man's Land Sea Fort, Solent
  • Whitecliff Bay, Isle of Wight
  • Bembridge Harbour, Isle of Wight
  • Norris Castle, East Cowes, Isle of Wight
  • Red Cliff, Sandown, Isle of Wight
  • Bembridge Sailing Club, Bembridge, Isle of Wight
  • Priory Bay, Isle of Wight
  • BBC Television Centre (Studio 8), Shepherd's Bush, London

Discontinuity, Plot Holes, Errors

  • It is stated that the renovations being carried out on the sea fort are what is responsible for this particular colony of Sea Devils being awakened. However, surely the original construction of the fort would have been just as likely to awake them, if not more so, since laying the structures foundations underwater would have created an even greater disturbance. (That depends what the renovations were, how they impacted the surrounding area, etc, in relation to the location of the Sea Devils colony.)
  • The clock in the Master's prison moves backwards.
  • In episode 6, why does the Master wait before turning the Doctor's machine off? (The Master is not known for being particularly considerate to the pain and misfortune of his allies.)
  • Why don't the Sea Devils shoot the escaping submarine? (The Doctor is on board, and the Master has, by this stage, realised that he will need his help to repair the faulty hibernation revival mechanism.)
  • Considering that the Master has cold-bloodedly killed more people than Hannibal Lecter, intended to kill a good many more, has earned a place on international wanted lists (cf. The Claws of Axos), and is also wanted by the Time Lords for stealing information from the Matrix; the decision to incarcerate him in a luxurious prison facility, run by an idiot, and with no apparent observation or security backup from either UNIT or the Time Lords, would seem to say the least rather peculiar.
  • The Sea Devil shot by Ridgeway in episode 5 dies with a very human-sounding gasp of pain (unlike the over-dubbed inhuman cries of pain they utter on other occasions).



DVD, Video and Other Releases

  • This was released on video in episodic format
  • It was also released on DVD in the Beneath the Surface collection

Editing for both VHS and DVD releases completed by Doctor Who Restoration Team.


Main article: Doctor Who and the Sea-Devils

External Links

  • BBC - Doctor Who - The Classic Series - Episode Guide: The Sea Devils
  • Doctor Who Reference Guide - Detailed Synopsis - The Sea Devils
  • Doctor Who: A Brief History of Time (Travel) - A Brief History of Time (Travel): The Sea Devils
  • The Locations Guide to Doctor Who, Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures: Story Locations - The Sea Devils
Season 9
Day of the Daleks  • The Curse of Peladon  • The Sea Devils  • The Mutants  • The Time Monster
The Master - TV Stories
Terror of the Autons  • The Mind of Evil  • The Claws of Axos  • Colony in Space  • The Dæmons  • The Sea Devils  • The Time Monster  • Frontier in Space  • The Deadly Assassin  • The Keeper of Traken  • Logopolis  • Castrovalva  • Time-Flight  • The King's Demons  • The Five Doctors  • Planet of Fire  • The Mark of the Rani  • The Ultimate Foe  • Survival  • Doctor Who: The TV Movie  •
Utopia/ The Sound of Drums/ Last of the Time LordsThe End of Time
Silurian television Stories
Doctor Who and the Silurians  • Warriors of the Deep
Sea Devil television stories
The Sea Devils  • Warriors of the Deep

This article uses material from the "The Sea Devils" article on the Dr Who wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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