Loose Cannon Production 23
The Underwater Menace
"Nothing in the World can stop me now."

BBC Production Details
Production Code: GG
Original Transmission (UK): Saturday 14 January 1967 -
Saturday 04 February 1967
Season: 4
Number of Episodes: 4
Writer: Geoffrey Orme
Producer: Innes Lloyd
Director: Julia Smith

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as designed by Derek Handley

Loose Cannon Production Details
Production Release Date: August 2005
Episode(s) Reconstructed: Episodes 1,2,4
Source Material: John Cura's telesnaps
Audio recorded by Graham Strong
  Surviving clips
Other authentic pictures
  Composite pictures
Pictures from other stories / sources
Specially Created Material
Tape length required: UK / Australia: E180
USA / Canada: T120

Bonus Material

As well as the reconstruction we are able to bring you the following goodies…


Celebrity Introduction

Another Furst for Loose Cannon (as Rose would say, "I can't believe you just said that" - Ed). We were absolutely thrilled when retired actor Joseph Furst, who played Professor Zaroff in the original story, agreed to record an introduction to the Underwater Menace reconstruction. Joseph now lives abroad and this celebrity introduction is the first one to be filmed in Australia. Learn more about Joseph's work in our Hall of Fame...


Production Featurette

The first part of the introduction is a short 'mini-documentary' which gives some details behind the production history of the Underwater Menace. This is narrated by Joseph Furst.


Celebrity Interview

Also included on the tape is an interview with Joseph Furst. Joseph talks to Loose Cannon about numerous subjects including some of his early career, recollections of filming Underwater Menace and his memorable acting experiences. Thanks to our friends 'down under', Dwayne Bunney and Dallas Jones, for their help with the interview.


We dedicate this reconstruction to the memory of the late Joseph Furst.


Special Note:  

Please be aware that the surviving episode (3) was released on the BBC DVD video "Doctor Who: Lost in Time" (UK: BBCDVD1353).
Please purchase this official BBC DVD video release to complement our reconstruction as the surviving episode is not included on the recon.

Support The BBC Video Releases.


Request a copy here
Please note recons are ONLY available on VHS quality.


Loose Cannon Says:

The Underwater Menace tends to get a raw deal. The surviving episode does not really do any justice to the story. However, when seen in context the whole story is a nice little adventure with a lot going for it; wonderful sets and costumes and some great acting. We have had access to original telesnaps which are lovely and clear. This, combined with the odd photo, some composites the surviving clips in their correct place, all help to bring the production to life. The icing on the cake was when Joseph Furst agreed to film some material for us. It just doesn't get better than this.


The TARDIS lands in an extinct volcano in the latter half of the twentieth century where the travellers are captured by the primitive Atlanteans and taken to the undersea city of Atlantis.

The Doctor learns that Professor Zaroff, a scientific genius who disappeared years earlier, has promised to raise Atlantis from the sea. But the Professor has become insane and his plans will cause the destruction of the world.

The Doctor must convince the Atlanteans and their Fish People slaves to band together and expose Zaroff for the madman he has become before it is too late.


Review by Rob Brown

The Underwater Menace represents Doctor Who at its weakest, which says a lot as this is thoroughly entertaining.

On the technical recon front the work here is excellent, the limited images matching the appropriate vocals perfectly. The story flows neatly with no confusion as to what is taking place. We were fortunate the third episode was the survivor as the long, wordless scenes of the Fish People strike would have been a nightmare for reconstruction.

As to the original production itself the plot is quite unusual for a Doctor Who story, reminding me of early SF pulp fiction. Why Zaroff has not provided a freezing system for the food supply might be more to do with keeping the electricity for his own project. The scientific explanation of the Earth's geology adds credibility, balancing the overfamiliar Lost city of Atlantis theme. The Fish People look daft but represent a disturbing science fiction concept, neatly encapsulating Doctor Who itself. The cast seem ready and able to carry the whole thing off too. Patrick Troughton, Michael Craze, Colin Jeavons, and Joseph Furst breath life into the production. Everything is played perfectly straight, building atmosphere on the slimmest of foundations. You would never guess that Jamie was an eleventh hour addition either. Fraser Hines meshes brilliantly with the other regulars.

The Underwater Menace shows just how spoiled TV audiences were from the sixties into the eighties. It's strengths are core strengths, reflecting a tradition of extremely high standards. Twenty-six seasons and enjoyable even on a slow day. Doctor Who isn't merely great, it's uncanny.


Review by Daniel Squire

What can you say about "The Underwater Menace"? It has one of the worst reputations of any Doctor Who story. Between it and "The Time Monster", it makes you hope that Atlantis really is a myth! When you really get down to it though, Underwater Menace is a lot of fun! Especially if you leave your brain at the door before sitting down to watch it. It really is silly and some of the acting is way over the top, but that's part of the fun. It's not worth trying to take the story seriously, (they live on salt water?!, Zaroff can't invent a freezer to preserve the food?!) Just forget the nuts and bolts of the plot and enjoy the show!!

When it comes to the recon, The Loose Cannon team have taken things to a new level again. I'm always surprised by what they can achieve, but some of the things in this recon are incredibly well done! I don't want to give anything away because I enjoyed being surprised by what they came up with for this one!

This recon is better than just about any Telesnap recon yet! I have someone else's older recon of UM and it's basically a grainy slide show set to the soundtrack. In the Loose Cannon version the scans of the Telesnaps are probably the best yet, and the soundtrack quality is also first rate! The added material with Joseph Furst is a lot of fun! His interview is right up there with Kevin Stoney's from "The Invasion" recon.
It's nice to be able to really enjoy this story, and that's been made much easier thanks to Loose Cannon!


Review by Jonathan Coley

Can Recons get any better than this? This latest recon is a delight to watch. there are times when the story is so alive you are tricked into seeing the pictures move! The audio and photo's are incredible. the telesnaps look more like on set photos, than two inch pictures. It is also the small touches that add life to still photos. I love the use of the lift window to show us descending the floors. The exploding bottle in the scene where the doctor explains zaroff's plan is also brilliant, I silmply do not know how that scene was accomplished. The use of surviving clips is also excellently done. they blend seamlessly into the still images.

This recon allows you to appreciate the underwater menace for how brilliant it really is. I feel that the story finally introduces us in full to the character of Patrick Troughton's Doctor. He is just as moral and compassionate as his predecessor, with that chirpy element of humour that makes him so loveable.


Review by Martin James

"Nothing in ze world can stop me now!" - I must admit that I once thought that these would the last words I would see from "The Underwater Menace", but with Loose Cannon's usual flair the whole four episodes now exist. I now am a step closer to my final goal of having every single Doctor Who in existence.

The Episode:- That said, this is not the best Patrick Troughton story ever made. Some of the ideas are very advanced but unfortunately the effects were just not up it, least said about the "Fish People" the better!. Its not all bad though and whilst Joseph Furst performance may be over the top, it is delightfully over the top, and performed with such gusto that you can forgive him. All the regulars give fine performances, but Anneke Wills is worth a mention for a good solid Polly story. Also its worth buying the BBC audio CD for a interesting interview with the actress.

The Reconstruction:- After the likes of The Daleks Masterplan and Marco Polo, some people may say that this is just another telesnap reconstruction, but such is the skill of Loose Canon, that you now cannot tell a telesnap from a composite. The remaining clips also blend seamlessly. Highly Recommended!


Review by Shane Anderson

I've been watching a start to finish Doctor Who marathon, and naturally to do that I need Loose Cannon's recons. After going through many of the older ones, I've finally hit "The Underwater Menace", and it's amazing how clear and sharp it is. Well done guys! You've come a long way with these recons, and I appreciate the hard work.
The Underwater Menace itself is a bit of a goofy story in many ways, but it's entertaining all the same. The recon is clear and sharp with good sound, and the intro with Joseph Furst was a pleasant surprise! Love the bit where he recreates his famous line too.
Thanks for bringing us another great recon and some fun with Mr. Furst as well.

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