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In this previously unpublished interview, conducted in 1988, writer Victor Pemberton reflects on Fury from the Deep and his similarly themed audio story Doctor Who and the Pescatons.
The Doctor (Patrick Troughton) wields the sonic screwdriver for the first time in Episode 1 of Fury from the Deep (1968).

I was just a teenager, yet to embark on a career in journalism, when I wrote to Victor Pemberton, asking for an interview. Victor was on his way to a recording session for Fraggle Rock, the children’s television series he produced and co-wrote for Muppets creator Jim Henson, when he took time out to meet me. He brushed aside my gratitude, explaining that not only had he retained enormous affection for Doctor Who but as a young man he had idolised numerous film stars. In 1954, at the age of 22, he met Laurel and Hardy at the Finsbury Park Empire, and he’d remained unstintingly devoted to the legendary double-act ever since. In short, he understood what it meant to be a fan.

A 1960s portrait of Doctor Who producer Peter Bryant.

Victor’s lengthy novelisation of his 1968 story Fury from the Deep had been published relatively recently. With the episodes having been destroyed by the BBC during the infamous purges of its archive, and the discovery of the story’s telesnaps still some years away, the book had fast become an acclaimed chronicle of a story that many fans regarded as a lost classic.

“I‘ve always thought the sea is a menace,” he said, remembering the sentient seaweed that lurked beneath the waves in the story he originally called Colony of Devils. “I think big rivers are as well. This goes back to my childhood, when I would sit and look at the Thames. It’s a lovely river, but I’ve always seen something menacing in its murky waters...”

Fury from the Deep was partly inspired by Victor’s radio serial The Slide. The seven-part drama starred Maurice Denham and Roger Delgado and was broadcast by the BBC’s Light Programme in 1966. “It was about an earthquake in England,” recalled Victor.

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Find the complete article and many more in this issue of Doctor Who Magazine - The Essential Doctor Who: Invasions of Earth
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About Doctor Who Magazine

This essential guide celebrates Doctor Who’s most renowned invasion episodes. Interviewees include Anna Barry (Day of the Daleks), Ray Brooks (Daleks’ Invasion Earth 2150 A.D.), Johnny Byrne (Warriors of the Deep), Michael Ferguson (The Seeds of Death), Peter Harness (The Zygon Invasion/The Zygon Inversion), Douglas Mackinnon (Flatline), Victor Pemberton (Fury from the Deep), Toby Whithouse (The Vampires of Venice) and Jon Davey (Rise of the Cybermen/The Age of Steel). Plus, there are rare images, a tribute to Nicholas Courtney, Terry Nation’s original storyline for The Dalek Invasion of Earth, details of Jon Pertwee's unmade story The Spare-Part People and much more!