Warriors of the Deep is a story that's often remembered for its poor production values. I agree, some of the effects don't come off as Johnny Byrne envisaged. The story itself is great, but what appears onscreen is below the standard of other Season 21 stories. The Myrka is a case in point. The idea of the creature, inspired no doubt by the dinosaur in The Silurians, is great but it just looks so cheap and ineffectual. This is why I was determined to redeem the Myrka and show that at one point, they were terrifying monsters, rather than tacky pantomime horses. In the prologue below, I try to convey the idea that the Myrka actually involved in the story was only a junior, a substitute for the much larger and much more powerful adult. Hopefully with this in mind, Warriors of the Deep rises just that little bit in your estimations.
Tarpok looked up as Scibus approached.

“Are we ready to leave?” came the distortedly pitched tone, sounding in time with a flashing red eye extending from the top of his scaly head.

“Almost,” came the deeper reply, “We only need to test the Myrka and then we can leave for the tomb of our Sea Devil brothers.”

Icthar entered the room, and hearing the last of the conversation crossed steadily to them.

“Where is the Myrka now?” he asked
“It is in the testing zone.” replied Tarpok

“And the base will not be able to detect it?” countered the aging leader.

“No. It is a sufficient distance away.”

“Then activate the weapons. Test the Myrka,” commanded Icthar

“Yes, leader,” came the obedient response.

In the murky depths of the ocean, a huge creature roamed aimlessly. It had been attracted by a sonic pulse that had now stopped. The creature, with its gigantic body and terrifying physique, was not to be reckoned with. The Myrka’s long, almost elegant, barbed tail swept through the water, propelling it along swiftly. Its body was like that of a large snake, but with a wide torso and four stumpy protrusions on the underside. The head was more akin to that of a prehistoric creature than a modern reptile and it clearly dominated the waters.

There was a hissing. The Myrka looked about, unable to detect the source of the disturbance. Investigating, it swam over to a pile of rocks, fangs bared, when suddenly it felt the vibrations of the water change. Suddenly, it found the source of the hissing and The Myrka’s large, slanted eyes widened with shock. Racing through the water was a scaled brown tube and it was heading right for the creature. It impacted upon the thick, rubbery skin of the sea monster, but no discernible damage was caused. The Myrka writhed, clearly angered by this attack from the unknown predator.

In the safety of the Silurians’ base, Icthar watched on a smaller screen. If it was possible for him to show satisfaction, he was showing it now.

“Report!” he demanded.

“No damage sustained, leader,” came Tarpok’s response.

“Excellent, Tarpok. Scibus, launch the next experiment.”

“Yes, Icthar,” his red eye flashing menacingly with each syllable.

In the deep, The Myrka looked about, but there was nothing and no-one. Its eyes narrowed even further, the slits almost shut now. The creature felt a large shaking as another attack was inevitably launched. Determined to be prepared this time, its eyes darted furiously about the surrounding waters, looking for any sign of movement. Still nothing.
The creature’s huge body twisted and turned as it tried to hunt its hunter, but it was to no avail. Just then, it spotted a bright light fizzing up from the seabed. A sphere shone like a spark, little offshoots of energy splintering across the rocks below. The Myrka seemed to scream, and turned away. It pawed blindly at the sparkler, head still turned.
“Increase optics.” came Icthar’s voice, and Scibus duly slid an organic green slider to its maximum.

The brightness grew stronger and with a flash, The Myrka’s arm was ripped off with a small explosion. It screamed and writhed, now being forced to face its attacker. But all it saw was the bright white light. All the water had been consumed by this light, and there was no escape. The Myrka tried to get out, away from the pain, but there was no relief.

After a few seconds, it became too much for the creature. Inside the monster’s eye, the retina seemed to burn to ashes. The brain appeared to shut down, and the once magnificent creature flopped and sank to the seabed.

“Deactivate optical experiment.”

“Yes, leader.” Scibus slid his control and the sphere disappeared from view in the murky green.

“Is it... dead?” asked Icthar, a hint of malice in his voice now.

“Yes, leader.” Tarpok delivered the bad news.

“Do we have a substitute?”

“Yes. It has been tested before and is susceptible only to small bursts of optical energy.”

“It can withstand everything else? It can function on dry land as requested?”

“Yes.” came the definitive reply of Icthar’s subordinate. “However, it is a lot smaller and has been misshapen as a result of our experimentation.”

“As long as it can eradicate humans, it is fit for our purposes. It is better that the other test subject fail now than when we need it most in battle.”

“Yes, leader. A very wise observation.” agreed Tarpok

“We will now proceed to the tomb of our Sea Devil brothers.”

“Very good, Icthar. Our craft is waiting.”

Icthar walked over to a jagged rocky port in the wall and proceeded through.

Tarpok and Scibus looked to each other, exchanged thoughts through their expressions, and then followed. The port closed, rocks forming across the gap and the craft set off.

© Copyright Dave Spilsbury, Ian Nicholson & Doctor Who Online, 2012.
Page Updated: 13/5/2012

Written by:
Dave Spilsbury

Artwork by:
Ian Nicholson

Doctor Who is © Copyright to the BBC. No infringement intended.