Frances Kelly -
Clem Donnelly -
Samson Ungliss -
To The Furthest Place - first transmitted 3rd August 2010
Six months after the Hermes exploration submarine went missing under the polar ice on a mission to study a formation of geothermal vents that might offer up whole new scientific advances, bio fuels and hints on how life first began on the planet, a new team aboard the Orpheus goes in search of answers as to what happened. What they discover leads them into terrible peril, but not all the threats are external.
THE DEEP is aiming to be THE ABYSS for television, or at least to avoid becoming the new SEAQUEST DSV. A submarine mysteriously goes down. Another is sent to look for it. There are strange seeemingly alien creatures and a technical failure means death at these depths. And on the sea bed lies something unknown. THE DEEP, though, doesn't have James Cameron directing it and though that film's script wasn't the best in the world it improves dramatically when compared to this opening episode's. The show's soap opera elements (love triangles, grieving husband, mysterious interloper) are laid on thick including soem bloody awful flashback sequences that are there to point out just how cut up Clem is about losing his wife, but we get that early on and really don't need the sledgehammer reminders.
The cast is a nice mix with some famous names (Nesbitt, Driver, Visnic) along with familiar faces (Antonia Thomas from MISFITS and Sacha Dhawan from THE LAST TRAIN). The majority of the work is left to the big three, but since the characters are so poorly sketched and have such poor dialogue to spout they don't have much of a chance to shine.
Money has certainly been spent on the show, though. The submersible sets are impressive and the CGI of the submarines and the sea life are very impressive indeed, giving the show some small measure of wonder.
As for the central mystery, enough is done to pique curiosity, but not in any major way. The action set pieces are also not particularly tense or exciting.
THE DEEP will have to improve if it is not to sink without trace.Top
Into The Belly Of The Beast - first transmitted 10th August 2010
Frances and Sansom can't get back into the Orpheus, so they take the small pod up into the vessel that rescued them all. Inside, they learn that the vessel is Russian and appears to have been on a deep mining mission. The technology that the Russians were using might account for the deaths of most of their crew and Maddy, but knowing what was responsible isn't the same as fixing the damage.
Much of this episode makes even less sense than last week's. The restoration of power aboard Orpheus doesn't extend to the door beyond which Frances and Sansom are trapped and yet all the other systems work. Clem regularly bleeds from the nose, but doesn't think that might suggest that Maddy, who bled out from the nose and eyes, wasn't murdered after all. The Russian survivors wander around their own ship armed even when they don't know that the others have arrived on board. The list goes on.
Whilst the story makes no sense, the exploration of the Russian vessel is quite tense and creepy and easily the best sequence of the show so far. That's because nobody is having to speak any of the poor dialogue with which they have been saddled. Whenever anyone opens their mouth matters go downhill.
The establishment of the Russians as being behind the mystery is all a bit disappointing and cold warish and means that the series is going to have to come up with something a bit more interesting to pull itself back from the edge of the abyssal cliff it its teetering on.Top
Ghosts Of The Deep - first transmitted 17th August 2010
The nuclear reactor on the Russian submarine starts to go critical. The only solution is for someone to go inside and shut it down by hand, a suicide mission. The Russians force the crew of the Orpheus to choose who is going to go, but then an alternative suggests itself.
It's far too contrived that the nuclear reactor suddenly chooses this moment to turn itself into an explosion about to happen, but the crisis does allow for some good stuff to happen. Sansom going into to close down the reactor is a powerful sequence, but it is undermined by the match-picking process that just doesn't get any more cliched. The reaction of the loser and the rest of the team is, at least, less predictable.
Considering that there is a major crisis on, Clem wandering around the downed Hermes as though he had all the time in the world is a bit pants, but the final moments as he discovers his wife only to know that he is going to die with her as the reactor blows is good stuff.
THE DEEP is still on a rollercoaster ride where there are just as many downs as there are ups.Top
What Was Put Together Falls Apart - first transmitted 24th August 2010
The commander of the Russian vessel forces the crew of the Orpheus to gather up all the bodies of his dead crew for burial at sea and then decides to kill them all, forcing them to abandon some of the crewmates as they escape. Catherine reveals a discovery that could change the world, but it will require the sub to go deeper than ever before and Clem to risk his life once more.
The background to the show is finally revealed as the secrets of Catherine's research are finally revealed; a bug that eats waste and produces hydrogen, a renewal, clean fuel source. It will wipe out the oil industry overnight, something that powerful forces don't want to happen. This has to be important because it makes the crew of the submarine quite happy to abandon Svetlana to her fate and risk everything to get a viable sample of the bacteria.
The Russian commander is suddenly introduced here to provide a bad guy, coming out of nowhere and setting out to kill everyone and everything in sight. His actions make almost as little sense as those of the crew of the Morpheus who have spent three episodes risking everything to save single members of the crew, but now are quite happy to abandon anyone in the name of this renewable energy source.
The descent into the drilling rig on the sea bed is actually quite tense and works well and the show has the nerve to come up with a surprising casualty, but since none of the characters are convincing, the loss is robbed of a good deal of its shock value.Top
What Was Put Together Falls Apart - first transmitted 31st August 2010
The Russian and American oil interests attempt to use the sonar burst that killed the Russians to destroy the Orpheus, but the remnants of her crew on board fight a guerilla battle. Not everyone will survive it.
It's an all-action finale that makes about as much sense as the rest of the series, but at least moves fairly quickly so that the audience doesn't have as much time to think about the holes as in some of the preceding episodes.
The nuclear reactor that could only be made safe from the inside can apparently be made to go critical from the outside even though the control rods are in place, the samples that are in the moon pool room that couldn't be pressurised to save Clem are easily accessed and being hit by a foot and a half of steel in a full arc only leaves you drowsy. Nothing really convinces.
At least the show wraps everything up at the end so that we won't have to go through it all again.Top
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