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Recap / Big Finish Doctor Who FDAS 2 E 5 Phantoms Of The Deep

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On their mission to explore the Mariana Trench at the very bottom of the ocean, the deepest and most inhospitable place on Earth, the crew of the deep sea vehicle Erebus make an unusual and startling discovery.

A battered blue police box.

As the Doctor, Romana and K9 join them on their journey, the submariners soon discover that the TARDIS is not the only unusual find lurking on the sea floor.

Super-intelligent squid, long-lost submarines and their miraculous occupants are only the start of their troubles. The Goblins are coming. And they won't let anyone out alive.


Phantoms of the Deep contains examples of:

  • Big Damn Heroes: K9 summons the hyper-intelligent squid to save the Doctor from drowning.
  • Call-Back:
    • Romana mentions the randomizer the Doctor attached to the TARDIS to throw the Black Guardian off their trail.
    • K9 is repaired at the beginning of this story, having been seriously damaged in "The Sands of Life", and the Doctor reminds Romana that he built the Mark 2 K9 in the first place.
  • Chekhov's Gun: K9's ability to communicate with the squid.
  • Disney Death: Romana and Terri being sucked out of the airlock into the ocean.
  • Exposition Fairy: K9 takes on this role, to the consternation of Romana, giving detailed descriptions of things when nobody asked for them.
  • Finishing Each Other's Sentences: The ability to do this is the first sign the humans are gaining Psychic Powers.
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  • Fish out of Temporal Water: Poor Jack, trapped in a submarine for 100 years.
  • Giant Squid: Summoned by the spaceship to attack the others.
  • Hack Your Enemy: The spaceship takes over K9, using him to sabotage the submarine's computers.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Jack physically attacks a giant squid to save Terri. Later, Dr Sawyer gives up her life to blow up the spaceship.
  • Mind over Matter: The Sapient Ship gave Jack this power to attack the others. It keeps working even when he's knocked out.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: The Vampire Squid from Hell.
    Romana: I wish that didn't seem so appropriate.
  • Older Than They Look: Jack has been kept alive by the alien craft for more than a century.
  • Psychic Powers: The effects of the spaceship give the humans this, though it isn't permanent.
  • The Knights Who Say "Squee!": The Doctor parodies his tendency to do this with famous historical figures.
    The Doctor: Dr Patricia Sawyer?!
    Patricia: You've heard of me?
    The Doctor: Not yet. But I'm sure I will.
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  • Sapient Ship: A spaceship, crashed and stranded at the bottom of the Mariana Trench thousands of years ago.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: The spaceship contains the race memory of the species who created it, who effectively live on in the ship as "phantoms", waiting for the ship to find intelligent life and transplant the phantoms into it, giving them new bodies. The ship crashed at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean and was unable to get to the surface, trapping the phantoms for thousands of years.
  • Sub Story: Two submarines, in fact. One from the time the TARDIS lands in, the 2040s, and another one from the 1940s.
  • Time Stands Still: The alien spacecraft can project a time field around its environment, keeping Jack alive for a century and sustaining a coral reef at the bottom of the ocean for far longer.
  • Translator Buddy: K9 is the only one who can understand the method the squid use to communicate, and relays their message to the others.
  • Uplifted Animal: The spacecraft did this to the only life it could find where it crashed in the ocean, local squid, giving them enhanced intelligence and the ability to communicate with other life using "advanced mathematics". It also did something similar to Jack.
  • Your Mind Makes It Real:
    The Doctor: Oh, Jack. Just because something's imaginary doesn't mean it can't hurt you.

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