Legend of the Sea Devils – Doctor Who 2022 Easter Special – The DVDfever Review

Legend of the Sea Devils

Legend of the Sea Devils is the Easter 2022 Special for the current Doctor Who incumbent, Jodie Whittaker, and since the writers Ella Road and Chris Chibnall threw ‘swashbuckling’ into the description, they clearly think their 50-minute programme will be their answers to Pirates of the Caribbean.

On the plus side, they can’t make it much worse. Well, it is modern-day Doctor Who

It’s 1807, and Pirate Queen Madam Ching (Crystal Yu) formerly Zheng Yi Sao – has unleashed a Sea Devil (Craige Els) – sporting a weird combination of rubber suits and poor CGI for the close-up shots, and it’s going to cause a ruckus, killing everyone in its wake, until it falls for the oldest trick in the book when it comes to being captured by a sack made of rope… for about five seconds, before making off in their floating pirate ship.

Madam Ching is looking for the lost treasure of Ji-Hun, from the Flor de la Mar (Flower of the Sea) ships from three centuries earlier. Well, according to Wikipedia, the ships saild from 1502 to 1511, but in this incarnation, the important year is 1533.

There’s no time for the Non-binary Doctor to have an interracial relationship with Yaz and score maximum diversity points… well, perhaps there is, as the former takes the latter to the bottom of the ocean and declares, “I’m not a bad date, am I?”

Oh, FFS, since when did the Doctor have a relationship with their companions?

With 20 minutes left to go, it still felt like it was setting up the story and it wasn’t until then we learned the big deal was the keystone from the treasures, a gem with infinite powers which can freeze life and time, transport matter, and do other cool stuff we’ll never get to see.

For an episode which promised swashbucking, there was precious little swordplay, mostly some brandishing of swords without actually using them (bar a baddie using them off-camera), until a late scene. And since the Sea Devil could just wipe anyone out in a trice, why did it have such trouble with the Doctor, Yaz and Dan?! Even when someone is killed by a sword, you don’t actually see the moment because this is a family show.

And it seems that the only way to defeat the baddies is by blowing shit up. How enthalling…

As a few asides…

  • John Bishop’s Dan claims to be 42, even though the man, himself, is 55.
  • Why did Jodie use the word “Geromino!” when that was Matt Smith’s Doctor’s catchphrase? I’m sure Jodie also has one, but amongst how appalling her scripts have been, I’m damned if I can remember it.
  • When the main Sea Devil speaks, his necklace lights up, presumably in case any of his crew are deaf and have to lip-read.

Oh, and as for The Doctor and Yaz…

Spoiler Inside SelectShow

And at the end, apparently, the Centenary Special promises the death of the Doctor… fat chance. Well, it’s Jodie’s last episode, before Chris Chibnall jumps (pirate) ship and Russell T Davies comes back to ruin the show some more.

Doctor Who returns on November 23rd 2022 with the Centenary Special (title TBC).

You can pre-order Legend of the Sea Devils / Legend of the Sea Devils on Blu-ray and DVD, ahead of its release on 28th June 2022.

Doctor Who: Flux is available on Limited Edition Blu-ray Steelbook, Blu-ray and DVD.

You can also buy Series 12 on Blu-ray, DVD and Limited Edition Blu-ray Steelbook.

Also available is Revolution Of The Daleks on Blu-ray and DVD.

The episode is now on the BBC iPlayer.

Legend of the Sea Devils: Doctor Who 2022 New Year Special – Official Trailer – BBC

Score: The usual junk/10

Director: Haolu Wang
Writers: Ella Road, Chris Chibnall
Producer: Nikki Wilson

The Doctor: Jodie Whittaker
Yasmin Khan: Mandip Gill
Dan Lewis: John Bishop
Ying Ki: Marlowe Chan-Reeves
Madam Ching: Crystal Yu
Chief Sea Devil: Craige Els