Reviewed By: Drew Vogel
Review Date: 8/29/17 2:59 pm
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Are mermaids any harder to take seriously than Silurians? I suppose not. Not really. But they do seem somehow sillier to me anyway. Does that matter? Am I being unfair? What if they weren't mermaids by a colony of Sea Devils. Would that make any difference?
Well, you can't pass a Sea Devil off as human by only showing it from the waist up, so in that sense, yes, the story would have to be significantly different if it was about Sea Devils rather than mermaids. But that's not really what I mean.
The first time I heard this story, the whole mermaid thing was a big problem for me. This wasn't like John Peel's "Evolution", where the apparent existence of mermaids was explained by some sci-fi villainy. No, this story was built around the idea that mermaids are simply real. They're not the survivors of an aquatic alien species trapped on Earth. I could accept that, or some other sci-fi explanation. But the idea that they're just real... that I couldn't seem to accept.
But that was my first listening, when I didn't already know what was coming. On subsequent listenings, the mermaid issue hasn't bothered me so much. You want me to believe in mermaids? Okay, fine. For this story, at least, I will. But then we're just left with the story, which is pretty thin. While it's presented as a single episode, it is an hour long. It could have worked at half that length, as there just isn't very much to the story. The villain, De Requin, starts out as a pretty good character, until the script needs him to be "the villain", at which point he starts in with the maniacal laughter.
It's not a bad story, and there's always fun to be had when Colin Baker and Nicole Bryant get together, but this is a largely forgettable story.