The Seas of Titan

Posted in Audio by - November 24, 2022
The Seas of Titan

Released November 2022


On Saturn’s moon of Titan, an outpost trading in hydrocarbons that have long since fallen out of favour and that Earth has all but forgotten as a result struggles to carry on despite increasing odds. With a mysterious illness ravaging the remaining humans as the Doctor joins two explorers deep in the moon’s methane seas, they discover a hidden civilization, and the Doctor once more takes it upon himself to introduce and ease tensions between Earth’s mammalian and reptilian denizens in Lizbeth Myles ‘The Seas of Titan.’

For better or for worse, Myles more or less stays true to the trusted and expected formula for any human encounter with their reptilian predecessors, whether that encounter be with Silurians or Sea Devils. Shifting the focus off of Earth to feature a subset of the Sea Devils who left Earth to hide away deep under Titan’s seas and that have remained hidden ever since to ensure their survival is an intriguing variation that at the very least hints at a certain furtiveness not typically seen, but once the Doctor finds his way aboard a submarine and deftly dodges accusations of sabotage while increasing operations capabilities, the encounter plays out mostly as expected in a briskly-paced script that jumps back and forth between the human outpost and Sea Devil city as the Doctor attempts to bring the two races together for the benefit of all.

Wisely, Myles does not paint either the humans or the Sea Devils as wholly good or evil, allowing a degree of nuance to enter these tense negotiations as certain individuals’ prejudices and selfishness must be confronted and navigated. The Doctor is all too conscious of what the cause of the humans’ illness might be once he uncovers the presence of the Sea Devils, and though he understands the consternation that the humans harvesting methane has caused, he cannot condone the means of attack against them when no discussions have taken place. It’s through this desire for dialogue that the Doctor finds something of a kindred spirit in Mirtar to whom Nicholas Briggs imbues a strong degree of measured thoughtfulness, a member of the Sea Devils who can look beyond other Sea Devils’ desires to simply eliminate the humans and to continue on with their hidden existence. Conversely, the human side is- quite forcefully- represented by the outpost’s governor Soloman Read, and while he and his constituents are mainly of the mindset that the Sea Devils are implicitly a dangerous force out to destroy them, Ferdy Read is likewise able to convey a sense of gravitas and dedication to these people to allow Read to strike a most surprising deal that will allow both sides to coexist without alerting anyone to the presence of the Sea Devils here.

Unfortunately, with the story shifting locations so frequently, there is something of a disjointed feeling to the affair since there is hardly any time for the settings or individual characters to develop any further than the cursory outlines that the script requires for the dialogue to open and progress at the Doctor’s beckoning. There are a lot of politics and prejudices that are only lightly touched upon, and it’s all too clear that the many different mindsets, especially once the humans are allowed to enter the Sea Devils city and biases must directly be confronted on a daily basis, require much more time to fully develop and flourish. Titan is such an evocative setting that this and the premise of the Sea Devils knowing of the humans for so long and both races now needing to work together to assure no lives are unnecessarily lost deserve an expanded running time to allow the traditional brokering of dialogue to become something truly unique. Christopher Eccleston gives a typically energetic performance as the Ninth Doctor who deftly takes charge of the situation and refuses to allow anyone to shift the narrative away from the course he wants it to take, and with him alongside Sasha Behar as Diana Hendry and Yasmin Mwanza as Rachel Bates who herself takes an intriguing journey, ‘The Seas of Titan’ is filled with ideas and characters just waiting to become so much more than what the breakneck pace of the script allows. Still, it’s always a pleasure to experience the seldom-seen Sea Devils, and although their vocals may be a bit too modulated with staccato reverberations, this is a story that proves that their reach is far beyond the seas of Earth and opens up a wealth of storytelling opportunities with different context in the future.

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