2. Into The Belly Of The Beast
After the very stilted start to the show got last week, I was naively hoping that The Deep would get better in its second outing. But, alas, the plot and characters sank yet further into the abyss, possibly beyond all hope of feasible salvage.
It didn’t really help that some of the issues highlighted last week weren’t actually fixed, and others, like the credibility gap in presenting Minnie Driver as a sub commander, just got even bigger.
At no point in the proceedings did she do anything remotely captain-like, and most of the time she seemed to be running the ship by common consensus. It didn’t help that Captain Kelly also had the most painfully long conversation with Samson, which was so heavily laden with pregnant pauses that it made me want to shout. “Get on with it!” at the TV. There was a time when I was watching this when I really wondered why I was still conscious, like it was depressurising the room I was sat in.
In terms of moving the plot on, proceedings slowed to half-ahead and then dead-stop as they took the mini-sub and then the Orpheus onboard the giant vessel hovering above them. When there, they discover that the ship is Russian, and that most of the crew have suffered the same fate as Maddy. There then followed the sort of really annoying rubbish that only bad TV shows and movies think they can get away with, where they all agreed to a plan, and then within 30 seconds do entirely the opposite without any thinking or questioning.
Francis wants them all to stay on the Orpheus, but the sound of some banging (no, not her and Samson) overrides that, and soon they’re wandering around this vessel in pairs, getting themselves into entirely predictable trouble with those in the Russian crew who aren’t dead.
Meanwhile, up in the surface vessel, there’s at least three actors making very heavy weather of exposition, which comes out with no fluidity at all.
The final section, where Clem finds what’s left of his wife’s mini-sub, was by the numbers histrionics, and didn’t come as much of a shock to the viewer, even if it did to my-nosebleed-is-probably-a-tumour Clem.
Overall, whatever pace the first part had was well and truly lost by the credits, and the mystery they’ve created looks second rate, at best. The trailer for next week’s episode reveals they’ve decided to plunder K-19: The Widowmaker for inspiration.
What I did enjoy was the entirely illogical junk that shows like this must have. They even managed to borrow some insanity from FlashForward, with their now trademarked removing-a-brain-without-opening-the-skull autopsy. This continuity issue was dumb in FlashForward, but managed to be even more moronic in The Deep.
We’ve also got two subs now, neither of which have power, but that can maintain their buoyancy and pressurisation (both with ‘moon pools’) seemingly without effort. The mini-sub that Samson nearly died in through lack of air takes him and Frances to the big Russian sub without ever needing more adding, and they’ve no power to achieve this anyway. Details, who needs them?
But my favourite daftness of the week is people having to write messages to show to TV cameras, because, while they can send a video signal, sound is a technological leap too far. I could go on, but there were so many plot holes in the script that it made SeaQuest DSV look like a Discovery Channel documentary.
I’d like to think The Deep can’t get much dumber, but I’m sure it has new depths to reach in that respect.
Read our review of The Deep episode 1: To The Furthest Place here.
The Deep is airing on BBC1 Tuesdays at 9pm.