The entertainingly bad reviews for BBC's new sci-fi miniseries

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Dec 14, 2012, 4:31 PM EST

Remember the new BBC sci-fi miniseries The Deep, about the crew of a research submarine that encounters disaster deep under the Arctic Circle? You know, with Minnie Driver? And Goran Visnjic? No?

We didn't hear much about it either, even though 5.3 million people watched the first episode during its debut earlier this month in the U.K. The show has since plummeted to just 3.7 million viewers, so our hopes of (legally) seeing it in the U.S. anytime soon are dim.

But The Deep has been entertaining us nonetheless as we've been following the entertainingly harsh reviews of the show in British newspapers. Since you probably won't be seeing The Deep (legally) anytime soon, we've picked out a few reviews you might enjoy too, like this one from the Guardian

"There is not a bad word to be said about The Deep if you discount the casting, acting, direction, setting, premise, sound, plot, dialogue, lighting and its inability to keep you from slumping to the floor in helpless, slow-blinking ennui - like those folk in those adverts for having a stroke - by any means other than cold brass-knuckles being ground into both your temples for an hour, or someone tickling your balls with a live snake."


"Minnie Driver, playing a kind of sub-sub-sub Ripley in Alien, but even more sub because they're in a sub, acts like she hates the script, with severely righteous justification. She has to say things such as: "Samson is about to risk his life taking the one-man submersible into the hydrothermal vent field, unsupported. Do you understand what that means?" Yes. Even I understood what that meant, and I would certainly hope an international, hand-picked team of hydrothermal submarine vent-geologists and unsupported-risk-analysts wouldn't be asking to phone a friend."

The Telegraph also decided the thermal vent line was worth pointing out:

"Now listen. Samson is about to risk his life taking the one-man submersible into the hydrothermal vent field unsupported. Do you understand what that means?"

It was sometimes hard to tell during the pleasingly silly opening episode of The Deep (BBC One), a new five-part thriller set in the nameless depths of the Arctic Ocean, whether the characters were talking to each other or attempting to address the viewer directly. The writer, Simon Donald, evidently wanted to make sure we all understood What Was Going On. To this end his crew-members - who included steely submarine skipper Frances Kelly (Minnie Driver), troubled-but-brilliant engineer Clem Donnelly (James Nesbitt) and the unfortunately named marine biologist Samson Ungliss (Goran Visnjic) - insisted on telling one another things they presumably already knew or could see with their own eyes.

The Independent was a little kinder and seemed to sort of enjoy it:

"Fetchingly kitted out in Melton sweaters and roll-necks, Captain Frances Kelly (Minnie) and her crew of scientists are off to rummage about polar thermal vents in search of some wonder mineral that promises to provide endless energy for the planet. The plot has to make to do with baser material, standard Hollywood boilerplate. Clem's wife disappeared on a similar mission, and the sub's name, Orpheus, tells you all you need to know about where that thread is going. There's lots of breezy guff about the "engines of existence", "Elysian vent fields", and a salvage man aboard who may as well get out his clipboard marked Treacherous Ulterior Motives. The action, though, chugs along nicely, with some decent effects, if you squint a bit."

And The Mirror liked the show except for one small part:

The Deep... nice show, shame about the script.

Take it away Minnie Driver as sultry submarine captain Frances Kelly: "The neonate system override sensors... they need to be parallel or the whole thing might not reboot after a power outage." And those are her first words!

Now over to techie Vince with his similarly sizzling opening salvo: "I reran all the fluid dynamics on the chaotic magma venting simulation programme with recalibrated absolutes. And... you've stopped listening haven't you?" Well, yes.

Until The Deep washes up on U.S. shores we'll, ahem, tide ourselves over with these great reviews. We're especially looking forward to the recap of tonight's final episode.