Television Quicksand Scenes

TV series episodes in which someone sinks into quicksand.

Television quicksand scenes

Lots of movies feature quicksand peril scenes. Not to be outdone by the big screen adventure story, television has presented lots of quicksand peril adventures of its own. This list is far from definitive.

Doctor Who – In the Third Doctor (Jon Pertwee) adventure, Carnival Of Monsters 1973 Jo Grant (Katy Manning) ends up waist deep in a watery bog, pursued by the Drashig monsters (giant carnivorous caterpillars). She is rescued easily.

The Trial Of A Time Lord 1986 has a penultimate cliff-hanger episode (The Ultimate Foe) with Colin Baker’s 6th Doctor dragged into a quicksand by mysterious hands pulling him in and under, but he steps out dry and clean next episode recognizing it as just being a dream.

The David Tennant / Freema Agyamann episode from 2008, called The Doctor’s Daughter has Martha fall into quicksand, where she is saved by a fish like being who sacrifices himself to rescue her. This has the ludicrous notion that someone in quicksand can lift someone else out without pushing him or herself under in the attempt.

In an episode of Tarzan, two crooks hand-cuffed together get into a quicksand situation with one sinking and in danger of pulling the other one after him. Tarzan actually jumps in to save them, and they leave him to die, but he just signals an elephant to come and pull him out, like you would.

In The Land Of The Giants episode ‘Manhunt’ an entire episode features the little heroes helping get a giant out of quicksand.

In the Xena Warrior Princess episode, The Return Of Callisto, the heroine and villain both plunge into a quicksand in their fight to the death. Callisto is happy they’ll die together but Xena saves herself and then watches Callisto drown, without trying to help her though she is terrified and screaming. Callisto was eventually brought back from the dead for further revenge.

An episode of comedy series Hi-De-Hi features the most ludicrous quicksand scenes. The dozy hero tries to impress his girlfriend by faking a quicksand rescue of another girl, but fools no one. As the episode ends the girlfriend herself falls in a real quicksand pit.

An episode of the comedy Dad’s Army “The Big Parade” features a prolonged attempt to rescue a soldier from a bog.

The Dukes Of Hazard has an episode where Daisy Duke has to be freed from quicksand, only to laugh it off as her best mudpack ever.

Jonathon Creek has a very daft episode scene in which a girl fills her bathtub with porridge to pretend to be in quicksand peril.

The Adventures Of Brisco County Jr. The "Pirates!" 1993 The heroes are forced to walk the plank into desert quicksand by land-based pirates. 
In The Adventures of Sinbad, The "The Bully" 1996 A Cyclops is lured into quicksand in this rubbish episode. 

Somehow, the TV and movie quicksand dramas are always as scary as the real thing, even when trying to be witty. Overall, the myth of quicksand being sentient and evil has faded, so the fashion for quicksand peril on screen has abated somewhat, but no doubt someone is making a drama or comedy featuring the mud that isn’t quite just mud and the sand that isn’t as firm under foot as you’d think. Happy sinking.

It was an episode of non-fiction popular science show, Myth busters that exploded the notion of true killer quicksand, showing just how it does work and behave. Since then, few programme makers have dared try to show the old style killer quicksand pit. Pity really.

Arthur Chappell

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