Home : Archive : TSV 1-10 : TSV 2 : Review

Fury from the Deep

by Victor Pemberton

Book review by Paul Sinkovich

'The Weed enemy had penetraded the very heart of the Euro-Gas Network'

'Victoria was at a workbench nearby, hearing some liquid in a test tube over a Bunsen flame'.

While mistakes like these are annoying, they don't stop this being one of the best Doctor Who books I have ever read. Victor Pemberton has gone to great lengths to write an exciting and enjoyable book based on his classic 1968 story.

Every character is well drawn out, from the rather unpleasant Controller Robson to his Second-in-Command, the youthful and open-minded Harris. The Dutchman, Van Lutyens, is very well defined and even characters that disappear for most of the book after being taken over by the Weed Creature, (e.g. Maggie Harris), have surprising depth. Since Pemberton had been script-editor for The Tomb of the Cybermen (as well as holding the post of assistant script-editor from The Moonbase to The Evil of the Daleks) he had come to know the regulars quite well, and this shows. The Doctor, Jamie and Victoria are well drawn, and the closeness between them is portrayed beautifully, made even more pronounced as this is Victoria's final adventure. At the end, she stays behind with Frank and Maggie Harris. The departure is very well handled, with subtle hints all through the story. This, I think, is the best way for a companion to go - better than the shocking' turnaround at the end (e.g. Tegan). With hints throughout the story it may not be a surprise with a companion finally leaves, but it is credible.

The Troughton Doctor is brought alive, displaying his apparent recklessness on many occasions:

'"Doctor are you sure you know how to fly one of these things?" asked Jamie, nervously.
"Nothing to it, my boy." replied the Doctor, wildly flicking every switch he could lay his hands on...
"Now, let me see," he mumbled, "is it this one... or maybe it's..."'

One minor complaint is that this is the first time the Doctor's sonic screwdriver is seen, and the only description Pemberton gives us is: 'From the inside pocket of his jacket, he took out what looked like his own version of a screwdriver.' - what a missed opportunity for some history or a description of it!

This Bumper Volume (That's what it says on the cover!) is well worth everyone of its 189 pages - making it the longest novelisation to date. Buy it.

This item appeared in TSV 2 (September 1987).

Index nodes: Fury from the Deep