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The Eye of the Giant

By Christopher Bulis

Book review by Paul Scoones

This is not only Christopher Bulis' best novel yet, but also the first Missing Adventure that actually manages to capture the 'feel' of the Pertwee era. Occupying what is potentially of the longest gaps between television stories in the series' history (Inferno to Terror of the Autons), this is Mike Yates' encounter with the Doctor and Liz Shaw. Still a sergeant at this stage, Yates' involvement is entirely consistent with established continuity. The UNIT 'family' we never saw on television, consisting of the Doctor, Liz, the Brigadier, Benton and Mike (along with appearances by other familiar UNIT personnel including Corporals Osgood and Bell), is a very appealing combination, and although it is good to see that a forthcoming novel, The Scales of Injustice, follows on directly from The Eye of the Giant, unfortunately this will also be Liz's last story.

The novel has an unexpectedly unusual structure. It is difficult to comment on this too much without spoiling the element of surprise, suffice to say that the adventure appears to come to a definite conclusion approximately two thirds of the way through the book, followed by a second adventure closely linked to the first.

The first adventure is set on a lost pacific island inhabited by giant versions of familiar tropical wildlife. American movie making millionaire Marshal Grover's yacht is stranded on the island, and Grover and his travelling companions find themselves at the mercy of the island's native - and alien - inhabitants. Bulis's main strength as a writer lies in storytelling and not characterisation; with the exception of Grover's daughter Amelia the yacht's passengers are unmemorable, however the regular characters, particularly the Doctor, Liz and Mike, are satisfyingly well written, and Mike in particular has more opportunity to be the hero than he got in most of his television appearances.

The Eye of the Giant is an entertaining, straight-forward epic adventure novel which but for its length and the budget required for locations and effects, could conceivably have been a Season Seven television story. Third Doctor aficionados will not be disappointed.

This item appeared in TSV 47 (April 1996).

Index nodes: The Eye of the Giant