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Doctor Who: Deep Blue Paperback – 1 Mar 1999

3.4 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 249 pages
  • Publisher: BBC Books; First Edition edition (1 Mar. 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0563555718
  • ISBN-13: 978-0563555711
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 12.1 x 18.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 658,517 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars
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Format: Paperback
From dashing young officer to eco-terrorist to wannabe Buddhist in the space of three stories, Captain Mike Yates enjoyed a remarkable character development for a Doctor Who companion. Deep Blue is an attempt to fill in the blanks between the Boy's Own-style Mike Yates who appeared as the man from the ministry in The Green Death and the 'traitor' who pulled a gun on the Doctor in The Invasion of the Dinosaurs.
It also neatly pairs him up with a Doctor not dissimilar to himself in terms of manner, appearance and outward age - number five, to be precise. This calls for a little creative jiggery-pokery - what are the Fifth Doctor, Tegan and Turlough doing in a Pertwee-era UNIT adventure? - but Morris handles it well. There's a touch of Robert Holmes about his style: the premise might not be the most startling or original (this is that old chestnut about little green men) but the pacing, insight and, above all, characterisation lift it to another level. Personally, I haven't watched a Fifth Doctor adventure since The Caves of Androzani was broadcast so I was stunned by the way he, Tegan and Turlough, and the UNIT regulars for that matter, sprang to life before my eyes. I know, I know - every reviewer seems to say that about these new BBC novels. But that's what puts them above other TV/movie tie-in novels: the original TV characters were so memorably written and acted that, unless the author makes a complete hash of it, the reader finds them coming to life again with very little mental effort on his or her part.
As for the set-up, well it's those damned alien invaders again, this time plaguing an English seaside resort. Why do aliens keep trying to invade Earth in the late twentieth century? Surely it's becoming a bit passe, like an intergalactic Majorca.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Firstly I must say, the characterisations in this book are excellent. From the 5th Doctor right through the Tegan, Turlough and onwards they're all top notch, ditto for the guest cast. When faced with the horrifying situation that they all end up in, this only adds to to drama and the excitement. The writer has added little flairs and touches to all the regular characeters we're already familiar with, making them seem exactly as we remember them - especially Tegan and Turlough, and in particular the 5th Doctor. As the book gets grimmer and even more bleak and -dare I say it- actually scarier as it goes on, you just have to turn the page to see what's going to happen next because the plot is so compelling (if slightly familiar to many sci-fi buffs). After finishing it, I let out a huge sigh of relief and then contemplated what had happened - it's exhaustingly thrilling to read. It definitely ISNT typical Doctor Who and I can see why people say it isnt, but whether you like it or not will depend on your own personal taste. We'd never have seen an episode like this onscreen because it is much too sinister for the tea-time audience... but my, what a rush. A must-read for 5th Doctor fans.
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Format: Paperback
5th Doctor PDA's are usually fairly dull, mainly due to Peter Davison's mild mannered version of the Doctor. In order for the novel to be any good, it needs to have an interesting or powerful story to drive it (The Ultimate Treasure), otherwise it becomes boring (Zeta Major). As the author of Deep Blue, Mark Morris, gave us the brilliance that was The Bodysnatchers and I was hopeful for a decent story, I sort of got it.

The plot of Deep Blue revolves around an alien race landing in the sea and contaminating animals and human to spawn more of their race. People's bodies erupt when the alien emerges, and the resulting aliens like ripping limbs off and killing in brutal ways. It is safe to say that Deep Blue is a horror, which isn't to everyone's taste, myself included usually. As the story goes on it transpires that the vast majority of the humans in the book are slowly turning into the aliens, which is a nice touch, especially when you see the struggle to stay in control. Sadly the plot does stall a little at around the halfway mark, and it becomes a zombie novel, with the cast running away through deserted streets. I thought the ending was actually really well done. Yes it is all wrapped up a little too cleanly, but the big reveal as to the contaminations source was a good concept.

As previously mentioned the 5th Doctor is just dull in whatever guise he appears, that said Mark Morris does a good job of recreating his TV persona but he didn't really have much to recreate. Companion wise we have the mouthy Tegan and the slimy Turlough, as well as Mike Yates from UNIT who is actually a fairly decent companion for once. However once the rest of UNIT shows up he fades into obscurity as usual.

The alien race, the Xaranti, are a joke however..
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Format: Paperback
At first this seemed an odd choice for a fifth Doctor story, especially with the inclusion of UNIT but Mark Morris carries it off convincingly without too many problems, and it has to be said that his characterisations of the Doctor and companions are very good. The story started out brilliantly, with a truly sinister and horrifying air pervading the seaside town of Tayborough Sands, but the final half seemed to drag somewhat and was not as effective as the earlier scenes. Frequently the violence and horror got in the way of simple decent storytelling and the ending was disappointing and seemed a bit of a desperate cop-out. I felt the whole thing needed more background and explanation, I would have loved to learn more about the Xaranti and their ship and and their whole plan...sadly, just not enough. In the end, too much gore and just not enough juicy plot to maintain interest. Great ideas, but ultimately unsatisfying.
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