REVIEW: "Deep Blue" Doctor Who Novel

by Zepo
20 August 2000

Morris, Mark, _Doctor Who: Deep Blue_, (London: BBC Worldwide, 
1999).

[Image of Book]

RATING: 5 (of 10)


     After having recently tackled the UNIT novel "The Face of 
the Enemy," this reviewer decided to follow with another and 
undertake a reading of the novel "Deep Blue" which was penned by 
Mark Morris.  This Fifth Doctor adventure features Turlough and 
Tegan as his companions and has the Doctor land in 1970s England 
in a seaside vacation village.
     Local fisherman have caught something odd in their nets and 
it might be tied in with other strange happenings in the area.  
Captain Mike Yates is sent out ahead of the other UNIT regulars 
to do some undercover investigation of the gradually escalating 
danger.  As it would happen, the Doctor and company land at the 
same time that there is a rash of murders in the seaside town.  
Could what the fishermen caught be related to these dangers?  
What is the strange infection that seems to be spreading?  The 
answers to these questions are answered within the novel.
     Mark Morris spins a tale rich with characterizations of his 
supporting characters.  The character of Charlotte struggles with 
her own undisclosed pregnancy while those around her struggle 
with an alien infection of their own.  The parallels that Morris 
presents are interesting and a scholar might even decide to read 
into this more as an argument for or against a woman's right to 
choose to terminate her pregnancy.  While such a subtext might be 
glossed over by most, Morris's narrative seemed quite layered to 
this reviewer.  The character of Mike Yates struggles with his 
own demons of letting UNIT down in a past televised adventure, 
while Tegan struggles with her chosen life as a galactic 
traveller.  
     But while Morris effectively builds these characters, he 
fails to involve the Doctor in the story as much as I would have 
liked.  He also simply avoids continuity, after all the Brigadier 
didn't meet the Fifth Doctor until "Mawdryn Undead" and the 
"Curse of the Fatal Death" line "I'll explain later" seems to 
hold true.  The only resolution to that continuity point is that 
the Brig simply loses his memory after this adventure.  Seems to 
happen to him a lot whenever Davison is around.  


     The strongest disappointment with the book is that the story 
is more centered around the action, which never really seems to 
move forward, rather than layering the plot.  It all boils down 
to discovering the solution to the infection, which our TV Doctor 
seemingly could have done in ten minutes, but to prevent this 
from happening, the Doctor is unconscious for almost  one third 
of the book (or at least so it seemed).
     "Deep Blue" is an interesting read.  The plot should have 
been developed farther than it was, but certain moments of the 
book are still scary, and the supporting characters lend their 
situations to the story's narrative well.  This is not Morris's 
most solid outing, but neither is it completely ineffective.  The 
Doctor's solution (literally) saves the day, and Morris's 
characters do the same for this book.


(c) Copyright Zepo, 2000.


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