Book Review – Doctor Who: The Eye of the Giant

  • Title: The Eye of the Giant
  • Series: Virgin Publishing Missing Doctor Adventures
  • Author: Christopher Bulis
  • Characters:  Third Doctor, Dr. Elizabeth Shaw (Liz), UNIT
  • Date Reviewed on GoodReads: 12/28/2013

NOTE: Spoilers

The Eye of the Giant moves like a freight train. It’s a fast-moving adventure story.

The Eye of the Giant is part of Virgin Publishing’s Doctor Who Missing Adventures original paperback novel series. I read the e-book version. The story features the Third Doctor (Jon Pertwee), and Doctor Elizabeth Shaw (Liz), and UNIT, including Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart, Sgt. Mike Yates, and Sgt. Benton. The novel begins with Liz and the Doctor working on the TARDIS council. They are interrupted by the Brigadier, who delivers a strange artifact found inside a shark in waters off New Zealand and Australia. Liz and the Doctor investigate, soon launching a time bridge to 40 years in the past.

Meanwhile, 40 years ago, a millionaire’s yacht heads for the mysterious island of Saltuna. Aboard the ship are the millionaire founder of Paragon Studios, Marshal Grover, his second wife, Nancy Norton (an actress), his daughter, Amelia, from his first marriage, Paragon’s leading man, Montgomery, Paragon’s leading director, and his cameraman, and Professor Steinberg – whom Grover’s promised a chance to investigate and make discoveries on the island, and their servants, as well as the ship’s rather large crew. The ship is heading for the island, when they are hit by a mysterious something. They manage to make it to shore, but the ship is damaged and will take days to repair.

Steinberg is excited about this since he will be able to investigate the island. He hopes to make enough discoveries to regain his status in the medical and scientific community after one of his previous experiments killed a patient.

The director, cameraman, and leading man are also excited about filming Nancy’s new film on the mysterious and exotic island. However, Nancy, who shows herself to be a spoiled brat, isn’t excited. She wants nothing to do with filming on the island, and urges her husband to leave as soon as possible.

Nancy is right in a strange way: the Island is occupied by strange, giant, creatures. A huge, giant snake attacks Nancy, but she is quickly rescued. Soon giant crabs come out of the water and fight some giant bats. Other members of the ship’s crew find giant ants.

Meanwhile, the Doctor and Liz travel through the time bridge, hoping to find the origin of the mysterious artifact they are investigating at UNIT HQ. They arrive very near a volcano on the island, escape, then encounter the group from Paragon Studios. Sgt. Mike Yates also soon follows them. In trying to find the Doctor and Liz, he meets and rescues Amelia.

Before long, it becomes apparent that a UFO had crashed on the island several years ago, the pilot had been carrying stolen medical supplies. One of the ampules had broken, causing the giantism on the island. The pilot, however, had fallen down a hole, and the environmental controls of his suit had failed. Years later, Amelia Grover falls down the same hole, Mike Yates rescues her and they find what they think is a native statue. Later in the book, the alien is re-animated. However, he’s not your typical evil Doctor Who alien, like the Daleks or Cybermen. Rather he’s an old-fashioned thief who simply wants to repair his ship, get off the island and planet, and to sell what he stole.

Eventually, the Doctor helps accomplish this, as well as getting the yacht off the island, with her remaining passengers and crew. The aliens from whom the first alien had stolen the medical supplies, shoot down the ship, and the ship’s power core lands in the volcano, causing the eruption that history records happened and destroyed the island. Liz, the Doctor, Mike, and the Brigadier and his rescue party all return to HQ.

The novel could have ended there – it really should have. But when everyone returns to the present, they find a strangely altered Earth, where Nancy Norton is leader of the world, and her cult of personality has her treated as a goddess. Returning to the past, the Doctor, Liz, Mike, and Benton, must prevent or change Nancy’s fusion with the alien. They do but at a high cost of additional lives lost on the ship, including Nancy’s and Amelia’s. However, the timeline returns to normal, and the Doctor and company return to their UNIT HQ.

This was a quick and enjoyable read. However, it should have stopped when well enough ahead. I didn’t care for the last 80 pages, and I thought Nancy’s Cult of Personality wildly improbable. The method of fixing the problem was, of course, even more depressing. Still the book is a fun romp, and a quick read. I enjoyed it.

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