Island of Death
by Barry Letts

Publisher: BBC
ISBN: 0 563 48631 7


    The Doctor finds himself on an island... of death!


    Sarah Jane Smith.

    The Brigadier.

    Jeremy Fitzoliver.

    Pg 26 Brief flashback cameo by Sergeant Benton.

    Pg 33 Africa (although no one disembarks).

    Pgs 36/37 The bottom of the Pacific Ocean. Unsurprisingly, no one disembarks.

    Pg 38 Back at UNIT HQ.


    Pg 7 The Metropolitan, Sarah's newspaper, was mentioned in The Time Warrior.

    Pg 18 "Without it (or should it be 'without her'?), she'd have been stranded in medieval England, or on the planet of Parakon" The Time Warrior, The Paradise of Death.

    Pg 21 "My name is John Smith." The old joke, oh-so-hilarious when first used in 1970, gets trotted out one last time. We can only hope.

    Pg 28 "And how well did the police cope with the Yeti? Or the Autons? Or the Cybermen for that matter?" The Web of Fear, Spearhead from Space/Terror of the Autons, The Invasion.

    Pg 31 "I'm due four weeks, what with missing last year's because of that Space World thing" The Paradise of Death.

    "You've had a holiday. You went to Sicily." Ghosts of N-Space.

    Pg 111 "'I'm sorry,' she gasped, 'but I can't swim.'" Death to the Daleks.

    Pg 121 "'I'm just being childish.' 'And what's wrong with that?' said the Doctor." Robot.

    Pg 127 The sonic screwdriver (Fury From the Deep et al).

    Pgs 143-144 "From the frustrations of his job with UNIT - especially since he'd teamed up with the Doctor, and encountered an extraordinary variety of unpleasant alien creatures, more of whome seemed to be impervious to bullets - he'd learnt not to expect clean-cut military operations like those he'd encountered in World War Two." Robot, Deadly Reunion.

    Pg 180 "You mean the Experienced Reality thing on Parakon?" The Paradise of Death.

    Pg 196 "Good grief! Was he feeling his age? Maybe the time for his next regeneration was just around the corner." It is: Planet of the Spiders follows shortly after this.

    Pg 211 "Perhaps he should take up some form of sport. He'd always fancied cricket." The fifth Doctor.

    Pg 239 "In spite of their semi-humanoid shape, in the mass they seemed as utterly alien as any Dalek." You all know who the Daleks are. If not, this must be a very perplexing website you've stumbled across.

    Pg 13 Chlorinda, Sarah's editor, also appeared in The Paradise of Death.

    Pete Andrews, Bob Simpkins, Chris.

    Mother Hilda, the Great Skang (the last two are time-looped at the end, but not dead).


    1. Pgs 17-18 "She giggled at the memory. Her mother, the ultra genteel daughter of a Harrogate vicar, used to be teased by her dad (Liverpool born and bred)" This predates The Sarah Jane Adventures, which shows that Sarah's parents died when she was a baby. So how can she remember them? (She remembers her father again on page 199, from a time when she was getting swimming lessons.)
    2. "And because there was no land in sight the TARDIS naturally made the assumption that we wanted to be on the ocean bed." Except that in Fury From the Deep the TARDIS manages to land on the sea, so why doesn't it here?
    3. Pg 173 "She goes the way the wind blows. Once he get to work on her..." Huh?

    PLUGGING THE HOLES [Fan-wank theorizing of how to fix continuity cock-ups]

    1. She doesn't, but Sarah's Aunt Lavinia used to tell her stories of her parents' antics and Sarah is giggling at the memory of being told by Aunt Lavinia. The "father" from the time of the swimming lessons was one of Lavinia's boyfriends, who she was close to for a time.
    2. This is one of the TARDIS's abilites that the Time Lords erased from the Doctor's mind after his trial and forgot to restore. Either that or the TARDIS was so sick of the inane banter happening inside that it wanted to drown the inhabitants in the most remote location imaginable.
    3. This is a subtle clue that Brother Alex isn't human: he sometimes gets his pronouns mixed up.

    Pgs 7/15 The Skang, insect-like creatures of humanoid shape, with heads twice as big as ours, with large eyes and a needle-pointed proboscis.

    Pg 5 London.

    Pgs 32/34 Bombay, India.

    Pg 42 On board a British Airways flight from London to Bombay.

    Pg 80 Aboard the HMS Hallaton.

    Pg 142 Stella Island.

    IN SUMMARY - Robert Smith?
    It's hard to decide what's worse: Sarah's inner monologues, where she desperately tries to avoid cliches; the extended travelogue aboard the boat that serves no purpose whatsoever; Jeremy Fitzoliver; the unending plethora of exclamation marks!; or the horrendous punchline at the end. No wait, it's the sheer awfulness of the prose when people are having visions. It's dire. The Brigadier is particularly goofy even when he isn't possessed, distrusting the Doctor entirely. The only decent character is a brief cameo from a UNIT officer in Bombay, but he lasts less than 20 pages. The political scheming among the Skang occasionally threatens to turn interesting and the twist about their true nature is nicely done, but everything else is sheer awfulness incarnate. This has been called the generic Doctor Who novel, but it's much, much worse than that. The only bright side is that no one was still reading the full-length novels by the time this was published, so thank goodness for small mercies.