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Doctor Who and the Sea-Devils (novelisation)

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Doctor Who and the
Based on: The Sea Devils
Doctor: Third Doctor
Companion(s): Jo
Main enemy:
Main setting: Earth, circa 1970s
Key crew
Publisher: Target Books, W.H. Allen
Writer: Malcolm Hulke
Read by: Geoffrey Beevers
Cover by: Chris Achilleos
Release details
Release number: 54 (given to later editions)
Release date:
17 October 1974 (paperback)
June 1981 (hardcover)
Format: Hardcover and paperback editions; 13 Chapters, 139 Pages
ISBN 0-426-1138-X
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Memorable moment
Doctor Who And The Sea-Devils (Classic Novel) Audiobook Sample03:01

Doctor Who And The Sea-Devils (Classic Novel) Audiobook Sample

Doctor Who and the Sea-Devils was a novelisation based on the 1972 television serial The Sea Devils.

Publisher's summary Edit

1979 edition Edit

Whilst visiting the Master, who has been exiled to a luxurious castle prison on a small island, Doctor Who and Jo Grant learn that a number of ships have vanished in the area. Whilst investigating these mysterious disappearances, Jo and the Doctor are attacked by a Sea-Devil, one of a submarine colony distantly related to the Silurians. Soon they discover that the Sea-Devils plan to conquer the Earth and enslave humanity, aided and abetted by the Master. What can Doctor Who do to stop them?

Chapter titles Edit

  1. 'Abandon Ship!'
  2. Visitors for the Master
  3. The Vanished Ships
  4. Stranded!
  5. Air-Sea Rescue
  6. 'This Man Came to Kill Me!'
  7. Captain Hart Becomes Suspicous
  8. The Submarine
  9. Visitors for Governor Trenchard
  10. The Diving Bell
  11. 'Depth Charges Away!'
  12. Attack in Force
  13. Escape

Deviations from televised story Edit

  • The novelisation uses the term Sea-Devil (with a hyphen, as here), rather than Sea Devil.
  • We learn about media publicity surrounding the Master's lengthy trial and the ethical debate as to whether to execute him and the ethical difficulty of putting an immortal being, a Time Lord, in prison for life. During the trial, the Doctor gave testimony urging punishment other than the death penalty.
  • The Third Doctor frequently tells Jo that the Sea Devils are related to the Silurians and that they are "just like those cave monsters we met in Derbyshire" — obviously referring to both himself and UNIT, as Jo never met the Silurians on-screen.
  • On page 83, the Master tells the Doctor that he plans to use the Sea Devils, just like he used the Ogrons. As the book was published a year after Frontier in Space was transmitted, Malcolm Hulke included the reference. In Frontier and its novelisation Doctor Who and the Space War, the Master tells the Doctor he thought he'd come and see him in prison like he came to see him when he was locked up in The Sea Devils.
  • At the end of the book, the Master escapes in a helicopter, rather than a hovercraft which he used in the televised version.
  • The Doctor and Jo find a spooky engraving suggesting the locals know about the Sea Devils.
  • The Sea Devils live in a metal cave and only turn on the Master when the new Sea Devil leader needs to assert his dominance.
  • The Master tells the Doctor off for murdering the Sea Devils and then claiming the moral highground.
  • Several characters are given first names: Thomas Robbins, Robert Walker, Robin Ridgeway and Tony Mitchell.
  • Several of the SS Pevensey Castle's crew are given names or nicknames: the radio operator is nicknamed Sharps, the First Officer is named Mason, and several other crew members are nicknamed: the Jamaican, the Scouse and Jock.

continuity Edit

  • The Master compares his use of the Sea Devils to how he used the Ogrons, despite that story coming later. (TV: Frontier in Space)

Writing and publishing notes Edit

  • Jo Grant appears on the cover of the first Target edition, making her the first undisputed companion to appear on the cover of a Target novelisation (The Brigadier appeared on the cover of Doctor Who and the Auton Invasion, however his status as a companion is disputed by some).
  • It was apparently planned that a new edition would be released by Virgin Publishing in May 1992 as Doctor Who - The Sea Devils to tie-in belatedly with the BBC Two repeats of The Sea Devils. The cover was to have featured John Geary's illustration of two Sea Devils from the 1981 edition, and possibly bearing a red hexagonal flash reading NOW BACK ON TELEVISION to announce the story's recent reshowing on BBC Two. Although this reissue was mentioned in the double-issue of the fanzine The Frame № 21 and 22 (Spring & Summer '92), it seems that this edition never saw print.
  • The novelisation was going to be called Doctor Who and the Sea Monsters to follow Doctor Who and the Cave-Monsters.

Additional cover images Edit

British publication history Edit

First publication:

  • Hardback
W.H. Allen & Co. Ltd. UK
  • Paperback


60p (UK)
1979 Target Books with a new cover by John Geary priced 60p (UK)

Editions published outside Britain Edit

to be added

 Audiobook Edit

This Target Book was released complete and unabridged by BBC Audio and read by Geoffrey Beevers.

The audio set of four CDs was released in June 2012 priced £13.99 (UK)

External links Edit

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