Click here to return to the main site.

Audio Book Review

Book Cover

Doctor Who


Author: Mark Michalowski
Read by: Freema Agyeman
BBC Audio
RRP: £9.99 (CD), £6.60 (download)
ISBN: 978 1 4056 8886 4 (CD), 978 1 4056 4689 5 (download)
Available 03 March 2008

When the TARDIS makes a disastrous landing in the swamps of the planet Sunday, the Doctor has no choice but to abandon Martha and try to find help. But the tranquillity of the swamps is deceptive, and even the TARDIS can’t protect Martha forever. Meanwhile, the human pioneers of Sunday have their own dangers to face: homeless and alone, they’re only just starting to realise that the planet’s wildlife isn’t as harmless as it appears. Why are the native otters behaving so strangely, and what is the creature in the swamps that is so interested in both the colonists and the new arrivals? The Doctor and Martha must fight to ensure that human intelligence doesn’t become the greatest danger of all...

Like The Last Dodo and Sick Building, Wetworld begins and ends from the point of view of an animal. In The Last Dodo, the creature in question is (not surprisingly) a dodo. In Sick Building, it’s a sabre-toothed tiger. Wetworld opens with the perspective of an unfortunate bird and closes with the viewpoint of an otter.

Otters are an odd source of inspiration for an alien life form, but ultimately a fascinating one. Far less pleasant is the squid-like, slimy creature whose tentacles do some very nasty things to several of the colonists, including some Frontios-style manipulation of bodies, both living and dead (one instance of which has been cut from this abridged version). Fortunately, despite the presence of the swamps and the creature, similarities to the lamentable Power of Kroll are surprisingly few. Mark Michalowski does throw in a few unobtrusive references to other characters and concepts from the old series, including Romana and the Adjudicators.

The author has crafted a complex and intelligent tale, making ample use of the Tenth Doctor’s motor-mouth sense of humour, which is accentuated by Freema Agyeman’s reading. For instance, there’s a great joke about the planet’s name (which is made at the expense of the colony’s Chief Councillor) and several asides as the Time Lord concocts other wordplay.

Cuts made to the story actually benefit the character of Martha, who doesn’t get much to do during the first half of the original novel, due to her being variously trapped in the TARDIS or in an otter den and/or unconscious.

One thing still strikes me as odd about this book, though: the absence of any parent or guardian for the 16-year-old character of Candy. Did she head off to the colony world by herself at such a tender age, are her parents elsewhere on the planet, or did they die in the flood that recently devastated the settlement?

For the most part, however, there’s a world of enjoyment to be had in Wetworld.


Richard McGinlay

Buy this item online

We compare prices online so you get the cheapest deal
Click on the logo of the desired store below to purchase this item.

£5.99 (
£4.99 (
£6.99 (
£6.99 (
£8.99 (
£9.49 (
£7.63 (

All prices correct at time of going to press.