Authors: Nigel Robinson
Tags: #Science-Fiction:Doctor Who
When the TARDIS lands on a deserted volcanic island the Doctor and his companions find themselves kidnapped by primitive sea-people.
Taken into the bowels of the earth they discover they are in the lost kingdom of Atlantis.
Offered as sacrifices to the fish-goddess, Amdo, the Doctor and his companions are rescued from the jaws of death by the famous
But they are still not safe and nor are the people of Atlantis. For Zaroff has a plan, a plan that will make him the greatest scientist of all time — he will raise Atlantis above the waves — even if it means destroying the world...?
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Science Fiction/TV Tie-in
Based on the BBC television series by Geoffrey Orme by arrangement with BBC Books, a division of BBC
Number 129 in the
Target Doctor Who Library
A TARGET BOOK
The Paperback Division of
W. H. Allen & Co. Plc
A Target Book
Published in 1988
by the Paperback Division of
W. H. Allen & Co. Plc
44 Hill Street, London W1X 8LB
First published in Great Britain by
W. H. Allen & Co. Plc
Novelisation copyright © 1988, Nigel Robinson Original script copyright © 1967, Geoffrey Orme
‘Doctor Who’ series copyright © British Broadcasting Corporation 1967, 1988
The BBC producer of
The Underwater Menace
was Innes Lloyd
The director was Julia Smith
The role of the Doctor was played by Patrick Troughton Printed and bound in Great Britain by
Cox & Wyman Ltd, Reading
ISBN 0 426 20336 7
This book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, re-sold, hired out or otherwise circulated without the publisher’s prior consent in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition including this condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser.
It was magic, decided James Robert McCrimmon. It was the only explanation the young Scottish piper could think of. Minutes ago he had entered what to his eighteenth-century eyes seemed to be nothing more than a ramshackle blue hut, set somewhat in-congruously in the middle of his native glen. The sight which greeted his eyes as he crossed the threshold could never have been imagined even in his wildest dreams.
For a start, no hut could ever have contained a room as vast as the one in which he now found himself. The gleaming white walls were covered with large circular indentations which appeared to give off an eerie light all of their own. Banks of strange-looking instruments and machines lined the walls and whirred and hummed quietly to each other. Even the air itself seemed different, charged with electricity and antiseptically clean. Dotted about the room were various items of furniture: a large battered chest, a splendid Louis X/V chair, and a mahogany hat-stand upon which a stove-pipe was balanced precariously.
Dominating the room was a mushroom-like hexagonal console, in the centre of which a glass column rose and fell with an almost hypnotic regularity. A little man dressed in baggy check trousers several sizes too big for him and a scruffy frock coat which had obviously seen better days was busying himself about one of the six control boards, flicking switch after switch like a little boy playing with a new toy. He looked up at Jamie and his mobile face broke into a wide reassuring grin; beneath his unruly mop of black hair his jade-green eyes twinkled encouragingly.
Jamie gestured vaguely about the room. ’What is all this, Doctor?’ he asked.
‘You’ll find out!’ The little man seemed almost reluctant to give an answer. Instead he chuckled quietly to himself and resumed his check of the controls. Occasionally he would refer to a large leather-bound notebook by his side, as if he wasn’t quite sure how to operate his machine.
‘Och, I dinna like it...’
‘The TARDIS is only a machine, Jamie, it won’t bite you.’ Ben, a wiry Cockney sailor and the third member of the TARDIS crew laid a hand on the Scotsman’s shoulder.
’It’ll take you away from Scotland and the Redcoats forever.’
‘Aye—but where to?’ he asked, with natural Highland caution.
Ben laughed. ’That, as the Doctor would say, is in the lap of the gods. We never know!’
Jamie looked at Ben’s grinning face; he had the vaguest notion that the Cockney was making fun of him. ’You wouldna be leading me on, would you?’
Ben shrugged good-naturedly. At that moment Polly entered the control room. She was a tall, long-legged blonde with long heavily-made-up eyelashes. She was dressed in a revealing multi-coloured mini-skirt and a white silk scarf. Her clothes betrayed the fact that like Ben she had first met the Doctor in the London of 1966.
‘Is it a fact that we don’t know where we’re going, Polly?’ Jamie asked, hoping to get some sense out of her at least.
Polly smiled, remembering her Lust experience of the TARDIS. ’That’s quite true,’ she said in her Sloane Square accent. ’And what’s more we don’t even know what year it’s going to be!’
Jamie looked at her oddly, as if he was having serious doubts about her sanity too. What sort of madhouse had he found himself in? ’Och, I dinna believe it,’ he finally said.
’Ye maun know where we’re going!’
‘ "Nae man can tether time nae tide",’ piped up the Doctor. All three of his companions looked at him. ’Robert Burns,’ he explained, hoping that at least Jamie would recognise the name of Scotland’s greatest poet. He didn’t.
’Who? Who’s Robert Burns?’
For a moment the Doctor looked crestfallen. It wasn’t often that he came up with an apt quotation, but when he did the least he could expect was that someone would recognise his cleverness. Then his face brightened. ’I’ve just remembered,’ he said. ’For Jamie it’s still 1746, the time of Culloden!’
‘So?’ asked Ben.
‘Well, Robert Burns wasn’t born until 1759!’ With a self-satisfied smirk, the Doctor turned back to the controls.
The central column was slowing to a halt, and a myriad small lights were flashing on one of the control boards.
Jamie could detect a faint vibration in the floor.
‘What’s happening now?’ he asked, fearing the worst.
‘We’re beginning to land,’ said Polly.
‘Hold tight everyone,’ advised the Doctor as he initiated the materialisation process which would take the time-machine out of the time vortex and into real space once more.
‘Don’t be scared, Jamie. Everything will be all right,’
said Polly, blithely forgetting all the dangers into which the time-machine had already taken them.
‘This is the exciting bit,’ said Ben. ’We never know what we’re going to find.’
‘Aha! That’s the fun of it all!’ chimed in the Doctor.
’Stand by now! Here we go!’
A thunderous electronic roar filled the control room as the Doctor drove home the main materialisation lever. To Jamie it seemed that the floor was shuddering with a sickening violence, but when he looked over to Ben and Polly they seemed to be quite unperturbed by what was happening.
Jamie shook his head. He still didn’t understand what was going on. How could he know that this was just the start of his many adventures in space and time?
The island was pitted and scarred and completely deserted apart from a few small animals and nesting cormorants. In the centre of the island, about a mile and a half from the rocky beach and the crashing surf of the mid-Atlantic, stood the remnants of the crater of an extinct volcano. It towered above the few shrubs and trees which disturbed the otherwise unbroken undulations of ochre-coloured rock which spread out in all directions. In the clear blue sky the sun shone almost directly ahead.
In a shimmer of blue the shape of a London Police Box
1960 appeared on a promontory looking out to sea.
The first to leave the TARDIS was the Doctor, clutching a plastic bucket and spade like a little boy on his first trip to Blackpool. Ben followed him out and looked all around.
He gave a whistle of appreciation.
‘Well, you’ve done us proud for once, Doctor,’ he said, as he felt the warm spring sun on his face and tasted the salt sea spray on his lips.
‘This time, I’ll guess where we are!’ said Polly.
‘All right – where are we?’
‘Cornwall,’ she said with certainty, looking at the rocky beach and the cliffs.
‘You said that the last time,’ Ben reminded her. ‘And I was right!’
Jamie had been staring in dumbstruck amazement at the TARDIS, walking all around it and trying to fathom out how such a small box could hold so much. Now he went over to join his friends.
‘The isles, maybe?’ he suggested.
‘Don’t you know, Doctor?’ asked Ben.
‘Haven’t a clue!’ he admitted with cheery indifference and then added: ‘Not the isles of Britain though.’
‘How can you tell?’
The Doctor bent down and picked up a reddish-brown rock. He weighed it thoughtfully in his hand. ‘This rock’s volcanic,’ he said. ‘It’s not very old either.’
‘How old is it?’ asked Ben.
‘Miocene,’ he replied, as though that explained everything. Seeing the look of bewilderment on his companions’ faces he explained: ‘Only about twenty-five million-years-old, that’s all; but not Cornwall, I’m afraid, Polly.’
Ben pointed out the rocky peak which could just be seen through a clump of trees. ‘That’s a volcano, isn’t it?’
The Doctor nodded absently. He didn’t seem to be interested at all; his eyes were scanning the coastline, looking for a patch of sandy beach. ‘Possibly,’ he said.
‘Extinct in all probability. Of course, that’s what they said about Vesuvius too...’
‘Let’s go up it then,’ Ben suggested. ‘It’s only about an hour’s climb – and there’s bound to be a fantastic view from the top. Maybe we’ll find out where we are.’
‘Yes. Can we, Doctor?’ asked Polly.
‘I don’t see why not,’ said the little man, still looking out to sea.
‘Are you coming, Doctor?’ asked Jamie as Ben and Polly began to move away.
The Doctor shook his head and waved the three young people on their way. As they walked off through the trees, the Doctor trotted off merrily in the other direction towards the beach. He swung his bucket and spade in his hands and whistled a tuneless version of
I Do Like To Be
Beside The Seaside
. Let them enjoy themselves exploring, he thought; he had far more important things on his mind.