Masterminds, if you're anything like us, you can’t stand those long interims when Doctor Who isn’t on TV. Luckily for us, there are so many tie-in novels and audios that we never truly have to go without our favorite time traveler. One of the more recent releases of Doctor Who books is The Silurian Gift by Mike Tucker.
This novel naturally features the Silurians. These lizard-like humanoids have become a big part of the Doctor Who universe since they were brought back during Matt Smith's first season as the Doctor.
The story follows the Doctor, travelling without a companion, as he voyages to an old oil refinery near the South Pole. There, a weird scientist is working on a new energy source called Fire-Ice, and the Doctor quickly discovers that there are some big bad consequences of the scientist’s newest discovery.
Aside from the normal Silurians that all Whovians young and old would be familiar with, The Silurian Gift also features the Sea Devils and Myrka. The Sea Devils are aquatic versions of the regular Silurians, and first showed up in an awesome story from 1972 called, appropriately, The Sea Devils. The Myrka are kind of like giant Silurian beasts that don’t have the intellect of a Silurian but make up for it with brute force. These two variations on our favorite prehistoric lizard-folk haven't been seen on screen since the story Warriors of the Deep, way back in 1984. Those of us who love the classic Who as much as the new find this sort of thing way more exciting than we should.
The plot moves along in a very standard Doctor Who "base under siege" kind of way, where stuff goes wrong in a very isolated location and there are monsters a-plenty to give the Doctor and his supporting cast something to worry about. The Doctor is the only character we know here, but the writer does a good job of fleshing out the minor characters despite the rather short length. Just like in almost all of the appearances of the Silurians and their friends in the Doctor Who universe, some are good and just want peace, and others are angry and violent. Unlike say, the Daleks or Cybermen, the Silurians aren’t a purely evil race, which gives them more depth and more potential for interesting storylines.
The Silurian Gift is part of the Quick Reads line, so it's a little light. It clocks in at 128 pages, but doesn't skimp on the action. If you don't mind the breakneck speed, then this is the book for you.
Although it isn't the best Doctor Who tie-in ever, it's definitely a fun read for the low price. If you want to spend a pleasant afternoon with the Doctor while you wait for the new episodes to start again, you could do a lot worse than The Silurian Gift. Definitely recommended for fans who like the Silurians as much as we do!
Final Grade: B-
What's your favorite non-TV Doctor Who story?