(ISBN 1-903654-32-7)





 is dying.

 Thunderclouds roll

 across the skies,

 cloaking the land in

 darkness. The seas

 crash and boil as the

 rain turns to acid.

 The remnants of the

 Silurian race place

 themselves in

 suspended animation,

 deep below the

 surface. One day they

 will awaken and

 reclaim their



 The TARDIS has landed

 on the Galapagos

 Islands, a desolate

 outcrop of rocks

 shrouded in mist and

 fear. In the settlement

 of Baquerizo Moreno,

 there are rumours

 that prisoners have

 been mysteriously

 disappearing from

 the gaolhouse. A

 fisherman has been

 driven insane by

 something he saw in

 the caves. And the

 Doctor and Evelyn

 are not the only new

 arrivals; there is

 also a young natural

 philosopher by the

 name of Charles



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july 2001







Colin Baker and Maggie Stables are certainly getting a good run in these Big Finish audios. Their fourth adventure together , presumably set soon after “The Apocalypse Element,” sees them land on the Galapagos Islands in the nineteenth century where they encounter Charles Darwin as well as a particularly nasty Silurian named Tulok…


“Bloodtide” is a story about evolution and survival. The story begins with a wonderful glimpse back at the days when the Eocenes ruled the Earth, shortly before they went into hibernation. One of their number, a scientist named Tulok, is banished to the (then inhospitable) surface as punishment for his unethical genetic experiments. Centuries later, Tulok has control over a prison colony in the Galapagos Islands where he has not only been “culling” the human prisoners for food but is also hatching his plot to destroy humanity and reclaim the Earth…


"Bloodtide" just also happens to be absolutely brilliant. Alistair Lock’s fantastic soundscape of the Galapagos Islands evokes a vivid picture of an exotic jungle in the mind’s eye, and as can be seen from the old sailing ship on the beautiful front cover of the CD, the whole setting is rich for telling a good Doctor Who story – one I doubt that they could have done credibly

on a television budget, back in the day.


Baker continues to excel as he has done in all these ‘interim’ stories with Maggie Stables, who is also really begin to establish herself as one of the Doctor's more remarkable companions. Amusingly, it is Evelyn who has to restrain the Doctor’s enthusiasm on occasion in this story, particularly in how he is obviously struggling to restrain himself from helping Darwin come up with this Theory of Evolution. The inclusion of Darwin in the story was a masterstroke by Morris; the sixth Doctor seems to have a knack for bumping into

(and then having adventures with!) famous historical figures, but Darwin works particularly well in this story because in many respects he is as vital to the plot as the Silurians are.


In fact, the theme of ‘evolution’ that runs throughout the story is one of the few facets that prevent “Bloodtide” merely being a fancy re-hash of “Doctor Who and the Silurians.” Much is the same – one Silurian who does not believe that his people can co-exist with humanity; the plan to wipe out humanity with a disease; even the Myrka makes a surprise return from “Warriors of the Deep” as a very effective sea monster.


However, Morris adds enough to his story to make it a great story in its own right. Although much is the same, much is also different. The Doctor, for example, is far less sympathetic towards the Silurians than his predecessors were, which I think better suits Baker’s more decisive, more judgemental Doctor. Moreover, the revelation that the Silurians eat humans

is a shocker and creates some horrific scenes, but it is as nothing compared to Tulok unveiling himself as God!


As a result of Tulok's genetic experiments to try and make humans more suitable eating, humanity thrived. We also learn that he was responsible for the Silurians not coming out of hibernation on schedule, part of his plan for vengeance against his own people for exiling him to the surface.


All things considered I prefer this shorter, faster and more exotic story to the original 1970 Silurian story. Here Jonathan Morris gives us a traditional story that caters to the more interesting side of the Silurians, creates horror and suspense, and, most importantly, thoroughly entertains throughout.


Copyright © E.G. Wolverson 2006


E.G. Wolverson has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.

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