889-13-8) RELEASED IN

 JANUARY 2003.





 Unsettling things are

 HAPPENING in a sleepy

 Cornish village.


 THERE ARE Strangers

 IN the harbour and a

 mysterious object is

 retrieved from the

 sea. Then the locals

 start getting sick.


 Could this have

 anything to do with

 the beautiful Ruth

 who local boatman

 Steve has taken a

 shine to? And why is

 Ruth both drawn and

 terrified by the sea?


 The Doctor is perhaps

 the only person who

 can help, but can he

 discover the truth in



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Rip Tide







Before reading Rip Tide, I had wondered what its ‘gimmick’ was going to be. For better or worse, the preceding Telos novellas had each had an extraordinary quality that

set them apart from the preponderance of Doctor Who prose out there, but ostensibly this one looked like it was going to be a wholly traditional, Earthbound adventure.


However, fantasy author Louise Cooper’s relatively lengthy novelette is in some respects

the most divergent of the first six releases. Completely devoid of any sort of malignancy,

Rip Tide is a Doctor Who tale without a monster; without a villain of any sort, in fact. Even Paul McGann’s exuberant eighth Doctor is so at ease that he casts off his customary Wild Bill Hickock garb to don his beachwear.


What I found really remarkable about this book though is that Cooper still manages to make her story both absorbing and suspenseful, laden as it is with dangers and mysteries. Indeed, despite the dearth of monsters and villains, my attention didn’t wane at all; a testament to the strength of her protagonists.


Cooper’s main character, Nina, is a

typically neurotic seventeen year-old

girl - a fact that is sure to put a good

few readers off this one on principal.

But I found Cooper’s portrayal of the

young lady compelling and insightful,

particularly in how the odd affection-triangle between her; her brother; and his inscrutable lady friend, Ruth; is fleshed out. The story’s quite tender climax even has something a moral to it as it brings Nina’s teenage hang-ups into sharp focus, contrasting them against real problems.


I think what stands out about Rip Tide above all else though is Cooper’s peerless portrayal of the Cornish coast. Her passion not only for the place itself, but also for the way of life that goes hand in hand with it, is evident on almost every page, lending her story a real vigour. Of course, Doctor Who meets Echo Beach isn’t going to be for everyone, but I certainly enjoy-ed the freshness of it.


© Telos Publishing 2003. No copyright infringement is intended.Turning to the rest of the Telos trappings, I have been fortunate

enough to track down a deluxe edition of this book, and it really is

something to look at. The dark blue, embossed cover is refined

and striking (a remarkable improvement upon the appalling, sky

blue binding of Foreign Devils) and – although I had to flick to

behind the foreword to find it, causing me a momentary panic -

Fred Gambino’s frontispiece continues the range’s long line of dramatic (if not entirely representative) illustrations.


And this time, the foreword is from Stephen Gallagher, writer of

the television serials Warriors’ Gate and Terminus – two serials

that I don’t have much time for, to be honest, and two serials that

are about as far from Rip Tide as you can get. And in a sense,

that’s the beauty of it: this foreword sees Gallagher wax lyrical

about how the best Doctor Who stories are those that find fear in the familiar, something that

his two hard science-fiction concept pieces never did, but something that Rip Tide excels in doing.


Overall then, these Telos novellas really seem to be provoking polarised reactions from me; one contentious idea earning my scorn only for another to blow me away completely. And Rip Tide, I’m pleased to say, firmly falls into the latter category. A little gem.


Copyright © E.G. Wolverson 2009


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



This story is hard to place with any certainty. The only clues offered are that the Doctor is travelling alone, apparently has his memories in tact, and refers to Gallifrey in the present tense. It has therefore been placed (rather arbitrarily) after the Big Finish audio drama The Girl Who Never Was.


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