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Doctor Who and the Sea-Devils was a novelisation based on the 1972 television serial The Sea Devils.

Publisher's summary[]

1974 Target Books edition[]

Whilst visiting the MASTER, who has been exiled to a luxurious castle prison on a small island, DOCTOR WHO and Jo Grant learn that a number of ships have vanished in the area. Whilst investigating these mysterious disappearances, Jo and the Doctor are attacked by a SEA-DEVIL, one of a submarine colony distantly related to the Silurians. Soon they discover that the SEA-DEVILS plan to conquer the Earth and enslave humanity, aided and abetted by the MASTER. What can DOCTOR WHO do to stop them?

1981 Hardback edition[]

When the Doctor and Jo visit the Master in the island prison to which he has been sentenced for life, they learn that a number of ships have mysteriously disappeared at sea.

While investigating they are attacked by a Sea-Devil, one of a submarine species related to the Silurians.

The Doctor uncovers a plot to conquer the Earth and enslave the population. His attempts to prevent it's success are frustrated because the authorities refuse to believe that the Sea-Devils are not a figment of the Doctor's imagination or that the Master is not to be trusted...

Chapter titles[]

  1. 'Abandon Ship!'
  2. Visitors for the Master
  3. The Vanished Ships
  4. Stranded!
  5. Air-Sea Rescue
  6. 'This Man Came to Kill Me!'
  7. Captain Hart Becomes Suspicious
  8. The Submarine
  9. Visitors for Governor Trenchard
  10. The Diving Bell
  11. 'Depth Charges Away!'
  12. Attack in Force
  13. Escape

Deviations from televised story[]

  • The novelisation uses the term Sea-Devil (with a hyphen, as here), rather than Sea Devil.
  • We learn about media publicity surrounding the Master's lengthy trial and the ethical debate as to whether to execute him and the ethical difficulty of putting an immortal being, a Time Lord, in prison for life. During the trial, the Doctor gave testimony urging punishment other than the death penalty.
  • The Third Doctor frequently tells Jo that the Sea Devils are related to the Silurians and that they are "just like those cave monsters we met in Derbyshire" — obviously referring to both himself and UNIT, as Jo never met the Silurians on-screen.
  • On page 83, the Master tells the Doctor that he plans to use the Sea Devils, just like he used the Ogrons. As the book was published a year after Frontier in Space was transmitted, Malcolm Hulke included the reference. In Frontier in Space and its novelisation Doctor Who and the Space War, the Master tells the Doctor he thought he'd come and see him in prison like he came to see him when he was locked up in The Sea Devils.
  • At the end of the book, the Master escapes in a helicopter, rather than a hovercraft which he used in the televised version.
  • The Doctor and Jo find a spooky engraving suggesting the locals know about the Sea Devils.
  • The Sea Devils live in a metal cave and only turn on the Master when the new Sea Devil leader needs to assert his dominance.
  • The Master tells the Doctor off for murdering the Sea Devils and then claiming the moral high ground.
  • Several characters are given first names: Thomas Robbins, Robert Walker, Robin Ridgeway and Tony Mitchell.
  • The SS Pevensey Castle's First Officer is named Mason, and several other crew members are nicknamed: the Jamaican, the Scouse, and Jock.


  • The Master compares his use of the Sea Devils to how he used the Ogrons, despite that story coming later. (TV: Frontier in Space)

Writing and publishing notes[]

Additional cover images[]

British publication history[]

First publication:

  • Hardback
W.H. Allen & Co. Ltd. UK
  • Paperback


60p (UK)
1979 Target Books with a new cover by John Geary priced 60p (UK)

Editions published outside Britain[]

  • Published in Portugal by Editorial Presença in 1983 as a paperback edition, translated by Conceição Fardim and Lucio Nogueira and published as Doutor Who E Os Demónios Marinhos, it was one of ten Portuguese novelisations.


This Target Book was released as an audiobook on 7 June 2012 complete and unabridged by BBC Audio and read by Geoffrey Beevers.

The cover blurb and thumbnail illustrations were retained in the accompanying booklet with sleeve notes by David J. Howe. Music and sound effects by Simon Power.

External links[]

to be added