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The Underwater Menace was a novelisation based on the 1967 television serial The Underwater Menace.

Publisher's summary[]

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 scientist, Zaroff.

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...

Chapter titles[]

  • Prologue
  1. Under The Volcano
  2. Sacrifices To Amdo
  3. Professor Zaroff
  4. Escapees
  5. An Audience With The King
  6. The Voice Of Amdo
  7. Kidnap
  8. 'Nothing In The World Can Stop Me Now!'
  9. Desperate Remedies
  10. The Prudence Of Zaroff
  11. The Hidden Assassin
  • Epilogue

Deviations from televised story[]

  • Zaroff's first name is given as Hermann.
  • It is said that Zaroff has been missing for twenty years.
  • The sailors Sean and Jacko are given a backstory: they were the only survivors of the crew of a merchant ship, which sank after hitting a mine left over from the Second World War.
  • Zaroff created the fish people through DNA resequencing based on Atlantean legends.
  • It is stated by Ara that Zaroff walks through the market place every day to inspect the drill head, thus this is where the Doctor stages his kidnap attempt. In the television story, the only reason he goes through the market is to look for the Doctor.
  • Lolem greets the Doctor and his companions on their arrival in Atlantis rather than Ramo, meaning Ramo doesn't appear until the Doctor enlists him as an ally.
  • The Labour Controller is written as though he is a separate character from Damon, even though they are the same person in the televised version.
  • Ara is said to be the daughter of a councillor who was killed after speaking out against Zaroff, with Nola having worked for the family.
  • It is explained by Sean that the Atlanteans do not settle on the surface because they consider their ground sacred.
  • Ara says that the grille behind Amdo's statue was set up by the original priests to control the population, and her father showed it to her before he died. It is also said that even Lolem does not know about it.
  • It is said that Zaroff saved Thous from a deadly disease thought fatal by the Atlanteans, thus why Thous trusts Zaroff more.
  • During his final confrontation with the Doctor and Ben, High Priest Lolem confronts Zaroff with a knife. The two fight each other in the floodwaters and drown whilst the Doctor and Ben escape.

Writing and publishing notes[]

  • Unable to use the Second Doctor Patrick Troughton's likeness because of rights issues, the first draft by Alister Pearson was rejected. This was the first commission for Pearson (who did eighty-seven covers over six years) and was given photographic reference material from Doctor Who Magazine Issue 78.
  • This title also marked the redesign of the covers. They now featured a new logo and the top third of the cover blocked off.
  • Inside back cover features Fantastic Doctor Who Poster Offers-without details!
  • Also features Doctor Who 25th Anniversary Bonanza Competition.

Additional cover images[]

British publication history[]

Hardback (February 1988)
  • W.H.Allen & Co. Ltd. UK ISBN: 0491034962, copies priced £7.95)
Paperback (February 1988)
  • Target / W.H. Allen & Co. Ltd. One single paperback edition, estimated print run: 22,500, priced £1.99 (UK). (Internal ISBN: 0426203367 and external ISBN as 0426203267)


This Target Book was released as an audiobook on 9 December 2021 complete and unabridged by BBC Audio and read by Anneke Wills.

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

External links[]

to be added