The novel “Wetworld” by Mark Michalowski was published for the first time in 2007.
The Tenth Doctor wants to bring Martha Jones to a breakfast at Tiffany’s even though the two of them mean different Tiffanys. Something goes wrong and the Tardis materializes on the planet Sunday, in a swampy area where only the force field prevents the spacecraft from getting flooded.
The Doctor goes exploring and meets a girl from the human colony that settled on the planet, in the process of recovering after a tsunami caused by the fragment of a meteorite. Martha got ready for an elegant breakfast but when she leaves the Tardis she finds herself in the darkness and when she puts her hand out of the force field she gets grabbed by something that pulls her into the water.
“Wetworld” is part of a series of novels connected to the new “Doctor Who” series. They’re targeted to a wide audience by being linear enough to be appreciated even by very young readers but sophisticated enough to interest more mature readers.
The novel begins in one of the classic “Doctor Who” ways, with Tardis materializing in a place other than where the Doctor meant to go. Of course, it ends up in some place that hides the dangers all to be discovered and in this case Martha is the one who ends up suffering the consequences because she’s literally expecting a breakfast at Tiffany’s but the moment she leaves Tardis she’s at risk of being a victim of a creature not exactly friendly.
Thanks to the Doctor’s meeting with Candice “Candy” Kane, a girl who is part of the local human colony, the readers can soon discover the situation where the travelers ended up. Their arrival took place some time after the fall of a large meteorite whose fragment caused a tsunami that destroyed the city built by the colonists killing about half of them.
When he’s led to the new settlement, the Doctor discovers that the colonists captured some specimens of local animals they called otters for their resemblance to their Earth’s equivalents. An important element is some signs of intelligence shown by these creatures.
Using his psychic paper, the Doctor passes as an adjudicator from Earth and gets the colonists’ collaboration to retrieve the Tardis and save Martha but faces the mystery of the various species on the planet. The otters were known by the colonists but local zoologists Ty Benson’s studies are giving strange results concerning their intelligence while the creature that attacked Martha was unknown to the humans.
Quickly, Mark Michalowski starts developing a plot connected to the mysteries associated with the various creatures on the planet. The Doctor tries to understand if at least one of the species is sentient and in that case he’d want to communicate with those creatures but it’s a research that hides various dangers.
In my opinion, that plot is well developed combining classic elements of “Doctor Who” with the Doctor’s desire to communicate with other species and at the same time the need to protect the innocent. There’s a good balance between the scientific research carried out by the Doctor to find some answers and the history of the human colonists.
The characters are also a positive element of “Wetworld”. From references to the TV show’s adventures, it’s clear that this novel is set when Martha Jones has been traveling for some time with the Doctor and there’s a good understanding between the two of them. In general, it seemed to me that Mark Michalowski faithfully reproduced the protagonists, so it was natural to hear their voices in my mind while I was reading the novel.
I think the author did a good job in characterizing the main characters he created for the novel. The result is that the most important among the colonists have their own personalities that is well defined and the other species are also described in a way that allows the readers to understand their actions.
In my opinion, these elements form an interesting plot developed in an enjoyable way mixing moments of humor and others of tension. For these reasons, I recommend reading it to “Doctor Who” fans in general.