Doctor Who: Fever Island Review

DW Fever Island

We take a break from all the Syndicate side plots and Daleks’ Master Plan references for a more traditional, self-contained Fourth Doctor Adventure. Fever Island manages to mix a James Bond parody with a good old-fashioned Doctor Who “force from another dimension” plot to create an enjoyable hour. Let’s take a closer look…


Jason Vane is England’s suavest secret agent, and today he’s on his deadliest mission yet. Tracking down the evil Okulov… before he destroys the world.

The Doctor, Ann and K9 are, in contrast, finding their own mission a little hard to complete. A strange storm in the vortex has swept them back in time, back to Earth in 1978 and a strange place called ‘Fever Island’.

A place where their worst nightmares are about to come true…

*spoilers appear from here on out!*

Cast of Characters:

The Doctor (Tom Baker) – The Doctor and Ann are forced to land on a small island off the coast of Scotland known as Fever Island… a fitting name, as it turns out…

Ann Kelso (Jane Slavin) – Somewhere in the back of Ann’s mind, she really wants to continue her journey towards the rest of the members of the Syndicate, but when the TARDIS is forced to land, she jumps head first into danger…

K9 (John Leeson) – K9 is The Doctor’s helpful robot dog, though when faced with sentient fog, he may not be all that helpful…

Jason Vane (Gethin Anthony) – Vane works for her majesty’s secret service, and has been given the task to take down his old nemesis Okulov… Or was that something he read?

Dr. Caroline Pursglove (Bettrys Jones) – Pursglove is one of a pair of scientists working on Fever Island, testing out punching holes in the dimensional fabric… Sounds safe!

Dr. Leon Jessel (David Rintoul) – Dr. Jessel is the other scientist, though unlike Pursglove he thinks the dangers are worth it, and is willing to punch bigger and bigger holes… the idiot.

Plus more!

The Good:

DW Fever Island Cover

Effective use of black and white, gives it that old 40s horror movie vibe… which is odd given its mainly a parody of Bond…

In case you haven’t guessed it by now, Jason Vane and his story of fighting the evil Okulov is fiction, and straight up James Bond parody, but due to the fog unleashed on Fever Island, it turned real. A regular joe (whose name I’ve forgotten, something really plain like Greg or something…) ended up shipwrecked on Fever Island and when inhaling some other-dimensional fog unleashed by a pair of scientists, he made himself into his fantasy, so strong was this fantasy that it starts to spill over to other people in the fog, including a funny scene where The Doctor transforms into Okulov, giving Tom Baker a chance to play a cliché Blofeld rip-off! K9 is also effected, showing the power of the fog to even change artificial life…

Eventually The Doctor and Ann meet the two scientists involved, but before they can get a handle on things Mr. Vane, coming to his senses, says he arrived with a friend who is still out in the fog, and that his imagined Okulov having a son who was infected with a deadly disease because his father saw him as weak and of no use… and that’s what his friend has become. His friend approaches the scientists’ base, leading to lead scientist Leon to “atone for his sins” by stopping him, while his co-worker Dr. Pursglove helps The Doctor and co.

The Doctor soon realises there is no actual way to stop the fog and the tear in space, unless they use its own power against it. The regular man willingly inhales the fog and turns into Jason Vane again, and knowing what he must do, he rigs the site to blow and closes the rip for good, just because that was what Jason Vane would do, and so the fog “complied” almost. A fun idea, though his friend and Leon died in the process… Odd that nobody seemed that bothered…

Former-Vane and Dr. Pursglove (that’s her actual name, despite sounding like an intentional Bond girl…) settle down with each other as The Doctor and Ann escape. It was a fun short story, with a funny Bond parody and Tom Baker was having a ball. Too short to be of major significance, but entertaining for its duration.

The Bad:

Nothing really bad about it, though as I said its length means I never really felt that invested in it. Good to pass the time, certainly.

The Continuity:

Not really any continuity to speak of either! Though I do like the theory that the eerie fog from another dimension that was turning fiction into reality comes from the Land of Fiction, another dimension first seen in the Second Doctor TV story “The Mind Robber”. It would make sense, though nothing is confirmed one way or another.

Overall Thoughts:

Fever Island is a perfectly fun way to spend an hour, it has a funny tone and the characters, for how shallow they are, are fine. Recommended, but it won’t blow you away or anything…

4 Star Listen

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