Book Review. The Crawling Terror by Mike Tucker.

‘That’s a good thing, though. Right?’ Clara was getting worried now. ‘I mean it’s got to be better for a giant spider to be here rather than in the middle of some heaving city centre, hasn’t it?’ ‘That rather depends on what we’re going to be able to find here to help us sort it,’ said the Doctor ruefully. ‘I can’t exactly see the village store being equipped to handle a giant spider invasion, can you?’


The Crawling Terror is a domestic Doctor Who story, very reminiscent of the early 70’s stories with the third Doctor, Liz and UNIT. We are introduced to residents of Ringstone, a peaceful countryside village in Wiltshire: a mother, a young lad … and a man who sees something so terrifying that his heart gives out. Yes, this is the very calm of a storm before an infestation. That includes mosquitoes as big as your hand, daddy longlegs 40 centimetres from wing tip to wing tip, monstrous spiders and huge beetles. The Crawling Terror is not the story for those with entomophobia. The newly regenerated Doctor and Clara have arrived at this village, faffing about with energy readings and ley-lines. The army are also called to the scene. Which is something the Doctor does not care for. Residents are told to stay indoors, as Ringstone quickly becomes populated with large insects. What follows are zombies, a church that does not transpire to be a place of safety, body swap horror and a return to the 1940’s, with a face from the present. I wasn’t sure about the zombies. I did like the reason for the insects wasn’t a typical chemical spill or experiments gone wrong. The story moved into unexpected territory. One that I appreciated more on re-reading. I liked all the characters. The Crawling Terror was also one of the first books that I read with this Doctor, and before I had watched an episode too (I think?) He is a gruff character, but it isn’t over the top. Nails down a chalkboard rude. 

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