The Indestructible Man (Doctor Who)

The Indestructible Man is a BBC Books original novel written by Simon Messingham and based on the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It features the Second Doctor, Jamie and Zoe.

The novel depicts a world modelled on television programmes created by Gerry Anderson, in particular Stingray, Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet (e.g. the indestructible man of the novel's title, the flying base of operations and the alien threat) and UFO (carried over to the cover in which Zoe's purple wig echoes that of the female Moonbase personnel in UFO). However, The Indestructible Man depicts a dystopian future in contrast to the more utopian style of Anderson's earlier work.


Years after The Indestructible Man defeated the alien Myloki, Earth has become a dystopian state. The Doctor is seemingly killed, Jamie is forced into the army, whilst Zoe becomes a corporate slave. Meanwhile, the Myloki show signs of returning to start and finish the war once and for all...

Specific References in the Novel


  • Submarine Manta - Submarine Stingray
  • Captain Hector - Troy Tempest
  • Lieutenant Falukner - Lieutenant George "Phones" Sheridan


  • Global Response - International Rescue
  • Lightening Five - Thunderbird Five
  • Sharon Island - Tracy Island
  • Sharon Consortium - Tracy Corporation (mentioned in spin-off media)
  • Abercrombie - Parker {John Sharon mentions he named the tribesman after a "butler"}
  • Alton Sharon - John Tracy
  • Buck Sharon - Jeff Tracy
  • Professor Dwight "Boffin" Graham - Professor "Brains" 'Hackenbacker'. (The surname 'Hackenbacker' was never officially confirmed to be Brain's last name. See: "Alias Mister Hackenbacker").
  • Graham - Gordon Tracy
  • Homer Sharon - Virgil Tracy
  • John Sharon - Alan Tracy
  • Skip Sharon - Scott Tracy

Captain Scarlet


  • BFTV Studio - Harlington-Straker Film Studio
  • BLOCKER - Interceptor
  • KINGFISHER - Skydiver (King/Sky One, Fisher/Diver)
  • Lunar Base - Moonbase
  • MOVER - Mobiles
  • S.E.W.A.R.D. - S.I.D.
  • S.I.L.O.E.T. - S.H.A.D.O.
  • Alex Storm - Alec Freeman {Name is typical of early Anderson era - "Mike Mercury", "Captain Venus", etc}
  • Lieutenant Anouska - Lieutenant Ayesha Johnson
  • Captain Drake - Captain Peter Carlin or Captain Lew Waterman {both UFO; Carlin was mysteriously replaced with Waterman about a quarter of the way through the season}
  • Lieutenant Gabrielle - Lieutenant Ellis {Named after actress Gabrielle Drake}
  • Commander Hal Bishop - Commander Ed Straker {Named after actor Ed Bishop}
  • Helen Bishop - Mary Straker {Although she didn't die, her and Ed's son John Rutland (named after his new father) died after Straker failed to deliver the drugs that would have saved his life}
  • Doctor Koslovski - Doctor Jackson {It was never determined as to whether Jackson was German or Russian}
  • The Myloki - methods from The Mysterons {Captain Scarlet}; ideology from the unnamed aliens that attacked Earth in the 1980's
  • Doctor Ventham - Colonel Lake {UFO; named after actress Wanda Ventham}

NB: The Myloki are described as never having a physical form. This is the same in UFO, where the unnamed aliens are only ever seen physically when possessing the body of a human. The Mysterions, which were seen on-screen as a series of flashing lights, were also capable of taking over bodies as well as producing replicas (Captain Scarlet; Captain Black). They would usually announce their intentions to SPECTRUM in the same creepy voices that Neville describes early on in his book at the start of every episode.

Other Notes/References

  • Major Maxwell was possibly named after either actress Lois Maxwell who played Straker's secretary Miss Ealand, Maxwell Shore who played SHADO medic Doctor Schroeder, or Skydiver's Lieutenant Gordon Maxwell.
  • Several quotes are taken from Captain Scarlet, namely "But first they must destroy." (Bishop) and "One man fate has made indestructible." (Neville & various). Both of these are taken from the title sequence of Captain Scarlet, which was read by Ed Bishop, who played both Captain Blue on Captain Scarlet and Ed Straker on UFO.
  • There are startling contrasts between Messingham's universe and Anderson's. For example, whilst Alec Freeman often acted as a "strongman" to help with Straker's intentions, he was never physically violent to anyone unless attacked first. (See: Court Martial). Alex Storm, on the other hand, is portrayed as having a violent temper. Also, Lieutenant Gabrielle is written as spiteful and vain, whereas Lieutenant Ellis was cold and efficient, but not deliberately cruel. Bishop drinks alcohol - whiskey, a drink Straker is always fixing for Alec Freeman - whereas Straker is a teetotal.
  • Zoe is referenced as to wearing the SKYHOME uniform, which is a short silver skirt, lycra top and purple wig. This is the uniform of the Moonbase personnel in UFO. Similarly, much of SKYHOME's architecture is written as identical to a crossover of Moonbase and Cloudbase. Also, the hats the natives wear in chapter XXI are modeled after Thunderbird Two, and the crashed craft the Doctor and Storm find is Lightening Two, Thunderbird Two's counterpart. John Sharon's brothers are described in their portriats as wearing "a purple uniform with a diagonal blue sash".
  • Hal Bishop's car is identical in descriptions to Ed Straker's car. Colonel Paul Foster also drove a car of the same model, although his was in lilac.
  • The events of Captain Taylor being captured/duplicated by the Myloki and the circumstances leading to PRISM discovering that Captain Grant Matthews was a clone are directly taken from the first episode of Captain Scarlet. Also, Koslovski claims that the first encounter with Captain Taylor was in a French graveyard - at the beginning of every Captain Scarlet episode Captain Black was introduced standing in said graveyard.
  • "Spoken like a true television detective." Remarks the Doctor to Alex Storm. George Sewell, the actor who played Alec Freeman, left UFO to become a cynical television detective.
  • The phrase "MIC" - Message is Clear, also the title of Neville's book - is a play-off of the multiple phrases coined by various Gerry Anderson productions. Stingray had "PWOR" (Proceeding With Orders Received), Thunderbirds had the infamous "FAB" (no actual definition of this has been given, although some spin-off media have settled on "For All Brothers", considering that the main operatives of International Rescue were siblings), and Captain Scarlet "SIG" (Spectrum Is Green). These signature phrases died off with the subsequent live-action shows of UFO and Space: 1999.
  • Whilst the date is correct for Captain Scarlet - the book placing the "war" between the Mysterions and humans in 2068 - it is incorrect for UFO, which took place in the 1980s.
  • Captain Grant Matthews - (Captain Scarlet (Paul Metcalfe))- is a reference to voice artists Frances Matthews, who was Scarlet, and Cy Grant, who was Lt. Green.
  • During the Myloki attack, it is stated that Lunar Base has been replaced by a crater, "as if that part of the moon has drifted off into space" -- presumably a reference to Space: 1999.

External links


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