TORCHWOOD: SOMETHING IN THE WATER is a novel by Trevor Baxendale based upon the BBC series TORCHWOOD and published in 2008. 

TORCHWOOD was a DOCTOR WHO spin-off series centering on the adventures of Captain Jack Harkness – one-time companion to The Doctor – and the Torchwood Institute. Founded in 1879 by Queen Victoria as a secret organization whose mandate is to protect the United Kingdom from extraterrestrial threats. 



Captain Jack Harkness

Gwen Cooper

Doctor Owen Harper

Toshiko Sato

Ianto Jones

Doctor Bob Strong

Saskia Harden


Saskia Harden is a chronic suicider – which seems like a contradiction in terms. She has been found by the police on many occasions submerged in ponds, lakes, canals, apparently having tried to commit suicide but still alive and kicking. Saskia does not appear on any official files and there is no record of her anywhere – except for her medical records at Doctor Bob Strong’s GP practice. 

Doctor Strong’s surgery has recently been besieged by coughs and colds way beyond the norm for that time of year. He thinks there is something strange going on but can’t figure it out and to make matters worse he seems to have caught it – whatever it is. He is coughing badly and there are flecks of blood in his handkerchief.

As the medical specialist for Torchwood, Doctor Owen Harper has seen many strange things – including this cold virus or whatever it is going around. But Torchwood has more pressing priorities to investigate – like ghostly apparitions in the marshes of South Wales. They have found a dead body. It is old and in an advanced state of decay but it is still alive and talking – and what it is saying over and over is, “water hag!” 


  • The story provides a Doctor Who universe explanation for the British folklore legend known as Sally Greenteeth. 


  • The Rift mentioned in the story is a split in space/time situated in Cardiff, Wales. It is why Torchwood is located in Cardiff. 
  • In the TORCHWOOD novels series, SOMETHING IN THE WATER is number four. 



  • It always amazes me how in stories like these the heroes never seem to have any backup. The antagonists will have a virtual army but the protagonists – who are a government agency – have no one but themselves to count on.   


  • Having almost drowned at one time I have a special fear of bodies of water and drowning. Stories like these really creep me out. But that is what it was supposed to do so it did its job. 
  • The author Trevor Baxendale has a talent for creating supporting characters and making you care about them. It’s easy to make you care about the leads in the story. But to make you care for one-shot supporting characters is a rare gift. 
  • I learned something new in reading this story. Usually in tie-in novels like this there are no revelations concerning the main characters. The writer doesn’t want to say something that is contradicted later on the show. But I did learn something I didn’t know before. I’m not going to say what it is because I want you to read the book. Since this is an official tie-in to the series what I learned is canon and I’m thrilled. 

I am a big fan of the TORCHWOOD series and was delighted to discover this book. Actually, I had nothing to do with it. My fiancée lives in the United Kingdom, and she sent me the book. I’m really going to have to marry that woman. 

The novel is well-written, it is suspenseful, it has just the right amount of humor, and it will creep you out. It has the same tone as the TV series, which it is supposed to have but a lot of books based on TV shows fail to capture the flavor of the show. That is not true here.  

If you can get your hands on a copy of this book do so. And then once you have purchased it read it. If you like the show TORCHWOOD you won’t be disappointed. If you like science fiction in general, you won’t be disappointed either. Now comes the good part. If you like horror, then this is the story for you. There is no losing here. 


I am happy to say that I enthusiastically give TORCHWOOD: SOMETHING IN THE WATER four and a half gray geeks. 

I’m afraid that is all the time we have today. I’m sorry to have to say farewell but I’m already looking forward to our next get together. Thank you for letting me visit. Until next time, keep on dancing even if you’re the only one who can hear the music. 

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