Tuesday, 20 June 2017

The Shining Man.

The third of the most recent Doctor Who books published by BBC books, well, the third as I have been reading them. This story is a present day adventure which explores the power of Urban Legends mostly generated by online media, and what happens when they share roots with much older myths and legends. In this case it is the relatively new idea of The Shining Men, creatures glimpsed at the corners of ones eye, supernaturally tall with blank faces and eyes which emit blazing lights. The Shining Men appear on the corner of your street, the bottom of your garden, the foot of your stairs, waiting and watching, getting ready for the moment they drag you down to unseen realms. The Shining Men were a Halloween tale which grew in the telling, an invention which became real by dent of repetition. Home made bogey men who were not real until they simply were.
               The story, as far as The Doctor and Bill are concerned begins in a forest, a spooky forest at night. We are talking the full Fetch Priory woods here, a classic Tardis location. The Tardis team find themselves pitched against the  ancient form of magical science which lies at the heart of most folk tales. The Shining Men reflects a new suspicion among  modern Fortean investigators that phenomenon such as demonology , UFO sightings, even Slender Man stories are in fact old enemies of mankind hiding behind new hideous faces. The suspicion that there is in fact nothing new under the sun and that these are old foes allowing themselves to be seen in a modern context. That malicious demons are playing a sly game of "you only thought you knew us."Cavan Scott does a great job as the regular scribe on The Ninth Doctor title published by Titan Books and his book makes a worthy addition to this trilogy of new books which will probably be the last Doctor Who books to be published while Peter Capaldi occupies the Tardis bearing his face.
              Hard to believe that era is drawing to a close.
              And how appropriate is the title of this book.
              It could well refer to Peter Capaldi himself who shines in the role he has waited so many years to perform.