Doctor Who: The Shining Man Hardcover – 20 Apr 2017
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About the Author
Number One Bestseller Cavan Scott has written for such popular series as Star Wars, Star Trek, Vikings, Warhammer 40,000 and, of course, Doctor Who. He’s the writer of Titan Comic’s ongoing adventures of the Ninth Doctor and was one of the 2016 World Book Day authors.
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The traditional pattern of publishing Doctor Who books linked to the current series has been to have a set of three containing each of a modern, futuristic and historical setting. ‘The Shining Man’ is this batch’s ‘present day’ novel. As such it taps into elements of modern culture such as ‘hashtags’ and vlogging. Primarily though it takes as its basis the ‘scary clown’ craze of 2016’s Halloween. Set a year later in this year’s Halloween (so slightly in the future for Bill) people are now being terrorized by dark figures with brightly glowing eyes, the Shining Men. Of course, there is much more to the Shining Men than just people trying to scare others and soon the Doctor and Bill are caught in the strange events that surround them.
Surprisingly, considering that this would be written before any of Bill’s episodes aired, her characterisation is quite good. The author also has a good grasp of the Doctor. There is a considerable amount of the somewhat bad tempered element that is often used to portray the Twelfth Doctor but his playful and caring sides are also well utilised.
The novel is carried by a small cast of characters, most of which are quite well realised. Charlotte makes for an interesting dynamic as she likes to think of herself as a monster hunter whereas the Doctor almost looks down on the vlogger and finds her quite irritating. Schofield is a particularly strong character. She starts off almost as unlikeable but as the stakes raise she comes into her own, developing into quite a figure of empathy. Her mini-adventure with the Doctor is a highlight of the novel.
There are significant ties with a particular episode of Torchwood and it’s interesting to see an element of the spinoff forming the basis for a Doctor Who story. The novel uses it well and the conclusion is in keeping with that seen in Torchwood.
This is a great, well-paced tale, with a good mix of technology, magic, and cultural references. And tea. LOTS of tea.
It also features a subtle Third Doctor reference, but you'll probably need to be of a certain age to catch that one.
I really enjoyed this. So much, in fact, that I read it in one day, which is very unusual.