Book Review. Beast of Fang Rock by Andy Frankham-Allen.

The island had a reputation for being host to the most haunted lighthouse in the British isles, a reputation earned after the strange events that occurred at the turn of the century, in which three light keepers and several civilians, including a Lord and an MP, were found dead with little or no explanation. There were whispers of strange goings-on, of bright lights in the sky – even one mention of a shooting star.

This story is perfect if you love Doctor Who’s season 15 story The Horror of Fang Rock. It is one for the fans. The story is set in the late 60’s, after Lethbridge-Stewart meets the Doctor in the Yeti story The Web of Fear for the first time, and he is beginning to believe in the supernatural. It is strange how UNIT here is yet to exist and how adamant the Brig is about not believing in all that. When you consider how many aliens he met with the third Doctor, Jon Pertwee. That was odd. The Beast of Fang Rock is itself set in the early nineteenth century. Beast of Fang Rock jumps around into different points in time, back to the lighthouse that the Doctor and Leela met the Rutans and further back into the eighteenth century.

There was a time when the notion of past lives, let alone aliens, would have made Lethbridge-Stewart laugh dismissively. More mumbo-jumbo for the new age crazies. But much had changed since February.

Anne Travers is introduced in the Beast of Fang Rock. She was a character I loved in The Web of Fear, and it’s interesting. How the writer writes her as someone who knows what she is doing, takes charge and, of course, the Brig doesn’t like it when Anne nominates herself to travel back in time. When she visits the Lighthouse of The Horror of Fang Rock in the eighteenth century, I wasn’t expecting it, but the writer actually gives us a Anne is a woman from a man’s perspective, and in that century it was unusual to have a woman in a lighthouse, and the characters in this time period have to adjust to Anne being there. Was that needed? Was it a diversion from the story? Who cares. This was a well woven story, which taught us so much more about Anne, the Brigadier, what did happen after the Yeti invaded London, and the Rutans. Another enthralling story, and the best part? We even had a glimpse of that blue box.

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