Doctor Who in Lewis Chessmen Story in New BBC Book

23 January 2012

Doctor Who in Lewis Chessmen Story in New BBC Book

Doctor Who in Lewis Chessmen Story in New BBC Book


Matt Smith's Doctor Who encounters Vikings and a princess in the new story.

The historic Lewis Chessmen feature in a new Doctor Who story written by Ayrshire-born novelist, Jenny Colgan.

The new BBC book, Dark Horizons, tells of Matt Smith's Doctor arriving on the Western Isles to play on the chess set.

He finds the islands under attack by a mysterious fire and also encounters Vikings and a kidnapped princess.

The Lewis Chessmen are thought to date from the 12th Century. More than 90 pieces were found buried in a sand dune on Lewis in 1831.

Last year, six Lewis Chessmen made a rare appearance at a museum close to where they were uncovered.

A knight, pawn, warder, king, queen and bishop went on public display at Uig Museum for four-and-a-half hours on 13th September.

Most of the pieces are kept at the British Museum in London.

Eleven of the chessmen are held by the National Museum of Scotland.

The Lewis chessmen are thought to date from the 12th Century.

In 2009, research cast doubt on traditional theories about the historic chessmen.

It suggested they may have been used in both chess and Hnefatafl - a similar game that was popular in medieval Scandinavia.

The research also questioned a theory that the ivory pieces were lost or buried by a merchant.

Dr David Caldwell of the National Museum of Scotland, who led the study, believed the chessmen were more likely to have belonged to a high-ranking person who lived on Lewis.

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