Photo courtesy of BBC
I simply couldn’t do a Doctor Who blog without dedicating a post to this monster. The Vashta Nerada appeared in a two part story starring the tenth Doctor, David Tennant and it was also the first ever episode in which my favourite lady River Song appeared, and died. Hence why I have an extra level of hatred for this monster.
The Vashta Nerada are a microscopic creature that live in swarms, in shadows. They are carnivorous and their name actually means ‘the shadows that melt the flesh’ they normally live in forests but when Felman Lux created a Library the size of a planet in the 50th century he felled the trees that they lived in and therefore these microscopic creatures found themselves in books, in the biggest library in the universe with thousands of people to feed on.
I love the idea of this monster, who isn’t a little afraid in the dark? The Doctor says in this episode that it is these creatures that have instilled the fear of the dark into every species, that they are on every planet. On Earth they are the dust motes you see in the air, but because they are few they are not a threat. I definitely think that it is the monsters that you can relate to the most that are the most terrifying, and shadows and darkness instil fear in most of us at some stage. In this story to find out if the shadow in front of him is simply a shadow or a swarm of Vashta Nerada, The Doctor would throw a chicken leg into the shadow, if it was down to the bone in a second flat you can be pretty sure that the Vashta Nerada are hiding. It did creep me out a bit for a while and not much really does that, but I found myself leaving the light on at the bottom of the stairs and on the landing, I came close to carrying chicken legs in my pocket. Of course put the Vashta Nerada together with The Silence, the monster you forget as soon as you stop looking at it and you would no doubt never move from the spot you were sitting in ever again.