Doctor Who is a long running British science-fiction series. In fact, it’s been nearly ongoing since 1963. The show follows the adventures of an alien from the planet Gallifrey known as The Doctor, who explores the universe in a time-travelling spaceship called a TARDIS. Now, that’s as far as we’ll go with the show’s bio. If you’re a fan of the show then you already know this and if you’re not, well, it just gets stranger (and more fun!) from there.
There have been 851 episodes to date, but we’re limiting our list to the new Doctor Who run (I suppose you could call it a regeneration) which began in 2005 and is affectionately known as ‘New Who’.
The show just finished it’s eleventh season, with Jodie Whittaker taking over as The Doctor (Thirteen), and Chris Chibnall now showrunner.
Change feels good.
Honestly, I haven’t been this excited about Doctor Who since David Tennant (Ten) left, but I do think some of the villains fell a little short of what we’re used to. In fact, most villains this season seemed to be, well, human. I’m all for social commentary, but sometimes you just want a good ol’ monster!
So, let’s countdown the top 5 New Who monsters and villains that I wish Thirteen could face off against as her previous selves once did.
Number #5: The Unknown Entity (Series 4)
When the Doctor visits the resort planet ‘Midnight’, a shuttle trip is scuppered by a break down and the emergence of a bodiless entity which repeats everything anyone says.
What sounds like an annoying playground game becomes very frightening very quickly, and hysteria descends on the Doctor’s travelling group. With Leslie Sharp playing a perfectly possessed passenger, things get really weird when the entity begins predicting what the Doctor says next.
Soon, the entity switches tactic, possessing the Doctor and forcing him to order his own execution. Terrifying for both Ten and Whovians alike!
Luckily, Ten escapes unscathed but is definitely traumatised. Can’t say I blame him. We never do find out what the entity really was, or how many of them are out there…
Number #4: The Boneless (Series 8)
Two-dimensional beings invading our 3D world and disrupting the laws of size and scale to do it, the Boneless manifest their reality-warping powers in many unsettling forms – from turning one victim’s innards into an abstract mural in one persons’ room, to flattening many others in the walls and tunnels of London.
Their final form is the creepiest, a shambling mass of crawling, barely-there zombies who can only be defeated by the wave of the Doctor’s sonic screwdriver and a heroic speech.
Number #3: Vashta Nerada (Series 4)
Say what you will about Steven Moffat’s time running Doctor Who, he knows how to craft fantastic monsters by amplifying everyday fears into terrifying creatures. Take, for instance, the Vashta Nerada, the invisible creatures that live in the shadows and just wait for you to step out of the light to devour you whole. They’re an inventive creature even when they’re not animating skeletons in spacesuits to chase you down, gobbling up flesh as fast as they do a chicken wing.
Let’s just thank our lucky stars that, unlike the Weeping Angels, Moffat didn’t run the Vashta Nerada into the ground.
Number #2: The Family of Blood (Series 3)
You don’t need creepy creature effects to make a good monster, and in fact Who often couldn’t afford them.
In season 3’s best two-parter, The Doctor uses a Chameleon Arch to turn human in order to escape the relentless Family of Blood – a group of aliens who seek the regenerative powers of Time Lords.
The way the Family turned innocent people in WWI-era Britain – including a little girl carrying a balloon à la Pennywise from IT – into shrieking villains, made them so intimidating. Perhaps the creepiest thing about them isn’t anything they did, but the fearful rage they brought out in the Doctor himself, as the defeated Family are each subjected to a fairy-tale punishment you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy.
Number #1: Silence (Series 6)
You might think that a face like this is difficult to forget, but that’s exactly the power that the Silence possesses.
With a look inspired by Edvard Munch’s “The Scream”, the Silence is a religious order which has plagued humanity for centuries, but everyone’s oblivious because it’s impossible to remember them. With electrokinetic powers and the ability to reduce anyone to ash at a moment’s notice, the Silence have supposedly engineered all of human history without us realising.
Which means you might’ve already seen them today. Maybe they’re right behind you, right now.
As a rule, anything which worries the Doctor is something worth worrying about.