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5 Underrated Doctor Who Monsters and Villains

Guest contributor Ari Schneider-Gans lists the ones that don’t get their dues.

When fans think of Doctor Who monsters and villains, most think of the Daleks, the Cybermen and the Master. However, there have been many throughout the course of the series that people overlook; the really scary or cleverly designed enemies that are overshadowed by the more popular monsters. I have come up with five that I thought were either very creepy or were conceptualized well. These brutes I felt were good monsters or villains that were overshadowed by more popular monsters.

THE DRASHIGS

doctor-who-DrashigsThe Drashigs appeared in the story “Carnival of Monsters.” 
They were sea serpent-like creatures who lived in the marshes 
within Vorg’s Miniscope. They were blind so they had to rely
 on scent to find the Doctor and Jo, and since they left the
 Miniscope, the Drashigs soon followed and caused chaos on 
Inter Minor that was eventually contained by Vorg. These
 monsters look and sound really scary and I believe they are very much underrated. When the first Drashig came out from deep within the marsh, I was genuinely surprised, but I think the thing that scares me the most about them are their teeth. They are so realistic; after all, The Drashigs were created using dog skulls. Their cry was also very scary, especially in the fact that you heard it throughout many of the scenes after the Doctor and Jo ran into them even though they weren’t on screen. A great monster that was forgotten as the years passed.

STYGGRON

Styggron-android-invasionStyggron was the primary villain in “The Android Invasion.”
Now, I believe that Styggron wasn’t exactly scary in 
appearance, but he was conceptualized well. Making Androids 
to take over Earth in a slow, unnoticeable way is a devious
 plot, and Styggron also wiped the memory of Guy Crayford, an
 astronaut who thought that Styggron and his race were saving
 him. He also was going to unleash a virus upon Earth, but was 
instead destroyed by said virus. He may not be the scariest monster, but he definitely had a frightening plan up his sleeve.

HINDLE AND SANDERS

Hindle-kindaI have a feeling I am alone in this opinion, but Hindle and 
Sanders in “Kinda” really creeped me out. To start, they 
aren’t technically monsters or villains, and yet they could
 be perceived as such. When Hindle and Sanders started
 acting like little kids, it also really unnerved me. But when
 Hindle puts the self-destruct button into play, and states
 that if no one plays with him and follows his directions he will blow the place up, I find that quite chilling. It reminds me of the Twilight Zone episode where there’s a boy whom, if you don’t do what he likes, he’ll turn you into something bad. Also, the way Sanders acts is very strange, changing from a real tough guy into an absent-minded child. I would be scared out of my mind if I was in this situation.

THE WIRE

idiots-lantern-wireMost fans consider The Wire from “The Idiot’s Lantern”
to be a corny monster. Well, I implore you to think again. 
Like many other monsters in Doctor Who, The Wire was 
designed to be an item we use every day, but there was just
 something about it. I personally think that casting the Wire
 as a woman was an excellent job, as well as Maureen Lipman’s delivery of 
the lines. The idea of someone talking to you
 through the TV set has bothered me ever since I was a kid. However, it’s not just the Wire herself that was scary; it was the things she did to people. She removed all the electrical activity in the brain, causing her victims to have absolutely no face. She may not be the best monster in Doctor Who, but she sure scares the willies out of me.

THE TORAJII SUN MONSTER

42The final monster on my list is from the episode “42.”
 The reason this monster works so well is because there 
really isn’t any physical transformation, the burning just
 happens. Having the sun feeding into your brain and
 killing everyone on board is wonderful concept. But the
 main reason I have this over many other similar 
monsters is that it makes the Doctor SCARED. The Sun
 Monster takes control of him and prompts him to begin saying “Burn with me, Martha.” As a viewer I was scared because threatening a companion like that was so weird, but also the Doctor himself was frightened, a rare sight. I also like monsters that you can’t actually see; you can only hear or feel them. This is a great example of an invisible monster, but it’s overshadowed by the likes of the Vashta Nerada and the Midnight Entity.

Conclusion

These five monsters are just a handful of the many overlooked and underrated monsters in Doctor Who’s 50-Year history. This list is of the five I thought stood out the most. Let me know what you guys think in the comments box, and feel free to make your own lists with ones you’d like to see, as I would love to hear all your opinions.

Thanks for reading!

Step back in time...

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81 comments
Xenon Unicorn
Xenon Unicorn

The Movellans. Creatures that look like humans and seemingly act like them, yet are actually cold emotionless cyborgs that would kill you without a second thought if they thought it was the "logical" thing to do. Also, the Androgums. Shockeye always gave me the creeps.



Diana van der Pluijm
Diana van der Pluijm

Absolutely agree with you on the Toraji Sun monster. It can take over the Doctor, it has the Doctor scared, damn, that must be some scary creature! Even though you end up sympathizing with it a bit, since it didn't ask to be taken from its home. Still, the way it went about expressing this anger, well, that was scary stuff indeed.

Agonslayer
Agonslayer

My son has the Drashig hand puppet from the "Enemies of the Third Doctor" action figure set. WE often talk about how it may not be perfect but it's still pretty cool for something done 40 years ago. 

ChristineGrit
ChristineGrit

What about the really scary Anti-Matter monster from Planet of Evil?

Polyphase
Polyphase

Hindle and Sanders were pretty creepy but when I think of scary humanoids I can't go past Rago & Toba from the Dominators. These guys are enough to give anyone nightmares :)

I agree that some of the one off villains/monsters are as good as any of the regulars

The MasterDoctor
The MasterDoctor

Those Drashigs were an amazingly good effect for 1973.  Very frightening. Just imagine what the modern effects department could do with the Drashigs if they were to return!  Oh, and they could be the pets of the Ogrons.  Actually...  now that I think of it, the Ogrons could be the pets of the Drashigs!

pinkjaguar12
pinkjaguar12

The Sun Monster was always so frightening to me, because of the reasons you said.  I remember watching that episode the first time and being absolutely terrified when the Doctor opened his eyes and whispered "Burn with me."  it was creepy as hell, and amazingly scary and well-done.

hankim912
hankim912

The Torajii sun episode was quite interesting for me though.


WhoFanNo565
WhoFanNo565

Great article!  I think The Kandyman is quite good.............. *runs away before people start throwing things*

MrThorfan64
MrThorfan64

What about the Wirrn and Krynoid? Doctor Who got there before alien.

FR3
FR3

Three words: The Meddling Monk.

SouffleBoy
SouffleBoy

I was around 12 years old when I watched 42, and it scared me more than any episode I had seen up to that point. Even when the show got scary or on an impossible cliffhanger, I always knew the Doctor would get out of it, well because he is the Doctor! But to have him screaming, red firey eyes, and threatening Martha and top of that, that scene where he is being cooled down and almost frozen by that machine... well, it was probably the first time the show really took me out of my comfort zone.


KingoftheOod4450
KingoftheOod4450

The Android Invasion however did have a fundamental flaw - had Crayford really not taken off his eyepatch all the time that he was working for Styggron to set up the invasion? If he had have, even for a second, he would have realised he'd been set up and Styggron's wonderful plan would have looked incredibly silly. I think that would have fitted nicely into the plot-hole post yesterday somewhere.

Sir James Bond
Sir James Bond

Terrifying monsters eh.....? Remember those two really fearsome creatures? Oh you know, the sly ugly ones. A bit duplicitous. They were all sweetness and light to begin with, but then they soon transformed, became all twisted, angry and uncompromising. Started shouting and threatening to kill just so they could get their way. They really had the Doctor pinned down, and no matter how much he pleaded, he just couldn't get through to them. For once, all his guile and intelligence worked against him, and you actually thought 'Blimey they're going to kill him. He's done for now.' 

Oh what were they called.....? Got it.....its 'Val' and 'Biff'. That's it. Val and Biff Cane. Y'know, the couple from 'Midnight'. Terrifying monsters the pair of them. I never want them to return. 

DrWhoGoesThere
DrWhoGoesThere

I haven't forgotten the Drashigs!

Also, I agree with you about the creatures from 42.  A very effective and menacing threat.

Mad-Mad With A Box Productions
Mad-Mad With A Box Productions

Also, just something I'd like to add to this list: The Beast. One of the most unnerving and frightening monsters in Doctor Who's history, played brilliantly by Gabriel Woolf.

Mad-Mad With A Box Productions
Mad-Mad With A Box Productions

My friend, you are by no means alone in your opinion of Hidle and Sanders. They are amazing and are one of the best parts of the amazing story that is Kinda!

gypsyking007
gypsyking007

Where are the Monoids? Capaldi deserves a meeting with the one eyed, Beatles wig wearing monsters! Let's make it happen Moff!!

Meh Meh Meh Meh Meh
Meh Meh Meh Meh Meh

I think the Peg Dolls are kind of underrated. Yes, they didn't have much purpose or development, but they sure as heck are terrifying.

Sharaz_Jek
Sharaz_Jek

I full-heartingly agree with Hindle and Sanders in Kinda - those two turning psychotic creeped me out as hell. All the others are good picks as well



Temporal Tomato
Temporal Tomato

The great thing about Big Finish is that most of the so called "underrated monsters" of the Classic Series get another moment to shine. (on this list, too, except for Hindle...)

WaltMaueroeder
WaltMaueroeder

What about Kroll?

Seriously though, I though that the Rutans deserved better than the one off appearance in Horror of Fang Rock.

ClosedDoorsUK
ClosedDoorsUK

I liked Eldrad from Hand Of Fear and I thought the Krotons were cool

Young No More
Young No More

@Sir James Bond  More so than the Midnight entity. Stupid people who only wanted to see the distorted reality their little yet malicious mind could support. Yet so infectious that others around them could be sucked in easily. Worst of all, such people are everywhere. 

TheDreamer
TheDreamer

@Sir James Bond  Midnight is the only episode I cannot watch again. I loved the episode... it kept me on the edge, it was tense, frightening and everything... and that's why every time I go down the list of episodes to watch, I always skip it. I just can't click, no matter how much I liked it, lol. It's a chilling one. I watched it twice and both times I ended up completely drained by the time it was over. And not just because of the invisible alien, though Sky really creeped me out too when she was possessed (or whatever you call what the alien did to her) ... but yeah, the humans too! And especially those 2. Brrrrrr... You can also do a lot of scary stuff with human nature, if you do it right.

Maryanne123
Maryanne123

I love the drashigs and Carnival of Monsters. 3 and Jo rock!

 Notsosmartguy
Notsosmartguy

I'll give you that. Maybe if they were in a better episode.

Meh Meh Meh Meh Meh
Meh Meh Meh Meh Meh

I was just thinking that. There should be more nice alien races. Not just individuals like Strax, but an entire non-humanoid race that's generally very friendly.