Top 40 Scariest Doctor Who Monsters & Villains (30-21)
Guest contributor Tomas Edwards continues his countdown.
I remember Neil Gaiman talking about how he wanted to write a really scary episode, and he also said he thought that as far as scariness was concerned The Doctor’s Wife deserved only around a three out of ten. Now, I really don’t understand this, as I found House a terrifyingly vindictive entity, and the mind games he played on Amy were deeply disturbing. This villain is made all the more intimidating by Michael Sheen’s wonderful voice which greatly enhances the wonderful dialogue provided by Gaiman, making House come across as a downright nasty piece of work.
Scariest moment: “Why don’t I just kill you now?”
As many of you may know I have already written an article about these famous foes, and anyone who read that will know that while I find these monsters scary, in none of their episodes I have seen I have felt really horrified, unlike some. But, they do still have their moments, such as the chilling tunnel scene in The Age of Steel, and the central idea behind them is really chilling. The idea that humans would slowly lose their humanity too become monsters like them, who seek to make people like them, is quite horrific. This is made even more terrible by the scene at the end of The Age of Steel when a Cyberman screams at its own reflection. This moment provides us with an insight into the mind of someone who has gone through this process, and it really is quite disturbing. But still, they do seem to lose their way a lot, and have become too easy to defeat.
Scariest moment: “They’re waking up!”
28) The Crooked man
Now, can I just say, if this monster had indeed been a force for evil, and hadn’t had an unnecessary love story tacked on, it would be higher up this list. But ignoring that, let’s focus on why this monster is so scary. Well, firstly, the director of this episode creates a wonderful atmosphere, and I love the fleeting glimpses of the monster we see. The design is suitably horrific, but a part of me wishes it had stayed predominantly hidden, and as for the laugh, well, I can thank the Doctor Who production team for those lovely nightmares.
Scariest moment: The monster is behind the Doctor.
It’s strange that such a benevolent race should be considered more frightening than some of the most evil beings in the Whoniverse. But that is because when these aliens get red (or green)-eye, they become a walking nightmare. This isn’t helped by the fact they keep on appearing in dark, grimy corridors, under the influence of some callous and powerful alien force. Their method of killing is strangely ironic; the device which was implanted as part of the process which strips them of their freedom is the device they use to kill their “masters”.
Scariest moment: The ventilation shaft chase.
The Toclafane are an incredibly interesting and disturbing concept, because they are the future of the human race, driven insane by their imminent destruction and willingly helping the Master enslave their ancestors. The Toclafane are scary in many ways, the most obvious being their twisted, evil and sadistic nature. They also have very unnerving, childlike voices, which make their chilling dialogue all the more frightening, and who wasn’t at least a little scared by the scenes of the human race being massacred by their descendants.
Scariest moment: “Because it’s fun!”
25) The Gunslinger
This monster (if we can call it that) is fear-provoking on two levels. The first is its horrific appearance and powerful voice. The second, and far more disturbing one, is what was done to him. It is oddly reminiscent of the men who went off to the trenches in the First World War, both having volunteered themselves for something that was far worse than they had been told. This is so horrific that it drives the Doctor to almost commit murder, which he last did as a response to utterly callous genocide.
Scariest moment: “Face me!”
24) Professor Lazarus
If given the chance, would you take immortality? This is, I think, a very interesting question which when thoroughly explored, can lead to some very dark and disturbing concepts. One example of exploring these dark concepts is The Lazarus Experiment, in which we see a professor, driven mad by his need to survive, willingly murdering “unimportant” people in an attempt to keep himself alive. He is also scary on a much more tangible level, with a chilling performance from the excellent Mark Gatiss, and some chilling transformation scenes.
Scariest moment: Lazarus transforms for the first time.
23) Time Zombies
Whilst I may find the plot of Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS a little flimsy in places, I cannot deny that the concept behind the time zombies is a very scary one (even if it isn’t fully explained why they are attacking their former selves). The revelation that the Zombies are in fact the future versions of the Van Baalens, the Doctor and Clara is a brilliant one, and is aided by the zombies unsettling appearances.
Scariest moment: Bram is killed.
This monster, like a few others on this list, is one of the few which has managed to force the Doctor to utter perhaps the scariest words (or variation of those words) any fan can hear: “I’m scared”. After 900 years of space and time travel, and the greatest war in history, for something to really scare the Doctor it has to be pretty unpleasant. The Sun-possessed managed to take over the Doctor in a terrifying process which transformed his very biology so that he emitted enormous heat from his burning eyes. The other Sun-possessed are scary, but that single moment when the Doctor succumbs is truly terrifying.
Scariest moment: “Burn with me Martha.”
Well, these monsters were almost certainly going to end up on this list somewhere, although it might come as a surprise to some it is so far up the list (if you think this is a surprise then the most controversial is yet to come). So, why are they scary? Well, one reason is the fact that they are totally inhuman, both in appearance and in mentality. They cannot be reasoned with, and are totally possessed by a hatred of all things unlike them, which forms a very disturbing metaphor for the Nazis. They also, especially the RTD versions, have quite scary voices, which almost grate against the soul, and this chilling voice makes their at times deeply disturbing dialogue even more unsettling. They have many frightening scenes in which they cause death and destruction, at times on a massive scale, and this awesome power and lack of mercy has well earned them a place on this list, even if some design issues let them down.
Scariest moment: The Daleks invade the Game Station.
Come back tomorrow for part 3.