5 New Who Monsters in Need of a Return
Guest contributor Tomas Edwards picks out five who deserve another shot.
Cast your mind over the last nine years of Doctor Who. Specifically, cast your mind over the monsters and villains in that time. You will notice that there have been many instances of Classic monsters returning, especially the Daleks and Cybermen. Now, this is far from a bad thing, but recently I’ve come across a lot of people saying the series should be creating its own classics, its own monsters to really challenge the Doctor, and show their worth.
I’d say that we do need New Who to create more major monsters of its own, but the thing is: it already has. It’s just that the writers always fail to bring them back. Very few monsters made by New Who have returned. Fewer still have returned enough to become truly memorable: the Ood, the Weeping Angels and the Silence being all that stick in my mind. The Silence are bound to an arc that is now over, so their return could be tricky (although not impossible), and I personally am not a fan of the Weeping Angels (let’s not get into that debate), although I don’t doubt they’ll continue to be chucked at our screens for many years to come. But there are many more monsters who deserve to have another story, or in fact stories, to prove their worth.
The last seven series have produced some true greats, and here I am going to list the five who I feel would be the most worthy of gracing our screens again. Before I start, I should note that these are not necessarily my favourite monsters that have come from the new series, but those which could benefit the most from a return to our screens. The Flood and the Midnight entity are both monsters I adore as much, if not more, than most on this list, but I feel they worked best as one-off, mysterious monsters.
5. The Judoon
Judoon platoon upon the moon. My question is: why haven’t we seen a platoon marching anywhere else? OK, fair enough, they did have a Sarah Jane Adventures episode and small parts in four Doctor Who episodes after their debut, but really I believe they are worthy of so much more. As the intergalactic police, they have a lot of potential in any episode set in the future or on an alien world, shown fighting alien criminals of various kinds, perhaps even those mildly controversial Raxacoricofallapatorians which I’ll admit to having a soft spot for. They could potentially work with the Doctor, as opposed to against him, which could create some interesting dynamics (for a good example of this I suggest the NSA (New Series Adventure – novel) Judgement of the Judoon).
4. The Sycorax
Very rarely before have we been presented with such a rich and intriguing alien culture as that of the Sycorax. We don’t learn much about them, but what we do know leaves them very open for future returns, and further exploration of their culture. I’m especially intrigued by how their armada (which was referenced by the leader in The Christmas Invasion) functions, and whether there are multiple different armies, like tribes. They’re also interesting because of their use of slave labour, which could play a part in a future episode, as well as their generally ruthless nature. I imagine them as the Vikings of the universe, destroying and stealing wherever they go, a primitive but destructive force, and one which could give the Doctor a very hard battle.
3. The Krillitanes
Creatures with control over their own evolution. If I was a publisher or something like that and someone pitched me that idea I’d explode with the brilliance of it. But the concept wasn’t focussed on much in School Reunion (which given the other elements in the episode is fair enough), and the Krillitanes haven’t returned to our screens since? Why? They have almost infinite potential, and can be used in all sorts of fascinating situations. Again, I find myself suggesting a brilliant NSA, this time The Krillitane Storm. But, as much as I love that book, I’d much rather see the Krillitanes on the show itself again, as we see them at various stages throughout their evolution as they slaughter more and more races, and as there is a deeper exploration of their culture. Some ideas around the Krillitane hierarchy and ideology explored in The Krillitane Storm are truly fascinating, especially the role of the “esteemed father”, and the rift between differently evolved Krillitanes.
2. The Vashta Nerada
Shadows that melt the flesh? Does Moffat want us to never have a good night’s sleep again? Well yes, we all know he’s opposed to the idea of not being terrified of everything (pantophobia… “not the fear of pants”). The Vashta Nerada are, in my humble view, much better monsters than their much celebrated Moffat-made fellows the Weeping Angels and the Silence, partially because they have, as yet, not been misused, and also because they make use of our most primal and basic fear: the dark. In fact, this phobia is a fear of the unknown, something also used to make the Beast, the Midnight Entity and the Flood terrifying, but I’m going off track. The Vashta Nerada also work so well because there is no way to fight them, you can’t defeat them, the Doctor never destroys them, he simply threatens them, and they shy away. But we don’t know if what the Doctor said was an empty threat, or if he actually had a plan to defeat them. I doubt he did. They are a truly formidable and powerful foe, and are very deserving of another chance to fight the Time Lord. Imagine the possibilities, such as an alliance between them and the Weeping Angels…
1. The Beast
The Devil himself. Truly, this is the villain to end all villains. You could easily argue that no other villain that the Doctor has fought is as powerful as this monster, and just imagine the chaos if he was free from his prison and at full power. That could be a truly cataclysmic finale, especially if we saw him invade a planet and turn it into his Hell, similar to the Dalek Emperor’s plan for Earth in The Parting of the Ways. The Beast has so many brilliant powers that make him a formidable enemy, such as his power over fire, and his ability to control people’s minds. He is also very physically imposing, standing at something like sixty metres tall, and could make for some very powerful images if we saw him rampaging over an alien city, or sitting on a massive throne made out of rubble and, if they can get away with it, corpses (similar to the statue from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows). Also, Gabriel Woolf’s voice is brilliant, and we really need more of him. Furthermore, the Beast could really challenge the Doctor on a psychological level, finding and exploiting his weaknesses like the Dream Lord and Davros before him.
The Dream Lord – A brilliant concept, and I’m sure he could return to great effect, played by either Toby Jones or perhaps an old Doctor actor. Popular choices to do this seem to be Matt Smith and Sylvester McCoy.
The Trickster – Not a New Who monster as such, but coming from that oh so brilliant spin-off, The Sarah Jane Adventures. He is a masterpiece of a villain, his modus operandi being one of the most twisted and evil out of any Whoniverse villain (considering he came from a spin-off aimed at kids, that is certainly impressive). Of course, if he did return, he’d have to be played by the splendiferous Paul Marc Davis.
The Hoix – An odd one to mention, I know, but they could potentially work as a minor threat in an episode again, as they did in the Torchwood episode Exit Wounds. Perhaps the villain uses them in a trap for the Doctor, or they’re simply roaming wildly on an alien wasteland that the Doctor has to cross. They aren’t at all complicated, and thus very versatile.
Adipose – I live in hope of one day seeing a fully grown Adipose, perhaps if there’s ever a large gathering of good-natured aliens in one place (as was the plan for the Shadow Proclamation in The Stolen Earth).
So, overall, this is my selection of New Who monsters who I feel deserve to return, and who I think could easily become classics. Doubtless people will disagree with my choices, but I hope I have brought some monsters to the attention of people who have previously underrated them.