TIME for another Pop 10
HAPPY HALLOWEEN PEOPLE! With Halloween I am duty bound to do a scary post so here we are with another addition of Pop 10, where I rank Pop Culture. Today we dive into the Time Vortex and explore the wild world of Dr. Who. This series is one I grew up with and was perhaps one of the most defining parts of my childhood that moulded me into the pop culture fanatic that I am today. The show was varied, had wonderful characters, great storytelling and most importantly, some downright scary monsters. Unfortunately, my time with Dr. Who has come to an end, as I grew up I moved on to other things and quite honestly I found the storytelling really took a turn for the worst as time went on. But that’s just my opinion and with Dr. Who back in the mainstream with a new series, along with the scary season in full swing, let’s dive into the vastness of space and celebrate some of the Doctors most unique, scary and interesting foes. in the words of the 10th Doctor, ALLONS-Y!
I’m kinda cheating with this one since The Tricker is technically an enemy from the Dr. Who spin-off series The Sarah Jane Adventures, but he and the Doctor have crossed paths before, so I’m including him. First off The Trickster is one creepy looking dude, with his lipless snarl and sunken holes in place of eyes, all topped off with slow and condecending movements and a dark cloak, he’s a creature that drips terror. The Trickster exists for only one reason, to cause chaos and revel in it. His presence as this immortal shape of a creature that exists between timelines gives him and omnipresent tone. But what makes him scary for me is the sheer devastation his powers wreak. He makes miniscule changes to the timeline which can alter the course of history itself, demonstrating just how dangerous he is. But the worst part is that The Trickster simply revels in his maliciousness and seems to do it only for the sake of causing pure, time destroying chaos. If he was a core Dr. Who villain then he’d be higher on this list, but I think he still deserves a mention regardless.
9. The Lazarus Monster
Well I hope you didn’t plan on sleeping tonight because this unholy monstrosity is here to eat your joy and feast on your nightmares. The Lazarus monster isn’t one of the big villains like The Daleks or The Master, but it makes it onto this list simply because of how downright horrible it looks. From the contorted and protruding bones to the large misshapen body to the somewhat human yet viciously monstrous face, this creature is something that only a deranged mother would love. Dr Lazarus was determined to be young again, and the results were horrifying. The explanation for this beast is that it was what evolution removed from humans, meaning that any and all humans have the potential to become this horrible and disgusting beast. The man behind the monster is also despicable, a brash and corrupt man hellbent on defying the laws of nature simply to further his own status, a man who blurs the lines between human and beast. Lazarus also carries a lot of serious emotional baggage, living the traumas of his past in the war that kinda makes you feel sorry for him as he not only struggles with his past horrors, but also the horrors he himself has wrought upon the world as well as himself. The Lazarus monster was a grotesque beast with an equally terrifying human persona.
8. The Empty Child
“Are you my mummy?” These four words are those of the nightmare fuel that is The Empty Child. This tiny terror is the result of a collection of tiny lifeforms reviving a gas mask wearing child during the war, thinking it to be what humans look like. What we get is a deceptively simple yet horrifying monster that you feel really uneasy around given its bizarrely alien look despite being a child. The use of the gasmask is also a great idea, as it does instil a feeling of horror itself considering the horrible times it came from. The child’s insistence on finding its ‘mummy’ is a pursuit that costs lives, and in and attempt to further its quest, infects others with a plague that turns them into Empty Child like creatures. The Empty Child made this list because it was the first time I felt genuinely scared of a monster and the scene where we see the effects of the plague transform someone, it was a scene that left me awake at night for ages. I may not be his mummy, but I certainly want mine after seeing this terrifying child.
7. Vashta Nerada
The Vashta Nerada are perhaps one of the most underrated foes in Dr. Who history, I cannot state enough how scary these things were. While the image below is technically a Vasta Nerada, but the actual alien is unseen, living in the form of shadows. The Vashta Nerada consumes anything organic it comes into contact with, shown when the Doctor throws a piece of chicken at a shadow only for it to be reduced to bone instantly. The skeleton space suits are people who were consumed by the Vashta Nerada, this was shown in the episode by their suits speakers looping and repeating their last sentence, that to me is a great way to display the effect the monster had on its prey. In conclusion the Vashta Nerada are a terrifying creature, you may think it’s a shadow, but that’s what many unfortunate souls thought before meeting a horrifying end.
6. The Silence
The Silence was, for me, the last memorable Dr. Who introduced, and by god are they perhaps one of the scariest to come from the series as well. The Silence are scary for one reason, their ability. For those who don’t know, The Silence’s unique power is that once you look away from them you forget you ever saw them. That to me is absolutely horrifying as it really makes you think if The Silence was real, you wouldn’t know it. The scene where The Doctor keeps putting tally marks on himself when he sees one is a great scene as it builds up the tension and fear as you wonder how many times he’s seen them. Their design is also creepy, kinda like an inferior looking Ood, but the bulbous head, sunken features and long squiggly fingers accompanied by a dapper suit makes it an unnerving design to look at. There job as galactic hunters really compliments their powers, making them terrifying assassins that are so deadly you won’t even remember them. They also had a satisfying build up in the series, with aliens referencing their arrival with phrases like “Silence will come”, so when they finally showed up the payoff was much more satisfying when you finally see the force that has been hunting the Doctor. The Silence were scary based on concept alone, but add to that a dreaded design and you have a new classic.
5. The Cybermen
One of the Doctors oldest nemesis, the Cybermen are up there with The Daleks as one of the most recognisable foes the Doctor has faced. The Cybermen I grew up with were the ones that debuted in 2006 and personally I prefer them much more to the 2013 redesign we got. For me the newer designs look more like a weird Iron Man suit as opposed to the clunky machines we know and fear. What makes the cybermen so awesome to me was that they were slow and unfeeling. Their slow walk and jittery movements made them feel really intimidating and had an unnatrual conformity to their actions since they never ran after you, only pursued with the intention of capture and conversion. Their voices were also great, monotone and emotionless, like the husks that the voice comes from. The Cybermen are full of nothing but pure, unthinking logic, their one goal is to turn the whole universe into a robot factory, their goals to expand and evolve always in the front of their mind. Of all the ‘collective’ alien forces The Doctor has faced, the Cyber men are one of the oldest, most iconic, and most threatening.
4. Weeping Angels
These things started out as a one-off villain, but since then they have become perhaps one of Dr. Who’s most iconic, intimidating and unique foes to date. The Weeping Angels are a collection of stone like aliens that can only move then not seen. And by move I mean REALLY move, these things can move at insane speeds, their faces starting as cold, deadpan faces that contort into devilish snarls as they get closer and closer to you. Many people consider these the scariest Dr. Who villains, and it is clear to see why. The creepy thing about the weeping angels is that despite them being an immobile force while you look at them, the moment you turn away or blink and you’re history. No literally, when a Weeping Angel touches you you’re teleported to a different point in time, a terrifying prospect to be sure, and one that these creatures wield in their fingertips. The Weeping Angels are creatures dripping with absolute menace and terror, their designs are wonderfully simple and even though their snarls are threatening, their plain faces are also rife with fearful imagery and terror. In conclusion, the Weeping Angels are creatures you never want to cross paths with, because if you do, your fate depends on you not blinking.
3. The Master
I want to reiterate that this entry does not include the latest incarnation of The Master AKA Missy. To me, Missy is an entirely different character and cannot hold a candle to The Master at all. She acts more like someone who wants to be The Master, but just comes off as a spoilt brat and is about as scary as a one too. But enough about her, lets talk about why The Master is such a great villain. It’s because he has fun while being evil. The Master is everything the Doctor hates, yet the Doctor cannot bring himself to hate the Master because of their history together and being another member of his race. What made the Master so great for me is that he acts like a child yes, but unlike missy, he does it with a sense of malice and aims to either annoy or destroy the person he’s with. The Master also succeeded in almost all of his plans, he took over the world for a whole year, revived the Timelord race and even succeeded in killing Missy while continuing the cycle of his own life. The Master is intimidating in every way, he flips from wildly immature to deathly sinister at the drop of a hat, and when every line of dialogue he spits drips with menace. He’s such a great villain he allows himself to die just to spite the Doctor who wishes him to regenerate. The Master also holds the distinction of being the focus of 2 of my favourite Dr. Who moments. Those moments being when he becomes The Master Race and the reveal of Professor Yana being The Master, a moment so incredible I consider it one of the best villain reveals in media. The Master was pure 101% evil, and had fun doing it, and that cemented him as an iconic villain and one that can both match and in some cases surpass his righteous rival
2. The Daleks
The antithesis of The Doctor, his absolute number one enemy, his opposing force, the Daleks are iconic in both their design and place in their franchise. A race with only one thought in their mind, ‘to exterminate everything’. The Daleks have persisted since the old days, and no matter what, they endure the odds and always come back to haunt the Doctor. The Doctor has said multiple times that the Daleks are the race they fear the most, and after years of witnessing these robotic killing machines, it’s clear to see why. The Daleks are unloving, unsympathetic, cold and harsh, they care only for themselves and desire nothing more than to seek and destroy. Their design is perfect, it has an empty thousand yard stare, a straight and uniform shape and a voice so harsh, haunting a vicious, that it sends shivers down the spines of those who hear it. Their trademark phrase of “EXTERMINATE!” is a screech that has been heard around the universe, and has brought the civilisations of both old and new to their knees. When people who don’t know Dr. Who think of a Dr. Who villain, they always think of the Daleks. The Daleks are fierce, efficient, sadistic and unloving, determined only to kill, their only pleasure being that of watching their foes die. If you ever see a Dalek, don’t bother running, you’re already history.
1. The Ood
Here they are ladies and gentlemen. My number one Dr Who villain is The Ood. What is it about The Ood I like so much? Simply put, I feel so sorry for them. These creatures, in all their incarnations we’ve seen, have always been slaves, and to me this just a tragic existence. The Ood communicate through droning, monotone voices which really makes them feel incapable of displaying emotions but also makes them a pretty uneasy creature to be around. In their debut episodes The Impossible Planet and The Satan Pit, the Ood are afflicted with a virus that turns them evil, and when this happens they are a very intimidating force, but not entirely to blame and in a way you’re glad that they can stand up against their abusive owners and sellers. That’s not to say you can’t get scared by them however, and believe me when these guys want to be scary, they can be. Despite my love for the Ood, I have always felt uneasy watching them, their calm eyes, calm voices and slow movement creates a passive fear that radiates around them. When we first found out about the Ood and how they are made into slaves, you feel awful for them, learning that their ability to communicate via a tiny second brain is ripped out and replaced with a communicator all for the sake of profit. Their design is also amazing, these are the textbook definition of an alien, humanoid, ugly and bizarre looking yet somehow human enough that you can look past their monstrous appearance. The Ood’s led a tragic existence, carried both a sympathetic presence alongside an intimidating one, and have a spectacular look. For these reasons the Ood are my number one Dr. Who villain.
- Prisoner 0: Prisoner 0 was a villain that appeared only once, but set in motion the apperacne of The Silence. I wish we got to see more of Prisoner 0 since not only did I like their design but I wanted to know more about them and their horrific acts, call it morbid curiosity. Prisoner 0 was a neat idea, but since they’re a bit too bland I kept them off the list.
- The Slitheen: A fan favourite monster that branched off to primarily terrorise The Sarah Jane Adventures, the Slitheen are villains known for their obscenely bizarre designs, with grotesque features, ugly faces and terrifyingly long claws. Their skin suit ability is also interesting and to this day I still remember the special effect of them unzipping their heads. They don’t really resonate with me all that much however so I kept them off this list but still felt they deserved a mention.
- The Toclafane: These things were the remains of humanity, turned into cybernetic spherical slave for the Master and his conquest of earth. I do like the Toclafane a lot, but I already included a ‘human’ monster on this list in the Lazarus Monster, so I let them slip off.
- The Clockwork Robots: Sinister, smart and scary, these robotic gentlemen and gentlewomen terrified the world with their suave outfits and creepy masquerade masks. I love the concept behind these robots, that being that they aim to keep their ship going by using human body parts, and disguise themselves as humans to commence their killings. They also trigger a nice little mini-arc for the Doctor, where he feels love for Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson, and debates whether or not to stay with her. But they don’t really make much of an appearance after that so they fall short.
Thank you for reading I hope you enjoyed it, if you did please consider leaving a like and following my blog for updates on future posts. Also follow me on twitter @joe_reviews for further updates and general nonsense. Also HAPPY HALLOWEEN EVERYONE, I hope you all have a spookily good night. Till next time.