Characters: Doctor Who Aliens And Monsters
There are some corners of the universe which have bred the most terrible things. Things that act against everything we believe in. They must be fought!
Second Doctor, "Moonbase"
The various races who encounter the Doctor in the Doctor Who
series. For specific members of these races, see their respective character sheets
As with all Doctor Who
characters, they appear not only in the televised adventures, but also in the Doctor Who Expanded Universe
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Voiced by: Peter Hawkins (1963-67); David Graham (1963-66); Roy Skelton (1967, 1973, 1975-83, 1985-88)note
; Oliver Martin and Peter Messaline (1972); Michael Wisher (1973-74); Brian Miller (1984, 1988); Royce Mills (1984-88); Nicholas Briggs
A race of xenophobic mutants, native to the planet Skaro, whose general purpose for existence is to exterminate all non-Dalek forms of life in the universe. Created by a guy named Davros, although others have made their own Daleks as well. The Daleks' physical form is actually shriveled and weak, but make up for that by having each individual travel in a distinctive set of mobile armor. The
first villainous alien race introduced in the franchise (in the SECOND serial
, in fact), and one of the most enduringly popular.
- Absolute Xenophobe: "There is only one kind of life that matters. Dalek life."
- They're so xenophobic that even a small amount of non-Dalek material in their flesh drives them mad and/or suicidal. As cloning and/or genetic manipulation seems to be their primary means of reproduction, even being created from altered non-Dalek or non-Kaled cells is unacceptable for them. "Impure" Daleks will eagerly line up for disintegration to preserve the species' purity.
- Always Chaotic Evil: Somewhat averted in the new series, particularly with Dalek Sec and to a lesser extent Dalek Caan. But they are generally the exception that proves the rule, and did not change on their own. The overwhelming majority are ruthless killing machines.
- Arch-Enemy: The species as a whole is this for the Doctor.
- Attack Its Weak Point: The eyestalk. Hitting it with enough power will kill the Dalek, and blinding it will cause the creature to panic. Became much less of a Weaksauce Weakness in the new series; their force field protects it (the Doctor claims concentrating fire on it could work, but this appears to have mixed results), and trying to blind it with paint only worked for a second. River managed to kill one with a blast to the eyestalk, but this particular Dalek was already in such poor shape that it needed several minutes to recharge between shots.
- Big Bad: Archenemies of the Doctor, and just about everything else in the universe that is not a Dalek. Quite fond of the Evil Plan in the new series, to the point where, during Russell T Davies' era, it was a surprise not to find them the masterminds behind the season's Apocalypse How. Main Antagonists of the 2005 and 2008 series.
- Bond Villain Stupidity: All enemies of the Doctor suffer this to some extent, but the Daleks compound it with...
- Wrong Genre Savvy: The Daleks are well aware the Doctor always has something up his sleeve, and they also know he's good at not getting killed, so being able to kill him effortlessly, they reason, is never going to happen, so they let the Doctor talk/screw around with the Sonic Screwdriver in the hopes they can anticipate whatever backup plans he had to screw them over, then they figure he can be killed. Often enough, there was never a plan to begin with.
- Breakout Villain: They very nearly never appeared at all, but are now at least as iconic as the TARDIS.
- Canon Discontinuity: Several bits of the Daleks' stories are continually discarded for one reason or another. This ranges from the time the producers tried to make them comic relief to that time the guy who made them forgot that they weren't robots.
- Catch Phrase: "EX-TER-MI-NATE!"
- There's also "EX-PLAIN! EX-PLAIN!", "I OBEY!", and "MY VISION IS IMPAIRED! I CANNOT SEE!"
- Conservation of Ninjutsu: One Dalek? You're so screwed. A full Dalek Empire? They're so screwed.
- Creepy Monotone: Averted. It sounds more like they're trying to choke back their disgust with all other life.
- Cyber Cyclops: The production team has added pupils to the latest models, making the eye-stalk look almost organic.
- Deflector Shields: The revival gave them personal force-fields that can melt bullets before they even hit home.
- Determinator: They never give up. You have to admire a species that manages to survive even after being made extinct. Repeatedly.
- The Dreaded: In a universe full of any number of beasties, psychopaths and gods, the Daleks are consistently shown to be the #1 fear of those who've fought them. This includes the Doctor.
- Unwilling Roboticisation: The Robo-Men (not to be confused with the Cybermen). The Daleks' low-level police/enforcers during their invasion of Earth.
- Everything's Better with Spinning: Averted with Daleks, who have a tendency to spin around in circles before they blow up.
- Evil Is Hammy: DAAALEKS ARE-SUPERIOR-HAMS-TO-THEM-AAALL!
- The Farmer And The Viper: When facing their own defeat or perhaps simply wishing to gain an advantage, the Daleks often count on their foes being a Good Samaritan and always cry "Have pity!" or beg for help in order to bite back and destroy their enemies when they have the chance. Heavily Averted when one tries it on River Song.
- Feeling Oppressed By Their Existence: They feel this way about every single non-Dalek in the universe.
- Flying Saucer: The standard make of their starships going back quite some time.
- Human Resources: They're not above converting other life-forms into Daleks if they need the numbers (Parting of the Ways) or the subject is too useful to pass up (Asylum). Or if Davros feels like making a point - he had this done to eight billion humans in the audio Terra Firma, just to twist a knife in the Doctor.
- Immune to Bullets: They're vaporized by a forcefield before they can make contact.
- Joker Immunity: Too iconic to ever kill off.
- They've been completely wiped out to the last in their first appearance, and several times ever since. At this point, being completely destroyed only to return later is as much part of their character than their voices or their casings.
- The Daleks have even acknowledged this in-universe when the Doctor has said they're on the path to destruction if they don't change their ways, the Daleks point out that their species always survives.
- Even their own planet, Skaro, has come back after being explicitly destroyed. For bonus points, the Seventh Doctor destroyed it with the Hand of Omega, but much later went there to pick up the Master's ashes in the movie.
- King Mook: The Dalek Emperor is usually a Dalek mutant in gigantic casing.
- Lack of Empathy: It's kind of a requirement when your ambition is to wipe out everything that isn't you. They understand "pity" and "mercy" only as something to demand from enemies when they're vulnerable, and the idea of empathizing with other life-forms is one of the few things that scares them besides the Doctor.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: Inflicted on all of them in "Asylum of the Daleks".
- Master Race: Self-described as of Victory of the Daleks; the fundamental basis and belief of their entire culture.
- A Nazi by Any Other Name: Part of the Daleks' continuing appeal as villains is that they can represent whatever the current generation hates and fears, but among the things they have represented is definitely Nazis, particularly in "The Dalek Invasion of Earth" and "Victory of the Daleks", which both lean heavily on World War 2 movie tropes.
- Mutant Alien Cyborg Nazi
- Nigh Invulnerability: They started out as pretty much tanks, and since the revival they have forcefields that make them immune to nearly everything except their own weapons, only because there aren't any defenses against them. Earlier stories had their eyestalks, but that's a very small target (and the force field covers that now, too).
- Energy Weapons of sufficient power seem to do the job; the modified defabricator blows them clean open, and the lightning guns from parallel Earth / Pete's World were at least able to disable them for a while once the Doctor modified them. Other Pete's World weapons seemed specifically designed to kill them.
- No Indoor Voice
- Omnicidal Maniacs
- Once a Season: The BBC's deal with the Nation estate means they have to appear in some form at least once a year, even if it's just a cameo (The Waters of Mars, The Wedding of River Song).
- Roar Before Beating: "EX-TER-MI-NATE!"
- Scary Dogmatic Aliens: They're Nazis In Space!, with the odd religious fundamentalist overtone in the new series.
- Significant Anagram: The Daleks were originally engineered from a race called the Kaleds.
- Spikes of Villainy: Not on their cases, but on their DNA.
- Starfish Aliens: What the Daleks are within their metal casings.
- Talking Lightbulb: Their "ear-lamps" flash in time with their speech.
- Tortured Abomination: A deformed, irradiated mutant locked inside an unfeeling metal cage from birth to death...and programmed to be utterly revolted by everything outside that cage. The prospect of deviating from Dalek purity even slightly is enough to turn them suicidal.
- Turned Against Their Masters: They do this very often, mainly because Davros has no sense of pattern recognition.
- Villain Decay: Thought to have happened after Davros appeared, where the Daleks were reduced to Mooks. They seemed to re-establish themselves slightly at the end of Revelation of the Daleks and finally in Remembrance of the Daleks they are fighting Davros. In the revived series they keep losing top villain votes to the Weeping Angels. They have now been eclipsed by the Silents, who seem to have tricked them and many other species into an Alliance in the Series 5 finale.
- Worthy Opponent: The Doctor. They hate him with a passion that burns with all the hate they can muster, but they also respect him so much that their equipment will accept his word that an individual is a Dalek, even if their DNA is too degraded to register as a proper one.
- "Asylum of the Daleks" suggests that their respect for the degree of hatred he feels for them inhibits them from killing him, although the Dalek in question may just have been messing with the Doctor's head.
- X-Ray Sparks: The special effect used for their Death Ray since 1988.
Beings from the Planet Drahva. They have very few men.
- Absolute Xenophobe: Maaga and by implication all the other upper-caste Drahvins.
- Ace Custom: The Drahvins are so wedded to their caste system that they self-destructively only give their leader caste the good weapons.
- Bad Boss: Seems to be required by Drahvin law and/or custom.
- Beauty Equals Goodness: Defied.
- Brainless Beauty: The barely sentient Drahvin clones.
- Earth-Shattering Kaboom: The planet's fate.
- Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: The Drahvins can't understand self-sacrifice.
- Fantastic Caste System: The Drahvins have a caste system based on social insects, of female leaders, female workers, and a few males kept solely for the female leaders to sexually reproduce.
- Lady Land: On the planet Drahvin, women dominate the planet. A few men are kept, presumably for breeding, while the rest are killed. Oddly, Maaga doesn't immediately understand when Steven asks her if all the inhabitants of her planet are women, perhaps demonstrating how utterly insignificant and out of mind the men of Drahvin are.
You belong to us. You shall be like us.
Voiced by: Roy Skelton note
and Peter Hawkins (1966-68); Peter Halliday (1968); Christopher Robbie and Melville Jones (1975); David Banks (1982-88); Mark Hardy (1982-83, 1988); William Kenton (1983); Michael Kilgarriff and John Ainley (1985); Brian Orrell (1985-88); Nicholas Briggs
(2010-present); David de Keyser (2012)
The Mondas/Telos Cybermen come from the tenth planet of the Earth's solar system ("Earth's long-lost twin planet"). note
Have been around for a while, first appearing in "The Tenth Planet
" in 1966. Shown little consistency in appearance, other than usually having "handlebars" on the sides of their heads.
- Accent Upon The Wrong Syllable: They spoke like this in their first appearance, giving their voices a rather unSETTling sINg-song quality.
- Adaptive Ability: Ramped up in "Nightmare in Silver", wherein they survive an electrified moat without a single loss, and eventually become immune to Cyberguns.
- Assimilation Plot
- Body Horror: Part and parcel of who they are. Played up by the original design, which had medical cloth surrounding their heads and ordinary human hands.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: The Cybermen will never hold up to their end of an alliance, instead being firm believers of You Have Outlived Your Usefulness.
- Creepy Monotone / Machine Monotone: All Cybermen talk in a mechanical, computer-like voice, though they shift in and out of this in their Earthshock appearance.
- Cybernetics Eat Your Soul
- Evil Is Hammy: 1980s Cybermen, particularly their Cyber-Leaders. "EXCELLLEEENT!!!"
- Joker Immunity: They've been wiped out several times, but there always turns out to be another batch of them stashed away somewhere on another planet that nobody had ever mentioned before. Or in another universe — and those Cybermen have the immunity, too; at one point, every last one of them was sucked into a featureless void for eternity, and they still managed to come back.
- Machine Worship: How the Mondas Cybermen got started, before deciding that everyone else should be like them too.
- Malevolent Mugshot: Their logo design in the 60s and more recently in Blood Of The Cybermen.
- The Noseless: Although the Cybermen have been through numerous radical redesigns since their first appearance, this has always been a constant.
- Obliviously Evil: They genuinely think that Unwilling Roboticization is a favor for humanity.
- Scary Dogmatic Aliens: Space Commies in many regards.
- Straw Vulcan: Depending on the Writer the emotionless qualities of the Cybermen would be dropped if convenient.
- Super Speed: The new ones can move much faster, effectively graduating into Lightning Bruiser. Matt Smith even commented that was the most scary thing about them in "Nightmare In Silver".
- Took a Level in Badass: In "Nightmare in Silver", where they have since become equipped with an Adaptive Ability, rendering them quickly immune to things that have previously destroyed or slowed them down. And to make it worse, they now they have Super Speed.
- Uncanny Valley: The original design of the Cybermen seriously invoked this.
- Unwilling Roboticisation: In at least a couple episodes, forced conversion to Cybermen was announced as the fate for those captives who were "worthy" of the "honor"; particularly the Doctor. Most notably in The Tomb of the Cybermen, where this fate was intended for all of the expedition team, as a "reward" for having re-awakened them.
- Were Near-Human Once
- Weaksauce Weakness: The infamous gold allergy evolved into this over time. It started as "gold dust jams up their works" and eventually became "you can kill them instantly with gold coins fired from a slingshot". This was quietly ignored in the RTD years (a tie-in site mentions that R&D eliminated the Cybus breed's allergy before they even started).
- However, in the Star Trek/Doctor Who comic crossover, they were able to mostly defeat the Cybermen using gold dust, at Eleven's suggestion. In "Nightmare in Silver" it's mentioned as having been useful against older tech, but not even worth trying against new. Despite this, some models such as the Cyberplanner still contain the flaw deep within the source code for their operating systems, which the Doctor exploits, forcing it to spend time developing a patch.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: The original purpose of the Mondasian Cybermen was as a way to survive biosphere extinction, when a catastrophe threw Mondas out of orbit. To that end, they sacrificed their humanity to ensure their preservation, genuinely believing it to be the right thing to do. The Cybermen see themselves as superior species (and they sorta are), so cannot comprehend why people don't want to become like them?
- The alternate universe counterparts were likewise created as a way to make humanity live forever. Afterwards, they saw the decision to not upgrade as irrational and decided to remove choice from the equation entirely.
- You Will Be Assimilated: Coupled with the Unwilling Roboticisation trope.
Played by: Bernard Bresslaw, Roger Jones and and Michael Attwell (1967); Tony Harwood (1967-69); Sonny Caldinez (1967-74); Steve Peters and Graham Leaman (1969); Alan Bennion (1969-74); Spencer Wilding (2013)
A race of reptilian aliens who come from Mars, the Ice Warriors were the third species of big bads in Doctor Who
— resulting in several appearances throughout the Second and Third Doctor eras... but they basically vanished
with the end of the Third Doctor's run on the show in 1974 (around the time that space probes in Real Life
proved Mars to be barren). Efforts have been made to bring them back from time to time — but the final attempt was scheduled to be in the 1990 season of Doctor Who
... and with the series canned/put on hiatus in 1989.
They did eventually get nods in "The Christmas Invasion
" and "The Waters Of Mars
", and finally made their return in the 2013 second half of series 7, during "Cold War
- Animated Armor: They find leaving their armor deeply shameful, but if they are forced to do so they can remote-control it.
- Big Bad Ensemble: Before they vanished, these guys were the third biggest alien villains for the Second and Third Doctors.
- Cyborg: According to "Cold War", they're this; it helps them deal with Mars' freezing conditions.
- Heel Face Turn: Their first two serials have them as the villains, but since Jon Pertwee's first brush with them they've alternated between friends and foes (one of them even became a companion in the Expanded Universe).
- Last of Their Kind: Since Mars is somewhat inhospitable to them after some unspeakable event in their past, it's a little hard for the species to continue - especially when they have a nasty habit of getting wiped out whenever they encounter the Doctor.
- To make matters worse, the Expanded Universe puts the Doctor essentially at fault for said unspeakable event. Whoops.
- This appears to have been retconned as of Cold War, with the Doctor saying Martians survive on other planets. Also a Martian ship appears at the episode's end.
- Monster Lord: their leaders are smaller, slimmer and less heavily-armoured than the usual soldiers. They are often referred to in fanon as "Ice Lords", although this is never used in on-screen dialogue.
- Proud Warrior Race
- Subverted in the Doctor Who New Adventures novel The Dying Days where the Ice Warriors encountered there claim to be this but are psychotic monsters.
- Put on a Bus: They basically vanished completely after 1974, but returned for Eleventh Doctor story "Cold War".
- Red Eyes, Take Warning
- The Reptilians
- Super Soldier
- Zombie Gait: This, combined with their constant shallow breathing, gives the impression that our heroes are in fact being chased around by overweight smokers. They feel compelled to sprint from them anyway.
- As it turns out, this is down to their armour. Out of it, they are terrifyingly fast. Fortunately, Ice Warriors see leaving their armour as deeply dishonourable... which means that when one does leave it, the situation is desperate, both for the Ice Warrior and their unfortunate opposition.
And what of the Time Lords? I always thought of you as such a pompous race. Ancient, dusty senators, so frightened of change and chaos...
Smart bunch, Time Lords, no dress sense, terrible hats, but smart.
The Doctor's own people. They hail from the planet Gallifrey and claim to be the universe's first civilisation. Time Lords can travel through time and manipulate it to a huge degree. Though they generally operate under a policy of non-interference, they've also appointed themselves the guardians of the space-time continuum
, and (at least in the Expanded Universe
) look rather askance at attempts by the "lesser races" to develop time travel. The Doctor claims to have left Gallifrey in opposition to its xenophobia and stagnation.
Played by: Hugh Burden (1970), Hamilton Dyce (1970), Noel Clarke
(2005), Marcus O'Donovan (2010), David Fynn (2010), Clive Wood (2010), Arthur Darvill
The Autons are evil living plastic servitors that are controlled by the squid-like Nestene Consciousness. Their best known trick is posing as shop dummies and bursting out of high-street windows, although their second appearance had them trying to kill people in increasingly bizarre ways. They don't need to be humanoid, either; any seemingly inanimate plastic object will do—chairs, toys, even a trash can. The Consciousness can also create more sophisticated "facsimiles" (referred to as "Nestene Duplicates" in the new series) that perfectly mimic the appearance of others... and may even believe their own cover story
Rose: And this living plastic, what's it got against us?
It loves you. You've got such a good planet! Lots of smoke and oil, plenty of toxins and dioxins in the air, perfect. Just what the Nestene Consciousness needs.
The actual mind behind the Autons. After a couple of stabs at invading Earth in the Third Doctor's era, they returned in 2005 out of sheer desperation, having lost their 'protein planets' in a mysterious war
Homo reptilians note
We are the last of our people.
Silurians voiced by: Peter Halliday (1970)
Silurians played by: Norman Comer, Stuart Blake and Vincent Brimble (1984), Neve McIntoshnote and Richard Hope note (2010-12), Stephen Moore (2010)
Sea Devils played by: Pat Gorman and Peter Forbes-Robinson (1971), Christopher Farries (1984)
A bunch of intelligent creatures that evolved during the age of dinosaurs, the Silurians were distantly related to their aquatic relatives, the Sea Devils. Both species went into hibernation upon thinking that the moon was about to collide with the earth. It didn't; the disaster never happened, but their disappearance cleared the way for humans to take over as the dominant sentient lifeform. Eons later, they awake, and fight the upstarts (read:us) for control of Earth. It never ends well
. The twenty-first-century series gave the Silurians a very heavy redesign, with only two eyes, a more generally humanoid appearance (their battle armour has a mask that looks closer to the original face), and a multipurpose, venomous tongue
. This is explained that the Silurians (Unlike other species), showed an important intraspecific variation (vast differentiation between breeds), such as the number of eyes, the formation of their pupils or the color of their skin with a wide range of subspecies (One of which is Sea Devils).
- Attack Animal: The Silurians of Wenley Moor used a dinosaur like creature. In Warriors of the Deep, they used a Myrka (A genetically modified animal made by the Silurians from an unknown deep-sea creature.)
- The Ark: One of their other survival plans built was a space-faring version, containing a few thousand Silurians and a zoo's worth of dinosaurs.
- The Cameo: In "The Pandorica Opens"
- Extra Eyes: The Silurians have a third eye, which glows when they exercise psychic powers (in their first appearance) or when they talk (in their second). It has, however, utterly vanished from the newest incarnation of the species appearing in The Hungry Earth / Cold Blood and A Good Man Goes to War, who are handwaved as being a different branch of the same species, somewhat analogous to the difference between Humans and Neanderthals.
- Everything's Better with Samurai: An elite task force of Sea Devils called Elite Group One was dressed in secure, samurai-style armor
- Exposed Extraterrestrials: Silurians in Doctor Who and the Silurians and Warriors From The Deep, but not in the new series. Averted in The Sea Devils due to a concern about "naked Sea Devils running around on telly at teatime".
- Last of Their Kind: Pretty much every named Silurian in the episodes they show up in will make this claim. It was more understandable in the original series (and subsequent expanded universe tales), where it was literally a few dozen at best who survived. When a captive Silurian tries to claim this on the Doctor in the new series, he shuts her down pretty quickly.
- Multipurpose Tongue: Useful both for defending oneself and...um...
- Non-Mammal Mammaries: Well... the modern ones have them, anyhow.
- Rage Helm: The warrior caste Silurian faceplates are organic in appearance, and could easily be mistaken as a real (albeit scarier) face.
- Red Scare: Warriors of the Deep is largely ham-fisted with Cold War metaphors up the wazoo. The Silurians were also a metaphor for the Soviets at the time, according to Word Of God. The Sea Devils may have been this as well, but it doesn't seem as likely.
- The Reptilians
- Taxonomic Term Confusion: Homo Reptilia? Considering the Homo genus is mammalian.
- Proud Warrior Race:
- The Warrior Caste Silurian.
- Sea Devils may also fit this trope
- Psychic Powers: Silurians who have the third eyes have shown the capability of harming organic beings, killing them or leaving them unconscious. Alternatively, they could revive a human (or Time Lord) that they had rendered unconscious with the third eye. Energies emanating from it allowed them to burn through walls and create tunnels. These Silurians also employed their third eye in less destructive tasks, such as activating their technology, opening passageways or creating force-fields to trap prisoners.
- Underwater Base: Sea Devils had thousands of underwater colonies dotted across the globe, each filled with millions of their kind. These bases were carved out of rocks and were generally covered in algae and seaweed. The colonies could be awoken en masse through the use of a sonic signal.
Ogrons were strong, ape-like humanoids of limited intelligence, typically used by other species as mercenaries. They were most often employed by the Daleks. They live in scattered communities on an unnamed planet on the outer fringes of the Milky Way, far from the central spaceways. The dominant lifeform on their home planet is a giant slug-like lizard named the Eater, and the Ogrons both pray to and are preyed on by it.
The Peladonians (or Pels) were a race of near-humans native to the planet Peladon who retained a feudal culture.
- Alien Sky: Their planet was known for being especially stormy. Dangers from the wind and rain were constant.
- Feudal Future
- Human Alien
- Skunk Stripe: One of the few ways to tell them apart from humans was the burgundy streak through their hair.
- Yellow Rocks - There planet has a mineral called Trisilicate (Not to be confused with Magnesium Trisilicite). Word of God says Barry Letts took the name "Trisilicate" from a list of ingredients on the back of a tube of Boots brand toothpaste.
The Draconians are an extraterrestrial race of reptilian humanoids. In later interviews, Jon Pertwee cited the Draconians as his favourite of all the monsters he had encountered during his time as the Doctor.
- Feudal Future: The Draconian Empire was a vast spacefaring feudal civilisation centered on the planet Draconia, with a society stratifed along class and gender lines (for example, females were not permitted to speak in the presence of the Emperor) that was bound by a strong code of honour.
- The Reptilians
- Wutai: Draconia is basically feudal Japan in space with reptile people.
Sontar HA! Sontar HA! Sontar HA!
Played by: Kevin Lindsay (1973-75), Stuart Fell and Derek Deadman (1978), Tim Raynham and Clinton Greyn (1985), Christopher Ryan (2008, 2010)note , Dan Starkey (2008, 2010, 2011)note
A race of the ultimate soldiers, the Sontarans are a clone race that live for war. Humanoid in appearance, the Sontarans are short, stocky, and insanely strong. They also look somewhat like potatoes, for some reason. If they show up, the plot is somehow tied to their never ending war against the Rutans (a race of... intergalactic jellyfish). Arguably the third most popular alien race of the franchise, behind the Daleks and Cybermen.
- Asskicking Equals Authority: Those in power? They fought their way up there.
- Attack Its Weak Point: The "probic vent" on the back of a Sontaran's neck is their only weakness.
- The Sontarans, characteristically, don't consider it a weakness since it forces them to always face their enemies.
- Author Appeal: Their entire creation was to appeal to author Robert Holmes (one of the best writers on the show, ever) and his distaste of militarism and colonialism. Also a bit of a Take That against America at times, according to some people.
- Badass Boast: They tend to do this.
- Bald of Awesome / Bald of Evil: In equal amounts.
- Blood Knight: Unlike the Daleks, who want to destroy everything out of a sense of racial supremacy, the Sontarans just love to fight and need no particular motivation beyond that.
- Blue and Orange Morality: Their values system resembles that of Ancient Sparta. To wit: "I hope someday to meet you in the glory of battle, where I shall crush the life from your worthless human form" is apparently a high compliment.
- Combat Medic: Considered a Fate Worse Than Death by them for obvious reasons. (That's not to say they can't be good at it, though.)
- Faux Affably Evil: For all their violent, militaristic ways, they are unfailingly well-mannered to anyone they aren't currently engaged in killing.
- Strax from "A Good Man Goes to War" is much more affable than most of his species, partly because of his time spent as a medic having made him less single minded and Ax Crazy than the others.
- The Big Finish audio adventure "Heroes of Sontar" pushes them into Affably Evil territory. Yes, they fight wars, but they're of the opinion that the ends justify the means, and if one part of the world has to die in order for them to overcome another, it's just a sacrifice, it's not For the Evulz.
- Genius Bruiser: They don't posses the raw intelligence or knowledge of the Daleks or Cybermen, but underestimate their cunning at your own peril-they're quite subtle and farsighted if need be.
- Honor Before Reason: As they don't see death on the battlefield as a particularly bad outcome, they aren't opposed to giving their enemies a sporting chance... usually.
- Large Ham: They are well known for their bombastic speeches and "come at me, bro" attitude, which accounts for much of their popularity.
- Lawful Stupid, Chaotic Stupid: Played utterly straight in that if you challenge a Sontaran to a contest... any contest... they have to take that challenge. This weakness has actually made them a favorite of many authors.
- Subverted in "The Two Doctors" when a Sontaran tells the Doctor that he doesn't need to accept his challenge to an honorable duel because the Doctor isn't a Sontaran, and is thus below him.
- One Gender Race: To the point that the first Sontaran we meet mistakes Sarah Jane for a member of a different species to male humans. They are a clone race with their progenitor being a very militaristic general with a huge ego.
- Proud Warrior Race Guys: The Doctor Who representatives of the trope.
- Sociopathic Soldier: They live for war. They die for war. And God help you if you get in their way or fight back.
- Subverted in A Good Man Goes To War by Strax the Combat Medic - the 'sociopath' side of this trope is apparently not a fixed racial trait, but something resulting from a lack of perspective.
- Staff of Authority: The Sontaran baton is a device is carried by certain high ranking officers of the Sontaran Empire symbolizing rank as well as being functional.
- Super Soldier: They are this trope.
- Younger Than They Look: We eventually learn, 38 years after their initial appearance, that due to being war-happy clones, they consider 12 years to be a pretty good run.
Played by: John Woodnutt (1975), Ian Marter (1975), Lillias Walker (1975), Malcolm Stoddard (2008), Tim Brooke-Taylor (2008)
The Zygons were a race of metamorphic humanoids.
- Attack Animal: The Skarasens were massive creatures, large enough to crush a human with one clawed foot. They were cybernetically altered to suit the Zygons' purposes. They were vulnerable to no force short of a nuclear weapon. (Terror of the Zygons) Their skins were highly durable and their skeletons were fused with an extremely tough alloy.
- The Cameo: In "Attack of the Graske" and "The Power of Three", albeit disguised as humans in the latter.
- Organic Technology: Their ships were grown, not built.
- Put on a Bus: The 50th anniversary special will feature the return of the Zygons, which would make it their first OFFICIAL return since 1975.
- Voluntary Shapeshifting
Played by: Colin Douglas (1977), Emilia Fox (2011)
The Rutans (or Rutan Host) were a race of amorphous green blobs who waged war with the Sontarans.
- Arch-Enemy: To the Sontarans.
- Electric Jellyfish
- Face Stealer: the Rutan dissects the first two lighthouse operators in order to learn enough human physiology to take the form of Reuben for the final two episodes. Later victims it just kills.
- Insignificant Little Blue Planet: the Doctor is quite surprised by the Rutan's interest in Earth. It turns out to be fairly mild.
Fourth Doctor: Why invade an obscure planet like Earth? It's of no value to you.
Rutan: The planet is obscure, but its strategic position is sound.
- Sickly Green Glow
- Voluntary Shapeshifting with great effort.
“We are infinitely superior.”
The Movellans were androids who warred with the Dalek Empire. It was implied that they, or a splinter nest of Racnoss to have attack the makers of the Clade (from the tenth doctor novel Peacemaker).
- Achilles Heel: The major weakness of the Movellan design was each android's external power pack which, being carried on their belts, was easily removed and completely shut down the android not to being being to be modified, reprogramming the android to obey human orders.
- Deceptively Human Robots: The Movellans outwardly resembled physically attractive Humans of various ethnicities and both genders. All of the Movellan androids wore white, form-fitting uniforms and their hair in silver braids resembling metallic dreadlocks. Being androids, the Movellans were stronger than humans. Because they do not wish to reveal their mechanical status to others, they do not allow aliens to see them in death, claiming such a thing would be against their code of honour.
- Plaguemaster: The Movellan Virus was developed by the Movellans to attack Dalek casings and tissue.
Played by: Lynda Baron (As Captain Wrack), Leee John (Mansell) Keith Barron (Captain Striker), Christopher Brown (Marriner) From the episode Enlightenment ( 1 March - 9 March 1983)
The Eternals were beings of immense power but limited creativity. They used the thoughts and emotions of so-called Ephemerals (their word for mortals) for their own ends.
- Blue and Orange Morality: The Eternals shown in Enlightenment, like Striker and Marriner, simply do not understand human/Time Lord morality. Wrack is a bit more of a clearcut villain, but still has shades of this
- Complete Immortality: The Eternals dwelt in the domain of Eternity rather than the smaller one of Time. This meant they were unaffected by Time and thus unaging. Another factor is that Eternals cannot be destroyed, only transferred back to Eternity.
- However The Seventh Doctor might have found a loophole in Unexpected Guest (unknown if it's canon or not.)
- For the Evulz: The more sadistic Eternals would sometimes pose as gods and doom whole worlds in the process. (as shown in the doctor who comic: Uninvited Guest.)
- Telepathy: They could use telepathy and create objects from the memories of Ephemerals, but their powers were not limitless and they could not read minds from great distance or from strong minds (Though Adrenaline from the mind there accessing helps greatly).
The Slitheen family note
Victory should be naked!
—Jocrassa Fel-Fotch Passameer-Day Slitheen
Playednote and voiced by: Annette Badland, David Verrey, Rupert Vansittart, Eric Potts and Steve Spiers (2005)
The first recurring aliens original to the revitalized Doctor Who
franchise, the Slitheen are basically a family of Used Car Dealers and Con Men
. IN SPACE!
Their family hails from the planet of Raxacoricofallapatorius, where pretty much most of the family has been sentenced to death for being rather annoying and kinda evil. Unlike most alien baddies, they're a crime family
, not an Always Chaotic Evil species
— the other Raxacoricofallapatorians are, according to the Doctor, rather peaceful. While they mainly only showed up during the Ninth Doctor's tenure (and an unidentified Raxacoricofallapatorian cameoing at the end of the Tenth's), the Slitheen also made it over to The Sarah Jane Adventures
. Perhaps the most unique feature about the Slitheen is their habit of skinning humans and using said skins as disguises.
- Affably Evil: For the most part. They're only doing their business, after all, even if said business does involve destroying entire planets. Besides, hunting and killing are a trait of their species. They can't really help that. And they're pretty polite until you upset them.
- Bizarre Alien Biology: They're made of calcium, able to smell fear and pheromones produced by humans, they can expel poison through their fingernails or their breath...
- Hannibal Lecture: In "Boom Town" one of them was trapped in the TARDIS and she tried to guilt him into letting her go with typical deconstruction. Jack told him not to answer back, "...it's what she wants."
- Egomaniac Hunter: The family Slitheen seems to be this, and the entire species seems to do this as well.
- Evil Has a Bad Sense of Humor
- Evil Plan: The family Slitheen seems to be rather good at this in concept. It's just that they don't count on the Doctor showing up. Or Sarah Jane Smith.
- Exposed Extraterrestrials: When they're not in their human suits. Lampshaded with dialogue about it being traditional to hunt naked.
- The Family That Slays Together
- Fat Bastard: The actors portraying the "human forms" of the Slitheen tend to be similar to this, as the Slitheen have to compact themselves to fit into humanish forms. And still look huge.
- Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: They really like hunting humans.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Members of their species are often referred to as "Slitheen", after the infamous crime family that hails from Raxacoricofallapatorius. The Doctor mentions that the other members of the species are peaceful and implies they're somewhat irritated by the Slitheen sullying their good name.
- Overly-Long Name: Raxacoricofallapatorius.
- Toilet Humor: The best way to spot a disguised Slitheen? They fart. A lot.
- Weaksauce Weakness: Vinegar. Go figure.
Played by: Paul Kasey (2005-06), George Cottle (2005)
Roboforms were scavengers who travelled alongside invaders who took anything on the planet of value to them before the main threat arrived.
Played by: Sean Gilder (2005)
The Sycorax were a superstitious race of warriors. They had skeletal faces.
- The Cameo: In "The End of Time" and "The Pandorica Opens".
- Historical In-Joke: The Doctor feeding Shakespeare his own lines. Specifically, it resolves the Brick Joke of the Sycorax set up in "The Christmas Invasion"; Sycorax is a witch mentioned in The Tempest, and where Shakespeare got the name is a bit of an academic mystery — as far as anyone can find she's not a figure from mythology, and if it's a Meaningful Name it's far from obvious what the meaning is. "The Christmas Invasion" used it as the name of an alien species, with no explanation/comment, and this episode has Shakespeare hear the Doctor talking about them and likes the sound of it.
- Proud Warrior Race Guys
The New Series's Parallel Earth Cybermen (or Cybus Cybermen or Cybusmen, after the evil corporation that created them). These Cybermen come from a parallel universe. Have been around for a while, first appearing in "Rise of the Cybermen
" in 2006. Get sent into the Void between dimension, from where they neatly spill over into the regular timeline.
The circle must be broken, so that we can sing.
Voiced by: Silas Carson (2006-10)
A race of telepathic humanoids native to the Ood Sphere (which is in the same region of space as the Sense Sphere). They were used as slaves during the Second Great and Bountiful Human Empire, until they were liberated by the Doctor, Donna and a spy for the Friends of the Ood.
The law enforcement arm of the Shadow Proclamation, Judoons look like bipedal rhinos in Badass Biker
gear. They are extremely fond of rules and regulations, as seen in The Sarah Jane Adventures
, and a bit thick.
In the sight of any living thing they literally turn to stone. And you can't kill a stone. 'Course, a stone can't kill you either, but then you turn your head away. Then you
blink, and oh, yes it can!
— Tenth Doctor
"Beware lest a statue slay you."
"Voiced" in a manner of speaking by David Atkins as Angel Bob (2010)
Quantum-locked creatures so ancient, even the Doctor doesn't know where they come from. As long as they are being observed, the Angels turn to stone. The "Weeping" in their name comes from their habit of holding their hands over their eyes so as not to accidentally see each other. But as soon as they are unobserved, they move with Super Speed
to overtake their prey. If need be, they'll transport their victims back through time and then feed on their lives spent in the past. If they're not feeling quite so creative, they'll just snap their victim's neck like a twig. One of the creepiest aliens in the history of the series.
- Affably Evil: Even the Doctor notes that living out the rest of your life in a different time period isn't that bad. Even when stealing people's voices/brains, they use them to speak in an eerily polite manner.
- Always Chaotic Evil: Though their usual method of "killing" isn't all that bad, they only employ it because that is how they feed. In their second appearance they find another, better source of nourishment...and proceed to act like the sadistic psychopaths that they are—snapping necks, playing mind games, and ripping out vocal cords. Why?
For fun, sir.
- Bizarre Alien Biology: Creatures of the abstract. They turn to stone when anyone is looking. Ultimate defence mechanism.
- Creepy Changing Statue
- Eldritch Abomination: It is implied that they are, in fact, sapient ideas which have come to life to kill people. It doesn't help that ideas of them (photos, visual memory) literally can come to life to kill people.
- Evil Laugh: Is not even recognizable as laughter, so much as horrible screeching.
- Fate Worse Than Death: Not in their first appearance, where they "kill you nicely" and get enthusiastic testimonials from their victims. But played dead straight in their second, where while they kill most of their victims, they partially reanimate Sacred Bob into a mouthpiece for the Angels. And in their third, where they keep humans in solitary confinement for their whole lives while repeatedly sending them back into the past to feed.
- For the Evulz: The reason they give for making Amy Pond count down to her own death.
- The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: In "The Time of Angels", where "an image of an Angel becomes itself an Angel".
- Hoist by His Own Petard: The Doctor tricks them into looking at each other, freezing them forever.
- In their second appearance, they try to draw energy from one of the omnipresent 'cracks in the universe' to become a universe-devouring army of death. This backfires badly on them. The crack is 'the end of the universe' and releases time energy which wipes anything it consumes out of existence. They drain all of the power from the ship to try and escape... which switches off the artificial gravity, resulting in them all being hurled into the crack and erased from time.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Part of what makes the Weeping Angels so terrifying to viewers was the implication that the audience counted as an observer when determining when the angels can or can't move. Averted later in "Flesh and Stone".
- Un-averted in "Angels Take Manhattan".
- Light-Flicker Teleportation
- Light Is Not Good: They look like statues of angels.
- Not just angels as of Angels Take Manhattan: they can be anything. Including cherubs with creepy laughs and bronze statues in parks.
- And the freaking Statue of Liberty!
- Made of Iron: Though the obvious logic would just be to smash them into dust as stone statues, they are a lot tougher than statues should be. A group of soldiers unloading on them doesn't even scratch them.
- You can't kill a stone. They probably are not true stone, or being quantum-locked makes their stone form harder than diamond.
- You can't kill a stone because a stone isn't alive. The destroyed and smashed Angels in Flesh and Stone are clearly not dead, they're dormant.
- New Powers as the Plot Demands: Each episode starring them adds new abilities, while sometimes ignoring their existing limitations.
- Nobody Here But Us Statues
- Offscreen Teleportation: Their explicit super-power.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: The actual name of the species, if there is one, is unknown.
- Our Gargoyles Rock
- Scare Chord: Their Leitmotif.
- Step Into The Blinding Fight: Justified; they become 'quantum-locked' and completely incapable of moving when being observed by other living things, so they've developed abilities that let them drain power from light sources when in statue-form, making it easier to approach their prey.
- Super Speed: They need only the time it takes to blink to dart forward and slay their victim.
- Taken for Granite: Whatever they are in their natural state, they turn to stone if looked upon.
- Or bronze. Or copper. Or whatever else statues are made of. It seems they're like the Nestene, in that while anything plastic can be a Nestene, any statue can be an Angel; this was hinted at in the Paranoia Fuel last terrifying minute and a half of "Blink" and outright confirmed in their third appearance.
These are our forests. They are our meat.
Also known as "The Shadows that Eat the Flesh
", the Vashta Nerada are tiny scavengers that hide in the shadows, any shadows, before consuming their prey. They are found on every world, including Earth.
- The Croc Is Ticking: You can tell that a swarm of Vashta Nerada has eaten someone when the microphone in their spacesuit breaks and keeps repeating the same thing over and over again.
- Darkness Equals Death: If you enter a shadow that the Vashta Nerada occupies, you will be devoured.
- Living Shadow: Trope Namer. A swarm of Vashta Nerada looks like a dark shadow moving across the ground. They can even form the shape of a humanoid of shadow to animate spacesuits.
- Primal Fear: The species is implied to be the reason that many species have a natural fear of the dark.
- Stripped to the Bone: When they devour humans and a chicken leg, all they leave are bare bones.
- The Swarm/The Worm that Walks: They're thousands of microscopic carnivores working in unison.
- Zombie Gait: It's not like space suits are designed to be piloted by swarms of thousands of miniscule creatures that ate the previous occupant.
Silence will fall.
Played by: Marnix Van Den Broeke (2011)
Voiced by: Barnaby Edwards (2011)
The leaders and faces (creepy, creepy faces) of a religious order called "the Order of the Silence"
, these aliens are the Big Bads
of series 5 and 6. In the same vein as the Weeping Angels, you're never safe if you're not looking at the Silence, but for a different reason: as soon as you look away from a Silent, you forget you ever saw it
It's us or them.
Played by: Karen Gillan, Harrison Mortimer, Madison Mortimer
, Marshall Lancaster, Mark Bonnar, Sarah Smart, Raquel Cassidy, Leon Vickers and Matt Smith
The Gangers were a clone race created by humans from an artificially created organic substance called the Flesh.
Gangers were primarily created so workers who had extremely dangerous jobs could work without body harm or death. The Ganger is just an avatar, a robot-like being that is mentally controlled by the original. If a Ganger is destroyed or gets mortally wounded, another Ganger is created for the consciousness to inhabit. Well, that's how it's supposed
to work, at least. In the episode they initially appear in, the Gangers are cut off from the originals, leading to them developing minds of their own (and retaining all of the original's memories), essentially turning them from avatars to clones. They immediately understand what has happened, and plot to escape the base, not particularly caring if the originals get killed in the process (after all, they aren't
actually different. At all
- Acting for Two
- And I Must Scream: The partially melted down Gangers. Rotting but fully alive and conscious.
- Body Horror: The rotting Gangers — partially melted but still conscious. And eyes in one of the walls, made of more living Flesh.
- Chekhov's Gun: In "A Good Man Goes to War".
- Cloning Blues: They turn into this after being cut off from the people they're based on.
- Continuity Nod: In "The Almost People", one decommisioned Ganger resembles 9/10th Doctor villainess Cassandra.
- They also seem to be "forced-growth clones" like Chip.
- Deadly Euphemism: Gangers, being considered implements, are not killed but "decommissioned." Justified in that originally they were avatars of people, not sentient beings in and of themselves.
- Finishing Each Other's Sentences
- Glamour Failure
- Go Mad from the Revelation: Ganger!Jennifer completely loses it thanks to all her memories of being 'decommissioned'.
- Hive Mind: The two Doctors manage to act as if they were still occupying the same skull. Which, in a way, they are. Both being essentially exactly the same person, it would make sense that they would know exactly what the other was thinking. And the fact that Time Lords are telepathic couldn't have hurt, either.
- In-Series Nickname: The TARDIS team seem to have dubbed them "Flesh Avatars".
- Meaningful Name: "Ganger" comes from both "doppelgänger" (a duplicate of a person) and "ganger" (a menial labourer assigned to a large work gang, i.e. on old-fashioned railroads).
- Nightmare Face: An incomplete Ganger.
- Replacement Goldfish: Two of the original humans are killed and their Gangers resume their lives for them.
- Rubber Man: The Gangers.
- Shapeshifting Squick
- Spot the Imposter
- Tomato in the Mirror
- What Measure Is a Non-Human?: The Gangers are designed to be expendable — their purpose is to mine the acid, a horribly dangerous job, without putting humans at risk. Naturally, they aren't happy about this.
- Your Princess Is in Another Castle: Or, Your Daughter is in Another Body, Rory.