"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!"The various races who encounter the Doctor in Doctor Who. 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 branches.
— Second Doctor, "The Moonbase"
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Classic Series Debut
Daleks (All Doctors)
"EXTERMINATE!"Mutants. Cyborgs. Aliens. Complete and utter bastards and the favorites of many small children. A species of genetically engineered xenophobes 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 Mad Scientist named Davros. The Daleks' physical form is 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 the most endearingly and enduringly popular.
Voiced by: Peter Hawkins (1963–67); David Graham (1963–66); Roy Skelton (1967, 1973, 1975–83, 1985–88)note ; Oliver Gilbert and Peter Messaline (1972); Michael Wisher (1973–74); Brian Miller (1984, 1988); Royce Mills (1984–88); Geoffrey Sax (1996); Nicholas Briggs (2005–present)
- 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.
- How does a Dalek say "You are different from me"?
- Age Without Youth: "The Witch's Familiar" reveals Daleks can't die naturally, but they do age, the body breaking down, rotting, decaying; when a Dalek reaches this point, they're consigned to the tunnels beneath Dalek cities without their armour. There's a reason the Dalek word for "graveyard" is the same as the one for "sewer".
- Always a Bigger Fish: The Doctor, who they refer to as "The Predator of the Daleks".Eleventh Doctor: Imagine you were dying. Imagine you were afraid and a long way from home and in terrible pain. Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse, you looked up and saw the face of the Devil himself... Hello Dalek!
Dalek: Emergency! Emergency! Weapon System Disabled! Emergency Protocols Have Been Breached! Emergency, Emergency, Emergency!
Rose: If you um...escaped the Time War don't you wanna know what happened. What happened to the Emperor?
- Rose could also count considering what she did to the Dalek Emperor and an entire army with just a wave of the hand.
Dalek: (Beat) The Emperor survived?!
Rose: Till he met me. Cause if these are gonna be my last words than you're gonna listen. I met the Emperor and I took the Time Vortex and I pulled it into his head and turned him into dust. Did you get that? The God of all Daleks and I destroyed him!
- River Song could also qualify. She had that one Dalek begging for mercy as soon as it learned her name.
- Always Lawful Evil: Averted with Dalek Sec, Oswin Oswald, Rusty, and to a lesser extent Dalek Caan, who are or become good, but they are generally the exception that proves the rule. Also, none of them changed on their own. The overwhelming majority are genocidal death machines. Justified because they're genetically and mentally conditioned from birth to feel nothing but seething contempt for non-Dalek life, and fanatical obedience to the Dalek race.
- Arch-Enemy: The species as a whole is this for the Doctor. Specifically, only the Eighth Doctor has never directly opposed them in the TV series; largely due to having only two appearances, and even then, they make a voice-only cameo at the beginning of the TV movie. They're that ubiquitous.
- 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 revival; 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.
- Ax-Crazy: Every single Dalek is a psychopathic Knight Templar Omnicidal Maniac. Even the "sane" ones realise what they are and tend to Go Mad from the Revelation.
- Bad Future: According to "Genesis of the Daleks" they would've eventually succeeded in their goal of destroying all non-Dalek life. Luckily the Fourth Doctor's meddling in their birth fixed all of that.
- Bad Is Good and Good Is Bad: The only thing they find beautiful is pure hatred.
- Berserk Button: The Doctor eventually becomes this for them. Notably, the lone Dalek in "Dalek" stayed completely silent for 50 years, not saying a word to its human captors. But as soon as a man introduces himself to it as "The Doctor", the Dalek loses it.Dalek: DOC-TOR? The Doctor? EXTERMINATE! EXTERMINATE! EXTERMINATE!
- Big Bad: Archenemies of the Doctor and everything else. Quite fond of the Evil Plan in the revival, 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. They're the main antagonists of the 2005 and 2008 series.
- Big Bad Ensemble: Of the 2006 series, with the Cybus Cybermen.
- Bond Villain Stupidity: All enemies of the Doctor suffer this to some extent, but the Daleks compound it with Wrong Genre Savvy.
- 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.
- Can't Use Stairs: A Running Gag.
- Subverted, however, in "Remembrance of the Daleks." The first episode cliffhanger was the Doctor fleeing up the stairs and thinking he was safe from the Dalek chasing him, only for it to start levitating up the stairs after him.
- Happens again in "Dalek", where Rose tells folks the pursuing Dalek won't be able to follow them up the stairs. The Dalek announces "EL-E-VATE!" and begins levitating up them. This was put in after one of the writers asked his girlfriend why she thought the Daleks made rather pathetic villains in the original show, and she told him how easy they were to foil.
- Catch Phrase:
- "EX-PLAIN! EX-PLAIN!",
- "I OBEY!"
- "MY VISION IS IMPAIRED! I CANNOT SEE!"
- The phrase "Seek, Locate, Destroy." has become a distinct catchphrase over the years.
- Characterisation Marches On: The original Daleks were vastly different from what they would become. They hated the Thals completely, but were willing to keep the Doctor and his companions alive, even feed them. They required radiation and a constant supply of electricity to survive. That said, their first story takes place in the Daleks' past, before they had achieved space flight; it might simply have been a case of both their Technology and society marching on in-universe.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: In the novel Prisoner of the Daleks, it is revealed that the Daleks adjust their death ray to the level required to kill their target... and then dial it down a notch, so the victim suffers a moment of excruciating agony before they die.
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience:
- More than one serial in the old series had a Black Dalek in a position of authority over the others.
- In the 1980s, the Daleks split into two factions: the Imperial Daleks had cream casings with gold highlights, while the Rebel Daleks were a more traditional grey and black.
- In the new series, the New Paradigm Daleks have a rainbow of casing colours. Supposedly it denotes their functions, but it's never come up at all in an actual episode.
- The Comically Serious: Despite them being xenophobic murderers, the fact that they have few emotions, including zero sense of humor, occasionally makes them this.
- Conservation of Ninjutsu: One Dalek? You're so screwed. A full Dalek Empire? They're so screwed. Though it should be pointed out, they do cause quite a bit of collateral damage before they go down. Just not to the main cast of the episodes.
- Creepy Monotone: Averted. It sounds more like they're trying to choke back their disgust with all other life.Tenth Doctor: Technology using the one thing a Dalek can't do. Touch. Sealed inside your casing. Not feeling anything ever, from birth to death, locked inside a cold metal cage. Completely alone. That explains your voice. No wonder you scream.
- Cruel and Unusual Death: That Death Ray they use? It doesn't just kill you. You die in agony.
- Cyber Cyclops: The production team has added pupils to the 2010 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. Even guns capable of destroying the bullet proof Cybus Cybermen have no effect on them.
- Determinator: They never give up. You have to admire a species that manages to survive even after being made extinct. Repeatedly. And for never turning a blind eye to their mortal enemy, the Doctor, who has been responsible for several of those mass extinctions. An enemy who became a warrior to fight them personally when they declared war on his people- a race so advanced they could dismantle reality if they wanted to. And ended that very same war by turning their numbers against them. What did the Daleks do? Enter a second war with the Doctor alongside his worst foes when he was on the verge of rescuing his own people. And even then continued to do battle for centuries after everyone else gave up and they had tried to kill him so much he finally began to die of old age.
- During the Time War, the Time Lords threw literally everything they could think of at the Daleks - super-weapons, Eldritch Abominations, altering time itself - and not a single one of these attempts stopped them.
- Demoted to Extra:
- 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, the Doctor included.
- In turn, the Doctor is this to the Daleks. There is a reason they call him the Oncoming Storm.
- Elite Mook: The Special Weapons Dalek.
- Enemy Civil War:
- Twice on TV: first in "The Evil of the Daleks" when the Doctor infected a group of Daleks with the Human Factor and second in "Resurrection of the Daleks", "Revelation of the Daleks" and "Remembrance of the Daleks" in which Davros creates upgraded Imperial Daleks, conditioned to be personally loyal to him as their emperor. It led to a war with the baseline Daleks.
- Even Evil Has Standards: The Kaleds were overtly based on Nazis, intended genocide on their Thal rivals, and used chemical and biological weapons to the point that Skaro was virtually uninhabitable. Even they found the Daleks to be evil.
- 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!
- Evil Sounds Deep: Not the rank and file, with their famously shrill and screechy tones, but high ranking Daleks sometimes have low, booming voices. Case in point, the 2005 Emperor and 2008 Supreme.
- Eye on a Stalk: A mechanical example; defeating them often revolves around attacking it.
- 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. Averted when one tries it on River Song. After making it beg three times, she kills it.
- Feeling Oppressed by Their Existence: They feel this way about every single non-Dalek in the universe, and occasionally by Daleks of "inferior" designs also.
- Flying Saucer: The standard make of their starships going back quite some time.
- Forever War: They are the result of a thousand year war between the Thals and their ancestors, and have been waging war against the rest of the universe since their inception.
- From Nobody to Nightmare: In Doylist terms, though not Watsonian. In their first appearance, they were confined to a single city and trying to survive. Then they acquired space and later time travel, becoming one of the most powerful and feared races of all time.
- Gold-Colored Superiority: The rank structure of the Daleks places Golden Daleks high in the hierarchy.
- 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.
- I'm a Humanitarian: "Into the Dalek" reveals that Daleks feed on a protein goop processed from the carcasses of their victims.
- Immune to Bullets: They're (mostly) vaporized by a forcefield before they can make contact. And even without their shields, bullets in the revived show never have any effect on them.
- Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: Inverted in the revived series. Unique among Doctor Who villains, the Daleks NEVER miss, even when shooting at the Doctor himself. Ascended into Improbable Aiming Skills in "Victory of the Daleks" where we see one shoot down airplanes.
- In Love with Your Carnage: They built the Dalek Asylum to contain Daleks that were too violent and insane even for them to control but refuse to destroy them because they find such pure hatred to be beautiful. It has an entire wing containing the Daleks that have gone insane in battles with the Doctor, which are judged to be so dangerous and unstable they must be kept separate for the protection of the other prisoners.
- It's suggested that this might be the reason why they've never been able to finish off the Doctor.
- Inferiority Superiority Complex: According to a documentary, actors are instructed to play the Daleks like this, the idea being that subconsciously the Dalek race as a whole are extremely troubled by the knowledge that they are really just mutants in tanks, feeling that they therefore are being dwarfed by other, more "legitimate" species. To make up for the resulting existential angst, they (over)compensate by deciding they must be better simply by virtue of them being Daleks.
- Joker Immunity: No matter how hard the Doctor tries, he can never manage to destroy the Daleks for good. They always end up resurfacing to face him again. Basically they're too iconic to kill off.
- They've been completely wiped out countless times, and every time one group of them manages to defy odds and survive to revive the species again. At this point, being completely destroyed only to return later is as much part of their character as 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. (He has a time machine.)
- 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. That said, the fact they even have any concept of mercy is a plot-point in "The Witch's Familiar"; it turns out they get it from Davros, as they get so much else.
- Large Ham: "EXTERMINATE!" This is especially when voiced by Nicholas Briggs.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: Inflicted on all of them in "Asylum of the Daleks". It did not last long. Undone when they "harvested" the memories Tasha Lem had of the Doctor after converting her into a Dalek puppet in "Time of the Doctor". Whether this restored their memories or replaced them isn't entirely clear though.
- "Into the Dalek" reveals that the Dalekanium transport shell does this to all the Daleks on purpose, suppressing any memories that might lead the Daleks away from the "purity" that Davros had envisioned for them all the way back in "Genesis of the Daleks".
- Leitmotif: The appropriately titled "The Daleks" from the revival.
- Low Culture, High Tech: Much like their real life inspiration, and a great part of what makes them so scary. They are one of the most advanced races in the 'verse, even making regular use of Time Travel, but all they ever conceive of doing with their spaceships is find new places to raze.
- The Man: The Dalek Emperor is this in the Series 1 finale, running not only the New Dalek Empire, but also secretly running the Human empire from behind the scenes, initially through the Editor and the Jagrafess, and later the Game Station and the Bad Wolf corporation.
- Mass "Oh, Crap!": Not infrequent with them. After all, the Doctor is the only thing in the universe that can inspire in them anything other than hatred or contempt. They're afraid of him.
- Master Race: As one Dalek says in "Victory of the Daleks", the fundamental basis and belief of their entire culture.
- Mind Rape: "Into the Dalek" reveals that Dalek tech does this to them on purpose, to reinforce the notion of their Omnicidal Maniac status. Any memory that might lead to a moral or existential epiphany is forcibly suppressed.
- Morality Dial: As revealed in "Into The Dalek", each Dalek's internal CPU constantly purges any information that could induce even the slightest amount of compassion or empathy.
- A Nazi by Any Other Name: The Kaleds, ancestors of the Daleks, wear black military uniforms very close to the standard Nazi uniform, complete with faux-Iron Crosses at the neck, use what appear to be Luger pistols, and give Roman salutes with heel clicking. They're very fond of shouting a lot, violent threats and talk about racial purity. They get painted as Nazis IN SPACE. This is not surprising, since the Daleks themselves were one of the few Nazi-esque villains who were explicitly meant to be substantively Nazi-like, as opposed to just generic Nazi symbolism to make sure the dimwitted know when to boo. It was nicely lampshaded in the 2008 episode "Journey's End" where Martha teleports to Germany to play her part in activating the Osterhagen Key, and Daleks can be heard shouting in German "Exterminieren!" Possibly even more so in "The Dalek Invasion of Earth" (1965) where the Daleks refer to the destruction of the human race as "the Final Solution" and greet each other by jerking their plungers upwards.
- Bonus for the Thals stating that the Kaleds used to be thinkers and scientists before the whole Skarosian mutual extermination war got started and the fanatics took over the place; It is to be noted, however, that "Genesis of the Daleks" itself adds a bit of Cold War subtext as well.
- Irony: Their original enemies, the pacifist Thals, were the Aryans the Nazis valued. The Daleks, on the other hand, are the exact opposite of what Hitler would've wanted to be.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Part of the reason the Doctor wouldn't destroy the Daleks while they were being developed in "Genesis of the Daleks", for all the times they've done this.The Doctor: I know that although the Daleks will create havoc and destruction for millions of years, I know also that from their evil must come something good.
- In "Into The Dalek", the Doctor admits that it was his first encounter with Daleks that changed his less-altruistic first incarnation into the force for good he would later be known for.
- Nigh-Invulnerability: They started out as 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.
- Ninja Zombie Pirate Robot: Mutant Alien Cyborg Nazi.
- No Indoor Voice: Even in normal conversation (or what passes as such for a Dalek), their voices are loud, harsh, and screeching.
- Omnicidal Maniacs: The only fitting fate for all non-Dalek life is death.
- 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 they have to shoehorn in a cameo, as in "The Waters of Mars" and "The Wedding of River Song". In Classic Who, after 1965 the Daleks turned up less frequently, but this still somewhat applies as every Doctor faced them at least once.
- One-Man Army: In the revived series, if only a few individual Daleks appear, they're usually almost unbeatable and killing even one of them becomes a huge task. Special mention to the Special Weapons Dalek, which was able to win the battle in "Remembrance of the Daleks" single handedly, and it was against other Daleks.
- The Paranoiac: An entire species of paranoid xenocidal maniacs. Genetically programmed to feel hatred for all forms of non-Dalek life, they live in pressured pepperpot tanks both for mobility and because they are utterly terrified of being somehow infected by interacting with other lifeforms. They have a highly rigid command structure and are perfectly willing to die for the cause of racial purity, with their ultimate aim being the eradication of all life everywhere so that the Dalek race will be protected from contamination from their supposed biological inferiors.
- Roar Before Beating: "EX-TER-MI-NATE!"
- Scary Dogmatic Aliens: They're Nazis In Space!, with the odd religious fundamentalist overtone, such as in "The Parting of the Ways".
- 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.
- Starfish Robots: What the metal casings themselves are.
- The Starscream: They have repeatedly turned against and overthrown their creator, Davros, only to come crawling back when they are weak, because he is smarter than them. Though not smart enough to have realized that when he created a race that thinks they are superior to everyone, that would include him. Subverted Trope in the 2008 revival episode "The Stolen Earth"; the Daleks don't even pretend to respect him this time, and are keeping him as a "pet".
- Strong as They Need to Be: Their Death Ray weapon, justified depending on how much power is used in it. It varies from being enough to kill a human or a Cybus Cyberman, to blasting a hole in a bomb shelter blast door.
- Super Soldier: They have one, the Special Weapon Dalek, which has a different casing from its fellows, and is far stronger, capable of incinerating three Daleks in one shot. Apparently, according to the novelisation of "Remembrance of the Daleks", it's crazier than the average Dalek, due to the radiation its weapon produces. Daleks being Daleks, they think it's an abomination and have to be told not to kill it.
- Talking Lightbulb: Their "ear-lamps" flash in time with their speech.
- Technology Marches On: In-universe. One of the few species besides humanity that is depicted in different stages of their development - when we first saw them, before they reached space flight, they were dependent on external power sources. They had remedied this with disk-like acessories in the 22nd century, and engineered their casings to not even need these further ahead. They also achieved time travel at some point and multiple wars and conflicts in their history/ the future are known. At some point, they also experimented with making themselves completely mechanical. Later in the classic series, and most of the new one, we mostly encounter those far future Daleks occasionally ending up back on present!Earth.
- Too Dumb to Live: They have an unfortunate habit of becoming this, particularly when their "vision is impaired!!!" Naturally, as they are unable to see, they will begin shooting wildly, in one case causing the Dalek to destroy itself when in a hall of mirrors in "The Five Doctors", and making for very annoying gameplay in the 2010 Adventure Game, City of the Daleks. Apparently their vision isn't the only thing that is impaired when they are damaged.... Lampshaded in "The Stolen Earth". A Dalek's "eye" is blinded, but the Dalek remedies it and says "My vision is not impaired."
- Took A Level In Bad Ass: They've taken several throughout the years. First, being able to leave the confines of their city, then conquering Earth, then developing time-travel. It got to the point the Time Lords started to get concerned about them, sending the Doctor to try and interfere with their origins. When they returned in 2005, they take another huge leap forward, when it's revealed they started a war with the Time Lords, and not only managed to hold their own, but very nearly won. And that's before we see them on-screen. The Ninth Doctor is utterly terrified to be locked in a room with a Dalek, and with good reason. Oh, and now, they can fly.
- Their increase in threat level is most apparent when you see how the characters approach them: Back in the classic series, two strong men (or just one Ace) with a blunt object could usually ambush and incapacitate one; In the new series, you need at least a futuristic raygun to even stand a chance, and in large numbers, only a major plot event/deus ex machina can stop them.
- This extends to the scale of their plans as well. While they have been Absolute Xenophobes since their early years, this mostly extended to conquering planets and enslaving inferior races. In the Revival Series, they are full-on Omnicidal Maniacs who attempt to destroy all of reality at one point and nearly succeed.
- Tortured Monster: 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.
- Unwilling Roboticisation: The Robo-Men (not to be confused with the Cybermen), the Daleks' low-level police/enforcers during their 22th century invasion of Earth.
- The new series reveals that the Daleks still use robotized humanoid servants around the 51st century, in the form of their Dalek Puppets. These are significantly insidious in that they can function as Manchurian Agents, acting like they did while alive, until an eyestalk unexpectedly bursts from their forehead...
- 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" a faction are fighting Davros.
- Largely undone in the revival series. The titular Dalek in "Dalek" wiped out the whole of the underground base on its own. "Asylum of the Daleks" shows that they can convert human beings into unwitting meat puppets, or even full on Dalek conversions. And "Into the Dalek" shows the inner workings of the outer shell, and the horror of just what Daleks do to themselves on a daily basis just to maintain their "purity".
- Zig-Zagged in the Moffat years. Under Davies they eventually became Too Powerful to Live to the point where them merely being alive was a threat to the universe (and beyond), yet due to Joker Immunity they would always come back regardless. When Moffat took over the policy changed and they now show up as Monster of the Week, also preferring to try and use or kill The Doctor but no longer trying to destroy the universe, even trying to save it at some points (albeit only so they don't die too). Their technology and threat level is greater than ever, but they do not put it into practice.
- Weaksauce Weakness: Stairs used to be this for them. Used to.
- 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.
- 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.
- X-Ray Sparks: The special effect used for their Death Ray since 1988.
Thals (First, Third and Fourth Doctors)
Thals were one of two sapient races native to the planet Skaro. The other race were the Kaleds, who eventually became the Daleks after a long and bitter war against the Thals.
- Actual Pacifist: After a thousand years of war, they refuse to fight the Daleks again.
- Arch-Enemy: With the Kaleds/Daleks. The war between the two races lasted a thousand years.
- Beauty Equals Goodness: The Thals resemble blond humans and are therefore good. The Daleks are blobs in metal tanks and are therefore evil.
- Human Aliens: Just like the Kaleds, they are visually indistinguishable from humans and Time Lords.
- Not So Different: Genesis of the Daleks shows that the Thals could be just as cruel and bloodthirsty as the Kaleds. However, by the time of The Daleks, they've become pacifists. By Planet of the Daleks, as pictured, they've regained a willingness to fight when necessary.
- People Of Hair Colour: The Thals have blond hair and light eyes, in contrast to the brunette hair and dark eyes of the Kaleds. Ironic, considering the Kaleds are very much Space Nazis.
Zarbi (First Doctor)
Giant alien ants from the planet Vortis. Appeared in The Web Planet and have shown up in the expanded universe a few times since, usually as a punchline.
- Anti-Villain: The Zarbi are actually being brainwashed by the Animus.
- Big Creepy-Crawlies
- Bug War: Uniquely, a war between two different factions of bugs. The ant-like Zarbi and the Menoptera, a race of butterfly people.
- Meaningful Name: Zarbi is a slang word in french for Bizarre. Bizarre means Weird when translated in english.
- Insectoid Aliens: Planet Vortis is full of them. The Doctor and his companions are the only non-insects in the entire serial.
- People in Rubber Suits: Really obvious. A rather infamous example, meaning the Zarbi are somewhat of a joke among old-school fandom.
- Running Gag: Whilst the Doctor tangles with formidable foes such as the Daleks, the Cybermen and the Master, Iris Wildthyme keeps running into the Zarbi.
Drahvins (First Doctor)
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.
- The Cameo: River Song namedrops the Drahvins as members of the Alliance in "The Pandorica Opens".
- 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.
Cybermen (First, Second, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eleventh and Twelfth Doctors)
You belong to us. You shall be like us.The Mondas/Telos Cybermen come from the tenth planet of the Earth's solar system ("Earth's long-lost twin planet"). note Originally a fully organic humanoid species, they started replacing more and more of their biology with robotics to extend their life, to the point that have next to nothing living inside them, including emotions. 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.
Voiced by: Roy Skeltonnote 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 (2006-present); David de Keyser (2012)
- Accent Upon The Wrong Syllable: They spoke like this in their first appearance, giving their voices a rather unSETTling sINg-song quality."SIIIIlenCE! AnyONNNNNNNNNNNNE who MOOOOOOOVES willbekilled inSTANTlyyyyyy!"
- Action Figure Speech: Because their mouths don't move, they frequently move their hands when speaking amongst each other so the audience knows which one is talking.
- Adaptive Ability: Ramped up in "Nightmare in Silver", wherein they survive an electrified moat without a single loss, and eventually become immune to Cyberguns.
- Animesque: Their 2013 incarnation takes some design cues from Humongous Mecha anime, most notably their Gundam-like vented breastplates and Neon Genesis Evangelion-inspired spinal detailing along their backs. On a non-anime extent, they also look like as if they were the latest products of Stark Industries.
- Always Second Best: No matter how great a threat the Cybermen might be, if you put them in the same room/story as the Daleks, they'll inevitably be shoved aside as being weaker and less ruthless. The Daleks even mocked them about this in Doomsday. This extends to real life as well, since the Cybermen are the second most well known Who monster.
- Arch-Enemy: Only second to the Daleks, the Cybermen are the most recurring and iconic antagonists to the Doctor.
- Art Evolution: The Cybermen tend to change their look with each appearance. The only thing that ever remains unchanged is the handle bars on the side of the head.
- Assimilation Plot: Their whole shtick.
- The Assimilator: Coupled with the Unwilling Roboticisation trope, and equally definitive.
- 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.
- Catch Phrase: "You belong to us" / "You will become like us", or variations upon those phrases. "WE MUZZT SURVIVE!" also tends to pop up fairly often.
- In Nightmare In Silver, they get a new one: "Upgrade in progress."
- 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.
- Comically Missing the Point: A dark version in "The Tenth Planet". Appalled that the Cybermen has no compassion or care for their victims, Polly poses the question: "Have you no heart?!" The Cyberman believes that she refers to the body part.NooOOOoo, that is OOONE of the WEAKnesses that we HAAAVE remoVED.
- Creative Sterility: The Doctor describes them with this trope in their debut arc, but it doesn't really come up much.
- Comes up again significantly in the Big Finish audio production "Human Resources" where the Doctor informs the local Cybermen he only saved them by accident, before he realised who they were. When asked why he will extend help to all other species but not the Cybermen he answers "Because other species create. You don't."
- Creepy 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: Almost certainly the Trope Codifier. The Mondasians were simply trying to keep themselves alive via cybernetics, at the cost of their emotions, and it worked. Then they decided everyone else had to be like them, and set about trying to take over the universe.
- Death of Personality: People who are transformed into Cybermen are stripped of all personality and individuality, becoming soulless killers. Once a human is transformed, they're considered dead and all that can be done is to destroy the Cyberman.
- The Dreaded: In "Nightmare in Silver". They inspire so much fear that the standard procedure for seeing one is to destroy the entire planet.
- Early Installment Weirdness: The first Cybermen in the series, in The Tenth Planet, have individuality and, while incapable of true empathy, are at least not as openly malevolent and conquest driven as they would later become.
- Elite Mooks: Cyber-Leaders, Cyber-Controllers.
- Evil Evolves: At least in "Nightmare in Silver", the main problem with fighting Cybermen is the ability to adapt to enemy weapons on the fly. Using a super laser gun thing Clara and some soldiers completely obliterated one Cyberman, blew up the head on the next and slightly singed a third. It's considered that the only way to really stop a Cyberman invasion is to nuke the entire planet. And even that may not be enough if The Stinger in that episode is any indication.Upgrade in Progress.
- Evil Is Hammy:
- 1980s Cybermen, particularly their Cyber-Leaders. "EXCELLLEEENT!!!"
- Mr. Clever, who frankly considers the scenery an appetizer.
- When initially introduced, the Cybermen were completely alien but in many ways better than humans, even winning the arguments thrown at them, and offered cyber-conversion as a choice, although they couldn't care less about mankind. Later on, the Cybermen's main motto seems to completely become "convert everyone into Cybermen", although this could be excused by Early Installment Weirdness and that their survival motive seems to be intertwined with cyber-converting.
- In later Classic series stories, the Cybermen seem to be in a weaker state, which could explain their desire for more Cyber-conversion.
- The second flanderization Cybermen got was the level they displayed their emotions and their weakness to gold, because it clogs their chest-units. In "Revenge of the Cybermen", the weakness was introduced and the writers and actors put much less effort in making the Cybermen seem emotionless like they originally did. When they came back in "Earthshock", their lack of emotions was little more than lip-service and they had tendency to delve into Large Ham territories, to the point it was suggested that the Cybermen remove all emotions except for rage. And in "Silver Nemesis", the gold weakness was exaggerated to the point where merely being hit by a gold coin could completely destroy them.
- Godzilla Threshold: After the Cyber-Wars, the mere presence of one Cyberman is grounds to blow up a whole planet.
- During the Cyber-Wars, the only way to stop them was to destroy their entire galaxy.
- Great Off Screen War: The Cyber-Wars, which ended with an entire galaxy being blown up. They survived.
- Human Resources: It makes fighting them difficult. After all, if they need new troops, they can take you.
- 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.
- Leitmotif: "The Cybermen".
- Literal Surveillance Bug: The Cybermats.
- Machine Monotone: All Cybermen talk in a mechanical, computer-like voice, though they shift in and out of this in their "Earthshock" appearance.
- 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. Unless you count the Cyber Controller in the Doctors' mind, who is more Laughably Evil due to basing himself on the Doctor.
- Silent Antagonist: The Nightmare in Silver Cybermen don't say much.
- Stompy Mooks: The 2013 version has this, just like the Cybus Cybermen.
- Straw Vulcan: Depending on the Writer the emotionless qualities of the Cybermen would be dropped if convenient.
- Super Speed: The ones that first appeared in "Nightmare in Silver" can move much faster than anything seen before, effectively graduating into Lightning Bruiser. Matt Smith even commented that was the most scary thing about them in "Nightmare in Silver".
- Too Dumb to Live: They locked the Doctor up in an explosives storage closet...without searching him for items that could be used as a detonator. Guess how he got the door open?
- 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 that reaches Bullet Time levels, and it requires special guns to even damage them.
- Worse for the Doctor, they aren't limited to assimilating Humans anymore, putting Time Lords on the menu.
- In their next appearance in "Dark Water"/"Death in Heaven" they have upgraded again, this time capable of flight, having advanced nanotechnology that can even resurrect and convert the dead, and maybe or not finally capable of time-travel. Their mastery of nanotech is so advanced that their ultimate plan involves infesting the atmosphere of Earth with it until every living human and every human corpse becomes a Cyberman, meaning they now have the ability to conquer entire planets with relative ease.
- 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.
- Was Once a Man: An entire cyber-race of them.
- 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 Star Trek: The Next Generation/Doctor Who: Assimilation˛, 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. Furthermore, it's a very "us or them" kind of situation, and while the Cybermen intend to save as many humans as they possibly can, they acknowledge those they can't will die.
- 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.
Macra (Second and Tenth Doctors)
A race of enormous crustaceans who fed off gases that were poisonous to most other species. The Second Doctor first encountered them when they had enslaved a human colony. The Tenth Doctor later discovered a new breed of Macra living under New New York.
- Anti-Villain: In a way. In "The Macra Terror", they only enslaved the colonists because the humans had colonised the Macra home world without asking. In "Gridlock", they're merely non-intelligent animals who are defending their territory.
- Deadly Gas: Their primary food source.
- Evolutionary Levels: After billions of years, the Macra the Tenth Doctor encounters on New Earth have devolved from sapient beings to mindless beasts.
- Giant Enemy Crab
- Long Bus Trip: Forty years between "The Macra Terror" and "Gridlock".
- Villain Decay: Invoked. After a few billion years, the Macra devolved into a much less intelligent form, so instead of being invisible puppet masters, they're just scavengers living off car fumes.
Ice Warriors (Second, Third, and Eleventh Doctors)
- 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.
- Mighty Glacier / Fragile Speedster: Both in Cold War, depending on if they are in or out of their armor. Since they can remote control their armor, they can even fill both rolls at once. However, for cultural reasons they remain in their armor.
- 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.
Quarks (Second Doctor)
These guys were originally intended to replace the Daleks. Really. The Quarks first appeared as robotic servants to the titular race in The Dominators and later showed up as independent villains of their own in Sixties comic strips.
- Cute Machines: It looks like they just want a hug. The high pitched voices don't help.
- Mecha-Mooks: For the planet conquering Dominators.
- Merchandise-Driven: As Terry Nation was keeping the Dalek rights to himself in the late Sixties, the Quarks were created to appeal to children in the same way the Daleks had. Needless to say, the Quarks didn't have quite have the same staying power as the pepper pots from Skaro.
Krotons (Second Doctor)
A crystalline race of aliens. Along with the Quarks, the Krotons are villains from the Sixties who are fondly remembered for having endearingly silly designs. They are also notable for being the first in a long line of Doctor Who monsters created by Robert Holmes.
- Beware the Silly Ones: In the Eighth Doctor Adventures novel Alien Bodies, a lone Kroton destroys an entire battleship full of Daleks.
- Mechanical Lifeforms: The Krotons resemble robots made of crystals.
- Starfish Aliens: Living crystals who resemble robots and power their spaceships with mental energy. Even by Doctor Who standards, they're pretty weird.
- Weakened by the Light: They have poor eyesight in daylight and so have trouble moving around.
Time Lords (Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, War, Tenth, Eleventh and Twelfth Doctors)
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...The Doctor's own people. They hail from the planet Gallifrey and claim to be the universe's first civilization. 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.
— Brother Lassar, "School Reunion"
- 0% Approval Rating: Thanks to the Time War, the rest of the Universe went from treating them with bemused apathy to loathing them like they do Daleks. In "The Night of the Doctor" it's out-right stated that there's no difference between them and the Daleks anymore. They're so hated that they have to hide at the end of time for their own safety; otherwise they'd have another Time War on their hands.Clara: You're monsters. Here you are, hiding away at the end of time. Do you even know why? Because you are hated. You are hated. By everybody,
- Absolute Xenophobe: Nowhere near as bad as the Daleks, but the Time Lords don't like anyone visiting their planet, they don't like to leave home, and they all seem to live in one giant city encased in a massive glass dome.
- Abusive Alien Parents: Prospective Time Lords are taken to the Academy at the age of eight, and it starts with a glimpse of the raw time vortex that's been known to drive people insane. The only alternative seems to be the army, which scared the young Doctor even more.Master: It began on Gallifrey, as children. Not that you'd call it childhood. More a life of duty.
- Abusive Precursors:
- They used to amuse themselves by snatching people out of time, dropping them in the Death Zone and watching them fight.
- The Minyans of the former planet Minyos see them as gods, and they view their gods as evil.
- Abusing the Kardashev Scale for Fun and Profit: These dudes clock in as the Trope Codifier of Type 4 according to Marnal.
- Alien Non-Interference Clause: Officially, which is part of their dislike of renegades like the Doctor who get "involved". Unofficially, they are perfectly willing to send the Doctor (or even the Master) to fix their messes or perform tasks they don't want to get their hands dirty with. They justify this by saying the Doctor is a 'special' case.
- Anti-Villain: Until The Trial of a Time Lord, the Time Lords were often antagonists to the Doctor but were originally on the side of good. (Television Doctor Who, up until the present, has portrayed them very inconsistently, sometimes as good, sometimes as evil and often as something in-between.)
- Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: This is their ultimate plan in "The End of Time". Or Rassilon's, and no-one dared argue with him. The method they intended to use would have had devastating consequences for the rest of reality, letting the Time War loose if nothing else.
- Awakening the Sleeping Giant: They did this to the Daleks, and the Daleks did this in turn. The Time Lords had spent most of their existence not getting involved and not bothering other species, but for a race of shut-ins, they managed to fight the Daleks for hundreds of years. And then the war went temporal.
- Big Brother Is Watching: "The Deadly Assassin" reveals they have files on every Time Lord (except the Master - he destroyed his). Other stories show they can pop the Doctor anywhere in time and space they want.
- Blue and Orange Morality: They do on some occasions express a view of life as something to be preserved, yet they obey their Alien Non-Interference Clause without hesitation.
- Body Horror: Can apparently happen if regeneration goes wrong. In his final moments the Ninth Doctor mentions he might end up with two heads, or no head at all, and the Eleventh once mentioned he had an aunt with two heads (and bad breath). And then there's what happens if they run out of regenerations.
- Break the Haughty: The Time War brought a species of Physical Gods to their knees.
- Can't Argue with Elves: Appears to be a species trait.
- Character Death: In the revival series, they are all dead as a result of the Time War, an offscreen event that was caused by the War Doctor and led to the extinction of their race. However, in "The Day of the Doctor", one of the biggest Wham Episodes in Doctor Who history, they are saved by the efforts of all thirteen Doctors working together and sealed away into an alternate universe. As the painting's name indicates, Gallifrey Falls No More.
- Corrupt Bureaucrat: Often.
- Crystal Spires and Togas: On the surface with their gorgeous Citadel and fancy regalia. But scratch it and you find a Deadly Decadent Court, where "simple palace revolutions" are the norm.
- Depending on the Writer:
- Are they basically well-intentioned Jerkass Gods devoid of sympathy for individual lesser beings ("The War Games"), uncomplicatedly good protectors of the universe ("The Three Doctors"), pompous but weak dotards who don't really understand their own role or technology any more ("The Deadly Assassin"), or a powerful but almost entirely self-serving Deadly Decadent Court ("The Invasion of Time" and pretty much all TV and expanded universe stories subsequently)? Depends what the scriptwriter thought.
- Are all Gallifreyans full Time Lords? It's a question that's kept the fanbase puzzled for eons.
- Dying Race: Due to the Last Great Time War, the Time Lord race was rendered functionally extinct. In "The Day of the Doctor", the timeline is altered by the combined efforts of thirteen incarnations of the Doctor, but this led to the entire population of Gallifrey being shunted into a pocket universe and lost. The only Time Lords currently known in the universe are the Doctor, Jenny (who's currently MIA), River Song (who's sort of dead), and the Master, who's still as unkillable as ever. As for the Doctor's own family, he claims they are now all deceased, but we still don't know precisely what happened to Susan after Series 4 of the New Eighth Doctor Adventures.
- As of "Hell Bent", they've returned to the main universe, but their reputation means they've had to hide Gallifrey at the end of time.
- Everyone Has Standards: Before they went off the rails, they at least had enough decency in "Genesis of the Daleks" to recognize that the Daleks being the sole dominant life-force in the Universe would be a very bad idea.
- Face–Heel Turn: Between "The Trial of a Time Lord" and the Time War scenes of "The End of Time", the Time Lords become Knights Templar in the Time War against the Daleks.
- Zig-zagged. It's later shown that this extends only to the Time Lord Council, especially under the leadership of the revivied Rassilon, and even then there are some Punch Clock Villains. The soldiers actually fighting the war and the civilians caught in the crossfire are a lot more sane.
- Fantastic Caste System: The higher echelons of Time Lord Society appear to live in either the Capitol or Arcadia. Those who live in the Dry Lands in Rassilon's words "don't matter" - whether they're even full Time Lords or not is up for debate.
- Gender Bender: Missy - aka the Master - proves that Time Lords can change gender when they regenerate.
- The Corsair, an old friend of the Doctor's, was also said to have both male and female incarnations. In the novelisation of a never-completed Fourth Doctor TV story, "Shada", the Doctor causally switches between male and female pronouns when reminiscing about the Corsair.
- Borusa is also implied to have had a female form at some point in his past in Engines of War. The general ease at which Time Lords adapt to differently sexed bodies (without any gender identity worries) seems to imply that they are all gender fluid.
- In "Hell Bent" the General regenerates into a woman and comments that it's good to be "Back to normal" after her only male incarnation, suggesting that there's some sense of gender identity present.
- Good Is Not Nice: They are the most powerful and mighty race in the universe, self-appointed guardians of all time and space. With such credentials under their belt, they are naturally boastful, arrogant and extremely corrupt.
- He Who Fights Monsters: If the Doctor hadn't ended the Time War the way he did, the Time Lord leadership would have destroyed all of reality so they could survive as pure energy. This makes them little different from the Omnicidal Maniac Daleks they had been fighting.
- "The Day of the Doctor" reveals that in the face of the Daleks assault, the military had been forced to turn to the Doomsday Weapons kept in the Forbidden Vaults, designed during the Dark Times on Ancient Gallifrey. By the last day of the Time War, they'd used them all.
- Healing Factor: Only when the regeneration has started. Before the Time Lord changes completely, the body heals all the injuries and may rejuvenate the individual.
- Higher-Tech Species: They are the higher tech species. A vehicle that can travel anywhere in time and space, be Bigger on the Inside and disguise itself as anything around it as well as generating food and drink for its whole crew...is laughably primitive by their standards.
- Human Aliens:
- Time Lords are visually indistinguishable from humans, though anyone who takes even a slightly closer look, or who has medical training, will notice some differences straight away.Amy: You look human.
Eleventh Doctor: No, you look Time Lord. We came first.
- According to the Doctor Who Expanded Universe, they're the reason so many Whoniverse species are human-looking.
- Time Lords are visually indistinguishable from humans, though anyone who takes even a slightly closer look, or who has medical training, will notice some differences straight away.
- Human Outside, Alien Inside: On the surface they (usually) look human, but underneath everything's different.
- I Meant to Do That:
- The Time Lords as a whole seem convinced they're 'allowing' the Doctor freedom, ignoring the fact that he ran away from them, and constantly takes every chance he gets to stay away from them.
- Subverted to an extent. Stories like "Genesis of the Daleks" and The Trial of a Time Lord prove they can move the Doctor and his TARDIS anywhere in time and space; they usually don't unless they need him for something.
- Impossibly Tacky Clothes: To the point you start wondering if it's genetic rather than cultural. Even the (very few) co-ordinated Time Lords will do a little something weird to throw the entire ensemble right into WTH, Costuming Department? territory. Most just skip the whole "spot the odd thing out" option and go straight to full-on eye-bleed.
- Last of His Kind: The Doctor, due to having wiped the others out at the end of the Time War. Or so he believed.
- Leitmotif: "This Is Gallifrey", which acts as the theme to both the planet Gallifrey and the Time Lords themselves.
- Mercy Invincibility: A non-video game example. While the aftermath of a regeneration can leave them mentally out-of-sorts, the energy lingering in their systems lets them re-grow whole limbs.
- Mystical High Collar:
- Their formal robes have massive notoriously collars.
- Hilariously, a Freeze-Frame Bonus from John Smith's Journal in "Human Nature" reveals that the Doctor, in his youth, "could never get the collar right".
- Never Speak Ill of the Dead: The revival Doctor is a lot fonder of Gallifrey than he ever was when it was still there. When it looks like the Time Lords are coming back, the nostalgia goes out the window and he grabs the nearest revolver.
- In "In the Forest of the Night", he calls Earth "his world", perhaps exactly because this trope is no longer in play - now that he knows he didn't blow up Gallifrey after all, he no longer has to feel guilty about feeling more at home with the "pudding brains".
- Nice Hat / High Collar of Doom: In "The Deadly Assassin", we were shown Time Lords in their full ceremonial costumes, including their distinctive headgear. Though these were supposed to be "seldom-worn", they have become iconic; it's almost unheard-of to have a story where the Time Lords don't get to wear their Nice Hats. The Doctor has a dim view on Time Lord fashion sense.
- No Man Should Have This Power: The abuse of their power in the past is why they developed their Alien Non-Interference Clause - officially. Subverted in that the High Council is more then willing to abuse their power when they see fit.
- Omnicidal Maniac: Their plan in "The End of Time" involves the destruction of time itself.
- The Omniscient Council of Vagueness / Not-So-Omniscient Council of Bickering: They tended to be one or the other, which is why RTD drop-kicked them out of the revived show.
- Pet the Dog: In "Time of the Doctor", the Time Lords used the cracks in the universe to grant the Doctor a new cycle of regenerations, allowing him to regenerate into his fourteenth incarnation. A more cynical viewpoint is that they only did so because the Doctor is the only one able to bring them back into the universe, making this a little more self-serving on their part.
- The Philosopher King: The Time Lords' entire hierarchy is based on academia, with everyone belonging to a specific College. Training at the Academy begins as age 8.
- Really 700 Years Old: A single Time Lord regeneration can, with proper care and attention, last for hundreds of years, sometimes more.
- Snobs Vs Slobs: Gallifreyans who don't go to the Academy and become full Time Lords go into the army instead; the Academy is the more respected option - the Doctor did not want to go into the army at all.
- Space Elves: Long-lived, scholarly, reclusive, ancient, frequently haughty, devious, powerful and usually robed.
- Spare Body Parts: Their most obvious and widely-known alien trait is that they have two hearts. Though the Doctor shows that the second heart isn't just for show, being nearly incapacitated whenever one of his hearts stops.
- Sufficiently Advanced Alien: As a result of being the Higher-Tech Species. Even the Daleks, their most dangerous foe, never came close to matching the Time Lord's skill at time travel and transcendental technology.
- That Man Is Dead: Renegade Time Lords and Ladies who leave or are exiled from Gallifrey forfeit their names and take up "titles" instead, and are addressed as such by their fellow Time Lords. Examples include: the Doctor, the Monk, the War Chief, the Master, the Rani, and the Corsair. Why they do this has never been explained.
- Training from Hell: At the age of eight, Time Lords attending the Academy are taken in front of the Untempered Schism, a gap in the fabric of reality in which the entire Time Vortex can be seen. According to the Doctor, "Some would be inspired, some would run away, and some would go mad". The Doctor was one of the ones who ran away (and never stopped) and he suspects the Master was one of those who went insane.
- Ungrateful Bastard: The Doctor has saved their bacon multiple times throughout the series and they repay that by alternating between treating him with outright contempt, letting him wander the Universe without a fuss, or trying to kill him, like when they struck a deal with the Valeyard so he would have all of the Sixth Doctor's remaining regenerations. This is eventually zig-zagged in "Hell Bent". While Rassilon and possibly High Council are these, the rest of Gallifrey are certainly not.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: At first. They really don't get involved in Universal affairs unless it's drastic: when they foresaw a future when the Daleks would be the dominant species in the Universe they came to the conclusion that wiping them out from reality would be the best course of action,
Autons (Third, Ninth, and Eleventh Doctors)
- Played by: Hugh Burden (1970), Hamilton Dyce (1970), Noel Clarke (2005), Marcus O'Donovan (2010), David Fynn (2010), Clive Wood (2010), Arthur Darvill (2010)
- Animate Inanimate Object: So long as it's made of plastic, the Nestenes can bring it to life and kill people with it.
- Arm Cannon: Well, hand cannon.
- Breakout Villain: One of the original run's most iconic monsters, despite only appearing three times. The image of mannequins stepping out of shop windows and attacking was vivid enough for them to get into the revival's first episode.
- Everything Trying to Kill You: As the Third Doctor's tenure was largely confined to the Home Counties in the present day for budget reasons, the Autons inaugurated the grand old Doctor Who tradition of everyday objects trying to kill you.
- Hive Mind
- Manchurian Agent: Some later model Autons come with fake memories.
- May Contain Evil
- Murderous Mannequin
- Ridiculously Human Duplicates: Some of them are created as Uncanny Valley versions of humans (Auton!Mickey) but others are so indistinguishable from human that they even believe their own cover stories (the "Romans" and Auton!Rory).
- Step Three: Profit: In the Doctors Revisited - Jon Pertwee special, Steven Moffat felt the Autons' original invasion suffered from this.Steven Moffat: It's a genius idea. Conquering the world with shop dummies! For no particular reason other than it's really scary. What was the plan, exactly? We're going to conquer Earth, by planting... shop dummies in windows.
Steven Moffat: Terrifying idea. Brilliant. And of course, like all great Doctor Who ideas, completely bonkers.
Homo reptilia note (Third, Fifth, Eleventh and Twelfth Doctors)
- Alaya This land is ours. We lived here long before the apes.Silurians voiced by: Peter Halliday (1970)
Silurians played by: Norman Comer, Stuart Blake and Vincent Brimble (1984), Neve McIntoshnote (2010–present) and Richard Hope (2010–12) note , Stephen Moore (2010)
Sea Devils played by: Pat Gorman and Peter Forbes-Robinson (1971), Christopher Farries (1984)
- The Ark: One of their many survival plans built was a space-faring version, containing a few thousand Silurians and a zoo's worth of dinosaurs. Unfortunately, a space pirate boarded the vessel and flushed them all out the airlock.
- 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
a pantomime horsean unknown deep-sea creature.)
- Beneath the Earth: They have laid dormant there for millions of years, and possess very advanced technology.
- Blue and Orange Morality: Some express the desire to reclaim Earth and exterminate humanity with the justification that they came first and that humans are encroaching on "their" world. The Doctor politely points out that it doesn't work that way.
- The Cameo: In "The Pandorica Opens" they are members of the Alliance, and watch as the Doctor is dragged to the Pandorica.
- 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". Averted in "The Sea Devils" due to a concern about "naked Sea Devils running around on telly at teatime".
- Fantastic Racism: The average Silurian doesn't really have a high opinion of us "apes", and don't want to share the planet with us. For some of them, this applies to mammals in general. Even Madame Vastra has her moments.
- Insistent Terminology: They refer to Gene Lines rather than families, and some other touches.
- Kill 'em All: Has a distressing tendency to happen to them whenever they appear, despite the Doctor's best efforts. It's their fault at least some of the time, such as when a militaristic faction deliberately sabotages peace talks with humanity.
- Last of Their Kind: 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 Hungry Earth", he shuts her down pretty quickly. Likely, since the species seems to have had a variety of branches and different survival plans, they're simply wrong.
- Lizard Folk: They are an ancient race of reptilian humanoids that predate humans.
- More Deadly Than the Male: Since their reappearance in 2010, the female Silurians have been portrayed as more aggressive than the males. Much like real-life lizards, then.
- Multipurpose Tongue: Useful both for defending oneself and...um...
- Non-Mammal Mammaries: Well... the modern ones have them, anyhow.
- Not Evil, Just Misunderstood: They're portrayal in the revival series is this, as they're "kidnapping" attempts were merely examinations in trying to find out more about the humans.
- Overly Long Tongue: Which are capable of stunning an opponent upon contact.
- 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: Although they are actually native inhabitants of the Earth.
- Taxonomic Term Confusion: Homo Reptilia? Considering the Homo genus is mammalian. (And that's aside from the oddity of "Silurian", a period in which reptiles hadn't yet evolved. The attempt to fix this with "Eocene" was, unfortunately, still wrong. Poor reptiles can't catch a break.)
- Proud Warrior Race:
- The Warrior Caste Silurians.
- Sea Devils may also fit this trope.
- The more recent versions of the Silurians avoid this trope. Yes, they have a military, but it's not the driving aspect of their culture, and they had a phenomenal grasp of science.
- 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.
- Underground City: Have made a very impressive one where they remain in hibernation.
- 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.
Axons (Third Doctor)
The Axons were part of a gestalt entity known as Axos that came to Earth to devour all of our planet's energy in the serial The Claws of Axos. They were defeated by the Third Doctor and UNIT. The Axons have also shown up in Big Finish Doctor Who (where they fought the Sixth Doctor) and the comic strip of Doctor Who Magazine (where they battled the Eleventh Doctor and Amy Pond in Japan.)
- Beauty Equals Goodness: Subverted. They appear as golden angelic humanoids but turn out to be monstrous.
- Glam Rock: The aesthetics of glam rock had a very big influence on the look of the Axons. It was the early Seventies, after all.
- Hive Mind: The seemingly individual Axons are all part of the same entity.
- Light Is Not Good: Gold and orange are the Axons' primary colour palette and they turn out to be evil.
- Organic Technology: The spaceship they arrive to Earth in. Considering that even the ship is part of the Axos hive mind, this makes sense.
- Trojan Horse: The Axons provide the human race with an alien fuel called Axonite, seemingly to help us with our energy crisis but actually to destroy us.
Ogrons (Third Doctor)
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.
Peladonians (Third Doctor)
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: Their 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.
Draconians (Third Doctor)
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.
- Fantastic Slur: Some humans call them "Dragons."
- 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.
- Non-Mammalian Hair
- Reasonable Authority Figure: The Emperor.
- The Reptilians
- Wutai: Draconia is basically feudal Japan in space with reptile people.
Sontarans (Third, Fourth, Sixth, Tenth, Eleventh and Twelfth Doctors)
Sontar HA! Sontar HA! Sontar HA!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 usually somehow tied to their never ending war against the Rutans (a race of... intergalactic jellyfish).
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–present)note
- Affably Evil / Faux Affably Evil: For all their violent, militaristic ways, they are unfailingly well-mannered among themselves and 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.
- Before Strax IDW Comics had the Sontaran diplomat Stomm, who is one of the Doctor's allies during the story and is trying to attend peace talks (although it is pointed out the Sontarans want the Galaxy more peaceful so they can concentrate against the Rutans).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 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.
- Clone Army: The existence of different "batches" is used to explain why they're not 100% identical.
- 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.)
- Death Seeker
- Ditto AliensRattigan: How do you tell each other apart?
Stahl: We say the same of humans.
- 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.
- Literal-Minded: Sontarans don't have the best grip on human colloquialisms. Stahl was confused by Luke Rattigan saying something was cool, and Strax didn't understand the difference between bringing the morning newspaper up to Clara and throwing it at her head.
- The Magnificent: High-ranking Sontarans tend to carry such epithets, e.g. General Stahl the Undefeated, Commander Skorr the Bloodbringer, etc
- Martyrdom Culture: "Wonderful..."
- 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.
- Becomes something of a running gag with Strax, who similarly has trouble with the concept of two genders and refers to most women as "Boy", even after being repeatedly told otherwise.
- Proud Warrior Race Guys: The Doctor Who representatives of the trope.
- Sociopathic Soldier: They live for war. They die for war. God help you if you get in their way or fight back.
Strax: [cheerfully] I hope someday to meet you in glory of battle where I will crush the life from your worthless human form. Try and get some rest.
- 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. Even so, Strax frequently wishes his patients a speedy recovery and expresses the desire to one day kill them for the glory of the Sontaran Empire.
- Stomm (see above) says farewell to the Doctor in a similar manner.
- Spheroid Dropship: Almost all their ships are plain spheres.
- 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.
- 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.
Wirrn (Fourth Doctor)
The Wirrn were a race of huge, parasitic insects. They initially appeared in "The Ark in Space" and have shown up in Big Finish Doctor Who as well.
- Big Creepy-Crawlies: The Wirrn stand at around 6-7 feet tall. Not too shabby for an insect race.
- Body Horror: You slowly and painfully begin turning into one of them once a Wirrn stings you.
- The Cameo: A dead Wirrn has a brief appearance in the The Stones of Blood.
- Dying Race: Their main hives have been wiped out, leaving them desperate.
- Fighting from the Inside: Like many infectious Doctor Who monsters, their victims can fight back with strong willpower and emotions.
- Insectoid Aliens: They resemble enormous wasp/ant hybrids.
- It's Personal: The reason the Wirrn try to devour the remaining humans on Nerva Beacon is because their hives across the galaxy were wiped out by pioneering humans.
- Off-the-Shelf FX: One of the most (in)famous examples in Doctor Who's history. A lot of the Wirrn effects were achieved with green bubblewrap, bubblewrap being a new invention in 1974. The effective acting in The Ark of Space goes a long way towards making the effect a bit more believable. This was given a nod in the revival series, when Clara Oswald finds a Sarcophagus full of green bubblewrap.
- The Virus: Once they sting you, you begin turning into one of them. The Doctor compares the Wirrn to real life parasitic wasps who lay their young inside caterpillars.
Zygons (Fourth, War, Tenth, Eleventh and Twelfth Doctors)
- Played by: John Woodnutt (1975), Ian Marter (1975), Lillias Walker (1975), Jemma Redgrave (2013), Ingrid Oliver (2013, 2015), Jonjo O'Neill (2013), Joanna Page (2013), Nicolas Briggs (voice: 2013, 2015)
- Always Chaotic Evil: Averted. Most of the Zygons living on Earth just want to live in peace and at worst are Punch Clock Villains for Zygon High Command.
- Anti-Villain: Their home planet was destroyed so they understandably seek a new one. Unfortunately, they want Earth, an already inhabited planet.
- Attack Animal: The Skarasens (as seen in "Terror of the Zygons" and the Tenth Doctor novel "Sting of the Zygons") 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. Their skins were highly durable and their skeletons were fused with an extremely tough alloy.
- The Cameo: In "Attack of the Graske" (a Tenth Doctor mini-sode) and "The Power of Three", albeit in human guises in the latter.
- Fatal Flaw: Their arrogance proves their undoing in "The Day of the Doctor".
- Foreshadowing/Cerebus Retcon: In "The Day of the Doctor" it is revealed that the destruction of the Zygons's homeworld mentioned in their first appearence was in fact an extremely early impact of the Time War on the Doctor's own adventures.
- Long Bus Trip: 38 years between "Terror of the Zygons" and "The Day of the Doctor". The Zygons had, however, had a handful of appearances in official novels and audio plays.
- Organic Technology: The Zygon ship seen in their first appearance. Played with in that while the interior is very organic, the exterior of the ship is a metal hull. "The Zygon Invasion" features a Zygon organic computer that the Doctor interacts with.
- Poisonous Person: They can poison humans with a touch. They also have, as the Tenth Doctor would attest, venom sacs in their tongues.
- Shapeshifter Baggage: Not only can they impersonate humans (who are much smaller than them), Zygons can also shapeshift into other non-humanoid lifeforms such as horses and (maybe) rabbits. In "The Zygon Invasion" the paranoid Colonel Walsh says that "any living thing" on Earth could be a Zygon in disguise.
- Shock and Awe: In "The Zygon Invasion" and "The Zygon Inversion", the Zygons can shoot electricity out of their hands that can turn humans into piles of hair and skin. It's not clear if this is a natural ability or some kind of bio-weapon.
- Stock Ness Monster: One of their Skarasens lived in Loch Ness for centuries and inspired the legend.
- Underestimating Badassery: Lampshaded in "The Day of the Doctor". Their arrogance meant they never stopped to consider that their own commander might have been killed and subsequently impersonated by Elizabeth I, instead of the other way around.Elizabeth I: I may have the body of a weak and feeble woman, but at the time, so did the Zygon!
- Voluntary Shapeshifting: They have the power to transform and reshape their bodies to impersonate humans and, as seen in "The Day of the Doctor", other non-humanoid lifeforms such as horses and (maybe) rabbits, although they do need to keep the being they're impersonating alive as a genetic and psychic "body print." In "The Zygon Invasion" it's claimed that this condition isn't needed any more; Osgood states that, "the rules have changed."
Krynoid (Fourth Doctor)
Carnivorous alien plants with big appetites. First showed up in "The Seeds of Doom" and have popped up in Big Finish Doctor Who a few times since. A Krynoid also faced off against the Eleventh Doctor in the e-book Tales of Trenzalore.
- Alien Kudzu: It infests entire planets.
- Body Horror: Their victims slowly start turning into giant plant creatures.
- Combat Tentacles: As Mary Whitehouse put it: "Strangulation by obscene vegetable matter."
- Green Thumb: Krynoids have the ability to telepathically control nearby plant life.
- Man-Eating Plant
- Palette Swap: The Krynoid costumes are just Axon (in their true form) costumes painted green instead of orange.
- Plant Aliens
- The Virus: When a Krynoid lands on a planet, it will consume all animal life to create more of itself.
- When Trees Attack: The Krynoid's ability to control plant life leads to this.
Rutans (Fourth Doctor)
- Played by: Colin Douglas (1977)
- 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.
- Forever War: They've been at war with the Sontarans for a long time, and they'll still be at it thousands of years later. From what little we know of their war, the Rutan seem to have the upper hand most of the time.
- The Ghost: They're appeared a grand total of once in the series, compared to their nemesis race. They do a little better in the wider Who media (once in an Eleventh Doctor Adventure game, a very short Story Arc with the Fifth Doctor in Big Finish Doctor Who, etc), but appear nowhere near as much as the Sontarans.
- 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.
Movellans (Fourth Doctor)
We are infinitely superior.The Movellans were androids who warred with the Dalek Empire.
- 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 mention they could easily 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.
Nimons (Fourth Doctor)
"THE NIMON BE PRAISED!"A race of parasitic nomads, the Nimons travel from planet to planet posing as gods to other civilizations. However, the Nimons eventually drain the planet of its life energy and move on to the next world. Their sole appearance on television is The Horns of Nimon, but the Nimons also made a memorable appearance in Big Finish Doctor Who and were alluded to in the revived series episode The God Complex.
Voiced by: Clifford Norgate (1979-80)
- Red and Black and Evil All Over: Black fur/skin with bright red eyes.
- Evil Sounds Deep: They have deep, booming voices.
- Frickin' Laser Beams: Uniquely, the Nimons fire lasers out of their horns.
- God Guise: Their modus operandi when it comes to their invasion plans.
- Milking the Giant Cow: The actors in the Nimon costumes are really going for it. Oh, and no jokes about "giant cows."
- Large Ham: "The Horns of Nimon" is so full of hammy acting it would offend Israel, and the Nimons themselves are no exception.
- Life Drain: How they feed. It leaves people, and entire planets, as desiccated husks.
- A Load of Bull: The Nimons greatly resemble the Minotaur of Greek myth.
- Unrealistic Black Hole: The Nimons use black holes to power their technology and as wormholes to travel the universe.
Trions (Fifth Doctor)Trions are an alien species that the fifth Doctor's companion Turlough belongs to.
- Deep Cover Agent: According to Turlough, the Trions had undercover agents on every civilized planet, including Earth.
- Human Alien: Trions looked identical to humans and could survive in similar conditions. Since the nurse at Turlough's school had no problem when examining him, that would imply that Trions have similar, if not identical, internal structure to humans. Though based on Turlough's comments, he may be older than he looks, implying a different rate of ageing.
Eternals (Fifth Doctor)
- Played by: Lynda Baron (As Captain Wrack), Leee John (Mansell) Keith Barron (Captain Striker), Christopher Brown (Marriner) (1983)
- 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, in the Doctor Who Magazine comic Uninvited Guest, the Seventh Doctor might have found a loophole.
- Eldritch Abominations: Exist outside of time and space in eternity, have great Reality Warper powers and they are to Time Lords what Time Lords are to other races.
- For the Evulz: As shown in the Doctor Who Magazine story Uninvited Guest, the more sadistic Eternals would sometimes pose as gods and doom whole worlds in the process.
- Screw This, I'm Out of Here!: Supplemental material states they left reality after the Time War and never came back.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: They were the ones who locked away the Carrionites.
- 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 (yhough Adrenaline from the mind they're accessing helps greatly).
Revival Series Debut
The Slitheen family note (Ninth Doctor)
Victory should be naked!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 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, where a rival family, the Blathereen, is often mentioned, and two Slitheen-Blathereen (orange-skinned Raxacoricofallapatorians) appear, along with a strange dark green-skinned Raxacoricofallapatorian. Perhaps the most unique feature about the Slitheen is their habit of skinning humans and using said skins as disguises.
—Jocrassa Fel-Fotch Passameer-Day Slitheen
Playednote and voiced by: Annette Badland, David Verrey, Rupert Vansittart, Eric Potts and Steve Spiers (2005)
- Affably Evil: 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.
- Always Chaotic Evil: Subverted-we're led to believe they're just another invading species, but they're actually a criminal syndicate. Raxacoricofallapatorians are rather peaceful.
- Becoming the Mask: Both Blon Fel-Fotch Passameer-Day Slitheen and her brother who impersonated Oliver Charles/Asquith appear to suffer from this. The former is horrified after she realised she's gone native after six months amongst the Welsh, while the latter regrets having to ditch his old skin suit, as he got to have "a wife, a mistress and a young farmer".
- Bizarre Alien Biology: They're made of calcium, able to smell fear and pheromones produced by humans, and can expel poison through their fingernails (via darts) or their breath. Due to their biochemistry, they also have a severe allergic reaction to vinegar.
- Costumes Change Your Size: Justified with their technology, allowing them to fit inside of their tinier human disguises.
- Egomaniac Hunter: The Slitheen family, at least, enjoy hunting and treat it like a ritual.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: They're a crime family that legitimately cares about each other—after most of them are killed in their debut, Blon cries about her lost loved ones in a later episode.
- Evil Has a Bad Sense of Humor: They tend to act like evil, overgrown kids. Apart from the fart jokes, their idea of a fake alien is to take an ordinary pig, perform gruesome surgery on it and then stick it in a spaceship.
- Evil Plan: The family Slitheen seems to be rather good at vile schemes to enrich themselves. 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.
- Face Stealer: Along with the rest of your skin.
- The Family That Slays Together
- Fat Bastard: In their human disguises, as the eight-foot-tall Slitheen have to use the skins of overweight people for disguises.
- Gasshole: Not naturally, but squeezing into their human disguises requires a "gas exchange" that results in this.
- Hannibal Lecture: Margaret / Blon in "Boom Town" while trapped in the TARDIS, tries to guilt the heroes into releasing her. Jack says not to answer back, "... it's what she wants."
- Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: The Slitheen family at least, really like hunting humans.
- Kill and Replace:Doctor: You're pleading for mercy out of a dead woman's lips.
- 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, which might explain why all the Slitheen family have been been sentenced to death on their homeworld.
- Overly Long Name: Raxacoricofallapatorius.
- Rogues-Gallery Transplant: After being introduced in the first season of the revival series, the Slitheen effectively migrated to The Sarah Jane Adventures, making more appearances there than in the show that birthed them.
- Toilet Humor: The best way to spot a disguised Slitheen? They fart. A lot.
- Weaksauce Weakness: Vinegar. Go figure.
Roboforms (Tenth and Eleventh Doctors)
- Played by: Paul Kasey (2005–06), George Cottle (2005)
- Bad Santa: A whole brass band of them, complete with weaponized instruments.
- The Cameo: In "The Pandorica Opens", in their non-Santa forms.
- Instrument of Murder: The Roboform wield brass instruments that double as weapons, including a trombone-flamethrower.
- Robotic Reveal: Once the mask comes off.
- Lesser of Two Evils: They're just scavengers who travel alongside the real threat.
Sycorax (Tenth and Eleventh Doctors)
- Played by: Sean Gilder (2005)
- The Cameo: In "The End of Time", "The Pandorica Opens", "The God Complex" and "The Magician's Apprentice".
- Duel to the Death: They believe in solving disputes by honourable combat, often to the death.
- The Sycorax Leader however violates this by attacking the Doctor even after he wins the fight and spares his life, leading to the Doctor triggering a nearby trap door that sends him plummeting to his death. Apparently the other Sycorax felt this either satisfied honour or didn't want to test the Doctor's patience, since they left shortly afterwards.
- Heel–Face Door-Slam: After being beaten by the Doctor, the Human race take the opportunity to fire upon them as they're peacefully leaving Earth, vaporising the entire asteroid.
- 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.
- Planet Spaceship: The Sycorax come from an asteroid named Fire Trap, which was retrofitted into a starship when one fell upon its surface. They eventually built an entire Armarda out of captured and colonised asteroids.
- Proud Warrior Race Guys
Clockwork Droids (Tenth and Twelfth Doctors)
We did not have the parts.The Clockwork Droids are servile droids used in the 51st Century, notably on ships like the SS Marie Antoinette and the SS Madame de Pompadour. They have an unfortunate tendency, when the ships have no available spare parts, to use living beings, including humans, as suitable replacement parts.
- Admiring the Abomination: The Tenth Doctor openly admits they're beautiful, before quickly adding that it's not going to stop him breaking them.
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot: These droids seem overly literal. When the crew of SS Madame de Pompadour instructed the robots to repair the ship, they did not anticipate that they'd have to tell the droids that they could not use the crew as spare parts.
- Alas, Poor Villain: When the Pompadour droids shut themselves off after they realise there's no way back to their ship, it's quite poignant. They were just following their programming, after all.The Doctor: How many ticks left in that clockwork heart?
- Awesome Anachronistic Apparel: The droids wear swanky outfits to blend in with the periods they time-travel to. Out of universe, it also hides their mechanics, saves money for the effects budget, and allows them to wear their disturbing masks
- Blade Below the Shoulder
- Clock Punk
- Clockwork Creature: They're literally wind-up droids powered by clockwork, and have a distinct ticking sound when they move.
- Costume Porn: The SS Madame de Pompadour droids are possibly the best dressed Doctor Who villains ever.
- Creepy Monotone
- The Croc Is Ticking: A literal ticking sound signals their presence.
- Driven to Suicide: In their first appearance the droids simply give up when they realise they can't return to their ship. The Half Face Man may have jumped to his death in a crisis of faith, or the Doctor may have simply pushed him.
- Emergent Human: The Half Face Man is rapidly approaching this state.
- Face Stealer: In "Deep Breath".
- Gone Horribly Right: The SS Madame de Pompadour was nearly wholly repaired, though the crew did not live to see it.
- Gorgeous Period Dress: In 18th century France.
- Grew Beyond Their Programming: The Half Face Man gained emotions and even faith due to the sheer amount of human parts he replaced himself with.
- Human Resources / Organ Theft: No one told them they weren't allowed to use human parts.
- Humanity Ensues: The Half Face Man gains faith (in the Promised Land), appreciation of beauty, anger and perhaps even depression in his conversion to a semi-organic state.
- Insane Troll Logic: The whole reason the ones from the S.S. De Pompadour went after their namesake, smashing holes through time to get there. They believed that her brain was what was needed to repair their ship, and specifically her brain when she was the same age as the ship. Using the time-windows to get back to Earth their time and fetch help apparently never occurred to them.
- Just Following Orders: The crew of the SS Madame de Pompadour.
- Kill It with Fire: How the Half Face Man hides his actions, destroying everyone it steals from with vast amounts of fire.
- Literal-Minded: An incredible design flaw. For example, the droids aboard the SS Madame de Pompadour believed that only the brain of the ship's namesake would serve as a replacement for the ship's computer.
- When a man called Alfie talks with the Half Face Man and mentions his eyes are his "greatest gift", Half Face Man assumes he's offering them as a gift. Eye Scream quickly follows.
- Malevolent Masked Men: Only when in 18th century France. When stuck in Victorian London, the droids flay their victims and wear their faces.
- Marionette Motion: Both variants move with stiff, unnatural motions.
- Obliviously Evil: The droids are incapable of perceiving the life of a human as more valuable than a box of machine parts, apparently as they were not programmed with it.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: The Madame De Pompadour droids are especially bad about this. Intending to hide in pre-Revolutionary France, they don the appropriate disguises, which are completely undone by their Machine Monotone voices, stiff and jerky movements, and the constant ticking, clicking and whirring that follows their every movement.
- Perpetual Smiler: In their masquerade masks.
- Ragnarok-Proofing: If the Half Face Man is accurate, he's been working at repairing his ship for several hundred million years, and is still expecting it to fly.
- Slasher Smile: The Pompadour droids wore creepy, smiling masks.
- Theme Naming: The ships the clockwork droids work for are named after famous women from history.
- Three-Laws Compliant: Horribly averted. The Droids follow Rules 2 and 3 (obeying the orders of humans and preserving their own existence, respectively) while ignoring Rule 1.
- Walking Transplant: Not them, but everyone else is fair game, even a T-Rex isn't safe.
- Wetware CPU: Why Reinette was the target of a kidnapping.
- Would Hurt a Child: Averted with the Pompadour droids, if only because little Reinette wasn't "compatible". Inferred with the Antoinette droids, what with that remark about the "children's menu".
Cybus Cybermen (Tenthnote Doctor)
YOU WILL BE DEL-E-TEDThe 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 dimensions, from where they neatly spill over into the regular timeline.
Voiced by: Nicholas Briggs (2006–2008),note Tracy-Ann Oberman (2006)
- Assimilation Plot: Every single time they want to "upgrade" everyone.
- The Assimilator: Coupled with the Unwilling Roboticisation trope.
- Big Bad Ensemble: Of the 2006 series, with the Cult of Skaro for the season finale.
- Body Horror: The Cybering process is...not pleasant.
- Brought to You by the Letter "S": Due to their more corporate origins.Doctor: A logo on the front. Lumic's turned them into a brand.
- Catch Phrase: "You will be deleted", or simply "DELETE."
- Chest Insignia: They have a "C" on their chests.
- Creepy Monotone: All Cybus Cybermen talk in a mechanical, computer-like voice.
- Cybernetics Eat Your Soul: Deliberately invoked and played with; the Cybusmen have "emotional inhibitors" because any human who can truly grasp what has happened will Go Mad from the Revelation and then explode.
- Deadpan Snarker: Bizarrely. The Cybermen occasionally show a little bit of sass to their enemies. It's very rare, but it happens.Dalek Thay: DALEKS HAVE NO CONCEPT OF ELEGANCE.
Cyberman: This is obvious.
- The Dreaded: Note the Doctor's reaction when he first sees them. He's utterly terrified, and doesn't even bother fighting them, he just tries to surrender.
- Evil Sounds Deep: In "The Next Doctor" their voices are much deeper than usual.
- Humongous Mecha: In "The Next Doctor", called a Cyberking.
- Join or Die: They offer two choices: Upgrade, or refuse. Refusal means you're irrelevant, and irrelevant elements are deleted.
- King Mook: The Cyber-Controller, who has a slightly modified design and sits on a massive throne.
- Machine Monotone: With the Cybus Cybermen, the Cybermen regain the ability to speak in a constant and unchanging machine-monotone after gradually losing that trait in the eighties, but as Deadpan Snarker shows, they bizarrely lose it too occasionally.
- New Powers as the Plot Demands: They get new powers or "upgrades" with each appearance. At first they killed by electrocuting through direct contact, then they can fire lasers, and in their latest appearance they can fly and convert corpses into Cybermen using "cyber pollen".
- Obliviously Evil: They genuinely think that Unwilling Roboticization is a favor for humanity.
- Psycho Electro: Their original method of killing was to electrocute victims.
- Robo Speak: They have a tendency to use more tehcnical terms when speaking.e
- Stompy Mooks: They constantly march in formation while making as much ominous noise as possible... so the Doctor is very surprised when they manage to sneak up on him in "The Next Doctor". "D'you have your legs on silent?"
- Unwilling Roboticisation
- Utopia Justifies the Means: Their idea of a utopia, at least.
- Was Once a Man
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: The original purpose of the Mondasian Cybermen was to survive at the cost of their humanity, which they genuinely believe to be the right thing. The Cybus Cybermen are basically the same, except the factors that influenced the motivation are much more selfish.
- Your Head Asplode: They make a habit of this.
Ood (Tenth and Eleventh Doctors)
The circle must be broken, so that we can sing.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.
Voiced by: Silas Carson (2006–10, 2012)
- Bizarre Alien Biology: They're born with secondary brains in their hands. The company that enslaved them cuts them off to make them docile.
- Cthulhumanoid: A mass of tentacle like appendages hanging from where mouths should be.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Zigzagged. Despite their monstrous appearance, the Ood are peaceful and gentle. However, they wind up taking an antagonistic role in almost every appearance. A large part of the problem is that their hive mind leaves them open to Demonic Possession.
- Happiness in Slavery: Via lobotomy.
- Hive Mind: Governed by a large living brain situated on their planet called the "Ood Brain", without it the Ood would die.
- Perfect Pacifist People: They are naturally a peaceful race, which is why the humans chose to turn them into a Slave Race.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: When they were controlled by the Beast. And later again when the Ood Brain managed to reach out and make the Ood take revenge against their human captors.
- Shout-Out: Russell T Davies has acknowledged the Sensorites as an influence on the basic concept of the Ood in "The Impossible Planet" and "The Satan Pit". Computer read-outs (and a mention by Davies in an episode commentary) revealed that the Ood Sphere and Sense Sphere are part of the same star system.
- Also Mind Flayers — aside from their appearance, the flayers eat brains (the Ood vomit one of theirs forward upon maturing), and both serve an Elder Brain.
- Slave Race
- Weak-Willed: In addition to their status as Slave Race, the Ood seem to be particularly susceptible to possession by outside entities.
- Explained by Donna Noble and confirmed by Doctor that it's due to the fact that they're born with their brains in their hands. With such a glaring evolutionary weakness, they have no choice but to trust everything simply as a survival mechanism.
- We Will Use Manual Labor in the Future
Judoon (Tenth and Eleventh Doctors)
FO! SHO! RO! KO! BLO!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.
Voiced by: Nicholas Briggs (2007–10)
- Badass Biker: just the outfits, not the rebellion.
- By-the-Book Cop: Played with; although the Judoon strictly obey the letter of the law, their "book" allows for a lot of Cowboy Cop or even Knight Templar behavior on their part.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Strike a Judoon? Sentence: execution, by means of disintegration. Interfere with its interplanetary police work? Expect the same. Live on the same planet where a mass-murdering criminal has taken refuge? Your whole blasted planet gets destroyed if the Judoon haven't been instructed to recognize you as a species worth protecting.
- The Dragon: As a whole, for the Shadow Proclamation.
- Lawful Stupid: The Judoon have an almost one-track sense of justice. They will execute anything and everything for the slightest offense, no matter if they're lashing out because they feel cornered, an alien criminal, or just in the way. But if you get on their good side, they might simply ground you from space travel.
- Guttural Growler
- Hell-Bent for Leather
- Judge, Jury, and Executioner: "Justice is swift."
- Law Enforcement, Inc.
- Perpetual Frowner
- Rhino Rampage
- Space Police
- Trigger Happy: especially in The Sarah Jane Adventures.
Weeping Angels (Tenth and Eleventh Doctors)
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!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. As soon as they are unobserved, they move with Super Speed to overtake their prey. For nourishment, they'll transport their victims back through time and then feed on their lives spent in the past. If they're not feeling hungry, though, they'll just snap their victim's neck like a twig. One of the creepiest aliens in the history of the series.
— Tenth Doctor
- 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...since they don't need food they proceed to act like the sadistic psychopaths that they are—snapping necks, playing mind games, and ripping out vocal cords. Why?Angel Bob: For fun, sir.
- Ambiguous Gender: While this is rather appropriate for an angelic being, it only serves to increase the Uncanny Valley for these.
- And I Must Scream: Angels cannot look at themselves or other Angels, because it triggers their quantum-locking functions. As long as nothing disrupts the line of sight of an Angel that has suffered the misfortune of locking eyes with a mirror or its bretheren, they will remain stone permanently. Well, at least until they starve to death and corrode into dust.
- Astonishingly Appropriate Appearance: At first glance, they appear to be statues that would be seen in a cemetery. Look away, and it's your funeral.
- Bizarre Alien Biology: Creatures of the abstract. They turn to stone when anyone is looking. Ultimate defence mechanism.
- Breakout Villain: They're to the revived show what the Daleks were to the classic show. They actually beat the Daleks as the fan's scariest monster in a recent poll, and get a lot of appearances outside their own story arc.
- Creepy Changing Statue
- Eldritch Abomination: It is implied that they are, in fact, sapient ideas which have come to life to kill people. It helps that ideas of them (photos, visual memory) literally can come to life to kill people.
- Enfante Terrible: Baby Weeping Angels appear to be innocent cherubs statues at first glance, but turn away and they will reveal gruesome looking fangs just like their full-grown counterparts. They haven't developed enough strength to send victims very far into the past, but often appear in clusters. They're also audible before attacking- you can hear their footsteps and creepy laughter - which may make them more frightening than the adults. Worse yet, the cherubs are a lot smaller and harder to keep an eye on if you're a fairly tall person.
- Evil Laugh: Is not even recognizable as laughter, so much as horrible screeching. However, the baby cherubs have a very distinct, terrifying giggle, often accompanied by pitter-pattering footsteps as they rush their prey while their back is turned.
- Fangs Are Evil
- Faux Affably Evil: Sending people to live in the past, though not all bad, is only a circumstantial side effect of how they feed. If they aren't desperate for energy, they'll just violently snap your neck and enjoy it too.
- Femme Fatalons
- 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".
- Generic Doomsday Villain: They are a case of this trope working their favor. The fact that on top the sheer Nightmare Fuel that's already associated with them means that the fact they are nothing more than psychopaths that will murder because they can makes them all the more terrifying.
- 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. That is, until the universe was rebooted, allowing for their return.
- Humanoid Abomination
- Kick the Dog: Angels will taunt and torment anyone and anything that looks delectable. In the case of the babies, it's Poke the Poodle, since they can't do as much harm.
- Light-Flicker Teleportation: They will advance in the instance of darkness, as their quantum lock has subsided. Made even more prevalent that they can move at very high speeds.
- Light Is Not Good: Angelic in appearance, demonic in nature. 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!
- Living Statue: Subverted. While they certainly seem like this, they only appear as statues under observation. Since this makes it impossible to see them move, many would assume they're statues themselves.
- 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.
- Somewhat justified. In this case, it was a dark hallway and the muzzle flash from the bullet was lighting them up, meaning they were stone when the bullet struck them. The split second of darkness between shots caused them to revert to their natural form, then reform back into unblemished stone when the next flash occurred. Their natural defense mechanism can therefore double as a rather effective Healing Factor.
- Neck Snap: Normally, the Weeping Angels are killers... but should they not need to feed on a person's temporal energy... crack goes their neck. And they have very strong clamping force that makes it near impossible to escape their grip. If an unlucky soul gets caught, they're either dead, or doomed to a struggle that will likely tear up their body.
- Worse, Angels like to play with their food and steal the consciousness of a person they killed, then steal the voice of the deceased and use it to lure others into a false sense of security, until they get to break their necks as well.
- New Powers as the Plot Demands: Each episode starring them adds new abilities, while sometimes ignoring their existing limitations.
- In "The Time of Angels" and "Flesh and Stone", we learn in addition to having straightforward Offscreen Teleportation powers, the image of an Angel becomes an Angel, looking one in the eyes can cause a new Angel to grow in one's mind, and the Angels can partially reanimate a dead person to be their "voice". Somewhat justified in that the Angels in "Blink" were starving while these Angels are slowly feeding off the crashed ship and getting stronger, but the abilities still come a bit out of left field.
- In "The Angels Take Manhattan", The Statue of Liberty becomes a Weeping Angel. This seemingly means that any statue, even one made of copper, can become a Weeping Angel when before it was explicit they weren't literally statues that came to life, just quantum locked creatures that looked like statues. It's also not clear how "the image of an Angel becomes an Angel" rule applies to all the post cards and other images of the Statue of Liberty.
- Averted in "The Time of the Doctor", where from what we see they have their traditional powers.
- Nightmare Face: They look very Uncanny Valley up until the point when they prepare to feed on someone's temporal energy- that's when they sprout monstrous fangs and bare a set of claws at their target.
- Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant
- Nobody Here but Us Statues
- Offscreen Teleportation: Their explicit super-power, although it's more of a restriction, as they cannot move while someone is looking at them.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: The actual name of the species, if there is one, is unknown.
- Our Gargoyles Rock
- Reality Warper: A minor example, there are limitations to what they can do, but they can defy several laws of physics. Father Octavian calls them "god" after witnessing what they are capable of.
- Scare Chord: Their Leitmotif.
- Slasher Smile: If an Angel knows victory is at hand and its victims have no chance of escape, it flashes a horribly malicious grin at them.
- Staring Contest: One where the consequence of losing is death.Tenth Doctor: Don't blink. Blink and you're dead. Don't turn your back. Don't look away. And don't blink.
- 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. Unfortunately, the darkness doesn't hinder their vision at all.
- Stupid Evil: All angels are sociopaths, but even knowing who the Doctor is they'll go out of their way to piss him off for no reason other than to be a dick. They don't seem to understand that this might not be the best idea.
- 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.
- The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: 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, as the Angels could often be seen quantum-locked when only the viewer was watching them. Averted later in "Flesh and Stone", but un-averted in "Angels Take Manhattan".
- The Voiceless: The Angels have no voices of their own... but they can tear bits of consciousness from a victim they murder and make it speak on their behalf.
- Time Abyss: They're as old as the Universe. Or very nearly.
- Writers Cannot Do Math: The Statue of Liberty should be more than twice the size shown.
Adipose (Tenth Doctor)
A friendly race of marshmallow-like blob creatures that appeared primarily in "Partners In Crime", created from living fat.
- Baby Talk: A justified example, as in their debut they were babies.
- Children Are Innocent: Pointed out by the Doctor, to Donna. Being newborns, they're not responsible for the methods Matron Cofelia used to bring them into the world.
- Powered by a Forsaken Child: When they are created via emergency parthenogenesis, the person they come from dissolves into Adipose and dies. This is not their fault, but rather the fault of their "foster mother".
- Mascot Mook: The Adipose are the mascot of the official Doctor Who tumblr blog, mostly due to how incredibly cute and huggable they are.
- The Worm That Walks:
- In "Partners In Crime", they would be born when the fat of a taker of an Adipose pill dissolved into a swarm of them.
- Used in a darker vein in "Turn Left", when in the altered timeline, hundreds of Americans were dissolved to create them.
Vashta Nerada (Tenth Doctor)
These are our forests. They are our meat.Also known as "The Shadows that Melt 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.Proper Dave: Hey who turned out the lights? Hey who turned out the lights?
- Darkness Equals Death: If you enter a shadow that the Vashta Nerada occupies, you will be devoured.
- It Can Think: They are very quick learners. When one of the group is eaten, they hijack the suit and project more shadows around them, turning it into an Instant Death Radius, in order to increase their hunting capabilities. Then they start to tweak the suit's data ghost to speak and learn how to do so fluently within the next few hours at most.
- Living Shadow: 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.
The Silent Priests
The Silence (Eleventh Doctor)
Silence will fall.The faces (creepy, creepy faces) of a religious order called "the Order of the Silence", the Big Bads of the Eleventh Doctor's run. The Order itself is comprised of a much larger collection of races, but the Priests are the main attraction: 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 Priest, you forget you ever saw it.
Played by: Marnix Van Den Broeke (2011)
Voiced by: Barnaby Edwards (2011)
Voiced by: Barnaby Edwards (2011)
- Alien Invasion: The invasion is long over (at least in an alternate reality anyway). They've been controlling the planet for the last 10,000 years.
- Amnesia Danger: They cause it due to a function in their biology. As soon as you look away, you forget they're nearby.
- Badass Boast: In "Day of the Moon" and immediately subverted when the Silent saying it gets shot just to prove him wrong.Silent: This world is ours. We have ruled it since the wheel and the fire. We have no need of weapons.
- Back for the Finale: They appeared in the Eleventh Doctor's last episode, after not appearing for over two years.
- Badass in a Nice Suit: They wear nightmarish versions of stylish black and white business suits.
- Big Bad: The Kovarian Chapter functions as this for Series 5 & 6. They indirectly caused the majority of problems in series 5 & 6, even though they didn't make their on-screen debut until the premiere of series 6.
- Breakout Villain: Along with the Weeping Angels, they are the revival series most popular villains.
- Ceiling Cling: They sleep hanging upside down. In packs.
- Church Militant:
- Part of the religious organisation, "the Order of the Silence".
- "Time of the Doctor" reveals that they were originally genetically engineered by the Papal Mainframe to serve as the perfect confessional priests, allowing people to confess their deepest sins and immediately forget about doing it. The ones the Doctor has been fighting are part of a Renegade Splinter Faction, attempting to alter history to prevent him ever reaching Trenzalore.
- Creepy Good: "The Time of the Doctor" reveals that the race, as a whole, are supposed to the ultimate form of confessional privacy. They are servants of the Papal Mainframe and act in their interests, aside from the Renegade Splinter Faction. They just look scary.
- Dress-Coded for Your Convenience: Evil Silences wear ties, Good Silence wear collars.
- Gambit Roulette: Their plans to kill the Doctor are always incredibly convoluted and extreme. But given who they're dealing with... you can kinda understand.
- Their initial plan involves using post hypnotic suggestion and subterfuge to convince all the Doctor's enemies that he will destroy the universe, and to stop him they have to build the ultimate prison, the Pandorica. They also set it up so this ultimate prison will have a restoration field that will stop anyone in the prison from dying, and also happens to be a way to restart the universe if it should be destroyed. They then use a lower level time machine to sneak a member of their race aboard the TARDIS, wait till the Doctor has been sealed in the Pandorica, and then proceed to destroy the universe by blowing up the TARDIS. At this point they expect the Doctor to use the Pandorica and the exploding TARDIS to reboot the universe, which will save everyone but trap him in the void between realities in the process. And if any part of this plan hadn't worked, they'd have blown up the entire universe for good, the exact thing they're trying to kill the Doctor to prevent. Unfortunately for their planning, the Doctor ends up using some interesting Clap Your Hands If You Believe magic from his Touched by Vorlons companion to escape.
- Their second plan involves stealing one of the Doctor's companions and her unborn child, then replacing the companion with a programmable flesh avatar to prevent the Doctor from realizing the kidnapping. After that they begin genetically modifying the unborn child, who was conceived on the TARDIS, to be a human Time Lord (as opposed to a Galifreyan one). Then, after first surviving an assault by the Doctor himself to save the child when it's born, they transport her from the far future to 1960s America, where they used post hypnotic suggestion again to cause the moon landing. This is so the humans develop a space suit they can use to keep the child healthy and alive, and they can train her to kill the Doctor. Then, after the child manages to escape, and decides she doesn't want to kill the Doctor, and then saves his life, they keep tabs on her for several thousand years (thanks to her time traveling with the Doctor). At which point, they wait till she graduates from university to put her back in the space suit they developed in the 1960s, time travel her back to 2011 Utah, and put the suit on auto-pilot to force her to shoot the Doctor when he arrives there. Along the way the Silence are nearly wiped out by the Doctor and end up creating another universe ending time paradox when the child tries to resist shooting the Doctor. And after all that, the Doctor uses a fairly simple Tricked Out Time gambit to survive getting shot.
- Glass Cannon: They can easily disintegrate people, break through thick glass and heavy doors, but they can be killed fairly easily through conventional means.
- The Greys: According to Word of God, the idea is that stories of alien abduction by The Greys, among other things, represent half-retained memories of the Silence when on occasion people don't quite forget everything.
- Good Shepherd: It is revealed in Time of the Doctor that they are genetically modified priests, and their amnesia aura is intended to make them ideal to confess to.
- Hidden Agenda Villain: Despite being around since series 5, it's only in the final episode of series 7 the The Kovarian Chapter's full motivations are revealed: They wanted the Doctor dead before he potentially summoned Gallifrey back into our universe on the planet Trenzalore, an act that could have re-sparked the Time War.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: The Doctor drives them off Earth by tricking one of their own into ordering the entire human race to kill them on sight. An untold number of them on Earth end dead because they tried to kill the Doctor, and if they hadn't made plans to kill him, he wouldn't have even known they existed.
- Kick the Dog: The first time we get a real scene with a Silent, it blasts a woman to death in front of Amy for no real reason, providing this little pleasant exchange.Amy: Why did you kill her?
Silent: Joy. Her name was Joy.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: Their power is to make people forget the moments with them.
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: 95% of the time when a character interacts with a Silent and then forgets about it, it's not shown; the scene we see continues abruptly from immediately before to immediately after.
- The Men in Black: According to Word of God, one of the inspirations for them. Hence the black suits and memory damage.
- Mundane Utility: Their terrifying ability that any person who sees them forgets they saw them as soon as the person turns away? Turns out that they're confessional priests and the original purpose of the ability was a way of preserving the privacy of the confession.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Their ultimate goal is to prevent the Doctor from ever reaching Trenzalore and speaking his name, as that will cause the Time Lords to come back and the Time War to resume, devastating the universe. Their first plan has the side effect of destroying the entire universe apart from the Earth, their second one destroys the linear nature of time—hardly different outcomes from the ones they were trying to prevent in the first place.
- Nightmare FaceAmy: You're ugly. Has anyone ever told you that?
- No Mouth: Although a hole reminiscent of The Scream, where their mouth should be, forms when they discharge electricity.
- The Noseless: They appear to have nostrils, but no definable nose.
- Oh Crap!: Upon realizing that the Doctor just turned their own tactics against them, and now all humans are going to start killing them on sight.
- Omnicidal Maniac: They're the ones responsible for destroying the TARDIS and the universe on June 26, 2010. Silence will fall. Let's put this into perspective. If you make the Daleks try to prevent your victory, you've earned the title.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: "The Silence" is the name of their Religion of Evil, rather than the species. It's a moot point because even if they were willing to tell people their real name, they'd forget about it as soon as they turned away.
- Outside-Context Villain: The Doctor hadn't even heard of these things before they came after him (at least as far as he can remember).
- Paranoia Fuel: Acknowledged in-universe. Their unique ability means that they generate this constantly in those who confront them, since as soon as you stop looking at them, you forget if you are in the room with them. Suddenly noticing a lot of tally marks on your skin is a good reason to panic.
- Psychological Horror: The scariest part about them is how they can be within close range without knowing, and the only sign they're close are tally-marks written on your arms.
- Religion of Evil: Subverted. They are briefly presented as such, but they actually consider themselves the guardians of history, and will simply act to destroy things they perceive as an unacceptable threat to the future. They were also designed for perfect confessional privacy.
- Renegade Splinter Faction: Turns out that the Silence the Eleventh Doctor was fighting throughout his entire life consisted of a mere splinter faction of the real, good (or at least Well-Intentioned Extremist) Silence.
- Shock and Awe: Their only way of killing someone in person.
- "The Wedding of River Song" reveals that they can only manipulate existing sources of electricity to create their lightning weapon, so they can be prevented from using it by being insulated from electricity sources.
- Shout-Out: According to Word of God, they were visually inspired by the famous painting The Scream.
- The Spook: The entire race is made up of Spooks.
- Squishy Wizard: As they rely on their psychic powers, their manipulations and sometimes lightning, they don't even bother to carry weapons. Fighting openly for them basically means lining up to be butchered.
- Staring Contest: Keep eye contact with them at all times, otherwise you forget them and they kill you.
- Super Not-Drowning Skills: They seem perfectly fine when immersed in liquid for long periods in "The Wedding of River Song".
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: They genuinely believe that the Doctor is too dangerous to be left running around. Their other goal is to prevent him from reaching the Fields of Trenzalore, where he will utter a secret that must never be spoken. It turns out they are trying to prevent another Time War occurring.
- Wham Line: "You should kill us all on sight." Not when they say it, but when it is used against them!
Gangers (Eleventh Doctor)
It's us or them.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).
- 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", a Ganger is used as a duplicate for Melody.
- Clones Are People Too: Heavily explored and established, especially with the Gangers of Jennifer and Jimmy.
- 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 the villainess Cassandra from "The End of the World" and "New Earth". The Gangers also seem to be "forced-growth clones", like Chip, Cassandra's servant.
- 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: This happens with the Doctor and his Ganger.
- Glamour Failure: The Gangers occasionally shift back to their gooey, half-formed selves for a brief moment.
- 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.
- 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.
Tivolians (Eleventh and Twelfth Doctors)
If you occupied us, you'd be home by now.The Tivolians are a race of rodent-like humanoids from the planet Tivoli. Their homeworld was the most invaded planet in the galaxy, to the point where the Tivolians now actually enjoy being conquered and oppressed.
Played by: David Walliams (Gibbis) (2011); Paul Kaye (Prentis) (2015)
- Dirty Coward/Lovable Coward: They straddle the line between these two tropes. In "The God Complex", Gibbis' cowardice is often the source of humour, but his lack of bravery also gets someone killed and the Doctor is very unhappy with Gibbis after that.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: In "Before the Flood", Prentis' love of being oppressed seems sexual in nature. The Doctor is not amused.
- Happiness in Slavery
- Les Collaborateurs: They willingingly comply with any conquerers. It's implied to be a species-wide survival strategy: if everyone knows they can be effortlessly conquered, no one ever tries to exterminate them.
- Mole Men
- Planet of Hats: An extreme example even for Doctor Who. An entire race of people who love being oppressed by invaders.
- Rubber-Forehead Aliens: Tivolians look like humans with rodent-like features.
- Stockholm Syndrome: One interpretation for why the Tivolians enjoy being oppressed.
- The Quisling: An entire planet who welcome any and all alien invaders. Their planetary anthem is "Glory to <Insert Name Here>".
The Boneless (Twelfth Doctor)
I tried to reach out, I tried to understand you, but I think that you understand us perfectly. And I think that you just don't care!Creatures from another plane that only understand two dimensions, and have entered our world through Bristol and have started taking people and turning them flat.
— Twelfth Doctor
- Ambiguously Evil: It's really unclear why they decided to enter dimension, whether they want to communicate with us, study us or eliminate us one by one.
- Eldritch Abomination: Creatures that come from a 2-D plane of existence.
- Flat World: Their universe is two-dimensional, so they're from a very literal version of this trope.
- For the Evulz: As enigmatic as they are, it is made clear that they are gleefully aware of the harm they're causing.
- Hidden Agenda Villain: Their motives are left deliberately unclear and many hypotheses are brought up during the episode; perhaps they're here to contact us, kill us all, dissect or study us and don't even know that we require 3 dimensions to survive.
- Humanoid Abomination: Eventually they take the form of those they've killed when they finally understand 3 dimensions.
- Known Only by Their Nickname: Their real name is unknown due to being unable to communicate, the Doctor gave the name of "The Boneless" since he found "Killer Graffiti" rubbish.
- Paper People: Comes with being 2-D lifeforms.
- Starfish Aliens: Beings from a 2-D dimension that are attacking Earth.
- Starfish Language: The TARDIS is unable to translate their language because being aliens who don't understand the concept of a third dimension are even too bizarre for her standards.
- Stealth Pun: They're two-dimensional in more ways than one.
- They Would Cut You Up: Rare alien-on-human example. They turn humans into 2-D and dissect them to understand their bodies so they can become 3D.
- Zombie Gait: When they take the appearance of those they've killed, the creatures run after everyone this way. Having a rudimentary understanding of 3D and human anatomy, their walking style is crude and zombie-like.
Dream Crabs (Twelfth Doctor)
The Dream Crab induces a dream state. Keeps you happy and relaxed in a perfectly realized dream world, as you dissolve.The Kantrofarri, colloquially known as the Dream Crabs, are telepathic parasites which feed on humanoid brain matter, and have the appearance of giant misshapen hands. They keep victims in a placid dream like state as they dissolve their brains.
— Twelfth Doctor
- Big Creepy-Crawlies: They're colloquially called "crabs", and have a spider-like movement, but actually resemble giant, misshapen hands.
- Dream Within a Dream: They create layer upon layer of dreams, so that the victim can never discern dream from reality.
- Enemy Within: Sort of. Once they've latched onto your face, your only means of survival is realizing it's a dream and breaking out from within your mind.
- Expy: Of the Facehuggers.
- No Body Left Behind: They crumble to dust once they die. The Doctor explains that this is a "carnivore's hazard, food has teeth too."
- Starfish Aliens: Creatures which look like misshapen hands, with no eyes, ears, nose, or mouth and rely on telepathy to detect the image within other nearby organisms.
- Sweeping Ashes: The first time they die and crumble to dust, Shawna comes in and sweeps them up.
- Telepathy: The only way they can sense the world around them. Literally honing in on the image of themselves in their prey's mind.