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Nightmare Fuel / Doctor Who

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"Don't blink. Don't even blink. Blink and you're dead. They're fast. Faster than you could believe. Don't turn your back, don't look away, and don't blink. Good luck."
"Every single creature in the universe has an irrational fear of the dark. But they're wrong. Because it's not irrational."
The Tenth Doctor, "Silence in the Library"

Doctor Who: Combining cheesy camp with utterly nightmarish television since 1963. Sweet dreams!

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  • The Doctor Who title sequence is arguably at its best when it's unnerving and looks like an acid trip. It's hard not to feel even a tiny chill when seeing the abstract alien ripples and clouds in the '60s and '70s intros, with Delia Derbyshire's original musique concréte version of the main theme, especially at the cue of the first ooooo-WEEEEEE-OOOOOOOOOOOO...
    • Speaking of the title sequence, showing the Doctor's face in the opening titles must have sounded like a good idea at the discussion table, but the final effect was often seven shades of creepy. The Fourth Doctor's head, with Tom Baker's trademark pop-eyed stare, is probably more unnerving than any other.
    • The original production team toyed with putting William's face in the opening credits, but it proved to be too scary and the idea was dropped.
      • Same with the Sixth Doctor's opening. Colin Baker's smile is less Cheshire Cat and more "I'm going to eat your soul." The updated version of his final season's intro sequence (only used for the Blu-Ray release of Season 23) has the camera panning around his face as it zooms into his eye.
      • And Sylvester McCoy's creepy wink.
    • The original 1963 arrangement of the Doctor Who theme applied to this even without the visuals.
  • When watching a fan reconstruction of a Missing Episode, it's pretty easy to be startled by a suddenly moving part, especially with the poor quality.
  • Watch enough episodes of this show, and before too long the Cloister Bell sound effect will become this trope for you.
  • Tom Baker's Doctor in general. A freaky, mad-eyed, rather mesmerising stare where his eyeballs seem to be trying to escape his face as fast as possible. A terrifying, insane smile with oh so many teeth that he uses far too much. Huge. No Brows. A powerful, deep, dark, mysterious, mellifluous voice that sounds like nothing else on Earth and isn't remotely what you'd expect to come out of his mouth. He's a really alien-looking bloke. Then add into that his personality that can swing from artificial charm into casual abuse of his friends into staggering anger into giddy Nightmare Fetishism into ruthless and violent insanity for no clear reasons, and then add into this the fact that you got this after Jon Pertwee's very paternal Doctor dying in an unnecessarily horrible way involving massive spiders, and the trauma of the children of a nation is assured.
  • In Britain at least, the Daleks themselves are infamous for being walking (or, rather, rolling) Nightmare Fuel. There is a stereotype associated with the Daleks that involves them sending children into hiding behind the sofa, such is how utterly terrifying they are. At first they appear quite silly and innocuous — people have compared them to dustbins, pepper shakers and the like. But Daleks are mobile tanks, populated by a small, mutated alien that Was Once a Man, but is now an unrecognisable soft jelly-thing. They have been genetically mutated to the point that their prime directive for their existence, the one motivating factor that makes them do the things they do is not self-preservation, not a desire to replicate, but sheer hatred of all non-Dalek existence. They are the ultimate xenophobes. They are a mass of bubbling, pulsating, violent hate, and that is what makes them dangerous. They aren't in it for wealth, or any sort of gain. They aren't even in it to conquer, really, except to destroy everything that is not Dalek. They are considered one of the Doctor's most formidable foes for a reason. Because they cannot be bargained or reasoned with — they exist only to, in a word: "Ex-ter-mi-nate!"
    • Terry Nation based them on the Nazis. Which makes the infamous Dalek battle cry a bit more unsettling.
    • Forget not some of the music that has been associated with the Daleks over the years.
      • The original 1960s Dalek Theme; An eerie, pulsing, electronic score that so perfectly portrays how utterly inhuman these faceless, gliding creatures are. It's creepy and unsettling, and elevates the Daleks to something far worse than typical Sci-Fi Horror.
      • Murray Gold's Dalek Theme from the show's 2005 revival. A horrifying Ominous Latin Chanting that heralds creatures of pure, undiluted evil. In a universe with every kind of horror and demon imaginable, this is the theme for the worst creature of them all.
      • Segun Akinola's Dalek Theme, used throughout the Jodie Whittaker era of the show. It's a simple, and yet effective Scare Chord which brutally communicates just how dangerous the Daleks are, the damage and destruction even one Dalek can cause.

  • The Daleks are covered in near invincible armour (indeed, are often mistaken for being robots), and possess a weapon capable of killing ANYTHING in one hit and destroying most barriers. They fly, are strictly organized, have massive numbers, and seek only the destruction of everything else in existence. Many people forget that Daleks almost never fail when the Doctor is not present. The Daleks are known throughout time and space as the most horrible thing in existence. They are invincible, absurdly powerful, and omnicidal. Could you sleep well knowing that something that was capable of destroying everything was around?
    • It really says a lot about the sheer horror the Daleks command, in that they look like giant pepper shakers with toilet plunger arms, which should make them Narm of the highest calibre. And yet... they still manage to be completely terrifying.
    • By extension, Davros himself is a cripple who can do little more than talk and move his right hand. Yet he has a genius appreciated even by the Doctor (who is not one inclined to compliment anyone's intelligence without mentioning his own), and when asked whether he would release a virus capable of consuming all life in the universe, gleefully proclaimed that he would do it. The idea of a single life-form being the sole and single thing in existence was fascinating and the power to set that virus free was the power of gods. As Davros goes on, he loses more and more of his humanoid form, going from a man in a wheelchair to just his head. Later he appears to reacquire a body, but rips it apart to provide raw material for a new army of Daleks. Every bit as unreasoningly evil as his creations, Davros also possesses the intellect to bring his plans to fruition. Davros wants nothing more than to create the ultimate life-form, and then prove it by destroying all others.
    • Daleks turn out to have a sense of aesthetics as twisted and evil as their minds. The only thing they find beautiful is pure hatred.
    • The Daleks and the Emperor that appear in Series 1 are very unnervingly different. They're stated to be insane (and have a religion, which is just as twisted as you'd expect for Daleks); they loathe themselves due to having been created from human material, and they take their time in killing people on the Game Station. The Emperor in particular has A God Am I delusions and taunts the Doctor with extraordinary perceptiveness for a Dalek.
    • We learn in "The Witch's Familiar" that the Daleks take The Power of Hate to new and terrifying levels; when they scream "EXTERMINATE", that's how they reload.
    • Their role in the Time War. The Time Lords are Sufficiently Advanced Aliens of the highest order, having technology able to manipulate the fabric or the cosmos at their fingertips. The Daleks managing to fight a war with them would be frightening enough indicator, but the resulting war was so terrible, Eight BROKE, The Master got the Hell out of dodge, the Time Lords actually planned on ascending to a higher form at the expense of the entire universe, and War was seriously intending to wipe out both sides just to end it. When we see the Last Day of the Time War, the Daleks are completely and utterly razing Gallifrey, with the civilians and soldiers struggling to survive. This is while they're still pepperpots with high-pitched voices by the way.
  • The Valeyard is pretty terrifying. He's the utter dark side of a character we have followed and loved for years. He has all the intelligence, the drive and knowledge of the Doctor. But none of the morals. He is manipulative, nasty and will kill you with a second thought.
    • The Master was afraid of the Valeyard.
  • The Cybermen (particularly in their original form) are people who have had organs ripped out and replaced with machines, metal welded onto their flesh and then covered in bandages. How can people overlook this concept as being mind numbingly terrifying?
    • The original Cybermen might actually be worse than the modern day versions. The modern day ones violently remove any and all trace of humanity their victims might have had. The original Cybermen, the ones from The Tenth Planet, still have just enough humanity left.
    • And now we know from "World Enough And Time" that the very first Cybermen were operated on against their will, led to the "Conversion Theatre" under false pretenses until they could be subdued, then subjected to what was, at the time, experimental surgery to try and preserve the Mondasians trapped aboard a Generation Ship slowly eeking away from a black hole.
    • The simple fact that the Cybermen may not even be one distinct race, but could arise on ANY planet given the right conditions.
    • This Concept art for the Series 2 Cybermen is truly nightmare fuel.
    • As is this one. It an early version of the Cyber-King from "The Next Doctor"... except its mouth is always open, making it look like it's always screaming or yelling at you.
    • This fan art of a cyberman being repaired? Constructed? Recycled? by some kind of mechanical/surgical device is simple but horrifying.
    • This Cyberman theme from "Nightmare in Silver" is very tense and spooky, with many dramatic pauses after each crescendo before starting again... except for one pause where, instead of resuming the music, a growling Cyberman voice says "UPGRADE IN PROGRESS." It's the audible equivalent of Jump Scare.
    • The Lone Cyberman/Ashad from series 12 is terrifying inside and out. A mismatch of different Cyberman designs with half of a pale, horribly scarred human face and left hand visible, he's an omnicidal zealot who wishes to purge all organic life in the universe, including removing the organic parts from regular Cybermen to make them his own army. Oh, and he does all this because he hates organic life, not having an emotional inhibitor, seems to take pleasure in his kills, AND murdered his own children for resisting the Cybermen.
      • Ashad's debut also serves as the introduction for Segun Akinola's Leitmotif for the Cybermen. The theme is an utterly soulless, relentless, mechanical clanging, befitting of a race of people who stripped away their personalities and replaced their flesh with machinery as part of an obsessive desire to survive.
  • The entire concept of the Silurian and Sea Devil races, especially in their eponymous serials. Species of humanoid reptilians coming up from beneath the ground/under the oceans to reclaim the world feeling that we have usurped it from them. Extra points go to the Silurian Plague in their story and the shots of random members of the public dying in the streets. Chilling!
  • An unknown, undefeated monster that repeats everything you say until it catches up with you and possesses you. And then it pleads with your voice to kill you. Add to that, it also makes people around you on edge. That's what could go wrong on the planet Midnight, Doctor.
  • The Silence. Bizarre, black-suited beings with sunken eyes and no visible mouth. Until they open them and kill you. Their entire MO as a villain seems to consist almost entirely of infiltrating humanity at every conceivable level (bathroom in the White House included), where they guide and manipulate us for their own ineffable ends. They orchestrated the entirety of the space race, apparently so that they could use a space suit. How have they done this? By some quirk of biology, should you ever actually see one, you will instantly forget the moment you look away. Even images of them decay in very short time. Not to mention their... memetic guidance means that anything they tell you will stick in the back of your mind, guiding you to their whim. Imagine that. If you ever see one, you will instantly forget; if it notices you, it will force its will upon you; and if it decides you are dangerous, can't be used, or just to make a point, it will kill you by firing an arc of plasma at you.
    • They're the ones who tried to bring about the annihilation of reality twice. So basically, one minute reality is there, then the next it's not - and even when things are back to normal, you'll never know who was behind it all.
  • The Toclafane, in sort of the same way as Cybermen but SO MUCH WORSE. Both were originally human but were changed. Depending on which version of the Cybermen you take; they are either from Earth's twin planet or from parallel Earth, but you don't get a choice about becoming one. It's forced on you. In fact if you take away the "Emotional Inhibiter" they go mad from the knowledge of what they are. On the other hand the Toclafane chose to become what they did. They were the last of humanity. When you see a Toclafane you are seeing the future of the human race, at the end of the universe. "Furnaces, burning... the last of humanity screaming at the dark. There was no solution. No diamonds. Just the dark, and the cold." So what do they do? They decide to make themselves "pretty" by becoming little balls of flying death with a hive mind. The worst thing? They enjoy it. They have a childlike joy of killing and making others suffer. And so far, nothing has been done to avert this future.
  • The BBC ran a Design-A-Monster competition for "Love & Monsters". A child created the Abzorbaloff, a horrific thought when you think that it was probably from watching Doctor Who that he could think up the creature. A creature so vile that if it was kind it would still be haunting a child's waking nightmares, and yet a young boy manages to drag it from the depths of his disturbed conscience because he watches TV. When asked, the child that created the Abzorbaloff admitted to being disappointed in how they presented it on the show. Most of the details were as he wanted, except it was meant to be the size of a bus.
  • Sutekh, however, beats every single example in this folder to death by what he does. We only see him for one episode, and yet he is one of the most terrifying villains in the series to date. Nearly wiping out his own race? Check. Omnicidal Maniac? Check. Murdering his own servants? Check. Possessing a Egyptologist's corpse and turning him into an utterly ruthless killing machine? Check. Capable of mind raping the Doctor into complete submission and making him obey his orders? Check. So dangerous he scares the Doctor and the Time Lords cannot defeat him? Check. And if Sutekh escaped, he wouldn't just wipe out all humans, he would wipe out every single existing thing in the universe-stars, planets, etc. He would annihilate the Daleks, crush the Ice Warriors, destroy the Sontarans, wipe out the Cybermen, burn the Autons, murder the Master, make the Silurians extinct and even take on the Great Intelligence (and very likely win). And if he ever possessed the Doctor completely and made him his slave, he could make companions or the Doctor himself no longer exist! Worst of all, he would not stop until the universe was completely empty.
  • The Clockwork Robots. Originally just a one-off from The Girl In The Fireplace, as of Deep Breath we know that the whole line of these androids seem to be the worst kind of user-unfriendly you can get from technology. One breakdown away from using every and any living thing they can get their mechanical hands on for spare parts. And they were probably widespread in the 51st century. How many instances of erratic behavior before the manufacturer took THEM off the market? And if you thought their masks put them in Uncanny Valley territory in their first appearance, wait until you see them in the skin of their victims in their second.
  • Weeping Angels
    • "Don't blink. Don't even blink. Blink and you're dead. They are fast; faster than you can believe. DON'T turn your back. DON'T look away. And DON'T Blink." This is from a guy whose traveled all of space and time and encountering all kinds of nasties. This is his warning about the Weeping Angels.
    • The Angels don't move when you see them. They don't move on-screen, even when the characters aren't looking. They can see you. They can affect you.
    • "The Image of an Angel becomes an Angel". The real-life book Doctor Who: The Ultimate Monster Guide has photos of angels, some with their faces uncovered. You'll be repeating the MST3K Mantra for a completely different reason than usual.
    • After all those ways of killing you, you'd think it couldn't get worse. Sometimes they get absolutely sadistic and like to fuck with you before they kill you. Making you count down to your own demise, making you believe you're turning to stone, and even screwing with your friends. By this point you're better off letting them kill you normally.
    • Weeping Angels are unkillable, but they can turn you into one of them if you look into their eyes long enough, in other words they are a forever growing invincible army. (Though seeing as the human race survived to the end of the universe, it seems this was never an issue.) Also, did you ever wonder why that planet had so many of them? One can easily come to the conclusion the entire civilization was Angel-ified.
    • Doctor Who Live makes all the monsters even worse, seeing as its gimmick is letting them wander among the stage and audience. The Weeping Angel segment is one of the worst; two Angels on the stage, killing actors dressed as investigating policemen, with the image of one on the massive screen behind them. All set to the most soothing music of the night. It can be seen here.
    • Something else to think about is that the fact that they turn to stone when someone looks at them is a defense mechanism, as in they have an instinctual method to defend themselves against predators. So that just leaves one question: what are Weeping Angels afraid of?
  • "Sleep No More". Once again, Doctor Who makes the mundane utterly terryfing: that stuff you wipe off your eyelid when you wake up? It only takes a simple electrical pulse to bring it to life. Then it consumes you until there's nothing left but sleep dust. And then in the end the Mad Scientist responsible turns out to be nothing but dust. He's put the pulse that mutates the sleep dust into the episode. The Reveal is terrifying even without that: Eye Scream or an inversion of Eyes Do Not Belong There and Voice of the Legion combined.
  • Vashta Nerada. Living carnivorous swarms that lurk in the shadows, that devour flesh from bone so fast it's said to "melt". Not in every shadow, but perhaps in any shadow. Including shadows here on Earth. Including your own, right now. And even the Doctor knows no other way to survive them than to RUN.

    The Doctor 
  • The Doctor. Near godlike control over time and space + willingly committing genocide + deciding that since they're the last Time Lord, they make the rules = one nightmarish alien. No wonder the Daleks consider them a demon.
    • The Cult of Skaro screamed (or would if they had the ability to) in Doomsday when Rose identified the man on the video screen as the Doctor. They weren't scared of 5 million Cybermen but this ONE "doctor" has ruined a lot of their plans and destroyed so many of them, they know to be scared. EVERY time the Daleks try something, he manages to interfere, even managing to mock them and in some cases just being casual about how he is able to defeat them.
    • To clarify, the Vashta Nerada didn't run, but looking the Doctor up stopped them in their tracks. And then they decided to give him what he wanted rather than risk what he MIGHT do.
    • In "The Pandorica Opens" we learn that the Pandorica houses "A nameless, terrible thing, soaked in the blood of a billion galaxies. The most feared being in all the cosmos." That nameless, terrible thing? The Doctor. They just hadn't locked him in quite yet. The Pandorica was opening to receive him.
      • "And nothing could stop it or hold it, or reason with it. One day it would just drop out of the sky and tear down your world."
      • Nameless is correct.
    • Both the Doctor and the Master are charming, suave fellows with timetravelling capabilities, entirely alien biologies, the skill to charm the pants off anybody, the power to change their face, masters of technology and engineering, and are both merciless killers who follow their own established order. Y'know who else fits that description? Nyarlathotep.
    • Here's a 6:33 reason the Doctor is pure Nightmare Fuel.
    • And here's another. Listen to the lyrics.
    • Forget the grandiose, tear-down-the-universe stuff for a moment and just imagine what the Doctor looks like from the point of view of a companion's parents or other loved ones. The audience knows the companion is off having wacky adventures through time and space, but from the parent's perspective? A stranger has just disappeared with their child.
  • What frightens this eldritch being? What can faze such an individual? (Source: Doctor Who S35 E8 "The Zygon Inversion")
    '"I don't understand? Are you kidding? Me? Of course I understand. I mean, do you call this a war, this funny little thing? This is not a war! I fought in a bigger war than you will ever know! I did worse things than you could ever imagine! And when I close my eyes... I hear more screams than anyone could ever be able to count! And you know what you do with all that pain? Shall I tell you where you put it? You hold it tight, till it burns your hand! And you say this: No one else will ever have to live like this! No one else will ever have to feel this pain! Not on my watch!"''
  • The "Family of Blood" was a premiere example how the Doctor can be pure nightmare fuel. The punishment he hands out to the villains of the episode is just so genuinely horrifying on showing what happens when he disregards his own rules - his promise.
    Son of Mine: He wrapped my father in unbreakable chains forged in the heart of a dwarf star. He tricked my mother into the event horizon of a collapsing galaxy. He still visits my sister, once a year, every year. I wonder if one day he might forgive her... but there she is. Can you see? He trapped her inside a mirror. Every mirror. As for me, I was suspended in time and the Doctor put me to work standing over the fields of England as their protector. We wanted to live forever, So the Doctor made sure we did.
  • The very existence of the "War Doctor". A regeneration that did something so evil, so monstrous, so despicable, that every other incarnation of the Doctor, including ones which had fully faced and accepted their roles in atrocities like the Time War not to mention all the countless deaths that follow the Doctor wherever he goes, had utterly disowned him and attempted to bury the very memory of him.
    • Turns out the Doctor didn't quite accept the whole genocide thing. As in, the Doctor is so willing to distance himself from his own crimes he buries the "War Doctor". Let's restate that. The Doctor is willing to abandon his past self to make himself more comfortable.
    • The War Doctor. Think about everything scary about the Doctor and have him abandon his ideals that make him the Doctor. This ONE "doctor" is so devastating as a warrior that he ends the Time War all by himself. You should be glad that he became the Ninth Doctor afterwards.
      • In fact, subverted. He's not a villain, he's a Pragmatic Hero who HAS to Shoot the Dog. But when presented with an option to save Gallifrey, he grabs it immediately.
  • The Doctor's fuming anger when Danny Pink addresses him as a superior officer to provoke him. Knowing what we know of The Time War, Danny's barbs about the Doctor being a member of the aristocracy who started conflicts, while "grunts" like Danny were left to clean up the mess, probably struck more than a few nerves - especially since Ten confirms he survived "by fighting. On the front lines". Especially when considering that Four was the one who unwittingly instigated The Time War. The Doctor was practically foaming at the mouth, telling Danny "You do not call me 'Sir'!" and especially, "GET OUT OF MY TARDIS!" Rarely do we see that kind of rage from the Doctor, and it's seldom a good thing when we do. (To add to all of this, the episode in question - and said encounter with Danny - also revealed that the Doctor was jealous of Clara transferring her affections to somebody else.)
  • The fact that the Doctor himself is so important to the existence of the Universe. Without him the multiverse itself would have been destroyed multiple times over, by the Daleks or other villains. But merely the fact that he dies causes huge amounts of trouble for humans alone as seen in "Turn Left." If he were to ever die, the universe would seem to be in for some serious shit. And even Time Lords don't live forever.
  • The Twelfth Doctor at the end of "Face the Raven". After Ashildr's gambit goes horribly wrong and Clara is Killed Off for Real (leaving him without his Morality Chain), the Doctor is justifiably angry at her, but he honors Clara's request not to take his anger out on her. No, instead he is going to give every trace of that anger to the being(s) responsible for the whole trap, and if anyone gets in his way, they will face his wrath too — and Ashildr better not cross his path again. Ashildr is notably scared out of her mind, which considering she is virtually immortal is a difficult thing to do, but remember the Doctor told her 'barring accidents' she was immortal. She knows he is the one person in the entire universe who knows how to kill her, as he made her.
    • The fact that the Doctor is willing to bring his mortal enemies, The Daleks, to Earth, his favourite planet in the Universe, just to get back the woman who, as per Word of God, the Doctor was in a romantic relationship with.
    • Even worse, the entirety of Season 9 has seen his anger at the universe and the myriad cruelties he's suffered in it (the loss of everyone he comes to love, constantly dealing with death in general, the powers that be proscribing he not interfere with matters of Time and Space even when innocent lives are imperiled, the horrors of war, etc.) evolve, and as of this Cliffhanger leading into a two-part season finale, he is at the Despair Event Horizon and it is the sole thing that is driving him. All that fury, that hatred, that anger. He would make a good Dalek...
    • She set herself up as a merciless tyrant over a sanctuary crawling with alien refugees, assaulted one of them to make it look like a murder, let the "victim"'s child believe her mother was dead, then set a death mark on an innocent bystander and framed him for the faux murder in order to lure The Doctor into a trap. And capped it by getting his Companion killed. How many of The Doctor's Berserk Buttons did she just press in the space of five minutes? She's going to be looking over her shoulder for the rest of her unnatural existence. Being immortal isn't going to protect her a whit - remember the Family of Blood? He can do a lot worse than kill you.
  • The final line of "Heaven Sent" suggests worse to come (as noted above under the Steven Moffat folder). Now that he knows HIS OWN PEOPLE are responsible for the trap that led to Clara's death and the torture he suffered in this episode he's angrier than EVER. And while the wording of the line suggests Ashildr might be the Hybrid said to be Gallifrey's ruin, it ALSO suggests the Hybrid is THE DOCTOR HIMSELF. What powers has he been hiding all along if that's the case? Turns out, it was the Doctor. And Clara.
  • If that wasn't enough, during the era of the 6th Doctor we are told that he will eventually turn evil and become the Valeyard during a future regeneration and that he may not be able to prevent this.
    • The Valeyard is an amalgamation of the Doctor's darker nature. He may not be the the Doctor's future regeneration, but he is still the Doctor. And considering what the Doctor is like when he is a good guy with morals and compassion, think about how dangerous something like the Valeyard could be....
  • The Thirteenth Doctor may be a more cheery Doctor, but she still has menace. The Ninth Doctor sounds hateful, the Tenth aggressive, the Eleventh cold, and the Twelfth just plain loud. How does the Thirteenth Doctor act in dark moments? She gets a Slasher Smile! Some of the worst examples are here.

    The Master 
  • Even with his Large Ham tendencies (or possibly because of them), the Master is terrifying. Imagine a being that is the same species as the Doctor, but is insane/evil and wants to either rule the universe or destroy innocent lives just to spite his arch-nemesis (who happens to be his former best friend). Not only that, but he is shown to be just as smart (and is implied at times to be more intelligent) than the Doctor and has used that intelligence to invent devices that kill people in horrific and gruesome ways.
    • The guy's main tactic in the classic series was to hypnotize people into doing his bidding. Keep in mind that it was stated the Master could easily control the mind of nearly any human being. Let that sink in. The Master can control pretty much anybody he wants through hypnosis.
    • At least twice in the series (possibly more in the Expanded Universe), he's gained a new body by possessing someone. The first time he takes control of Tremas, and the second time he's a "Goo Snake" that forces himself into the body of a man named "Bruce" and takes control of it. The idea of a deranged megalomaniac trying to take control of your body is not a comforting thought.
    • The version played by John Simm becomes a super-powered undead being during The End Of Time. That in-and-of itself is scary. But, it gets worse. Due to him constantly losing his "life force", he has an insatiable appetite and will eat pretty much anything. Did we mention this includes humans?
  • The Master's favoured method of killing people is the Tissue Compression Eliminator, which compresses the atoms of the body leaving behind a doll-sized corpse. Murdering folks isn't enough for the Master; he seems to enjoy how someone can come across what they think is some weird doll, not grasping it was once a living person.
  • "The Caves of Androzani": When the Fifth Doctor regenerates into the Sixth, he has a hallucination in which all his companions are telling him not to die, and then the Master appears.
    The Master: And now, my dear Doctor, you will die! Die, Doctor! DIE, DOCTOR!!! HA HA HA HA HA!!!
  • The Master's drums. Don't you get scared every time you hear a steady drumbeat, counting four hits each time, somewhere in the background.
    • If you want an example of where you can hear that rhythm... try the show's theme tune.
      • 4 beats in a constant rhythm... It's the heartbeats of a Time Lord.
    • Want to make the drums even more terrifying? The Master had the drums implanted into him when he was only eight, and he's at least 900 years old in the main series. Imagine living with the same monotonous repetitive sound for centuries. It's no wonder the Master became the psychotic megalomaniac he is today.
      • When the Doctor mind-melds with the Master in "The End of Time, Part 1", he can barely tolerate it for more than a few seconds; the Master has had to live with it for centuries.
  • One of the Master's very first evil deeds in the series was killing a guy using a plastic chair via Auton technology. The thought of sitting down and having furniture basically engulf and suffocate you is downright creepy.
    • Even worse? He planned on wiping out humanity by suffocating them with plastic daffodils. Seems silly at first, until you realize just how easily his plan would've worked had the Doctor not thwarted him in the end. After all, who would suspect something like a plastic flower to be a murder weapon?
  • Apparently changing genders has done nothing for the Master's madness, and as the Mistress she shows a delight in calmly murdering a subordinate, not because he'd failed her, but simply because she has no further need for him in her plan.
    • And then there's her killing of Osgood. First, she tells Osgood she has an "important secret" to "whisper in [Osgood's] ear" and Osgood falls for it, where the "important secret" was a softly whispered, "I'm going to kill you in a minute." And when Osgood stares at her in shock, Missy just grins and tells her she's not kidding. Then, she counts down to Osgood's death in order to frighten and intimidate her. And then, she reveals she slipped her hand restraints in Osgood's pocket, which Osgood gawks at in shock and by the time she recovers, Missy has already escaped, grabbed Osgood, killed the guards and tells Osgood to "Say something nice." And when Osgood tries to bargain with Missy, she pretends to consider it, before saying, "But didn't I already mention... Bananas!" And then vaporizes her with a Slasher Smile, thanking her for being yummy and then grinding her glasses into the floor with her heel. And the kicker? She only did this because she could, and because she wanted to piss off the Doctor.
    • Furthering this, her entire plan was making a Cyberman army which would turn every corpse in the world into Cybermen in turn killing all the living then turning them into Cybermen. Why? To give control of the army to the Doctor as a birthday present. Not only is this twisted even for the Master, but she was playing on The Doctor's fear of the darkness within him by trying to release it.
    • Adding a little extra frosting to Missy's proverbial birthday cake? How many allies, Companions, and friends has the Doctor lost along the way? We got confirmation that Danny Pink and the Brigadier were in that army. But there are a lot more dead friends of his that were not accounted for. Missy added a whopping dose of Revenge Through Corruption by turning all those dead friends of his into Cybermen!
  • When Missy returns in Series 9 ("Death is for other people") to help find the Doctor, Clara briefly wonders if she's turning good. Missy then proves her wrong by casually vaporizing two UNIT agents before her eyes! She even twists the knife by mentioning that one of them had a wife and family! She then tells a third agent to get down on his knees for a goodbye selfie for his kids! She even threatens to do it to everyone in the square if she feels like it before Clara thankfully gets her to stop! Yeah, she definitely hasn't turned good.
    • What's more, the man she was threatening actually gets down on his knees! He was probably thinking he was going to die!
    • Then there's her getting jealous of Twelve's and Clara's friendship, which results in her trying to trick the Doctor into killing Clara! And Clara was trapped in a Dalek casing at the time and couldn't properly communicate with Twelve, and he actually points the gun Missy gave him at her as he didn't know any better! Doubles as a Tear Jerker.
  • Don't forget that time he spent as a literal walking corpse when he first ran out of regenerations — the only thing that kept him going in that state of severe decay was PURE HATRED.
  • And in "World Enough and Time", the Saxon Master returns and reveals himself not only to have been behind the Mondasians' steady transformation into the Cybermen, but to have played the role of Bitch in Sheep's Clothing and False Friend to Bill, resurrecting his old "Master of Disguise" act, screwing with Bill for years on end, all to ensure that she's turned into a Cyberman, solely to spite the Doctor and prevent his future self's Heel–Face Turn. All the while, he puts on a perfectly convincing Creepy Good act, lulling Bill — who is no fool — into a false sense of security, ensuring that she is Conditioned to Accept Horror, before making sure she becomes a Cyberman.
  • In "Spyfall", the Master has killed and replaced an analyst from MI6, and spends most of the episode pretending to be said analyst for no other reason than to troll the Doctor and her new companions. After he drops the façade, he turns out to be one of the most vicious incarnations yet, murdering his way through a crowd of hostages until the Doctor kneels before him, and generally behaving like a snarling maniac.

  • A villain with as much Joker Immunity as The Master (although the Master would kindly remind you that he is the Doctor's Arch Enemy, thank you very much!), Davros is worthy of a few mentions.
  • Consider that Davros wasn't always evil. He was once a scared little boy caught up in the Thousand Year War on Skaro. Events that took place in that war warped him. His body crippled and disfigured, blinded save for an electronic eye implant, he decided that survival was the ultimate ideal (and worse, this was possibly inspired by the Twelfth Doctor telling him that survival was a choice.) This ultimately culminated in him creating the Daleks, and instilling in them a sense that they must survive, at the expense of all other life.
  • From his first appearance, Davros displays an irrational temper to rival his own creations.
  • Consider that the Doctor is a scientist. In most incarnations, he seems to generally enjoy tinkering with gadgets and chemicals as a pastime. Davros, meanwhile, never seems to do anything that doesn't involve twisting and perverting science into something disgusting and harmful; flesh-eating viruses, mutations, reality bombs, Colony Sarff, and pretty much the entirety of Revelation of the Daleks. Basically, every time the Doctor encounters Davros, he has to watch his favorite hobby turned into something sick.
  • The very fact that this evil, sadistic and maniacal man even exists and made the Daleks, the Absolute Xenophobe Omnicidal Maniacs that have haunted the Doctor since the very beginning! And lest we forget the time that he nearly succeeded in destroying all of the universe until only he and his Daleks remained alive!
    • If you think it through, Davros is responsible for almost everything that posed the biggest threats and emotional torment to the Doctor and his companions.
      • First off, obviously, he created the Daleks, who are directly responsible for unimaginable numbers of deaths and other devastating events, including the fates of several companions- Susan, Jack, Rose, and Donna all come to mind.
      • The Daleks eventually got into the Time War with the Time Lords, which caused even more incomprehensible death and suffering. It resulted in the Doctor having to end it all by wiping out both sides (or so he thought), including his family and friends there, an action which has haunted and tortured him for much of the revived series.
      • In addition to that, when the Daleks in the Cult of Skaro hid in the Void to wait out in the Time War, their re-emergence allowed the Cybermen from the parallel universe into ours, where they wreaked havoc, then apparently joined forces with the Cybermen already here, making them even more dangerous and troubling to the Doctor and others.
      • The Time War either caused Rassilon to go mad with power, or only made his tyrannical nature worse. One of Gallifrey's founding fathers and most beloved heroes reduced to a maniacal dictator who refuses to die, even if it means he must sacrifice all of creation.
      • Rassilon, as part of his plan to escape the war, sent a signal back in time to when the young Master looked into the Schism, causing him to go mad (or even more deranged) and become the psychotic villain we all know and hate. The Master has been responsible for probably as many deaths as the Daleks, and has just as few qualms about it. In one episode of the classic series, he destroyed a fourth of the universe. And the revived series introduces him by having him take over the Earth, massacre one tenth of the population, and rule it for a year with designs on the rest of the universe before the Doctor stops him. And that's the tip of the iceberg for all the destruction and death the Master has caused, especially for the Doctor personally.
      • And Davros is responsible for all of it. Most of the Doctor's worst enemies, the deaths of his family and departure of some of his best friends, all caused by ONE BEING. ONE PERSON. And he is unrepentant for any of it.
      • And ALL of this is even worse in Big Finish Doctor Who, what with stories like "To the Death" in which three key characters in the Eighth Doctor's life, Lucie Miller, Alex Foreman and Tamsin, end up getting killed by the Daleks and their leader, the Dalek Time Controller, another monstrous Whoniverse villain. Meaning that if Davros hadn't have created the Daleks, NONE of this would've even HAPPENED! And that's not even getting into the OTHER Expanded Universe incidents involving the Daleks!
  • His appearance. He's missing his legs, relies on a prosthetic third eye, and is missing both of his hands, one of which has been replaced by a metallic hand that shoots electricity. And let's not forget how "The Stolen Earth/Journey's End" reveals that he created the New Dalek Empire out of cells from his own body, which leaves his organs and bones exposed.
    • Speaking of the above: Davros's "DESTRUCTION OF REALITY ITSELF" rant... because he's genuinely enjoying the hell he's about to unleash.


    Expanded Universe 


The statue's gone!