DOCTOR WHO is Running Out of Classic Villains
By Kyle Anderson on August 20, 2014
[Mild spoilers for Series 8 in this opening paragraph. Please be warned if you truly wish to know nothing.]
The big three in terms of Doctor Who villains/aliens have always been the Daleks, the Cybermen, and the Master. Between them, 214 episodes to date have aired featuring at least one of them, which makes over 25% of the total number of episodes in 50 years. That’s staggering. We’ve already learned that the Daleks and Cybermen will be back in Series 8, and recently lead writer and executive producer Steven Moffat explained why the Master won’t be coming back any time soon. I agree with him in not bringing back the Master, by the way.
The new series has also brought back other beloved alien races and villains such as the Sontarans, Silurians, the Ice Warriors, and the Zygons; in fact, they really have brought back most of the ones people like. There have even been references to other old monsters like the Nimon, the Macra, and the Monoids. While I suppose in theory they could bring back any of the various one-off alien races or baddies, is there really a good story to be told featuring the Axons or the Fendahl or something? To my way of thinking, there are only a few aliens or villains who COULD come back and have decent stories told using them. Want me to make a list for you? Okay!
1) The Draconians
The race I most want to see return, number one with a bullet, are the noble and mighty beings of the Draconian Empire. Appearing in only one story, 1973’s “Frontier in Space,” the Draconians were the “other” side of a galactic Cold War against the Human Empire, with the Master trying to heat it up by making it seem as though the each side had committed acts of war against the other. They were name-checked along with everybody else in “The Pandorica Opens” but they haven’t been seen at all. Their return would be great, as it could give us an honest to goodness space opera story, given their technological advancements and wide swath of territory in the cosmos. The Draconians might look similar to the Silurians of today, but they could still easily be used. In fact, you’d barely need to update their makeup effects, which were some of the best the Classic Series ever produced.
2) The Eternals
This is a race so weird and cool that I’m actually really surprised they haven’t come back. Appearing only in the 1983 story “Enlightenment” (the first story in the whole of Doctor Who to be written by a woman, Barbara Clegg), the Eternals were the above-it-all beings that existed in another plane, who know all and see all, but need to feed off of the emotional energy of lesser beings, “ephemerals” they call them, in order to be anything besides incredibly bored. In that story, they abduct humans from throughout history to man their space-bound sailing ships in an interstellar race, but the new series could use them in any kind of scenario wherein they need ephemerals to use for their own personal pleasure. They’re almost impossible to dispatch, too, so that adds an extra layer of challenge.
3) The Rani
I know most people are hoping the Rani will come back. She only appeared in two stories, “The Mark of the Rani” and “Time and the Rani,” both times played by the late Kate O’Mara, but she established herself pretty early on as a different kind of Time Lady adversary. She’s completely amoral and focused entirely on getting her experiments finished. She doesn’t care at all about the human casualties, because humans are beneath her. Unlike the Master, she’s not a world-domination fanatic; she’s just a pragmatist who uses whatever’s at her disposal. And since the Time Lords are apparently back somewhere, there’s no reason the Rani can’t also find her way back to the show, especially if the Master isn’t.
4) The Meddling Monk
The very first Time Lord the Doctor ever encountered (though their race hadn’t been named yet), the Monk appeared in his own story “The Time Meddler” and for part of the massive 12-episode “The Daleks’ Master Plan,” both opposite the First Doctor. What makes the Monk interesting is that he doesn’t think he’s doing wrong at all; he’s merely helping history the way he thinks it should by bringing technology to peoples who shouldn’t have it. It seems pretty altruistic, right? Well, the Doctor didn’t see it that way. How fun would it be if the Twelfth Doctor happened upon an Earth with everything all discombobulated because of the Monk’s actions and have to go find out where he started the problem? I think that’d be great.
5) The Rutans
We’ve only seen a Rutan one time in the classic series, in 1977’s “Horror of Fang Rock,” but their legacy has loomed large. They’re the millennia-old foes of the Sontarans and their endless war has brought destruction to much of the galaxy. As opposed to the Sontaran’s military might and regimented way of thinking, the Rutans are amorphous, jellyfish-like creatures that glow green and can change their shape into any other being. They also featured in the Doctor Who Adventure Game called “The Gunpowder Plot.” If they were to come back on the new series, I think it could give an excuse to have a Strax-centric episode, and how could that possibly be bad?
As far as I’m concerned, if any other baddies are brought back before these five, then they’re just wasting their time. Which ones would you like to see in the new series? Have I left one off that you think is the A-#1? And if you say any other Time Lord like Omega or Morbius, I’m going to make a snoring noise at you. Fair warning! Let’s talk below!