Which of These Ninth Doctor Monsters Should Return?

June 19, 2015

Can it really be ten years since Series 1 ended? A full decade since the Tenth Doctor breathed his last, his gallant effort to save his companion causing his demise?

As regular readers will have noted, Kasterborous has been marking this anniversary with a series of articles examining how the programme was revived in 2005.

Today it’s the turn of the monsters – always a key ingredient in Doctor Who, and that first run saw no shortage of new creations. But which if this batch of beasts should return? Read our view and then give us yours!

Autons/Nestene Consciousness

Nestene Consciousness

Russell T Davies has since explained that he brought back the race of plastic fantastics as he needed a monster in Rose that could plausibly be dismissed as human, and that once he’d made that decision the Autons fit the bill as well as anything new he could have thought up himself. There was something of a twist at the episode’s climax with the Doctor voicing his guilt that he ‘couldn’t save’ their world, giving a new slant on the Nestene Consciousness as a race of homeless refugees.

It would perhaps be hard to imagine the BBC, facing a difficult charter renewal and with no lack of critics in the media, signing off any script featuring troll dolls or faceless policemen, but another appearance would surely be welcomed by long-term fans.

Aliens from Platform One

The End of the World - aliens

The episode that was intended to introduce viewers to the weirdness and variety of inter-galactic travel, The End of the World featured a colourful array of blue-skinned beings, living trees and other assorted visitors who’d come together to witness the planet’s demise. In truth, most of these feel like they belong in another era of the show now. Monsters in the Davies era tended to be of the bold, vivid type (cat nurses, rhino policemen, a great big head…) than the rather darker creations we’ve seen in his successor’s time in charge.

Mind you, a couple cropped up again in The Rings of Akhaten

The Gelth

The Unquiet Dead - Gelth

A nice idea for a monster that never really had sufficient time to develop much in the way of a back-story, the ghostly Gelth turned out to be a race of gaseous beings whose planet had also fallen victim to the unearthly savagery of the Time War. The fact they turned out to be a deceitful bunch of body-stealers was a somewhat predictable twist, but perhaps there would be mileage in a return visit? To see the Gelth operating in another setting away from the very Earth-bound locations of Series 1? Just remember not to light a match…

Writer of The Unquiet Dead, Mark Gatiss did bring the monsters back to great effect in a previous Doctor Who Storybook – whatever happened to those?! – so he’s  sure to have further ideas.

Slitheen

Slitheen

The kids may have loved them but many other viewers weren’t so sure. The Slitheen were victims of a clunky costume design, an awkward mix of real SFX and CGI and some over-the-top comic acting, and as a result many would surely be unlikely to welcome them back. Arguably they found their natural home in The Sarah-Jane Adventures, where the fart gags and OTT realisation of the monsters didn’t tend to jar.

A point in their favour was their motivation as enemies on the make, a race of galactic chancers and profiteers – somehow fitting in the age of the crisis in global finance.

Reapers

Father's Day - Reapers

Some of the CGI in the early series may look less than perfect now, but these dinosaur-like creatures who feasted on elements which upset the balance of time were one of the more convincing early efforts. The notion of them sterilising the cause of any imbalance by devouring whatever got in the way was nicely chilling, and they were an effective threat in their one appearance. We never did get to find out why they only ever turned up this one time to sort out temporal disruptions when the Doctor has spent a lifetime going around mucking about with time… but perhaps it was simply because two lots of the Doctoe and Rose being there at one time weakened the time stream in a way other adventures.

The Mighty Jagrafess of the Holy Hadrojassic Maxarodenfoe

Jagrafess

The realisation of this ceiling hugging blob may not have been great but the idea was neatly prescient, given what’s happened since with phone-hacking revelations and ever-more dominant media corporations. The Jagrafess (to give it its shortened name) was more of a plot-serving device than a monster with the potential to return.

Now if they could get Simon Pegg to come back that would be another matter…

So what do you think? Do any of these Series 1 monsters deserve a return appearance? Share your thoughts below!

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67 comments on “Which of These Ninth Doctor Monsters Should Return?

  1. TimeChaser Jun 19, 2015

    Never the Slitheen. Never ever ever again, to in finity.

    About the only aliens in this batch that deserve a return engagement or the Autons.

    Platform One aliens were quick jobs to pad out the story; Jagrafess is dead (unless you perhaps explore its origin); the Reapers were too ambitious an idea and have had ample opportunities to return given all the various paradoxes the show has dabbled in since then (and the new Titan comics introduced a more intelligent version of this idea with the Fractures).

    • surely you meant to infinity – and beyond?

      you’re right about reapers – too much work to do around the Doctor. Give me the vortisaurs any day.

      but seriously NO returning monsters; give me something new, dark, scary. Problem with returnees is that we know the Doctor can defeat them ‘cos he already has. Midnight remains scary ‘cos he didn’t, and we still have the mystery that we never even saw it. Perfect cheap monster! what with that ep being written to use minimal stuff while Donna was busy elsewhere, it shows that sometimes less is more.

      • TheLazyWomble Jun 19, 2015

        “Spearhead from Space” is one of my favourite Pertwee stories. But I don’t want to see the Autons/Nestene Consciousness again. None of them should come back any time soon.

      • TimeChaser Jun 19, 2015

        I prefer more new creations as well. But simply for the purpose of the article, I picked what out of the bunch I would prefer if they DID bring anything back.

    • Dr. Moo Jun 19, 2015

      Yeah, we need something new. Have we had a single NuWho series without any returnees yet? No we haven’t! Series 9 won’t give us that either with Zygons and the Master already confirmed. Fingers are crossed for series ten but I won’t get my hopes up too high.

    • John McJohnson Jun 19, 2015

      The Slitheen weren’t *that* bad! The SJAs used them loads better and proved that the writers can do (to quote Cpt Jack) a “nice job with the Slitheen” when they really want to.

      • TimeChaser Jun 19, 2015

        They belong in a series like SJA, which is awesome but still meant for a younger audience. The Slitheen (and by extension the burping Auton trash bin) were just NOT the kind of monster that belongs in Doctor Who. The idea is cool, but please don’t reduce it to body humor. It’s supposed to be body horror, I mean they steal people’s skins for crying out loud.

        • yeah, I’d like a new body-snatcher or body-horror baddie; maybe one you can only see in the eyes, or the way they move their hands, or can turn their heads right around… no great financial outlay but a bit of GCI needed maybe.
          and maybe the body-horror could be a nanogene virus – answering Moo’s call for their return, but taking it somewhere nasty – like it was an intentional takeover strategy, like a dalek plague before invasion. therefore revealing a new villain behind it all.
          which might bring in my fav potential BF import – The Forge…

        • Dr. Moo Jun 20, 2015

          I only started watching the SJAs about a month ago and have been sufficiently impressed. Loads better than I thought it would be and actually better than that other RTD spinoff Torchwood.
          RIP Liz Sladen. If she were still here I expect it’d still be going to this day.

          • TimeChaser Jun 22, 2015

            SJA is more fit to be called a spin-off of Doctor Who. Torchwood just feels so wrong now, and it’s gone so far in its own direction that I don’t even count it being in the same universe as Who anymore, at least in the last couple of seasons.

          • Dr. Moo Jun 22, 2015

            Beyond a doubt you are correct. But since Torchwood series three was so beautiful I can forgive it, series four not so much.

      • Dr. Moo Jun 20, 2015

        “I like the Slitheen because they fart” – Colin Baker.

        https://youtu.be/7CgesifrpKA

  2. Dr. Moo Jun 19, 2015

    The only series one villain I’d reuse would be the Nanogenes from The Empty Child/ The Doctor Dances because there’s room for versatility there. The rest, I think they’re done and shouldn’t be used again unless there’s a phenomenally good reason.

    Give us some new stuff please! Series eight had the Foretold, the Boneless, GUS and a new Master. Let’s have some creativity in series nine.

    • I loved the Nanogenes. Right now though I think the show should leave them alone as a beautiful, one-off villain though. In fact, should we even qualify them as villains? They didn’t know they were getting it wrong until the end. We’ve technically already seen the Nestene Duplicates come back in the amazing series 5 finale (sorry for those that don’t like it. I do though), but I wouldn’t mind a return of them.

      Just my thoughts. 🙂

      • Dr. Moo Jun 20, 2015

        Maybe. I just think there’s a lot more potential there. Unlike the Slitheen (done to death by Sarah Jane), the Platform 1 monsters (good for background only) and the Gelth (would only work once).

      • Dr. Moo Jun 20, 2015

        With you on the series five finale. One of the strongest stories in the show’s history and second strongest finale of NuWho after series one.

  3. Doct-Her Who Jun 19, 2015

    Forget returning villains, how about focussing on actually writing decent stuff?

    • Dr. Moo Jun 19, 2015

      “Focussing on writing decent stuff”
      Oh, you mean like with series eight?

      • TimeChaser Jun 19, 2015

        Which brought back Clockwork Droids, the Master, and Cybermen. There was plenty of original stuff too, but there is always something returning.

        • Dr. Moo Jun 20, 2015

          We haven’t had a series yet without returnees. Hoping for that in series ten (since nine has Zygons and Master) but won’t get my hopes up.

          • TheLazyWomble Jun 20, 2015

            I think with the rights negotiations that accompanied their return, we are unlikely to go very long without hearing from the Daleks.

          • Dr. Moo Jun 20, 2015

            I understand that Daleks are obliged to show at least once every calendar year, hence superfluous appearances in The Wedding of River Song and The Waters of Mars.

          • GentleGiant Jun 21, 2015

            There is no obligation to show the Daleks once a year. That is a recurring rumor with no factual basis.

          • Dr. Moo Jun 21, 2015

            Fair enough, I’ve gone looking for facts since you made that comment and found nothing either way.

            Although my point about their superfluous and unnecessary appearances in Wedding and Waters certainly lend weight to it.

      • Doct-Her Who Jun 20, 2015

        WHY WOULD YOU SAY THE WEITING NOW IS DECENT?! MOFFAT CAN’T WRITE ANYMORE!

        This forum is patrolled by his army of mindless slaves. Fight it and regain your freedom!

        • John McJohnson Jun 20, 2015

          What is this thing you call “HIS WEITING”?

          • Doct-Her Who Jun 20, 2015

            That was a typo and you know it, f—tard!

          • John McJohnson Jun 20, 2015

            I’m not even going to justify that with a response.

          • Dr. Moo Jun 20, 2015

            This was a nice place to comment until about a week ago. Then this woman showed up. *sigh*

          • TheLazyWomble Jun 20, 2015

            It’s still a nice place to comment. Let us all remember why we visit this site and concentrate on that. Don’t let others a) spoil our fun or b) alter the way we contribute.
            Dr Moo, you said it: we are better than this. Let’s be better!

          • Doct-Her Who Jun 20, 2015

            That seems like a response to me, haha.

          • John McJohnson Jun 20, 2015

            You just don’t stop do you?

          • GentleGiant Jun 21, 2015

            Flag it and trust that the Kasterborous crew will eventually ban the troll.

          • Doct-Her Who Jun 21, 2015

            Yes, then I cNN go in in places without being trolled by these people!

          • John McJohnson Jun 21, 2015

            Your comments have been flagged. Farewell to you.

          • Dr. Moo Jun 21, 2015

            Walk away John. Leave her to “go in places” in peace.

          • K Doctor Who News Jun 21, 2015

            Dealing with. 🙂

        • TimeChaser Jun 20, 2015

          Name me someone who has written more than once for the series who has had a 100% perfect track record. Yes, sometimes Moffat’s writing is lacking, but the same can be said for almost everyone.

          • Doct-Her Who Jun 20, 2015

            Terrance Dicks. Paul Cornell.

            There’s two.

          • TimeChaser Jun 20, 2015

            Sorry, but even Paul Cornell hasn’t always written the best stuff. Human Nature/Family of Blood is far superior to Father’s Day. And even in the classic series, Dicks didn’t always write perfectly.

            The point is that no writer is perfect. To expect them to be is unrealistic. And it’s even harder when you’re the one running the show and not just writing for it.

          • Doct-Her Who Jun 20, 2015

            So? If he’s the guy in charge then he should be able to do a good job with it rather than what he actually puts out for us. He used to be able to!!!

            WELCOME TO KASTERBOROUS, TEMPLE OF THE MOFF WORSHIPPERS!

          • Philip Jun 20, 2015

            Enjoy your stay. Please don’t steal the coasters or break anything valuable, like our comments section.

          • K Doctor Who News Jun 21, 2015

            Quite simply the most ill-advised, unresearched comment on the Internet.

          • Philip Jun 20, 2015

            I love Terrence, but The Five Doctors isn’t perfect. I like it but it’s simply not the best Who has to offer.

          • Dr. Moo Jun 20, 2015

            The Five Doctors is a celebration. Nothing more, nothing less. But it does what it aims to do very well indeed!

        • this forum is a community of people with very different opinions, but who generally prefer to speak to one another with humour, respect and more than a hint of the Doctor’s style.
          You come across as though you prefer to fight that than join it, which makes me wonder what other battles you’re fighting. this page could be a rest from that if you let it.

          • Doct-Her Who Jun 20, 2015

            My personal life is fine. I’d question yours since you feel the need to ask.

          • TheLazyWomble Jun 20, 2015

            No you wouldn’t. And in the interests of balance, none of us would. Comment on the issues raised or the opinions offered. None of us should be commenting on the character of the contributors.

          • Thanks Womble, sorry if I lowered my standards by responding – cricket joy went to my head.
            I only meant that this comminuity can be an encouraging, even healing place for anyone who wants it.

          • TheLazyWomble Jun 21, 2015

            Actually, Bar, this is one occasion when I should have abandoned my usual practise of not naming names. My earlier comment was meant for Doct-Her Who. We have all let our standards slip a little in recent days, but the comment on personal life is uncalled for.

          • It’s ecstatic thanks for asking – Ranger and I are loving the cricket!

  4. Dr. Moo Jun 19, 2015

    Hey Kasterborous writing team, what’s with the sudden obsession with the 9th Doctor?
    Not complaining, it’s just that there’s been a lot of him in these articles as of late.

  5. Individual of Doom Jun 19, 2015

    Nah, bring back some classic Pertwee era villains instead.

  6. beskar Jun 20, 2015

    The Autons shouldn’t be in the list; they’re a 3rd Doctor enemy. Thus, for the same reason you don’t have Daleks in this list, they shouldn’t be here, either.

    • Philip Jun 20, 2015

      Yeah, but they’ve only really featured in three stories (aside from cameos). So yeah, they should come back.

  7. Richard Freeman Jun 20, 2015

    Autons with the proper Lovecraftian Nestene monster. I’d like to see the proper Jon Pertwee Silurians back and the Sea Devils.

  8. itsonlythesoaps Jun 20, 2015

    I like the idea of bringing back a minor “monster” from the platform. I use the term “monster” sparingly as I see them as aliens and not monsters in some cases.

  9. James Lomond Jun 20, 2015

    The Autons/ Nestenes were criminally underused – could be brilliantly chilling if done properly rather than substitute *robots* like in Rose.

    Not sure what you could do with the Gelth beyond the very contrived (and brilliantly written/ executed) scenario they were used in – gaseous beings/ Victorian gas lamps/ ghosts and gaseous body-snatching…

    Adam Mitchell returning having used his brain-port for nefarious wrong-doing? Neah.

  10. Personality Complex #36 Jun 21, 2015

    I like all of them! But Nanogenes, if they count, get my vote.

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