TV Lists

Classic Doctor Who Monsters That Need To Return

Doctor Who is a franchise that’s got a lot of monsters. Yes, there are the big ones like Daleks and Cybermen who are almost guaranteed to keep coming back, but there are a lot that haven’t been seen for many decades now. With Russell T. Davies returning to helm the new era of Doctor Who once again, and with his history of bringing classic monsters back to screens, here are a few villains we’d love to see get a revamp and return to fight the Doctor once again.

The Rutans

© 1977 BBC Studios.

Chances are that viewers of Doctor Who will be familiar with the war-like race, the Sontarans. But they might not be as familiar with their most hated enemy, the Rutans. A species locked in a millennia long war with one of the most formidable warrior races to ever exist must be something quite impressive, so it might come as something of a surprise that these creatures are just glowing green jellyfish.

Having been mentioned in multiple Classic Who stories, they were only ever seen in one, the Fourth Doctor serial ‘The Horror of Fang Rock.’ This story saw a single Rutan arrive on Earth looking to assess whether or not the planet could be used as a strategic stronghold in their war.

Despite being alone, the Rutan proved to be a formidable creature, using electrical discharges from its body against their opponents. Able to survive in almost any environment, including the vacuum of space, the Rutans are incredibly adaptable and could be used in a variety of stories. With technology having progressed a great deal, perhaps now is the best time to bring these monsters back to life once again in a believable way, whether as their own threat, or as part of a bigger story featuring the Sontarans.

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© 1971 BBC Studios.

The Axons featured in one of the early Third Doctor stories, ‘The Claws of Axos,’ and appeared as gold skinned aliens who come to Earth searching for a way to refuel their ship, offering humans a rare element in return. It was later revealed that the gold aliens, their ship, and the element they were offering were all part of the same entity. The golden Axons could transform into the tentacled monstrosities, Axos, in order to fight their foes. Interestingly, this was also the first story where the Doctor and the Master would work together.

With the original story involving these creatures featuring a need for energy, the draining of Earth’s resources, and issues around global hunger, it feels like many of these elements were ahead of their time in a lot of ways. These are all problems that still exist today, and are an even greater threat.

It wouldn’t be hard to create a story where these creatures are using the chaos of the environmental crisis and the looming end of humanity’s ability to live on Earth for their advantage. With their past connections to UNIT too, it would be another great excuse to get some UNIT characters back on screen too, whether they be from the new or Classic era.

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© 1970 BBC Studios.

The Primords are an interesting creature as, not only were they only featured the once on screen in the story ‘Inferno,’ but they were barely a threat to the Earth we know due in part to most of their original story taking place on an alternate version of Earth.

Created by a green ooze that was discovered deep underground whilst an operation was made to drill to the Earth’s core, the Primords were people who are changed into monstrous, wolf-like entities. Able to infect and transform others with a simple touch, they plagued the Third Doctor and his allies as the alternate Earth edged closer to destruction.

Over the years since, the Primords have been expanded upon in prose and comics, linking them to The Great Vampires, hugely powerful entities from another dimension who warred with the Time Lords. The green ooze was later made to be part of the monsters taint upon the universe, able to infect other life. Bringing back the Primords would allow the Doctor Who team to explore some of these ideas that have only barely been touched on screen, with most of the lore being expanded upon in other forms. It would allow them to bring a lot of the lesser known history to new audiences. Alternatively, much of that could be ignored, and they could simply create another scary monster story featuring the Primords. Either way, they’d make a great foe for the new era.

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© 1989 BBC Studios.

Another creature that used to be human and nods to classic monsters, the Haemovores are an evolution of humanity from the distant future where human beings have transformed into monstrous, vampire-like creatures.

Originally featuring in the Seventh Doctor story ‘The Curse of Fenric,’ the Haemovores were transported back in time by the titular Fenric, a formless entity known as a Great Old One (a Lovecrafitan monstrosity older than the universe itself), and were in part the origin of vampire myths on Earth.

Much like the Primords, the Haemovores are a great way for the series to tap into classic horror monsters with a sci-fi twist, and in a way that allows the story to expand the Doctor Who universe. The Haemovores would make a truly terrifying monster for the Doctor to fight on their own, but if tied in with immensely powerful god-like entities older than the universe itself it absolutely adds to the threat they bring. With fans speculating that Neil Patrick Harris is going to be playing The Celestial Toymaker in the 60th anniversary special (another god-like creature older than the universe), if they end up being right, it wouldn’t be hard to bring Fenric and his vampire monsters back to the show too.

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© 1986 BBC Studios.

The Vervoids were created by humanity in the far future as a race of humanoid plant slaves. The Vervoids would eventually evolve and rebel against their human creators, and even attempted to destroy all animal life in order to secure their freedom.

Doctor Who is no stranger to exploring complex motivations in its monsters, nor does it shy away from putting the horrors of slavery in its narratives. Davies has already done this once before with the Ood. As such, it might be an interesting territory to revisit, though using the Vervoid this time.

Having only appeared the once in the Sixth Doctor adventure ‘Terror of the Vervoids’, the story ended with the Doctor destroying them, but leaving a batch of seeds to grow new Vervoids that have their aggressive tenancies removed. It would be interesting to see how this played out, whether humanity would leave them alone to live in peace or not. The Vervoids could return as a downtrodden slave race desperate for freedom that the Doctor would have to save, or as a species that was forced to relearn their aggressive instincts in order to survive. It would also be interesting to see them return just to see how their design would be handled, as even though they had a great design, their original look featured a head that was quite phallic to say the least.

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