Doctor Who will always been remembered as a teatime terror that can scare adults and children alike. With the Doctor hurling around the cosmos in the TARDIS since 1963, we've met plenty of memorable monsters over the years. While it’s easy to argue that the Doctor him/herself is the scariest entity to grace the galaxy, here are 10 Doctor Who villains that'll definitely give you nightmares.
The Monster from “Midnight”
What made the monster from Series 4’s “Midnight” all the more frightening was the fact that we never got to see it. The series' standard ‘small budget’ episodes trapped a group of tourists in a shuttle with a demonic presence that could be inside any of them. Lesley Sharp was superb playing Sky Silvestry/the Monster, but the real horror of “Midnight” came from the questions left by the episode. We never learned the monster’s name, how it came to survive on the surface of the uninhabitable planet, or where it got its powers from.
The Auton’s are the zombie-esque mannequins who broke free from departments stores and stalked the streets of London. After several appearances after their 1970 debut, the Autons were also memorable enough to relaunch the show in 2005 and were effectively blueprints for later monsters like the Clockwork Robots and Weeping Angels. It’s hard to look at shop windows in the same way.
These carnivorous critters have undoubtedly made it into the Doctor Who hall of fame due to the fact they were introduced alongside Alex Kingston’s River Song. The Vashta Nerada were shadow-dwelling piranhas who could rip you of your flesh and turn you into a repetitive zombie trapped in an astronaut suit. Another clever villain that we never got to see, Doctor Who proved that you don’t need a CGI terror to keep us hiding behind the cushions.
The Great Intelligence/The Whisper Men
Appearing in both the classic and revamped Doctor Who, the Great Intelligence has been played by a number of great actors. For this entry, we’re going to focus on Richard. E Grant’s sneering version. The Great Intelligence would be scary enough on his own, but pair him with the Whisper Men and you’ve got some serious Doctor Who horrors on your hands. The Whisper Men looked like were pulled directly from Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s “Hush” with their sharp teeth and bleached colouring.
The Gask Mask Zombies
While Doctor Who is never going to be The Walking Dead, that hasn’t the show creating its own hordes of zombies over the years. 2005 had everyone asking “Are you my mummy?” in “The Empty Child”. The episode turned the tragic Jamie into an unlikely monster thanks to a mistake with nanogenes. Seeing faces warp into gas mask monsters was genuinely terrifying as Doctor Who put that tried 'n tested trope of creepy kids to great use.
Like something pulled from Edvard Munch’s “The Scream”, the Silence were the sinister Slenderman creatures from the Matt Smith years. With their extended fingers being enough to frighten most, the Silence could also zap you with lightning. Created by Steven Moffat to cause some serious trouble for Amy, Rory, the Doctor, and River, the unique selling point of the Silence is that you couldn’t remember them. Sure, their inclusion in Doctor Who might’ve been dragged out a little too long alongside Madame Kovarian, but it didn’t stop the Silence haunting us all.
2006’s “The Impossible Planet”/”The Satan Pit” pitched the squid-like Ood as the sinister villains, but it turned out that something even worse was hiding in the depths of the planet. Emerging from the Satan Pit, the Beast was evil incarnate. The two-part episode raised questions about God and the Devil, making the Beast a more complex monster than we’re used to in the Whoniverse.
When they first emerged in 1966, the Cybermen started as dodgy Blue Peter costumes made from cardboard and tinfoil. They’ve evolved over the years to become a metallic menace that has consistently caused problems for the Doctor and his companions. Given a CGI revamp for the ‘nu’ Who, the Cybermen were most terrifying when converting humans in “Rise of the Cybermen”/“Age of Steel”.
The Weeping Angels
Flapping their stony wings into our nightmares, the Weeping Angels have lauded it over the Doctor Who reboot years. First appearing in the critically acclaimed “Blink”, the Weeping Angels became unlikely candidates of scariest villains ever. Feeding off your life energy and marooning you in time, even their malevolent mission is enough to send shivers down your spine. Returning several times, they were also part of Amy Pond and Rory Williams’ climactic swansong in “The Angels Take Manhattan”.
It’s a close race between the top for which species is the scariest Who monster of all time, but let’s be honest, the Daleks probably just take first place. The Daleks were given a controversial change in recent years and became more than robotic dustbins when the developed the ability to actually go up stairs. The fact that the Time War led to the destruction of near-destruction of the Time Lords, it’s easy to see why the Daleks are No. 1. Doctor Who just wouldn’t be Doctor Who without those robotic sneers of “Ex-ter-mi-nate”.
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