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DOCTOR WHO is Running Out of Classic Villains

[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!

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  1. Bring back the Vashta Nerada

  2. Eye of Orion says:

    Bring back the Black Guardian and the White Guardian!

  3. Somehow doubt past rouge Time Lords would be featured in Doctor Who. 
    Consider the fact that the Time Lords plucked their most bad arse leader – Rassilon – from the past to lead them in the Time War. Add in that all other Time Lords were drawn into the conflict – including the Master and the Doctor.,. Going to go out on a limb and assume the others would have been drawn into the conflict as well. 
    The Rani’s skills would seem to lend themselves to the sort of perverse warfare the Time Lords and Daleks were waging. 
    The other renegades likewise have their own talents that could have been put to good use by the Time Lords. 
    Not expecting any of them to show up anytime soon – at least, not until the Doctor manages somehow to bring them back from the pocket universe they wound up in. 

  4. Andrew says:

    Daemons, Mechanoids, Sea Devils, and a proper use of Terileptils beyond their cameo in the Pandorica episode.  I’d also be chuffed if we got an explanation for why the Silurians look so different than the ones in their eponymous serial.

  5. I’m not so sure they will bring back any old foes, they seem to be going in a different direction.  And from hearing Gatiss and Moffat talk I get the feeling they are trying to distance the Doctor from his antics in the past, because 12 is very different and he already knows something is different with this regeneration.  

  6. Michael says:

    The Valeyard. We may have seen a bit if him in Amy’s Choice

  7. John Stout says:

    They left the biggest remaining villains in Doctor Who history off this list….OMEGA and The Black Guardian of Time.

  8. Either Autons, Rutans, the Rani, the War Chief, or the Monk. I thought the War Chief’s doings were interesting and a spin on the Monk’s; the Rani’s plan to steal the great scientists of Earth is also interesting and a spin on both, but a little rudimentary compared to the War Chief’s. I also think Doctor Who should do a “purely historical” episode; they haven’t done that since 1982. Maybe explore Tesla’s lab?

  9. Junk Fed says:

    I say Bring back the cutest villains in Doctor Who history, the Quarks. Also the Sensorites. Lastly, though not a baddie, I’d love to see the return of an updated, less phallic Alpha Centauri. 

  10. Jb Lee says:

    Some of the classic villains were too powerful for a return. PYRAMIDS OF MARS was my first Who story, and it made me a fan for life, but I can’t imagine a thing you could do with Sutekh beyond that. The whole point of that serial was a villain so potent that if he escaped his prison absolutely NOTHING could stop him. That’s a one-trick-pony. So – even though he’s a favorite of mine – I wouldn’t want to see him return.

    On the other hand, the Usurians of THE SUN MAKERS could make a reappearance, maybe as manipulators behind some real economic catastrophe such as America’s Great Depression of 1929, orchestrated by a clandestine Usurian committee for some diabolical scheme.

    Weng-Chiang, aka Magnus Greel, was dealt with pretty completely in his classic “Talons of Weng-Chiang”, but maybe some other war criminal from his period has escaped in some other way through time and space, trying to regain the authority and power once manifest across the world until the battle of Reykjavik broke their crushing grip on humanity…

    And I don’t think the Great Intelligence got anything close to a fair shake from his recent resurrection as a Lost-In-Space monster in a top hat. Maybe some day that entity will be restored in a way that will make him a memorable fiend, as he was for countless kids who watched THE WEB OF FEAR way back when. I even have a story treatment to that end, in fact… such was my great disappointment with the Season 7 version.

  11. Anonymouse says:

    Another option would be to go full space opera for a season. We already know that by the 30th Century Earth is at the centre of a massive galactic empire.  They could spend a season exploring the political and ethical issues around that. Each episode of the season could centre on a critical period in time along Earth’s rise to galactic dominance, and how The Doctor may have tipped the balance in The Earth’s favour due to his strange affinity for that particular planet.

  12. Socirax… had to be mire than one ship…. Atraxi… 

  13. Jenny.. David’s Doctors daughter is still out there somewhere… The Family could escape… 

  14. I Would <3 To See The Rani Reborn.

  15. Sea devils if Lady Vastra is in it would be cool

  16. The Green Death. Which incorporated Green Slime. Which was so cool (ok, so that’s probably not the best word to use) that the creators of Dungeons and Dragons filched it to use as a monster. The first that wasn’t lifted from classical sources….

  17. Robq says:

    How about Eldrad from The Hand of Fear? He/she would be great to see coming back for revenge, and as the 4th said..”It’s very hard to kill a stone”.
    Then we have the Mara, from the “dark places of the mind”. The 5th encountered that one twice and only drove it back to where it dwells.
    Both would be very welcome, at least by me, to see again.

  18. thomas says:

    let’s see old villians, there’s the usarians from “The Sunmakers” um the mind robber from the same title, the war chief from “The War Games” and i would like to see a season done like “The key to time” was done (Ohh there’s a villian The Justice Machines)

  19. RRP says:

    I know Moffat nixed the idea recently, but I’d still love to see an updated version of the Axons. I loved those big slimy piles of tentacles. And the Ogrons! I know they’ve been conceptually replaced and topped by other outer space grunts like the Judoon, but, c’mon, who doesn’t want to see big purple gorilla men running around?

  20. Scott C. says:

    I think finding a way to bring back Sutekh would be awesome!

  21. Paul M. says:

    The Valeyard needs to return. I want to see how Moffat ties that into the current story lines.

  22. Darren says:

    Omega. I’d love to see what they could do with him in Modern Doctor Who. The fact that the place where the Moment was kept was named after him is just another reminder of what an important figure he is to the Time Lords. He also gets referenced in Eleven’s speech in The Rings of Akhaten. “I walked in universes where the laws of physics were devised by the mind of a madman!” Omega needs to come back.

    • bob says:

      Omega has appeared in Big Finish audios. He’s set to return next year as well in the new “Gallifrey” spin-off.

  23. Perfect person to play The Meddling Monk opposite Capaldi:  Craig Ferguson!

  24. Kevin M. says:

    How about The Celestial Toymaker…that would be epic!

  25. Chrisbee says:

    I want more Zygons, an actual episode instead of just using them as a plot device like in the anniversary.

    Other than that, I’d actually love to see them bring back classic good guys that have somehow become bad guys after intervention by the Doctor. If the theme of this series is supposed to be him ‘correcting his mistakes’ then some of them should be cases where he backed the wrong horse and centuries or millennia later things are horrible.

  26. How about the Great Vampires or the Black Guardian?

  27. SayntMykl says:

    All excellent suggestions! I’d also like to see the Movellans, a race of android females in an eternal battle with the Daleks.

  28. Peter says:

    What about Sil from Vengence On Varos,(with original actor Nabil Shaban) or David Tennant (DoctorDonna) from parallel universal, John Smith gone evil.

  29. Henrik Hansen says:

    Here’s another Big Finish plug. (I don’t work for them, honest.) Graeme Garden played an excellent Meddling Monk for them a few years back.  He would be brilliant on the show. (Note: I am not related to Mr. Garden. I am also not his agent.) I said ipso facto on my last post. It tickles me to type it. Ipso facto!

  30. Mason says:

    I would like to see the return of the Wirrn from Ark in Space. They can do much better than green bubble wrap now.

    • Andrew says:

      Not Doctor Who per se, but when I first saw the Torchwood episode with the cure-all that implanted you with an alien insect, I thought Wirrn.