The Doctor encounters all sorts of menacing monsters and foul creatures during his adventures. After all, a lot of the time he’s coming face to face with these foes and their dastardly plans to take over Earth or exploit another planet, which means he has to defeat them. However, whereas most monsters tend to be forgotten after being dealt with, there are some that have become staples of Doctor Who.
Whether they’re reoccurring monsters that have a rivalry with The Doctor or perhaps are something that has only appeared once but left a mark, these villains can often be terrifying, interesting, and most often well-written enough to be this memorable. These are the best Doctor Who villains throughout the show.
Although the Zygons are close to being one of Doctor Who’s forgotten monsters that appear to be thwarted by The Doctor once and then left to be referenced, Zygons have one thing going for them, and that is their ability to shapeshift into other creatures. This makes them truly terrifying and also a fantastic way of having actors bounce off one another if a Zygon turns into an evil clone of their character.
The concept has opened up a lot of interesting ideas since their debut during the Fourth Doctor’s tenure and the design of the aliens is creepy and memorable enough.
In Doctor Who there tend to be many reoccurring villains from Daleks to Zygons to Cybermen, and the latter tends to rank low out of all of them. The cyborgs have a desire to “upgrade” anyone they come across, wishing to convert other living things into Cybermen. Although they’re terrifying and have some pretty eerie designs, they have been used a little too much for our liking.
However, that doesn’t mean they aren’t still one of the most memorable villains of the series and the reason why so many fans hate the word “DELETE!”
8 The Celestial Toymaker
Despite only appearing once, The Celestial Toymaker was a villain with seemingly limitless power that made fans wonder how The Doctor could possibly defeat them. Whereas most villains are taken down through some technology or just get outsmarted.
But the Celestial Toymaker toyed with The Doctor and his companions, appearing like a petty God who would turn losers of his game into toys in his realm, called the Celestial Toyroom. He’s a terrifying force and a reminder there are other powerful beings throughout the universe.
7 The Silence
Steven Moffat often has brilliant ideas for monsters and one of those is The Silence. Appearing as lanky and grey big-headed humanoids, The Silence’s main threat was that each time someone looked away from them, they would forget they ever saw them. It gave a new terrifying meaning to the feeling when you walk into a room but forget why you went there.
Their downfall was also pretty clever too, and it’s good to see a terrifying Moffat monster not be overused.
6 Weeping Angels
The Weeping Angels are another creation from writer Steven Moffat and one that has kept fans on the edge of their seat since they debuted. Introduced in the episode Blink, it turns out the Weeping Angels are aliens that turn to stone once they are observed, making them appear as statues. They feed on time and once they touch you, they will send you back in time and feed on the energy that comes from the time travel.
Although they have been reused again and again, they are still some horror-inducing monsters that are so creepy and iconic that they’re even well known to those who aren’t even fans of the show.
5 Vashta Nerada
Have you ever wondered why every living creature has an irrational fear of the dark? That’s a question The Doctor poses when encountering the Vashta Nerada, an odd alien species that feeds on the flesh of anything that steps into the dark. And the worst part? They apparently exist on most planets with The Doctor claiming specks of dust tend to actually be swarms of Vashta Nerada.
These villains haven’t appeared much and according to The Doctor turn out to not be so harmless, but their appearance was blood-curdling and would make the perfect horror movie.
4 The Family Of Blood
Usually, villains are like those listed before, one person or an alien race that is getting in The Doctor’s way and doing harm to people. But what about a family? That’s where the family of blood comes in: a mysterious family comprising of a father, mother, son, and daughter who hunt down The Doctor.
We never find out anything more about them but small implications of what they are, and they are creepy, vicious, and, most of all, dangerous enough to have The Doctor temporarily transform himself into a human just to avoid them. Their punishments at the end of the adventure are also memorable, showing why The Doctor was running away from them, so he wouldn’t have to punish them.
When it comes to Doctor Who villains, there’s no way you can’t mention the Daleks. Perhaps the best reoccurring villain of the series, the Daleks are a race of aliens encased in machinery that are often at the centre of some plan to take over the universe. But most new fans will know them for the Time War, a devastating universe-spanning war between the Daleks and Time Lords that saw both civilisations wipe each other out.
Of course, both of them would return, and the Daleks have been just as menacing as ever with different designs, iterations, and stories that continue to use these iconic villains in brilliant ways.
2 The Master
If there was ever anyone to rival The Doctor, then that would be his nemesis, The Master. The Doctor and The Master were best friends on their home planet of Gallifrey, where The Master stared into the time vortex which ended up breaking his mind. Eventually they go their separate ways, with The Master now working to torment and humiliate The Doctor whenever he can.
Sometimes he’s power-hungry, other times he’s insane but almost always he just wishes to take down The Doctor, even killing him. He’s charismatic, cunning, and the perfect nemesis for The Doctor.
Living on a planet where nothing in the universe should be able to survive, Midnight is a mysterious entity that seems to be able to take over a person’s body and then mimic others and absorb information.
It mimics The Doctor to the point it seems to somehow control him and almost gets him killed as it manipulates other characters to think The Doctor is possessed by it and should be ejected out to the surface of the planet where they’ll surely die. Thankfully the entity’s plan is stopped but it’s likely still out there. This eldritch horror of a monster represents the best of Doctor Who’s writing.
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