Julien Neaves – Editor
Way back in May it was announced that assonance-loving justice- enforcing Rhino-looking aliens The Judson would be returning for Doctor Who Series 12, and I for one am glad that show runner Chris Chibnall is bringing back a fan-favourite species. And it got me thinking about some other modern Who aliens who we have not seen in a long time and deserve a return to the show.
For this list I will be looking at species that only had one major appearance, so don’t expect any Daleks, Cybermen or Weeping Angels to pop up. With a SPOILER ALERT here are the Top 10 Modern Doctor Who Aliens that Deserve a Comeback:
#10 The Forest of Cheem
These plant-evolved aliens appeared in just the second episode of the revived series The End of the World, which had enough cool-looking species to fill up half of this list. The Ninth Doctor gets a helping branch from a member of The Forest of Cheem, the lovely Jabe, and she meets a fiery, tragic end.
It would be great to see the 13th Doctor meet another tree from this Forest and for fans to see this unique-looking species again. And yes we had some tree-like creatures from the Eleventh Doctor adventure The Doctor, The Widow and the Wardrobe, but as characters they were a bit…wooden. I’m here all week people.
#9 The Gelth
We stick with the Ninth Doctor and Series 1 for our next species, the gaseous Gelth from The Unquiet Dead. The Gelth at first pretended to be poor, trapped aliens but were eventually revealed to be a malevolent, conquering race planning to enact their evil plot using the bodies of the dead. Cree-py.
These freaky, disembodied beings brought some genuine horror to the beloved Sci Fi show. And while they will not be able to fool The Doctor a second time around they can still whip up some scares in a new episode.
The Tenth Doctor met the charming Chantho in the Series 3 episode Utopia, which also saw the return of Doctor Who nemesis The Master. Chantho’s sweetness, quirky method of speaking and impressive, insect-like visual design made for a thoroughly memorable character. Mind you I remembered her name after all these years but I had to Google her species, the Malmooth.
And while in Utopia Chantho is the last of her kind there is no reason The Doctor can’t meet a Malmooth from an earlier time. And now let me end this paragraph in Chantho’s speech pattern: Jul come on Chibnall, bring back the Malmooth Ien.
Spunky Zocci cyborg Bannakaffalatta was quite the scene stealer in the Tenth Doctor Christmas special Voyage of the Damned. Looking like the love child of Darth Maul and a munchkin, the diminutive Bannakaffalatta really stood out in a crowd with his spiky head and bright red skin.
The closest we got to seeing another Zocci was when we met two members of the possibly related species the Vinvocci in The End of Time. But it is high time we see another Zocci paint the galaxy red with The Doctor.
Okay technically the Gangers, introduced in the Series 6 two parter The Rebel Flesh/The Almost People, are not an alien species but a manufactured clone race. But they are sentient and are a species so I’m still including them. #gangerlivesmatter
And you might say “But Julien, we already have a shape-shifting species. The Zygons. Hello!” And I would reply “Yes we do. And don’t forget the Rutans from Classic Who (reminder to include them in a classic version of this list). But, dear reader, there is something especially unsettling about the Gangers with their fish-like faces and deathly pale skin. And don’t we deserve to be unsettled again? Not to mention the socio-political storylines they could be used for. It’s a gold mine!” So that’s what I would say. So glad we had this talk.
If there was an award for the most adorable alien species in all of the Whoniverse it would have to go to these fat little blobs, hands down. The Adipose were introduced in the Tenth Doctor story Partners in Crime and won our hearts even as it unwittingly converted the fat and other tissue from its poor victims. Cutest way to die, ever!
The Adipose popped up for a cameo in The End of Time but that served as merely an amuse bouche to our appetite for these lovable critters. And I am dying to see what the adult Adipose would look like. Somebody get the Stay Puft Marshmellow Man’s agent on the line.
#4 The Racnoss
The Doctor and spiders just don’t get along, whether it’s the Thirteenth Doctor dealing with giant mutated ones (Arachnids in the UK) or the Third Doctor battling the sentient Eight Legs from Metebelis III (Planet of the Spiders). And he would have no better luck in The Runaway Bride when dealing with the Queen of the Racnoss, an ancient, spider-like race.
Now The Doctor killed the Queen and all her pickney but that doesn’t mean there are no more Racnoss scurrying around the universe. Or maybe a few of the eggs survived and want to avenge their dearly departed mama. And from a production standpoint the costume design team should have some fun creating the regular male and female looks for the species l. Time for the Racnoss to spin their web again.
#3 The Reapers
I’ll be the first to admit that the CGI of the Reapers, who appear in the Ninth Doctor story Father’s Day, looks dated and the design is not all that interesting to begin with. My main reason for having The Reapers so high on the list is the story potential. These beings are linked to time itself and respond in force to temporal paradoxes, like the one Rose creates when she saves the life of her father Pete.
The Doctor explains that normally the Time Lords would prevent the appearance of The Reapers and repair time themselves. But for a long time the Time Lords were trapped in a pocket dimension. What about all the temporal paradoxes that occurred before the Time Lords were rescued by The Twelfth Doctor, including the one in The Wedding of River Song? Were the Time Lords still keeping them at bay? We just need a Reaper story to clear up this paradox-sized plot hole.
#2 The Sycorax
I am actually kind of surprised the Sycorax have not returned in full yet. These war-like, bone covered and bone-wearing aliens made a huge splash in The Christmas Invasion, the first full story of the Tenth Doctor. The species also made some blink-and-you-miss-it appearances/name-drops in The End of Time, The Pandorica Opens and The Magician’s Apprentice. But is that not enough Julien? No, dear reader, it is not.
If you recall in The Christmas Invasion the invading Sycorax vessel was leaving Earth after being defeated by The Doctor, and was then blasted to smithereens by Torchwood on the order of then-prime minister Harriet Jones. I don’t know about you but that sounds like something that deserves some payback. You might even say the Sycorax have a bone to pick with the human race. Puns, I got ’em.
#1 Vashta Nerada
If you noticed except for The Gangers all the aliens are from the Russel T. Davies era. It was just a time I’d really memorable species, including our number one-the Vashta Nerada. This shadowy, flesh-eating species appeared in one of the all-time best Doctor Who stories, Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead. The two-parter was also the first appearance of River Song, though not the first time she met The Doctor. Wibbly wobbly, timey wimey and all that. Anywho, the Vashta Nerada were freaking terrifying, both when they were just shadows and also when they used a spacesuit with a skeleton like we would use a car. This episode gave us a highly rational fear of the dark.
Now these ferocious little bastards could return in say an underwater adventure, swapping spacesuits for dive suits. But imagine a visit to the Vashta Nerada home planet where night and any darkness means death and light is the only salvation. Remember the scene in The Chronicles of Roderick where they try to outrun the sun? Think of that, but good. However they are brought back, as one of the scariest Doctor Who aliens the Vashta Nerada deserves to make a comeback.
So that’s my list. What modern alien species do you think deserves a comeback? If you enjoyed this list feel free to like it and share it with your peeps. We do appreciate the support.
For the Top 6 Doctor Who Characters that Deserve a Comeback click here.