Over the past few years we have seen the ‘new’ Doctor facing off against Cybermen, Daleks, Davros and the Master, all mainstays of the Doctor Who universe. While it’s good to relive all the classic monsters and bad-guys of the past, there remains a whole host of creatures and tales to tap into.
Some characters from the show and subsequent comics, books and radio shows appeared to be interesting but never really lived up to their potential. Rights and issues of copyright aside, here are the top ten characters that we would like to see in Matt Smith’s run….
10: The 8th Doctor
Poor Paul MaGann, getting only one screen outing as the 8th Doctor in the quite frankly poor 1996 Dr Who telemovie/pilot. It’s a shame really, as he did fit the part: with a little Tom Baker, a little Pertwee and his own take on the time lord, there was a lot of potential for this Doctor to really fly and become a fan favourite. Getting some chance to shine in both comic and radio-play form, there are some 8th Doctor goodies out there; however, fans have wanted to see what happened between MacGanns Doctor and the first ‘new’ 9th Doctor. There have been hints throughout all the new episodes of the ‘Time-War’ but to see this on screen and to maybe have MaGann teaming up with Eccelston, Tennant and Smith in a ‘5 Doctors’ (well 4)-style team-up would be a fan’s dream. 9: Kamelion
The first potential non-human (or timelord) companion Kamelion was a shape-shifting android that appeared in two Peter Davidson stories (The King’s Demon and Planet of Fire). Looking like a mix of C3P0 and an i-pod, Kamelion was a visually stunning piece of design and special effects. And that’s where the problem lay, as the character needed numerous engineers to work the remote control and software to get him actually moving. Although not in that many episodes, the idea of a robotic companion would make for an interesting shift away from teenage earthlings, and while not as easy on the eye as say Martha Jones, would certainly make a change and a good line of action figures. Taking the robots from ‘Girl in the Fireplace’ as a template, Kamelion would make for an interesting member of the Tardis crew. 8: Abslom Daak: Dalek killer
We have seen numerous Dalek episodes over the past few years with the petter-pots having been given a serious upgrade weapon-wise, once again become a legitimate threat (no stair-pushing, shaving foam in the eyes etc…) it has been shown that conventional military types, the machine guns of UNIT and even Cybermen have little effect on them. The reason being of course that they are not using the right weapon. Instead of a ‘Delete’ tag thingy or a pop-gun, they should shift to a ‘chain-sword’ the tried and tested weapon of choice for Dr Who comic character Abslom Daak. A sort of Judge Dredd of Daleks, Daak first appeared way back in 1980 in the fledgling Doctor Who Weekly comic and was created by the comic artist team of Steve Moore and Steve Dillion. A death-row prisoner, Daak was given the option to either die or become a living weapon against the Daleks – a job he jumped at. Armed with an eternal grimace, his trusty crew of Star Tigers and his Chain-sword the character met the Seventh Doctor twice in comic form, had a graphic novel published about him and appeared in a couple of Dr Who novels including being mentioned in Paul Cornell’s Love and War. An obscure and fun character, it would great to see Daak played out on television… possibly by Jason Statham! 7: Frobisher
Another non-human companion, Frobisher also made most of his appearances within the pages of Doctor Who comics, novels and radio productions in and around the mid 1980s – years where he was a companion for the sixth and seventh doctor. A shape-shifting alien called a Whifferdill, Frobisher took a liking to the Penguin and hence most of his appearances had him waddling around assisting the doctor in various ways. While it would still be very difficult and probably ridiculous to have a full time non-human animal as a companion, Frobisher recently had an homage-style name-check in Torchwood: Children of Earth – anyone else notice that? It would be interesting to see this stand-out comic character (and his wife Francine) brought to life. 6: Raston Warrior Robot
A precursor to the T-1000, this shiny death-dealing robot, seen in The Five Doctors special, was only on screen for around five minutes but made a lasting impression by doing away with a platoon (well about 6) Cybermen with ease. Armed with javelin-like weapons, this quicksilver robot could teleport/jump and supposedly had superhuman reflexes and speed. Although only really a man in a grey jumpsuit and silver mask, a quick bit of liquid metal CG could update these faceless menaces and provide the new doctor with a cybernetic threat that are supposedly older than the timelords themselves.
5: Death’s Head
A Marvel UK comic character (who recently appeared in the severely under-rates Captain Britain and MI13 comic) created by Simon Furman, Death’s Head was a character that, after tackling Unicron in the Transformers, accidentally collided with the seventh Doctor’s Tardis in a Doctor Who Weekly comic strip. Outmatched in size (Deaths Head, at the time being the size of a Transformer), the Doctor used an old weapon of the Master’s to shrink down the robotic bounty hunter to normal human size. Tricking him and sending him on his way to face other obscure Marvel UK characters like Dragon’s Claws, the seventh Doctor in turn guest-starred in Deaths Head’s own comic book, where the robot took up the bounty placed on the Doctor.
While it is nearly impossible for Death’s Head to ever appear on the television show due to legal constraints and the fact that Marvel (and at one point nearly Hasbro) owns the character, it would be interesting to see if, once again this name from the past as a passing nod to this popular ‘non-canon’ character from the expanded Doctor Who universe could be mentioned. It’s not every day a character calling himself a ‘freelance peace-keeping agent’ (that has tackled the Fantastic 4, Iron Man, She Hulk and a time-lord) comes along…interesting, no? 4: Sil (for the laugh alone)
Another name from the Davidson and Baker era Sil was appeared in two stories (Vengeance from Varos and Mindwarp) this intergalactic opportunist is a sort of Jabba the Hutt-Light, a wiggling slimy character both in appearance and personality. A cross between a tadpole and sea-horse this repulsive character was bought perfectly to the screen by actor Nabil Shaban who injected his own grotesque take on the character by adding a gurgling slime filled laugh making an already vile character that little bit more disgusting. As well as his TV appearance Sil also appeared in a few radio plays and Doctor Who novels as was prepped for a third screen outing, teaming with the Autons in the abandoned last season of Sylvester McCoy’s Dr who run. A great bad-guy who would fit perfectly into the new Doctor Who mythology Sil would give the Ood run for there money in the gross-creature stakes and is infinitely preferable the farting irritating Slitheen 3: Omega
The star of classic Who stories such as The Three Doctors and Arc of Infinity, Omega was a corrupt High Council member on Gallifrey, a Timelord whose power became so great that it corrupted him. Imprisoned in an event horizon, the mutated time-lord tries escaping, only to be defeated each time by the Doctor. We have seen the return of uber-bad guys The Master and Davros with major success in the new Doctor Who, both of these characters escaping impossibly difficult ‘prisons’ such as black holes and being ‘made human’ at the end of time (thanks to the still to be explored Time-Wars). If, as it seems from the trailers of the up-and-coming finale of Tennant’s run, the time-lords are also returning, then maybe it would be a good time for this ancient enemy to be dusted off and returned to our screens in all his pointy (or bobble)-headed glory. 2: The Valyard
A ‘corrupt’ prosecutor overlooking Colin Baker’s Trial of a Timelord as well as being the protagonist in numerous audio and novel-based adventures, the Valyard’s quest for power over the secrets of time and the time-lords themselves have seen him clash with the Doctor on a more cerebral level. Accusing our hero of meddling, the Valyard – like any good lawyer – makes for a good case, stating that the Doctor’s actions and conduct are ‘unbecoming a time-lord’, trying where best he can to either imprison or destroy the what he sees as an impediment to his own quest for power. The Valyard is a Machiavellian character, whispering in ears and suggesting rather than forthrightly confronting his nemesis. More cunning than the Master, this is a foe worthy of a fresh interpretation in the Matt Smith era, where, we hope, intelligence rather than brute force are to be the order of the day.
1: ‘Historical’ Torchwood
This final choice might seem a bit strange, since Captain Jack & Co. have not only had their own series but also appeared in a few Doctor Who Episodes in various incarnations. Jack obviously has made his presence known in the Doctor’s own show on numerous occasions; but Ianto, Tosh and even Gwen have over the past few series also made an appearance. However, Torchwood has been around since Queen Victoria’s time, so potentially there are nearly 100 years of Torchwood history and characters to tap into. We have seen members from the world war and the turn of the century in Torchwood itself, but how about the 1960s or 70s? If Torchwood was around in the Pertwee era, what dandy characters might have been keeping tabs on the rift? Would Jason King or Prisoner-like suave spy characters inhabit the labyrinth below Cardiff? And what about the other Torchwood bases? Is there one in Scotland (near Fang Rock, perhaps), or a power-plant base in the downs, manned by beardy Quatermass-like academics, all smoking pipes and obsessed with alien radiation and quantum theory in preference to dashing around Cardiff in a Knight-Rider-lite 4×4? With so much history, characters and development to explore here, the new Who stories could hit any point in last 150 odd years a, tap into Torchwood and reveal the little-explored history of the organisation.