The 15 Kookiest Creatures of Classic Doctor Who

By Matthew Catania in Daily Lists, TV
Thursday, June 30, 2011 at 7:59 am
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The idiosyncrasies of its many creatures are one of the prime reasons Doctor Who earned legions of devoted fans during its original 26-year run. Even on a tight BBC budget, the show's creative team produced scads of innovative monsters. While many are underwhelming by today's effects standards, aliens made of felt are still more believable than those made of pixels. But by far the most memorable creatures are the ones that turned out absolutely bonkers.

The kookiest creatures have a certain je nais se quoi. They could have an exceptionally silly design, be based on an inexplicable concept, or both for bonus points. This is not a list of the most pathetic monsters. Early creatures that are laughable because the production team chose eating over making costumes that week aren't included. Although there are a few clunkers here, several are actually first class. The world would be poorer without these monsters. To quote Hunter S. Thompson, they're "too weird to live, and too rare to die."

15) Chameleons, "The Faceless Ones"
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After a catastrophic explosion erased all their species' features and even their identities, the alien Chameleons kidnapped humans to steal theirs. To facilitate this solution to their existential crisis, they set up Chameleon Tours at Gatwick Airport. Since Chameleon Tours never delivered any passengers, the Doctor could've thwarted these aliens with a single irate call to Britain's Trading Standards.

14) Vervoids, "Terror of the Vervoids"
The Who crew actually put a lot of effort into making Vervoids look like walking Georgia O'Keefe wet dreams. Vervoids would've gotten a pass had they not ejected pollen streams out of the clefts in their pink heads. Did anybody complain to the BBC for airing degenerate smut on a family show? Or was the Doctor's genocide against them coded Abstinence Only propaganda?

13) The Nestene Consciousness and Autons, "Spearhead from Space" and "Terror of the Autons"
The Nestene Consciousness is a sentient silicone cephalopod that can telepathically control anything made from itself. It usually employs armies of freaky mannequins called Autons. Autons' hands fold open into guns, which is a non sequitur from living plastic. When the Master allied with the Nestene, its constructs became more whimsical to increase efficiency. The Autons dressed up like vaudeville caricatures and handed out free poison-spraying daffodils. This was a problem because British people are suckers for artificial flowers from unnervingly dressed mimes.

12) Nimons, "The Horns of Nimon"
Nimons get a bad rap for being in a cheesy serial, but anyone who hates them is weakling scum! Nimons are intergalactic con artists who trick gullible civilizations into building transmats for them. Then the Nimons pop in and take all their planets' stuff. They were adamant about "The Great Journey of Life" continuing. These tottering minotaurs shot death rays from their horns. They were originally going to have opening heads to reveal their true forms until the production team realized they shouldn't mess with perfection. Plus the budget ran out.

11) The Kandyman, "The Happiness Patrol"
The Kandyman was a sadistic executioner employed by Maggie Thatcher-analogue Helen A. He gleefully slaughtered political dissidents by drowning them in tubes of boiling "Fondant Surprise." Was that standard operating procedure in Thatcherite Britain? He didn't just look like Bertie Bassett; he actually was made out of candy. Incidentally, candy is among the most rubbish materials for building murderous robots.

10) Mandrels, "Nightmare of Eden"
Mandrels are an endangered species of nigh-impervious vicious predators from the planet Eden. When electrocuted, they disintegrate into the banned super-narcotic Vraxoin. If you're wondering what drugs the Doctor Who staff was on when they made the entrants on this list, here's your answer.

9) Morbius, "The Brain of Morbius"
They saved Morbius's brain! The tyrannical ex-President of Gallifrey engaged Dr. Solon to get him a sweet new body after he was executed by his fellow Time Lords. Little did Morbius realize that Dr. Solon was the galaxy's biggest fan of Robot Monster. It was like he went out of his way to make Morbius the most mismatched taxidermy. How hard is it to get a matching pair of giant lobster claws? As unabashedly kitsch as Morbius's new body was, it was no match for a mob of torch-brandishing feminists and gravity.

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