47 Days of Doctor Who–Day #18: One-Time Villain too Good to Bring Back

Welcome to Day 17 of my 47-day series about the revival version of Doctor Who (2005-present). I’ve come up with 47 topics / questions to answer, all of them basically positive and upbeat about the program. Each day (or as often as I can actually write these–so far so good!) I’ll pick one of them at random (using this convenient random number generator) and then write up an answer.

Why 47? It’s my favorite number.
Why Doctor Who? It’s my favorite show.
Why the modern day Doctor Who only? Simply because I remember it better.
Why only positive stuff? Because really, I write enough snark.

Today is Day #18, and around and around goes the Random Number Generator, and we get number 25, which is strange because that’s the same number as yesterday.  So after trying again a couple of times, we get 41, which means the topic of the day is this:

“One-Time Villain too Good to Bring Back”

This is maybe a bit tricky to define. In general, I think that Doctor Who, especially in the modern era, has had a bit of a tendency to rely too much upon the classic monsters and enemies, rather than working to create really great & memorable new ones. The biggest offender, of course, are the Daleks, who have been a major threat in every season of the show except for the 6th, and even then they still managed to get a cameo appearance in. Furthermore, the show has also gone back to the well a lot with the Cybermen, the Master, and even the Weeping Angels.

All that’s okay—there’s a reason why those threats are popular—but it’s also a treat whenever the show can bring some new form of terror to our television. Of course, it can be tempting whenever this happens to want to see the new kids on the block over and over again, but then they run the same risk as their classic counterparts of becoming tiresome.

So I’ve made the comment to my friends more than once that sometimes it’s great when a monster doesn’t make a return visit, when the series focuses on developing new threats instead of running through a playlist of the greatest hits.

Some examples of this have included the Vashta Narada (Silence of the Library), the Flood (Waters of Mars), and that scary thing at the bottom of the pit (The Impossible Planet). All of the kind of awesome, none of them I necessarily want to see again…

But even greater than any of those…

The Midnight Entity, Midnight

This thing, whatever it was, is easily one of the creepiest things the series has ever given us. Created by head writer (at the time) Russell T. Davies, the entity is fairly unique in the series as we really never learned anything about it. It could somehow live in a completely inhospitable environment. It was physical enough to knock a door, but non-corporeal enough to take over the mind of poor Mrs. Silvestry. It was forceful enough to turn everyone against the Doctor and powerful enough to slowly usurp his existence. It’s an amazing story and I have absolutely no desire to ever go revisiting that thing again, because surely it won’t be as good.

Now, having said that, I know that all those classic returning monsters were once one-time monsters, so with the right story, I guess anything could be great. Even something I didn’t like, like the Adipose. But still, I’d be happy to leave the Midnight Entity exactly where it is…a terrifying presence in an episode that is fun to revisit.

What’s next?  I don’t know!  18 days down, only 29 to go!

Click here for a master list for this series.


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