47 Days of Doctor Who–Day #43: Most Horrific Moment

Welcome to Day 43 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.

So, today, we spin the Random Number Generator, and astonishingly quickly, considering how few of these remain, it lands on 16, which means today’s topic is

“Most Horrific Moment”

Rasmussen’s face dissolves into sand in Sleep No More.  That guy turns into a creepy doll in Night Terrors.  That police officer gets pulled into the floor in Flatline.

All horrific, but none of which hold a candle to my pick today:

Dr. Constantine succumbs to the “Gas Mask Disease” in The Empty Child

Commenter PJ mentioned this when I wrote about the Best Scary Story a while ago.  For me it’s not necessarily the scariest moment, but it is by far the most horrifying, if you can appreciate the difference.  The Doctor comes across a whole bunch of patients in the hospital who appear to be wearing gas masks.  But then he discovers that actually, the gas masks are part of their faces.  Then, right in front of, the physician who is treating them, Dr. Constantine, starts to writhe uncontrollably, and a gas mask appears to push its way up his throat and out of his mouth until it overwhelms his face. 

Often, body horror is the most cringe-inducing kind you can have, and this was the first real example in the modern Doctor Who.  And to date, it’s the most memorable.  Well done, writer Steven Moffat, director James Hawes, actor Richard Wilson, and everyone on the production team for putting together the whole grisly sequence.

Click here for a master list for this series.

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