Doctor Who: Looking Back at 47 Days #4 – Monsters

A few years ago, I did a series of 47 daily posts which all looked at different questions related to the revival series of Doctor Who, focusing on stuff I like about the show. I worked out a series of questions in advance and then picked one randomly for each day. I’ve decided to revisit the series to see how my opinions may or may not have changed, and to bring two of my daughters into the discussion, since they are both big fans and have recently finished watching the revival series.

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 are we looking back at this now? Because we’re on a 47 day countdown to November 23, the birthday of the show.

Check out Day #3 here

When I first did this, it was September 2016, which means we were in between the Christmas episodes The Husbands of River Song and The Return of Dr. Mysterio, and were yet to debut Peter Capaldi’s last season on the show. Jodie Whittaker was even further away. How has the passage of time, evolution of opinions, and three further seasons of the program impacted my opinions?

Today is Day #4, and our theme is…

Favorite Monster

For better or for worse, monsters have been a central part of Doctor Who, almost from the beginning. For many, they are one of the biggest appeals of the show. However, this is a bit of a tricky question to answer because I’ve also got a category coming up called “Best Alien Species”, and most of the alien species that the show has offered us are also monsters. So for this entry, I’m trying to find possibilities that are more unique, standalone monsters, rather than just part of a monstrous race.

My choice last time:

The Foretold

Also known as the Mummy from Mummy on the Orient Express, for sure one of the most horrific looking creations that the show has ever given us.

My choice this time?

I still the Foretold are quite terrifying looking (and in concept) but for the sake of fun, I’ll make a different choice this time around. After reviewing the possibilities, I’ve gone with one of the most mysterious and scary things I’ve seen on Doctor Who

The “Midnight Entity” (from Midnight)

Midnight is the best script that Russell T. Davies contributed to the series, in my opinion. It’s a claustrophobic, small-scale story about a group of tourists trapped on the surface of an inhospitable planet where no life can possibly exist. But i that’s true…then what is it that starts knocking on the outside of the ship?

Well, we never actually find out, not for sure. All we know is that whatever it is seems to “infect” one of the passengers and to start speaking through her. But all it does is repeat everyone else. Then it decides to repeat only what the Doctor says. Then, even more disturbingly, it starts to speak before the Doctor, apparently stealing his voice, and his free will.

The Doctor survives of course, but really through no actions of his own. The unseen, unknown entity is defeated, and left behind on the barren planet. But we never find out what it actually is, and wisely, the show has never attempted to revisit it. But thanks to the writing, direction, and excellent performances by Lesley Sharp and David Tennant, it remains one of the creepiest creatures the show has ever presented.

What do my daughters say?

Johanna (16) picked the same one that I picked the last time: the Foretold, from Mummy on the Orient Express. She says that she liked it because of it’s terrifying appearance, because of the gimmick of only the intended victim being able to see it, and because the episode itself was such a strong one.

Laurelle (14) went through an extensive list of Doctor Who monsters, and eventually settled on the Cybermen. She thinks it’s scary how they used to be human, and how they came about in different ways, as if they are inevitable (though she doesn’t believe that in real life). She especially liked them in World Enough and Time and The Doctor Falls, and if not for those stories she might not have picked them.

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