The Weeping Angels vs. Sentient Oil [Doctor Who: Steven Moffat Monster Tournament – 1.3]

Doctor Who has generated lots of frightening monsters and creatures over its many years of existence. But out of all the writers who have ever contributed to the series, no one has invented quite so many such baddies as Steven Moffat…for the simple reason that nobody else has written as many stories (although to be fair, other writers have written more episodes).

(Daily Doctor Who #12)

For no other reason but that it’s fun, we’re going to figure out which of Moffat’s many monstrous creations is the very best, according to a strict scientific process of having a few people vote on them.

The winner of each bout will be decided on a best of seven votes, according to whatever standard that they want (though in general, it’s a contest about which one is more popular or well liked, not which one would win in a fight). The judges, like last time will be Ben McClure (myself), Johanna McClure (my 16 year old daughter), Laurelle McClure (my 14 year old daughter), Joshua McDonald (my friend from college) and Jeremiah McDonald (Josh’s brother–see his website here).

You can read a bit more about each of us in the post for the first bout of this competition, here.

The last two votes will be drawn from a poll I will / have put upon Facebook. The monster which gets the most votes on that poll will be awarded two points.


The Steven Moffat Monstrous Creation Tournament – Round 1, Bout 3

(The way I am “seeding” these early rounds is simply by having the earliest appearing creature go against the last appearing creature, and then working my way inward.)

The Weeping Angles

(Blink, in Season Three, The Time of Angels / Flesh and Stone, in Season Five, and The Angels Take Manhattan in Season Six, plus some cameos)

Undoubtedly Steven Moffat’s most famous and popular creation, the Weeping Angels are “the world’s oldest assassins.” They are unimaginably fast but “quantum locked”–when they are observed in any way, they freeze into stone. But as soon as you blink or they are otherwise hidden from sight, they swoop in and steal away your temporal energy. Victims of the Angels are then transported to some point back in time where they proceed to “live to death.”

The Sentient Oil (Heather)

(The Pilot and The Doctor Falls, from Season Ten)

A puddle of sentient oil was left behind from a spaceship that visited earth. This substance had the ability to mimic whatever it came into contact with, and to travel across time and space. It absorbed or killed (it’s not clear) a young university student named Heather, retaining her emotions and desires. A creature with unimaginable power, it at first relentlessly pursued Bill Potts in an effort to take her with her on her journeys. Once a deeper understanding was reached, Heather left to travel on her own, but returned to rescue Bill when she was killed and converted into a Cyberman.

OK, Ready, Steady…go!

Ben’s vote:

The Weeping Angels

Comment: Well, obviously we’re going for the Angels here. Even though I often feel that things that gets used a lot begin to lose their interest, the Angels would have to fall quite a distance to get to the level of the Sentient Oil. The idea of Sentient Oil is perfectly fine–as fine as anything. But making it just something that is just misunderstood, and then even accepted, and then even romantically loved…well, that just makes it silly. When it comes back and is used as the deus ex machina for Bill at the end of the The Doctor Falls, that’s just the worst. In fact, it’s the only really bad part of what is otherwise an excellent story. Very disappointing.

Johanna’s vote:

The Weeping Angels

Comments: So…The Weeping Angels are terrifying.  You get zapped back in time by these things that move every time you’re not looking at them.  All the scenes where you see the Weekping Angels slowly move closer to this person, or quickly, while the lights are flickering or they don’t realize what’s happening and they keep blinking…that’s really freaky.  The Sentient Oil had a couple of creepy moments but aside from that it wasn’t really scary, and I find the conclusion that it’s actually just the remains of some sort of sentience trying to obey the last promise they made to someone they only knew for a week, it’s just kind of weird. 

Laurelle’s vote:

The Weeping Angels

Comments: The Weeping Angels are very interesting and a cool concept.  Whereas the oil, it was like…that was really stupid.  There’s not even a question between those two.  The Angels were cool and the Oil was stupid.  It’s not even matter of opinion. 

Josh’s vote:

The Weeping Angels

Comments: Well, the Weeping Angels are the first (only?) truly iconic monsters of the new series. Heather the Sentient Oil Being made for an interesting story, but simply couldn’t engage the imagination quite the way the Angels do.

Jeremiah‘s vote:

The Weeping Angels

Comments: The Weeping Angels, though primarily for Blink and The Time of Angels / Flesh and Stone. After that the logic began to wear a bit thin. But still a terrifying and original concept.

The Facebook Poll

The Weeping Angels (29 votes) over The Sentient Oil (1 votes)

Comments: No comments here, but an absolute blow-out in terms of the votes.

The Winner

The Weeping Angels

Next up: The Vashta Narada vs. Shoal of the Winter Harmony

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