The Star Whale vs. Colony Sarff [Doctor Who: Steven Moffat Monster Tournament – 1.8]

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 #40)

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 8

(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 contestants:

The Star Whale

(The Beast Below, in Season five)

A big space-born whale-like creature which flew to the earth because it could hear the cries of the children when they were being threatened by solar flares. The people of earth captured it and built a city on its back, torturing it to it would fly them around to wherever they were going. In the end, freed of its torture, it opted to continue to help humanity out of the goodness of its heart.

Colony Sarff

(The Magician’s Apprentice / The Witch’s Familiar, in Season Nine)

A servant to Davros that was made up of a whole bunch of smaller snake-like creatures that could come together into a humanoid life-form. He assisted Davros in his scheme to steal the Doctor’s regeneration energy.

OK, Ready, Steady…go!

Ben’s vote:

Colony Sarff

Comment: Colony Sarff is not the most significant antagonist for the Doctor, but “they” are a creepy and unsettling concept. The Star Whale was by necessity largely unseen and thus not very visceral of a creature, and featured in one of Moffat’s least memorable episodes.

Johanna’s vote:

Colony Sarff

Comments: Can I just be neutral?  I not, I’ll choose Colony Sarff because at least he was somewhat threatening and kind of cool. 

Laurelle’s vote:

Colony Sarff

Comments: Snake guy.  They acted like the Star Whale was really good, but it did eat all those people, it just didn’t eat children.  I’m confused as to why they kept feeding it children when it kept spitting them out.

Josh’s vote:

Colony Sarff

Comments: The Beast Below was one of the more forgettable of Matt Smith’s first episodes — the weakest point in a generally great first season. And a sentient collective of snakes is an interestingly unique idea which made for some great visuals.

Jeremiah’s vote:

Colony Sarff

Comments: I’ve seen The Beast Below a few times and every time I forget everything about the whale.

The Facebook Poll:

The Star Whale (25 votes) over Colony Sarff (5 votes)

Comments: A very one-sided poll, once again, but surprisingly, it’s been completely outvoted by our judges! That’s the first time that has happened.

The Winner

Colony Sarff

A later creation takes the win for the second time, and as I said, for the first time the Facebook poll does not pick the winner. In fact, as it happens, none of us have picked the winner every time.

Interestingly, both this and the last winner (The Veil) were played by the same actor–Jami Reid-Quarrell. He also played a Cloister Wraith, who lost to Prisoner Zero the bout before that.

Next up: The Sky Sharks vs. The Handmines


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