The Dalek Zombies vs. The Spoonheads [Doctor Who: Steven Moffat Monster Tournament – 1.14]

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 #74)

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 14

(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 Dalek Zombies

(Asylum of the Daleks, from Season Seven, and beyond)

Actually, I guess these are better referred to as “Dalek Puppets’, but I started off calling them Dalek Zombies, so we’ll just continue with this. Basically, they are human beings who are partially converted into Daleks, becoming “sleeper agents” for the evil creatures, working for their agenda. They have their roots all the way to the First Doctor with Robomen, but with their Zombies have obviously taken their efforts a lot further. The Doctor and his companions encountered people converted this way on several occasions, including his close friend Tasha Lem as well as people who had crashed onto the Dalek Asylum.

The Spoonheads

(The Bells of St. John, from Season Seven)

The Spoonheads (or “Servers” as they were more appropriately known) were robots created by the Great Intelligence who basically worked as walking wi-fi hubs who would absorb and upload anyone who tried to connect with their signal, and could then impersonate those people The Doctor defeated the Great Intelligence on that occasion by using a Spoonhead that was disguised as him to infiltrate the villain’s headquarters.

OK, Ready, Steady…go!

Ben’s vote:

The Dalek Zombies

I’m not a huge fan of these, but thinking of them in the context of the other ways that Daleks have co-opted humans as their servants does make sense. And of course, they do provide creepy menace when necessary. The Spoonheads are a bit dull for me, a bit of a non-presence.

Laurelle’s vote:

The Spoonheads

Comment: That thing was creepy, the Spoonheads.  That little girl turned around and there was that big empty thing in her head, that was really creepy looking.  I feel like it’s not really like the Daleks, to leave people alive to use them—they’re total xenophobes, they’d just kill you and leave you dead.  Even though it’s quite an interesting idea that you don’t know if you’re a Dalek, but I don’t think it quite makes sense with the Daleks.  I pick the Spoonheads—they’re creepy looking and the idea of people being sucked into the internet is interesting.

Josh’s vote:

The Dalek Zombies

Comments: The Daleks are one of Doctor Who’s most iconic designs. In a show in which anything can change, up to and including the lead actor, there are two reliable constants: the battered blue box of the TARDIS, and the imposingly awkward pepper-shaker design of the Daleks. So zombie-Daleks disguised as humans seemed like a futile concept from the start; the Daleks are iconically non-humanoid, and these hybrid things just don’t fit. The Spoonheads are a sort of standard, functional robot-double that isn’t anything new either. So with two choices, neither of which excites me very much, I suppose I’ll give credit for trying something new with an old idea. The Dalek-Zombies didn’t quite work, but at least it was an attempt at something new and different.

Jeremiah’s vote:

The Spoonheads

Comments: I’ll go with Spoonheads. Dalek Zombies feels more like a Dalek accessory.

Johanna’s vote:

The Spoonheads

Comments: So, as much as I don’t actually like the Spoonheads, I just find the Dalek Zombies, or whatever they are called, to be so annoying and so stupid that I’m going to go with them anyway.

The Facebook Poll:

The Dalek Zombies (8 votes) over The Spoonheads (2 votes)

Comments: For a while, I think the Spoonheads were the only monster in this competition to get literally no votes on the Facebook poll…but eventually some die-hard supporters came through. But it was not enough.

The Winner

The Dalek Zombies

Next up: The Snowmen vs. the Ice Governess (yes, both from The Snowmen!)

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