The Clockwork Droids vs. The Atraxi [Doctor Who: Steven Moffat Monster Tournament – 2.7]

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 #134)

We are now in Round 2 of this series, in which 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 2, Bout 7

(The way I am “seeding” this second round of the competition is listing all of the winners in the order of what percentage of the vote they took in their Facebook poll during round 1. If there was a tie, then I looked at who had the most actual votes. In the one case where there was still a tie I made a judgment call of which order they went in. Then I will put the top vote-getter against the lowest vote-getter, and so on. Because there were 15 winners from Round 1–an odd number–then the top winner gets a free pass this round. That would be the Vashta Narada, who got a whopping 97% of the vote.)

The contestants:

The Clockwork Droids

(From The Girl in the Fireplace, from Season Two)

Percentage taken in the Facebook vote in Round 1: a 82% victory over The Monks from Extremis and beyond.

These bizarre retro-androids hail from the future, where there ship was damaged and they were confused…so starting harvesting body parts from the human crew in order to keep things going. This led to them traveling into the past to get the brain of Madame de Pompadour from 18th century France (because their ship is named after her). The telltale sign that they were near is if the clock was mysteriously broken–they’d break it so their potential victim would not hear a double ticking sound. These creatures appeared again, after a fashion, in Deep Breath, but there they were different enough that I’m going to count them separately.

The Atraxi

(Introduced in The Eleventh Hour, from Season Five)

The Atraxi were aliens who resembled giant eyeballs, who were very concerned about a fugitive known as Prisoner Zero. When Prisoner Zero escaped to earth, they were so concerned that they threatened to destroy the whole earth–an action they seemed very capable of carrying out.

Percentage taken in the Facebook vote in Round 1: 80% victory over the King Hydroflax’s robot body from The Husbands of River Song.

OK, Ready, Steady…go!

Jeremiah’s vote:

The Clockwork Droids

Comment: Again, for the design. (Jeremiah is referring to his vote for the Half-Face Man, I believe, whom he voted for on the basis of their steampunk look)

Ben’s vote:

The Clockwork Droids

Comment: This is a fairly easy one. I am not enamored by the Clockwork Droids, but they were obviously more developed and significant to the story then the Atraxi were. They had a cool look and a creepy motivation which didn’t quite make sense but did make for a cool episode. The Atraxi had a memorable look but were mostly just there to let the new Doctor be awesome.

Johanna’s vote

The Clockwork Droids

Comments: First off, they were the main point–they were actually significantly in the episode. The Atraxi didn’t do much–they weren’t the purpose of that episode. They were there to help introduce the new Doctor. The Clockwork Droids were there so Reinette could meet the Doctor, but they did things and they looked cool, while the Atraxi were giant eyeballs with ice spikes sticking out of them–they didn’t look cool.

Josh’s vote:

The Clockwork Droids

Comments: The Atraxi had a pretty cool Giant-Eyeball-From-Space look about them. They arrived late into the episode and were pretty quickly chased off by the Doctor pulling his “look me up” card again — a weak ending, I thought, to an otherwise strong episode. My preference here goes to the Clockwork Droids, who had a pretty nifty Steampunk aesthetic in a solid and more distinctive episode.

Laurelle’s vote:

The Clockwork Droids

Comments: The Clockwork Droids were a scary villain in an interesting story. The Atraxi were there for maybe all of ten minutes–a very short amount of time–and took a prisoner and left, and that’s all they did.

The Facebook Poll:

The Clockwork Droids (3 votes) over the Atraxi (0 votes)

Comments: The fewest votes so far, but a clear winner.

The Winner

The Clockwork Droids

Next up: Onto Round Three!

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