The Vashta Narada vs. The Whisper Men [Doctor Who: Steven Moffat Monster Tournament – 3.4]

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 #181)

We are now finishing Round 3 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 3, Bout 4

The way I am “seeding” this third round of the competition is listing all of the winners in the order of what percentage of the vote they took in their most recently Facebook poll during round 2 (or in one case, back in Round 1).. If there was a tie, then I looked at the percentage of votes that they took in the Poll before that. Then I will put the top vote-getter against the lowest vote-getter, and so on. There were 7 winners in Round 2 and plus the top vote-getter from Round 1 (the Vashta Narada), leaving us with just four bouts in Round 3.

The contestants this time:

The Vashta Narada

(Introduced in Silence in the Library / Forest of the Dead, from Season Four)

Percentage taken in the Facebook vote in Round 1: a 97% victory over The Shoal of the Winter Harmony from The Husbands of River Song and The Return of Dr. Mysterio. As the highest ranked Facebook poll from Round 1, they got to skip Round 2 entirely.

The Vashta Narada are carnivorous microscopic creatures that existed on many worlds, but usually in harmless numbers. But when they swarmed together in great numbers they could devour a person in an instant. They would use their resemblance to a shadow as a way of getting close to their prey, and could be slowed down by light, but only barely. According to the Doctor, there was no real defense against the Vashta Narada–nothing to do but just run.

The Whisper Men

(From The Name of the Doctor, from Season Seven)

The Whisper Men were faceless creatures who served the Great Intelligence, who lacked any distinguishing features aside from the sharp teeth. They could pass through matter at will and used their abilities to stop the hearts of their victims.

Percentage taken in the Facebook vote in Round 1: 79% victory over the Wooden King and Queen from The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe. In Round 2 they beat out the Snowmen from The Snowmen with 89% of the vote.

OK, Ready, Steady…go!

Ben’s vote:

The Vashta Narada

Even though the Vashta Narada were not used in as interesting way as they could have been, the story they were in is so far above the Whisper Men’s one appearance that the vote is an easy one for me.

Jeremiah’s vote:

The Whisper Men

Comments: The Whisper Men, for the creepy look.

Josh’s vote:

The Vashta Narada

Comment: The Vashta Nareda are among Moffat’s most iconic monsters, and perhaps the most frightening of them all — wee carnivorous beasties that live in the shadows and can’t be seen until they devour you. As with most of Moffat’s best creations, they make the mundane terrifying.

Johanna’s vote:

The Vashta Narada

Comments: The Whisper Men were a kind of creepy, secondary henchman kind of threat. So yeah, they’re there, but they’re there to serve the Great Intelligence…that’s their purpose. They’re henchman–that’s all. But the Vashta Narada were little shadow bugs that came and ate you and were terrifying. But also, the episodes: the episode that the Whisper Men appeared in wasn’t bad, but the episodes the Vashta Narada were in were absolutely brilliant. So they’re just associated with good Doctor Who.

Laurelle’s vote:

The Vashta Narada

Comments: The Vashta Narada were really cool and were in a really great episode. The Whisper Men were…okay, but they weren’t even the main thing of the episode. They were just these dudes who were there to be minions. And I like the idea of shadows eating people–a rationale of why people are scared of the dark.

The Facebook Poll:

The Vashta Narada (8 votes) over the Whisper Men (0 votes)

Comments: Not a big turn-out, but a pretty clear opinion.

The Winner

The Vashta Narada

Next up: Round Four!


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