Inspired by a series of Facebook posts that I saw, we have been running through an alphabetical series of Doctor Who-related themes. However, after a while there weren’t any more updates to the Facebook posts so I started coming up with my own prompts. Then, I forgot about it until recently, and we only one left, so I thought I ought to round it off with Z, which is going to stand for…
That’s right, Z is for Z.
Well, not exactly, but since Z is such an uncommon letter I just decided to list several things that have started with Z throughout the series. I thought I’d go for one character from the classic era, one from the modern, one planet and one alien species. How does that sound?
Z is for…Zaroff!
Professor Zaroff, that is, the villain of the mostly missing Second Doctor serial from 1967 who decided to destroy the world because it was Tuesday. Played by Joseph Furst, his maniacal cry at the end of episode of “Nothing in the world can stop me now!” has got an aura of almost mythological hokeyness about it.
Z is for…Zygon!
Easily the most famous Z in Doctor Who (except maybe Zoe Heriot, pictured up top, who I am not picking because it’s too obvious) as the Zygons…shape-shifting aliens who had a somewhat amphibious appearance. Originally created by writer Robert Banks Stewart, they’ve gone on to have quite an interesting bundle of character development since then. They were would-be conquerors in their debut story, Terror of the Zygons from 1975, and the finally reappeared in the 50th anniversary special The Day of the Doctor before being re-cast as extra-terrestrial refugees in the Twelfth Doctor two-parter, The Zygon Invasion and The Zygon Inversion.
Z is for…Zanak!
Zanak is the real name of the world referenced in the title of The Pirate Planet from 1978. It was a planet with a hollow interior under the command of the Pirate Captain (although he was revealed later to be in the thrall of Queen Xanxia). It would teleport around other worlds, destroying anyone who lived there, and then pulverize the world for it’s mineral wealth. The Fourth Doctor was rightly horrified by the process, and quickly went about putting a stop to it.
Z is for…Zu-Zana
Two Z’s for the price of one! Zu-Zana was one of the two robots in the modern-series episode Bad Wolf who hosted a murderous (or at least mutilating) version of What Not to Wear. Along with her partner, Trina-E, she was eventually blown up by Captain Jack Harkness, who as a contestant turned out to be more resourceful than most! She was voiced by Susannah Constantine, one of the real-life hosts for What Not to Wear, and the inspiration for the robot’s name.
And that’s it, finally, for Doctor Who A to Z. Have a look at where it all started here.
And now onto other things!