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As the longest running sci-fi show of all time, Doctor Who has a rather large repertoire of creatures, villains, and bug-eyed monsters. But who (or rather, what) is the best monster in Who history? Hypable takes a crack at naming the top 10!

10. The Silurians

The Silurians are reptilian humanoid creatures who have been hibernating underneath the Earth for thousands of years, pre-dating humans by a long way. They have futuristic technology well in advance of anything Homo sapiens have ever managed to develop. With an intricate and diverse society, Silurians have just as much conflict amongst themselves as they do with their surface counterparts. In the Classic series, the Silurians have three eyes – the third of which is used for telepathy – but in their 2010 redesign they more closely resemble humans. Nearly every time The Doctor meets the Silurians, a peaceful solution is found despite some factions of both humans and Silurians intent on war. Aside from presenting viewers with some difficult questions to ask themselves, the Silurians are a deep race that command our sympathy and empathy as well as fear.

The Doctor and the Silurian leader reach peace
First appearance:
“Doctor Who and The Silurians” (1970)
Home planet:

Why we love them:
The Silurian species present a deep and thought-provoking idea for anyone watching one of their episodes – what if there was a species living on Earth who had more claim to it than we do? The best thing about them is that they are actually credible creatures.

Best quote:
“Wipe the vermin from the surface!”

9. Ood

Despite being a benevolent species that live to serve their Masters, The Ood have a terrible track record for going completely crazy and trying to kill everything in sight. In fact, two-thirds of their appearances see the species possessed by dark forces. The Ood have a tragic but compelling back story, becoming slaves to human colonies after their hive center was destroyed. They have become almost as iconic and popular as the Daleks and Cybermen, commanding our sympathy as well as fear in a way that so many Who monsters fall short of.

The Ood are possessed and rebel against their cruel human captors
First appearance:
“The Impossible Planet” (2006)
Home planet:
The Ood Sphere

Why we love them:
The telepathic orbs they hold and Davey-Jones style tentacle beards give the Ood a really striking appearance. Their heart-breaking back story also makes you really feel for the species, but their knack for being possessed always puts you on edge whenever an Ood is on screen.
Best quote:
“The Circle must be broken.”

8. The Zygons

The Zygons are the only creatures on this list who have yet to appear in the revived show, but this injustice will reportedly be assuaged in the upcoming seventh series. After their home world was destroyed by an explosion, a solitary Zygon spaceship landed in the depths of Loch Ness, where a colony of survivors took refuge. Feeding from the Loch Ness monster, The Zygons were able to exist and develop biological technology that meant that their ships themselves were alive. Freakiest of all is their shape shifting abilities, which allow them to infiltrate The Doctor and his companions through impersonation of allies. Whenever the Zygons are around, characters and viewers alike are constantly on edge – terrified that the people they see could actually be blood-thirsty monsters.

Image credit

Original trailer for “Terror of the Zygons” First appearance:
“Terror of The Zygons” (1975)
Home planet:

Why we love them:
They look awesome, especially by Classic Who standards, and shape shifters are enough to get anyone interested. They’re also David Tennant’s favourite monster, which is enough to be getting on with.

Best quote:
“You admire our technology?”

7. Midnight Monster
The Midnight monster is unique in that we never find out its real name or what it looks like. Instead of lasers or claws, this alien uses the simple trick of mimicking to inject copious amounts of dread in the only episode that it appears in. When The Doctor is on a spaceship that draws to a sudden halt, the Midnight monster is outside and copies the knocking of the ships passengers. It then rips off the cock-pit, and possesses a business woman called Sky. She begins to copy the speech of the ships passengers, before speaking in sync and then uttering words that the victims have yet to say themselves. While the alien is clearly massively vicious, vindictive, and vigorous we never actually see it on screen. This works in the monsters favour – the mystery is far more discomforting and ominous than anything CG or prosthetics could ever achieve.

The passengers are terrified as Sky copies The Doctor
First appearance:
“Midnight” (2008)
Home planet:

Why we love it:
More of a psychological idea than a creature, the Midnight monster is both a very simple and horrifying concept. The slow-burning tension of someone copying people stays with you far longer than farting aliens in fat-people suits.
Best quote:
“Why are you repeating?”

6. The Master

Arguably The Doctor’s arch-nemesis, The Master has been a popular and staple villain in Doctor Who history for over 40 years. The part has been played by six different actors over the course of the programme, and was conceived as a “Moriarty to The Doctor’s Sherlock Holmes.” A renegade himself, The Master becomes one of the only two living Timelords when he first appears in New Who (the other of course being The Doctor). With psychotic tenancies and a serious grudge against The Doctor and the rest of the universe, this villain will stop at nothing to take down our hero.

The Master returns and regenerates
First appearance:
“Terror of the Autons” (1971)
Home planet:

Why we love him:
The archetypal super villain, The Master is genuinely psychotic and a very worthy adversary to the benevolence of The Doctor. Not only does he want to take over the universe, he actually succeeds several times. Gotta love a successful psycho.

Best quote:
“Here come the drums!”

5. Gas Mask Zombies

Victims of a technological plague during World War II, The Gas Mask Zombies are accidentally created by Jack Harkness after he crashes a stolen space ship. The infection stems from a young child named Jamie, who was brought back from the brink of death by Chula nanogenes. Having never seen humans before, the usually miraculous genes assume that the boy’s appearance is how all of the race is supposed to look. As a consequence, anyone who comes into contact with them is “repaired” and transformed into an undead donning a gas mask and searching for their mummy. These “creatures” are one of the few allusions to zombies in the entire series, with a clever and often horrific explanation ending in a dramatic climax. With a similar origin as the Cybermen, the repaired human beings provide the darkest two-part of the first series of revived Who.

The Doctor, Rose and Jack are surprised by a Zombie
First appearance:
“The Empty Child” (2005)
Home planet:

Why we love them:
Children are terrifying. Undead children with gas masks that ask everyone the same question are beyond terrifying – they’re also awesome. The idea of zombies roaming around a blitzed London is one of the greatest in Who history.

Best quote:
“Are you my Mummy?”

4. The Silence

Alluded to throughout the entire fifth series, The Silence are eventually revealed to be a species (and then a whole religious cult) that have been lurking in the shadows of Earth since the dawn of time. Closely resembling Edvard Munch’s The Scream, the aliens have sunken eyes and swollen hands which they use to electrocute anyone who crosses their path. The Silence influenced human kind’s decisions throughout history, always present but never remembered owing to a mysterious ability to be forgotten about as soon as anyone turns their back. The Silence have so far forced The Doctor into some of his most desperate moments, blowing up the TARDIS and brainwashing a baby River Song into murdering the Timelord. All of this is to try and prevent the answer of the oldest question in the universe, which will result in the religion and species “falling.” Given that we will soon be getting the aforementioned answer to the question — “Doctor Who?” — we certainly haven’t seen the last of these villains.

The Doctor and The Silence face off
First appearance:
“The Impossible Astronaut” (2011)
Home planet:

Why we love them:
Imagine seeing an alien, turning to run from it, and forgetting why you ran in the first place. The Silence aren’t only one of the most dangerous villains in the show, they also seem very powerful and mysterious – having blown up the TARDIS and trained someone to kill The Doctor.

Best quote:
“Silence will fall!”

3. Cybermen

The Cybermen are an iconic part of the longest running sci-fi show of all time, and much the like the series itself, the race is constantly changing. Looking different every time they have appeared throughout the last 49 years, these cyborgs have only retained their iconic facial exterior and hollow voice. When they first appeared in 1966, The Cybermen of Mondas only retained their human hands – but since then their bodies have been almost entirely comprised of metal. Keeping the human brain as a power source but “deleting” any emotional resonance or memory means that they are a cold and ruthless race capable of some of the most cruel acts. Their idea of upgrading is also used by the cyborgs on other creatures, with rats, gorillas, and dogs all falling victim to conversion. In more recent years, The Cybermen have featured sparingly in the series, so we could be seeing an epic full-scale return at some point in the near future, present, or past.

The Cybermen delete!
First appearance:
“The Tenth Planet” (1966)
Home planet:

Why we love them:
Voted the second best villain in the show’s history, Cybermen have had fans shrieking for years. The horrifying idea of a humanoid creature “upgrading” their body until there is nothing human left is a fascinating concept, but one that sends shivers down your spine.

Best quote:

2. Daleks

Easily as iconic as The Doctor and the TARDIS, The Daleks have achieved pop culture status around the world. Created by evil genius Davros as a solution to a thousand year nuclear war with the Thal, The Daleks are mutant cyborgs feeling only hatred and a burning desire to destroy and “exterminate.” Having faced The Doctor more times than any other enemy, Daleks are his biggest foe and greatest fear. Originally thought to have been murdered in the Time War, which also wiped out Timelords, a Dalek cult managed to escape and slowly rebuild the race until their numbers swelled. They may be the most reliably defeat-able villain in the series, but they have also claimed many victories by killing many of The Doctor’s allies and kidnapping entire planets. Whenever you hear the iconic “Exterminate!”, you know that The Doctor is about to be put to one of his toughest tests.

Trailer for “The Origin of The Daleks”
First appearance:
“The Daleks” (1969)
Home planet:

Why we love them:
While they may look uncannily like pepper pots, there is no denying that Daleks can be genuinely terrifying. That robotic voice has had children and adults alike hiding behind the sofa for nearly 50 years – and with a return set for the upcoming series 7, it doesn’t look like these ruthless monsters are going anywhere.

Best quote:

1. Weeping Angels

It couldn’t really have been anything else. The Weeping Angels may be another of Steven Moffat’s simple psychological tricks, but never has it been more terrifying and effective. The Weeping Angels are effectively “living stone” statues that appear to the naked eye to be nothing more than monuments, gargoyles or graveyard memorials. However, as soon as their victims look away — or even famously, blink — they become impossibly fast killing machines. Described by The Doctor as the only creature in the universe to “kill you nicely,” the Weeping Angels murder by sending their victims back in time to live out the rest of their lives away from family and friends. However, the Angels have also been known to snap necks in order to take control of a voice. They have proven a formidable opponent in that there is no way of killing them, avoidance is the only escape. The Weeping Angels are a deeply unsettling race mainly because they resemble every-day statues that can be seen in nearly every town on our planet. What’s more, the deadly and mysterious creatures will return in series 7 to finish off current companions Amy and Rory – so the worst may yet come.

The Doctor warns Sally Sparrow about the Weeping Angels
First appearance:
“Blink” (2007)
Home planet:

Why we love them:
The Weeping Angels are one of the most disturbing creatures in TV history, with their inaugural episode “Blink” being particularly unsettling. They’ve already become synonymous with the series, and their abilities give endless opportunities for future stories. When the Angels are on screen, we don’t WANT to blink – for fear of missing a second.

Honourable mentions: Doctor Who has a diverse range of brilliant monsters, and with so many excellent creations it was inevitable that some great aliens would be absent from this list. However, we would like to especially mention Omega, the Vashta Nerada, The Family of Blood, the Autons and The Headless Monks as viable candidates that all only marginally missed out on a spot in this list.

So, there we have it! What do you think of our list? Did we miss out one of your favourites? Include something that didn’t deserve to be there? What would your top 10 be? Join the discussion in the comments below!

  • Gary65

    I may be wrong but I never really saw the Ood as proper bad guys.

    • https://twitter.com/#!/HarriFSargeant Harri Sargeant

      Hi, thanks for commenting. They’re not bad guys, you’re right. However, despite the focus of the list primarily being villains it’s actually a top ten monsters – the term being used loosely to involve all of the non-human creatures -Doctor aside-. While not bad guys per say, they are monsters and have been “bad” on more occasions than good.

      • Gary65

        True. I suppose I take such exception to them being on the list cos they’re so intertwined with Donna’s era(aka the best companion EVER!!! Can we please bring back Catherine Tate? I loved her. I would legitimately consider selling one of my minor organs to make it happen lol)

        • CliveRogan

          Yeah, they weren’t technically ever bad guys as they were always
          controled by higher forces.  But I don’t get why every time The Doctor
          runs into one he’s all “Oh, these guys are harmess” when they’re almost
          constantly trying to kill him.

          They also preceded Donna so I don’t really consider them intertwined.  I would also like Donna back but I’d hate it if they went back on the climax to her story.  The last Tennant episode nearly ruined it on its own by featuring her so I think seeing her again would be detrimental to what made her great in the first place.

          • Gary65

            I know that they preceded Donna but they were very involved in her storyline which is why I love them.

            I dunno. I just want to see her again. She was AWESOME!!!!

    • Laura J

       then again, the Doctor never really sees the monsters as “bad guys”

  • http://twitter.com/bsbrock Janeth Gutierrez

    I absolutely love that the Midnight monster was included in this list, however, I’m a bit disappointed that satan from The Impossible Planet/The Satan Pit wasn’t.

  • http://twitter.com/StarkidSims Simone

    this is perfect

  • Laurajamieson

    i think daleks should be no1 and weeping angels 2nd, but a great article :)

  • http://twitter.com/Snapescape Laura Cain

    Wait, Carey Mulligan was in the weeping angels episode?!

    • https://twitter.com/#!/HarriFSargeant Harri Sargeant

      Sure was! Before she made it really big, though.

  • thenextdoctor?

    I absolutely agree about the weeping angel being number 1, but I just think that showing the angels moving in Flesh and Stone somewhat ruined their mystery and creepy factor.

    • Doctor

      I thought that too, until my sister pointed something out to me: you know the creaking you hear when you see them move? It’s the sound of them freezing and refreezing again BETWEEN EACH FRAME. The Angels are always breaking the fourth wall.

  • Lorena

    Oh yes, the weeping Angels are definitely the scariest Doctor Who alien in the history of the show. Soooo creeepy.

  • Azeem

    The Vashta Nerada from the silence in the library and the forest of the dead. they could be a sixth or seventh. they were pretty amazing. 

  • Abhi

    The midnight monster was seriously creepy!
    Also, I can’t remember if they gave it a name, but that thing on Donna’s back from the Turn Left episode? I was traumatized after that one.

  • Mac-e-doodle


  • namesaretoomainstream

    the silence? really? the story arc with the silence crippled series 6. They might have been okay if they had only been one episode, but they just got old after showing up in almost every episode. They went from creepy to really silly after the moon landing episode.

  • http://twitter.com/TokoMasho Matthew Potter

    Great list, but I don’t think The Master qualifies really…he’s more of a villain than a monster (though I see the argument for both), but semantics schlamantics. haha

  • sza22

    awesome, but the ood should by higher imo

  • Dreamer

    i so agree! only I think the master is more of a villain than a monster but whatever.

  • Oscar

    I started watched Doctor Who with Eleven, and then I made my way back… and I have to say, despite all the hype, Blink really disappointed me. Or maybe it was BECAUSE of the hype… nonetheless, I love the angels. I’m more frightened of the cybermen than the daleks, though, because of what they can DO to you… *hides*

  • Katiedragon90

    I think the flesh is another scary monster!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=17127641 Laura Jurgensmeyer

    Does anyone else think that the Daleks are cute? I kind of just want to hug one…you know, if it wasn’t trying to EXTERMINATE me.

    • http://frankifoni.tumblr.com/ Franki94

      Dalek Caan! 

    • dioi

      They should be number one the weeping angels are rubbish compared to the daleks but I do undertsand that everyone has there own opinion

  • Lando Pando


  • http://frankifoni.tumblr.com/ Franki94

    This is such a good list. I did a survey last year of Doctor Who fans from all over the world and all age groups, and some of these were in the top 10 from that survey. I found some of the results and the top ten (in order from most popular to least) are: Daleks, The Master, Cybermen, Weeping Angels, Sontarons, The Black Gaurdian, The Rani, Omega, Silurians and Slitheen. These aren’t the final results, though. 

  • Gkcgirl

    What, no Vashta Nerada???? 

  • Keriwilliams

    okay then………..

  • Raggy

    The vashta nerada were AWESOME! Plus, I loved the the midnight monster. These two just have something psychologically terrifying

  • http://www.facebook.com/kieran.mcmullen.3 Kieran McMullen

    you know how they could make the daleks seriously scary again? Stop them talking. just look at that picture up there where they’re all just staring. imagine if they never talked, they just moved.

  • dublinjake .

    Lets face it, apart from their first episode the Weeping Angels were weak. The scare factor was gone by the end of flesh and stone, because moffat threw in the fact that Weeping Angels are unable to grab onto anything when no one is looking at them to stop themselves falling into a nonsensical crack that still makes no sense. As well as their inability to navigate their way to a room that is painfully obviously placed, and their stupidity so as to put everyone in the same room where the evil all-consuming crack is. Angels in Manhatten was just a pathetic episode and the Angels had little to no real part. The only vaguely interesting bit was the babies and they were underused as hell.

  • R Baker

    These prosthetics are very poor. They are like terrible things created in the 80′s. Actually they’re not even that good. If you want to see great makeups, watch Thor the Dark World. Even the background prosthetics are better than these.

  • Kian Reid

    the guy who keeps saying who turned out the lights has a very fake looking skull

  • dioi

    how are the weeping angels the best what is it that is so good about them

  • dioi

    Great article

  • dioi

    Why is the Doctor not on there he could be classed as an enemy

  • Magical Unicorn

    Why on earth are weeping angels number 1? It should be daleks.

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