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Top 6 Scariest Doctor Who moments

Top 6 Scariest Doctor Who moments

BY Crispin Andrews

22nd Dec 2023 Film & TV

4 min read

With some terrifying creatures over the years, from Daleks to Daemons, here are some of the scariest moments that have seen the Doctor and Earth face ferocious threats
The Daleks first appeared on our TV screens on December 21, 1963, sending viewers scurrying behind the sofa for safety. Ever since, the intergalactic menaces have rampaged through the TV cosmos shrieking “Exterminate!” at anyone or anything they encounter.
During that time, Doctor Who has given us many other behind-the-sofa moments, courtesy of other terrifying creatures. Here are some of the scariest!

“Carnival Of Monsters” (1973)

On a vast open grassland laced with narrow streams, nothing stirs. Not on the ground, in the air, nor in the shallow waterways. The Doctor senses danger and so too does his fellow traveller, Jo Grant. But as they turn back towards the cave, the escape route from this barren wilderness, a terrible cry rings out—a shrill, piercing roar.
Suddenly the ground shakes and a gigantic snake-like head emerges. It shakes loose the sand and mud and rises a hundred feet into the air in front of them, its body standing upright like a gigantic cobra. Teeth bared, its shrill cries echo across the plain, a message to others of its kind, who return the call with terrifying cries of their own.
The Doctor and Jo stand frozen to the spot. It’s a drashig, one of the deadliest predators in the known Universe, and it’s hunting them!

“Tooth and Claw” (2006)

It’s the dead of night and in the dark cellar of a Victorian country house at the foot of the Scottish Highlands, people cower in chains—the Lady of the House, her staff and a time traveller called Rose Tyler. All have one eye on the strange man locked in a cage on the other side of the cellar, and one eye to the window, through which shines the bright, full moon.
Their whole lives, locals have heard tales of a terrible creature that would come to life on nights like these. But until now, these were just stories.
Upstairs, and oblivious to all of this, is the Queen of England, stopping over on her way to Balmoral. She dines with the lord of the manor and a traveller called the Doctor. In the cellar, moonlight shines through the open window and onto the man in the cage.
His eyes open, black—no iris, no pupils, no white sclera. Those cowering gasp and huddle closer together as the man begins to change, his last vestiges of humanity giving way to teeth, claws and a wolfish snarl.

“The Daemons” (1971)

It’s Beltane, the Wiccan festival, and in a hidden crypt under the church in the village of Devil’s End, a coven of robed figures stand chanting. At their head, is a man, the Master, a Time Lord and the Doctor’s arch enemy. The Master whips his acolytes into a frenzy and, as the chanting reaches fever pitch, the Master speaks the words of power. A huge creature begins to rise up in front of them. A creature feared for centuries all over the world, the epitome of evil, the horned beast, the Devil incarnate.
Only the Master knows that this is a creature far more terrible than the Satan figure of myth, legend and scripture. This is Azal—an alien known as a daemon—who with others of his kind, helped humans to establish themselves as the dominant species on Earth, thousands of years ago. Now the daemon is back to see if its experiment has been a success. And if Azal decides it has not, he will destroy the Earth!

“Silence in the Library”/“Forest of the Dead” (2008)

On an abandoned 51st-century library planet, even the shadows will eat you. Vashta Nerada, a vast swarm of microscopic, carnivorous creatures don’t just lurk in the darkness, they are the darkness. Uncast shadows that will strip their victims to the bone.
Found on almost every planet, there are usually too few of them in any one place to be dangerous. Sometimes they appear as the specks of dust we see in bright light, but in the library, there are trillions of them and they’re very hungry.
Vashta Nerada, the Doctor explains, are the reason that almost every species in the Universe is afraid of the dark.

“Web of Fear” (1968)

The London Underground is deserted, and in the tunnels a vast web-like substance begins to form. A bright light burns through the web as it spreads through the tunnels and stations, which are soon rendered impassable.
As the Doctor investigates, with UNIT (United Nations Intelligence Taskforce), another threat emerges from the tunnels.
Yeti—huge, lumbering creatures that the Doctor had recently encountered in the Himalayas. But these Yeti are not flesh and bone. They are mechanical creatures, servants of a formless entity, known only as the Great Intelligence and it’s here to conquer the Earth.

“Bad Wolf”/“Parting of the Ways” (2005)

Earth, the year is 200,100, but humans are 100 years behind where we should be. Something is holding us back, working through a satellite space station that beams out psychotic, murderous game shows and reality TV—keeping us weak, distracted, and powerless.
Orbiting the Earth, something waits. Something vast, hidden and menacing.
When the Doctor, in the space station control centre, breaks the cloaking signal warships are revealed, hundreds of them.
But these are not just any ships. They belong to the most evil, destructive creatures in the known Universe. Creatures thought destroyed in a great war with the Time Lords. But whereas the Doctor’s race perished in that war, the Daleks, it seems, have survived and are ready to strike, conquer and exterminate!
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