10) Spiridons (Planet of the Daleks): The Spiridons are a ‘lazy’ type of villain, simply because they are invisible, and do not appear in the entirety of the serial they featured in, if one was to exclude the scene where Wester becomes visible after dying. Unlike the Visians who appear in The Daleks’ Master Plan there is very little creative imagery from the Spiridons, and they are nothing more than a slave race to the Daleks; why not just use the Ogrons again who appeared in the previous serial Frontier in Space? They’re not that interesting as a species, very little time is spent developing them as a race of beings who deserve a second appearance, and they are very forgettable, who unfortunately appear in an equally forgettable six-part narrative.
9) Taran Beast (The Androids of Tara): The Taran Beast isn’t frightening, its cute and cuddly and so pathetic looking. Is it supposed to be an alien – ape? bear? Something else? A reject from a child’s puppet show? The beast makes a very brief appearance and leaves no impact on the audience whatsoever. Why does Count Grendel want to hunt them for sport, when the thrill of chase would so easily be over in a matter of seconds? The beast poses no threat, no danger, no conflict for anyone to overcome, it wouldn’t exactly be a fair fight. As a monster its more likely to bring smiles than screams and would be welcomed as a pet anyday.
8) Voords (The Keys of Marinus): The frog-like Voords were intended by the production team to be the second smash-hit from Terry Nation, and it failed miserably – which is no surprise. The Voords are generally well-designed with some cool features (each one has a unique helmet design) but they provide absolutely no obstacles for the main characters to overcomes; each one is disposed of in a comedic way, and they aren’t the ‘main’ monsters of The Keys of Marinus, which is another reason why they don’t get to shine. They have no dialogue (for the most part), they aren’t that important to the plot, and they are overshadowed by their equally redundant leader Yartex. There is a fascinating expositional background story from Arbitan, but any redeeming qualities just don’t reach the surface; its no surprise they never returned to the television.
7) Gell Guards (The Three Doctors): The Gell Guards are an eyesore, end of. Their psychedelic appearances are uniquely bad for so many reasons it would take a whole millennia to finish. They’re another slave race, sent to do the dirty work of a superior master. They can hardly move; but manage to bring high levels of danger and destruction, an interesting paradoxical oxymoron. They are indeed memorable, but for the wrong reasons. Their comedic appearances, makes it difficult for audiences to take them seriously, within a serial that has some intelligent writing going on. Their one-off appearance comes to surprise, even Omega was reluctant to bring them back for Arc of Infintiy.
6) Nucleus (The Invisible Enemy): The Nucleus can’t be talked about without bringing up the names Bob Baker and Dave Martin; the duo were notorious for overwriting for the show, and their ambition and ‘little’ understanding of the limitations of Doctor Who are all more evident with the Nucleus. Its so jaw-droppingly bad when it first appears, and its mobility issues makes it a comical villain for The Doctor too face. The only thing that can be said about the ‘Invisible Enemy’ is it would have be better off had in fact remained invisible. A child’s papier-mâché project would have produced better results.
5) The Ergon (Arc of Infinity): The Ergon (the second of Omega little experiments) is somehow worse than the first. Imagine a pterodactyl on hindlegs with an skeletal exo-skeleton and boom you have the Ergon. It doesn’t do anything apart from shoot people, lumber around, and obeys its Master to an infuriating degree. It doesn’t do that much, its remains mute for the entirety of its appearance and its disposed of by its own weapon (glad to know the production team knew a little bit about foreshadowing), and overall it’s a was sadly an early casualty of many poorly realised monsters that appeared in 80s Doctor Who.
4) Plasmatons (Time-Flight): What on Earth are the Plasmatons? Seriously, what on Earth? Mailbags covered in cement? Time-Flight might have been final the serial of Season 19, and the money might have been gone; but how can a serial have a real-life Concorde in it and yet feature shockingly put together monsters? It mind-warps the brain just thinking about it. There was a clever idea behind the Plasmatons but the execution is absolutely no excuse. They’re unimpressive all-round and have no business being associated with Doctor Who, how can there be anything worse?
3) Giant Rat (The Talons of Weng-Chiang): The giant rat is not terribly written, its just poorly realised. The production team experimented with larger-than-life monsters interacting with real-life sets and people but the shots just don’t capture suspense, danger or anything else that made the renaissance era so horrific in the first place. The backstory is brilliant, and almost ingenuous, and legendary stuntman Stuart Fell puts in a great performance; but the Giant Rat is a failed attempted (the first of many) that just pushed the production office’s resources and money a little too far.
2) Kroll (The Power of Kroll): A great potential monster is riddled with production mistakes, editing issues and another production that just tried too hard to push the limitations of the budget. The monster is a little pathetic, remaining in one location for the most part, and hardly moving. The model and location shots don’t mesh together, which makes it obvious that Kroll isn’t actually there for the characters to react too. Another great backstory is let down by a troubled production, and Kroll certainly doesn’t have any god-like qualities which would qualify it as such, and was such a wasted opportunity.
1) Myrka (Warriors of the Deep): The Myrka is absolutely the worst monster to appear in Doctor Who. Its nothing more than, you probably guessed it, a big lumbering creature, only this time it looks like its just going for a stroll and taking in its surroundings. The monster is literally unworkable, you can see the operators inside struggling to control the costume. It has an almost indestructible superpower, and the moment it is kicked by Dr Solow (only to be electrocuted) will forever remain as the moment where Doctor Who definitely went on a downwards spiral. The Myrka also fails to inject any sympathy into the audience; its been genetically modified by the Silurians and Sea Devils to be a weapon, yet when it dies, it’s a moment of relief rather than dis-belief. The final design of the Myrka was also problematic, you can see it leaves stains of paint everywhere, and the actual design isn’t that refreshing for 80s Who. The Myrka is infamous for a reason, and remains as the worst monster to come out of Doctor Who during it classic age.
Dis-honorable mentions: Morpho (The Keys of Marinus); Sensorites (The Sensorites); Fish People (The Underwater Menace);Quarks (The Dominators); Axons (The Claws of Axons); Dinosaurs (Invasion of the Dinosaurs); Foamasi (The Leisure Hive); Magma Creature (The Caves of Androzani); Gastropods (The Twin Dilemma); Tetraps (Time and the Rani)