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Who goes there?

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1999-11-13 Radio Times cover.jpg
Doctor Who Night
November 13, 1999

[edit]

There's nowhere to hide as BBC2 rounds up, for Doctor Who Night, the alien fiends who have tried to exterminate successive Doctors. Nick Griffiths picks four sure to have you cowering behind the sofa

DALEKS

ORIGINS The Doctor's most popular and persistent enemies, appearing first in The Daleks in 1963 (and recently voted by Radio Times readers their favourite TV drama moment). Created by Terry Nation and designed by Raymond Cusick.


TERRY NATION MUST HAVE BEEN CHUFFED...

"I was on the edge at my seat waiting for Terry's reaction [to the design]," says Cusick. "And he said, 'They're OK,' and that was it."


THAT'S A SHAME

The rest of the nation took to them, though.


SCARY FACTOR

Sixth Doctor Colin Baker: "If the designers had said, 'It's a cone with lumpy bits and a sink plunger at the front', you would have said. Please can you make me something else.' But I once walked across a supposedly deserted studio floor and as I did, the eye stalk of a Dalek followed me, and a shiver of fear went down my spine. Then I realised there was a bloke inside who hadn't gone for his tea break."


WHAT'S THE BEST WAY TO DEAL WITH THEM?

"Children were for ever telling me how to deal with the Daleks, and I'd always pretend to be amazed," recalls fourth Doctor Tom Baker. "I would say. 'How do you do that, my friend?' and the child would look around conspiratorially and say. 'You run upstairs."'


BUT THEY DID MANAGE TO NEGOTIATE STAIRS EVENTUALLY?

Yes, by building a mini-hovercraft. It only took the "supreme beings" 20 years to work that one out.

SOFA RATING 5 sofas


CYBERMEN

ORIGINS

Stars of 12 stories, created by Kit Pedler. Debuted in 1966's Tenth Planet.


MORE COMFORTABLE TO PLAY THAN A DALEK

"It was far worse than you could ever imagine," says actor Graham Cole. "There was the suit, chest plates, moon boots, gloves and helmet, which was screwed shut. Once you were in the you weren't getting out. So first and foremost, remember the loo call."


BUT THEY WERE THE SCARIEST?

Depends. 'The Daleks didn't spook me, but the Cybermen did." says Sophie Aldred, who played the seventh Doctor's companion, Ace. "Even though I knew they were men in rubber suits with wellies and cricket gloves, they still gave me the chills."


HOW BEST TO DEAL WITH THEM?

Not in the manner of Polly, companion to the second Doctor, played by Anneke Wills: "I'd decided not to play a Diana Rigg macho character, and to be real: very scared but also very brave. So Polly goes up to the Cybermen and says. 'But you don't care' It was terribly sweet. really."

SOFA RATING 4 sofas


SEA DEVILS

ORIGINS

The creation of ex-Navy man Malcolm Hulke. Appeared only twice, initially in 1972's Sea Devils, though fondly remembered.


ANOTHER MAN-IN-A-RUBBER-MASK?

Not exactly. To give the Sea Devils an appropriately menacing height, the mask was worn on top of the actor's head and he peered out of the neck.

A FORBIDDING SIGHT?

"I always had a soft spot for the Sea Devils," recalled third Doctor Jon Pertwee, "as their faces looked just like Digby, my cavalier spaniel."

BUT THAT SCENE WHERE THEY RISE OMINOUSLY FROM THE SEA...

"I was in abject hysteria on occasions," said Pertwee. "I remember when the stunt men playing Sea Devils were told to disappear under the sea, count to five, then surface. The sea lifted their heads off, so they came out of the water with the faces of angry stunt men. You've never heard language like it!"


WHO WON?

The Doctor, naturally. He always did.

SOFA RATING 3 sofas


SONTARANS


ORIGINS

Four appearances, having first battled the Doctor in The Time Warrior in 1973. Created by regular Who writer Robert Holmes.


HOW WERE THEY ENVISAGED?

Holmes saw Linx, the original Sontaran, as wearing a sophisticated version of knight's armour. When the alien first removes his helmet. Holmes specified: "As Linx turns, we zoom into a close-up of his hideous toad-like alien face."


HOW SCARY WERE THEY?

"When the Sontarans first appeared, one reviewer wrote, 'I refuse to be frightened by a monster that looks like a baked potato.' " recalls Who script editor/writer Terrance Dicks. "We used to call them Potato Heads after that."


TOO CRUEL

"The Time Warrior introduced another great adversary, the Sontaran, or Humpty Dumpty, as we named him," wrote Jon Pertwee in his biography, I Am the Doctor.


SO THE SONTARANS DIED OUT?

Shortly after making an appearance on Jim'll Fix It, in 1985, funnily enough.

SOFA RATING 3 sofas

Disclaimer: These citations are created on-the-fly using primitive parsing techniques. You should double-check all citations. Send feedback to whovian@cuttingsarchive.org

  • APA 6th ed.: Griffiths, Nick (1999-11-13). Who goes there?. Radio Times p. 28.
  • MLA 7th ed.: Griffiths, Nick. "Who goes there?." Radio Times [add city] 1999-11-13, 28. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Griffiths, Nick. "Who goes there?." Radio Times, edition, sec., 1999-11-13
  • Turabian: Griffiths, Nick. "Who goes there?." Radio Times, 1999-11-13, section, 28 edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Who goes there? | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Who_goes_there%3F | work=Radio Times | pages=28 | date=1999-11-13 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=14 June 2024 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Who goes there? | url=http://cuttingsarchive.org/index.php/Who_goes_there%3F | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=14 June 2024}}</ref>