Where Are Moffat’s Compelling Doctor Who Villains?

Doctor Who: Caves of Androzani

When was the last time a one-off Doctor Who villain really grabbed you? And is CGI going OTT in the cinema and on TV? These are just two of the topics under discussion in this week’s podKast which also features a one-off very different theme tune…

Christian Cawley and Brian A Terranova are your hosts.


PodKast theme tune this week is NOT by Russell Hugo. We’ve given him a rest, and called in Jon Pertwee instead. Yes, that’s right: JON. PERTWEE – there’s a guy who knew what was needed in a Doctor Who villain…

Remember, if you enjoy the show, find us on Apple Podcasts, where your reviews will help the show considerably.

14 thoughts on “Where Are Moffat’s Compelling Doctor Who Villains?

  1. well, I think that the blanket-thing was very horror-good. if that makes sense. You know, in Listen? (I am pretty sure the red blanket thing was in LISTEN.)

    also, I completely understand if you want me to delete this post or need to ban me. but I had to say it.

    other than that, um… yeah. my dad is more scary than anything on DW. Like when he yells at me, and I am so terrified I think I’m gonna die. so I beat on his shoulder to make the horrible noise stop- not to hurt him, but to get him to stop. I have hypersensitive nerves and I get meltdowns if the stiumuls doesn’t stop so I try to warn people tat I need to be not bothered for a while, trying to do the adult thing and calm myself down. i get followed into my room and bellowed at some more instead. guess what my dad does? He BELLOWS MOOARR instead of stopping. Apparently I don’t have the right to ask him to stop. yippee. My mom called the cops on me two days ago because I put a 1/4 cup of water down her back, after making sure it was not cold or hot. she has weird nerves yeah, os I was trying ,not to hrt uerh, despite my upsettedness at what she did two days ago- she, I think, manipulated dad into being upset with me. they think becuae they don’t hit me it’s okay. no. it is NOT. and I start cursing after a while if I can’t get themto stop with the yelling and cursing because, again, my nervous system shuts down and my control disappears. it’s like epilepsy- once it starts-0 you gotta let it wind down, so you try to get to a safe place to calm yourself down. but there’s nowhere to go for me. going outside just makes it worse (more people, see?) and if I try to go for a walk to calm down they’ll TADA call the cops on meh. I have no one else to go to, can’t work, so can’t move out.ARGH. she has this delusion that I’m trying to harm her, because she’s becoming more and more paranoid, in my opinion. So she freaks out if you get out of the chair too fast, calls the cops, and BOOM. you are even MOARRR traumatized. I hate this. she keeps telling people I’m crazy, but they don’t live with her. HA! I won’t be right from this for years. that’s how bad it feels. all the meditation and mental techniques in the world won’t work if the people around you won’t stop traumatizing you before oyu can calm down. I don’t expect sympathy, I don’t expect a reply, Ihell this was probably very bad of me to do, but I just… I just want oyu guys to know that it happened. I am at fault too.

    They should try doing one of THOSE on DW. scare the trousers off anybody, Dad would.

    1. Bipolar, autistic, it doesn’t matter: you’re you and you’re ok.

      The Doctor IS real, out there somewhere, maybe – as Peter C says somewhere in the middle of here. (take it from about 7 mins in.) What we see is just actors playing him. And as we grow up, we can try to emulate the best in him and his companions, which is one way of surviving – defeating traumatic stuff. hang on in there Grumpy.


      1. Ah, thank you Bar. you reminded me of the most important thing: IDIC! 😉
        he IS real, somewhere. he MUST be. 😉 And that’s enough! love and joy to oyu, you dear person. I always remember a kindness, for the rest of my life. Even if I forget who you are, which I do. 😉 so, thank you. Thank you, so, so much. 😉 I wish you every happiness.

  2. The Silence. Silent priests. Boneless. Foretold. Kovarian. Missy. Weeping Angels. Flesh ‘gangers.

    Is a lack of compelling villains killing Moffat’s Doctor Who? Don’t be daft, for that to be true we first need a lack of compelling villains.

    1. I think you’re misunderstanding. Who is Kovarian? What does she want? Why? These questions are answered two years after we last saw her. Who are the Boneless? Does the story dwell on their every move, and listen to their discussions, their plans? Do we overhear the Silence discussing how they plan to capture Amy and her baby?

      No. You don’t. Compare and contrast with Stephens and BOSS, with the Controller and the Daleks, with Harrison Chase and Scorby (or even the butler), with Scaroth the Jagaroth and Kerenski. This is the focus we’re discussing, the breathing life into villains, making them three dimensional, compelling, rewatchable.

      Doctor Who just doesn’t have this factor anymore, in the fast majority of cases. At best, Kovarian is a caricature, the suited villainess already seen in Partners in Crime and revisited in Time Heist; the others mentioned don’t speeak (I’m not even going near the gangers because the desperation of your argument is clear by that point).

      By all means defend what you like about Doctor Who, but I think here you’ve missed the point.

      1. Yeah, maybe I have. I just think it’s a little unfair to single out Steven Moffat for this but let Russell T Davies, John Nathan-Turner, Graham Williams, etc. off the hook for the same thing and I decided to put some stuff out there in defence is all. As ever I still enjoyed listening to the podKast, keep up the good work.

        1. It is unfair, but he’s the current showrunner 🙂 I don’t think JN-T and Williams are guilty of this as people like Jek and mr Ratcliffe happened on JN-T’s watch, and of course there’s the wonderful Scarlioni/Scaroth in City of Death, and the Pirate captain in The Pirate Planet.

        2. Moffat is singled out as his era has done it the most, other eras didn’t do it, but naming new “villains” over forces of natures in Moffat’s era is pretty hard, and those villains who do pop up, do tend to be the same archetype – the Partners in Crime dominant lackey to a higher force, who carries no other motivation in the story than to do his/her job. All the other eras have villains, Moffat’s really doesn’t. I think its fair to single him out on these grounds.

      2. I agree with the undeveloped nature of the villains. I make the distinction between them and the monsters. Last good monster was the Weeping Angels, very scary concept, worked brilliantly in Blink, but then was over-used and lost their impact. Monsters don’t need development really, the more they are seen and explained, the less effective they are – that’s what’s happened to the Daleks and Cybermen (by the way, how great is it that my spell-checker recognises dakeks and Cybermen as legitimate words!). Villains on the other hand I see as human(oid)s with thought processes and back stories and reasons for doing their thing, however twisted! So Silurians, not monsters, despite lizards, but villains (apart from Vastra of course). Last really great villains? Harrison Chase and Sutekh. Though bloke in picture, can’t remember how to spell his name (running on about 3 hours sleep in 2 days) was pretty damn good as well.

        1. I disagree that the 50 minute episodes deters from character development of villains. It’s about focus, and since 2005 that has been on the companion’s relationship with the Doctor or some other chap. Do we really watch DW for the companions?

          Did we ever?

      3. This is what made ‘Rose’ a flimsy disappointment for me on first viewing.

        I expected more from the Nestenes, but the lack of a ‘face’ to expound upon their plans (not counting the Mickey Auton) as per Channing and Hibbert, and the Master with Farrell, relegated them to ‘Monster of the Week’ status.

        I’d say, therefore, that the problem was also present in RTD’s era, not just Moffat’s. Thinking in terms of ‘single’ villains rather than races/groups, there have been plenty campy, scenery-chewing types, but little of substance.

  3. What is with the teasing of recommendations? That said I do like the idea of things that are coming up that we may be interested in seeing concept. I hope eventually we hear either way regarding the Terminator movie.

  4. Very spot-on as usual. In particular, I really feel that James is right about George Lucas and Steven Moffat doing a lot of retrospective restructuring of continuity in stories. They’re great storytellers for the microcosm, but later shoehorn stuff into later stories as if it was planned, but it is clear that they didn’t plan it.

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