5 classic ‘Doctor Who’ monsters and villains who should return

The Zygons are making another comeback with a two-part adventure in the new season of Doctor Who, written by Peter Harness (‘Kill the Moon’).

To celebrate their return, following their brief reappearance in 2013’s ‘The Day of the Doctor’, we decided to take a look at which other classic monsters and villains are overdue a 21st century revival…


Sea Devils

Doctor Who Sea Devils

First seen in: ‘The Sea Devils’ (1972).

Last seen in: ‘Warriors of the Deep’ (1984).

Who were they? The aquatic cousins of the Silurians.

Why should they come back? With their land-dwelling relatives resurrected successfully, we can save time on exposition and plough on with the story. Creator Malcolm Hulke recognised that there was a danger of retreading similar ground to his original Silurian story, and so made ‘The Sea Devils’ more action-orientated, with some enjoyably creepy scenes on an abandoned sea fort. This could be one that really ramps up the scares.


Count Grendel

Doctor Who Count Grendel The Androids of Tara

First seen in: ‘The Androids of Tara’ (1978).

Who was he? Count Grendel of Gracht, nobleman of the planet Tara.

Why should he come back? Because he’s effortlessly charming, dontchaknow? Grendel, like Roger Delgado’s Master, was relentlessly entertaining. A cad, a bounder, and rotter, but not an aspiring universal-dictator, Grendel could pull off the ‘recurring small-scale villain’ role with aplomb.



Doctor Who Warriors' Gate Tharils

First seen in: ‘Warriors’ Gate’ (1981).

Who were they? A race of leonine time-sensitive creatures.

Why should they come back? Because their back story is so tantalising. We see a brief glimpse of their empire between dimensions, and hear stories of them pouring out of inter-dimensional gateways to attack ships, and walking through the time vortex unharmed. This was beyond the impressive visuals of ‘Warriors’ Gate’, but perhaps now some of the unexplored elements of the Tharils could be successfully realised.



Doctor Who Tractators Frontios

First seen in: ‘Frontios’ (1984).

Who were they? Giant gravity-manipulating woodlice.

Why should they come back? An example of a great concept realised within a limited budget, ‘Frontios’ still works well but is clearly struggling bravely against its limitations. It would be interesting to see what the Visual Effects team could come up with to produce a more realistic, disgusting insect costume. There’s also the chance to indulge in some body horror, with their human-powered excavation machine, and the images of bodies being sucked into the ground. Let’s see if justice could be done to writer Christopher Bidmead’s words: “He said… the earth was hungry.”



Doctor Who The Curse of Fenric

First seen in: ‘The Curse of Fenric’ (1989).

Who was he? An ancient, evil entity.

Why should he come back? In 1989 Doctor Who joined the dots, and made some references to previous episodes, suggesting that Fenric had been manipulating events from two series ago. Now, this sort of long-term villainy is commonplace. What Fenric offers that you don’t get with the Daleks or the Master is a sense of ineffability. We know that when he does gain corporeal form he spends most of his time making cutting sarcastic comments and taking great pleasure in mass slaughter, but he has a genuinely demonic side, and can’t resist games. The potential for his appearing in a series finale, having manipulated a new companion, is huge.


Which classic monsters and villains do you think should return? Let us know below…

  • FrancoPabloDiablo

    Forget Count Grendel, I think you’ll find most fans want the excellently-realised Taran Wood Beast to return! And it’s about time that the Bandrils got another outing after their triumphant debut in Timelash!

    • Dr. Moo

      Speaking of Timelash, I say BRING BACK THE BORAD!!!

    • Lemmy Koopa

      Sarcasm, I’m sensing

      • FrancoPabloDiablo

        There’s no fooling you is there? 🙂

  • Joel Mole

    Erm Sutekh? Omega?

  • ThePurpleFrockCoat

    The Black Guardian, The Celestial Toymaker, The Monk from The Meddling Monk.

    The Tharils do have an interesting back story but it could be done in a flashback sense. The last we saw of them they wanted to free their people from slavery.

  • Jami

    The Celestial Toymaker! Since he’s a god-like being he can take on alternate forms a lot easier than some of the classic villains and he’s much scarier than Weeping Angels.

  • Lemmy Koopa

    Count Grendel? Sure he was good in his one story (the story itself was actually somewhat unremarkable. Decent, but not noteworthy), but I really don’t think he merits a return. Most human/humanoid villains serve their purpose in one story. Just because he was good in one story does’nt mean he’ll be good in another. And besides, surely the actor is old or dead. Is he really worth a recast?

    The others brought up good enough. I’m on the fence with the Tharils. They were really interesting in The Warrior’s Gate, but I’ half afraid that a new story would do them no justice.

    • ThePurpleFrockCoat

      I was also thinking of The Eternals but didn’t The White Guardian banish them?

      • Lemmy Koopa

        Not that I remember, but even then, if that did happen in Enlightenment (which I’m assuming you’re referring to), it can always take place beforehand. And not every Eternal participated in the race.

        • ThePurpleFrockCoat

          Yeah Enlightenment.

  • Jason

    The Tharils should come back. I would love to see the Black Guardian, but there are few voices that could compete with Valentine Dyall.

  • Jason

    The Rutans!!!

  • John Rawling

    the raston warrior robot from the five doctors