It’s a crazy life, flying through the infinite reaches of space and the endless oceans of time. Of course, that’s not as crazy as some of the people you run into. One of the problems with having a playground as big as the one The Doctor plays in is that there’s bound to be a lot of bullies who wish to ruin the fun. These bullies come in the form of the villains. Like every superhero, The Doctor finds himself face to face with some of the most unpleasant people you’ll ever see. Plus, it’s a well known fact that some are worse than others. The next part of our month-long tribute to the forty-fifth anniversary of Doctor Who is devoted to the worst of the worst villains in the Doctor Who mythos.
10) The Valeyard from “The Trial of a Time Lord”
The Doctor is a paragon of everything that is right and good in the universe, but even The Doctor has his darker side. The Doctor’s darker side even has a name, The Valeyard. When The Doctor comes to face The Valeyard, they are simply on opposite sides of a trial. The Doctor is forced to defend himself from the constant verbal assaults from The Valeyard. The Valeyard seems bent on killing The Doctor and inheriting his regenerations. The reason for The Valeyard’s malice is clarified at the end of the trial when it’s revealed that The Valeyard is a projection of the darker aspects of The Doctor’s nature. Most heroes always have to deal with the inner struggle between good and evil, but The Doctor is one of the few who’ve had the displeasure of facing that struggle externally.
9) The Black Guardian from “The Armageddon Factor” to “Enlightenment”
In the universe there must always be that crucial balance between life and death, light and dark, good and evil. Overseeing all things in the universe are the Guardians: The White Guardian and, of course, The Black Guardian. As nice as it would be to live in a universe without darkness, The Black Guardian’s presence is a necessity, which is irritating, considering The Black Guardian continually attempts to upset the balance and plunge the universe into eternal chaos. Of course it’s an irritation to him that The Doctor continues to stand in his way. The Black Guardian is unable to take part in the proceedings himself, so he employs agents to do his bidding. One of them is an unwilling alien named Turlough, who makes a deal with The Black Guardian to assassinate The Doctor. Naturally, it was a plot that went up in smoke along with The Guardian himself. Unfortunately, as sure as death and taxes, The Guardian will always be there. Who knows when he will return to try and upset the balance again?
8) The War Chief from “The War Games”
This isn’t the first time The Doctor has crossed paths with one of his own, but if ever there was an example of a Time Lord who has abused his power that would be The War Chief. The War Chief is a renegade Time Lord who allies himself with a warmongering race of aliens. The War Chief uses his expertise as a Time Lord to uproot soldiers from a variety of the worst wars in Earth’s history and delude them into thinking that they are fighting the actual war. All of this is dedicated to creating an army of super soldiers trained to conquer the galaxy. The scope and scale of the pain The War Chief causes is so great that even The Doctor is unable to clean up the mess The War Chief leaves behind.
7) Mr. Finch from “School Reunion”
Mr. Finch is a Krillitane, one of a race who revel in conquering other planets and inheriting the physical attributes of each of the races they’ve destroyed. Mr. Finch is a Krillitane with even bigger ambitions, to become a god. He leads his family to infiltrate a school and enhances the children’s intelligence to unlock the Skasas Paradigm, the Godmaker code which would give Mr. Finch the keys to the universe. Mr. Finch is an exceptional villain because he attempts to defeat The Doctor through temptation. To unlock the Paradigm would mean that The Doctor could resurrect the Time Lords, and if The Doctor had succumbed to that temptation, then the whole universe would bear the face of Mr. Finch.
6) Sil from “Vengeance on Varos” and “Mindwarp”
Sil is a loathsome worm (figuratively and literally) from Thoros Beta who is by and large a businessman. He is the perfect satirical illustration of an amoral executive. He seeks to earn great profit through backstabbing tactics. What’s worse is that Sil does it by painting his business associate into a corner through deception. When we meet Sil he is manipulating the Varosian government in to thinking that their chief export of Zeiton-7 isn’t as valuable as it actually is. As it also turns out, Sil isn’t even his own boss. Which essentially means that not only is Sil a backstabbing businessman, he also is a brownnose. Sometimes in the grand scheme of villainy, you’re bound to run into those villains who aren’t the master of their domain, even though they’d like to be.
5) Sharaz Jek from “The Caves of Androzani”
Sharaz Jek is without a doubt the most sympathetic villain in the pantheon of Doctor Who villains. The tragic nature of Jek is on a par with villains like Two-Face and The Phantom of the Opera. Sharaz Jek is a villain who never chose to be as he is. He was pushed into this horrible life because of the treachery of others. Now he is forced to dwell deep in the caves of Androzani Minor with only androids for company. Though he has the the government eating out of the palm of his hand, he doesn’t want power. All he wants is to see the man who destroyed his life suffer. He also seeks the sweetness of human contact. When he meets The Doctor and Peri he doesn’t want to harm them. He just wants someone to share his misery with.
4) Omega from “The Three Doctors” and “Arc of Infinity”
It’s a sad fact that you should never meet your heroes, as many times they don’t turn out to be who you think. Take Omega for example. In the history of Gallifrey, Omega was a heroic man who selflessly sacrificed himself to harness the power of a supernova which would create the power source that elevated The Gallifreyan people to become Time Lords. When the first three incarnations of The Doctor find Omega alive and well in a universe of anti-matter, they discover that Omega aspired to be more than a heroic legend; he had aspirations towards being a god! He wished to return to Gallifrey and control all of time and space with everyone in the universe as his slave. Both times that he has crossed paths with The Doctor, he has been locked away in his world of anti-matter, waiting for the day when he can return to our reality and reign over it.
3) The Rani from “The Mark of the Rani” and “Time and the Rani”
There have been renegade Time Lords in the past, but The Rani is in a class all her own. The Rani is brilliant geneticist who was exiled from Gallifrey when one of her experiments resulted in the Lord President’s cat being eaten by one of the Rani’s experimental mice. The Rani isn’t your run-of-the-mill megalomaniac. The fact is, she is just a woman who values life in a way that can only be described as cold and apathetic. She views other organisms simply as walking petri dishes and microscope slides. That is how she is able to perform outlandish experiments on innocent people without any kind of sympathy. She continues to rationalize it by feeling that every being she experiments on is just an animal. Don’t even try to appeal to The Rani’s morality because it will no doubt be a futile pursuit.
2) Davros from “Genesis of the Daleks” to “Journey’s End”
Tribute to Davros by Stuart “BabelColour” Humphryes
The only thing that’s more frightening than a race that devotes its every waking moment to racial cleansing is the madman who created that race. Davros is the cold, calculating voice behind the Daleks. His genius is only matched by his mad thirst for power. Given the opportunity, he would pull the plug on the universe if it would put him among the gods. In the beginning he even deceives his own race, The Kaleds, into believing that the creation of the Daleks is to create a force for good. Davros intends to use his creation as a means of total domination. What he doesn’t count on is that his creations would have a mind of their own. Now Davros is simply a pet to the Daleks, but he chooses to revel in the knowledge that his creation has become the ultimate force for evil in the universe.
1) The Master from “Terror of the Autons” to “Last of the Time Lords”
Tribute to The Master by Stuart “BabelColour” Humphryes
Batman has his Joker, Sherlock Holmes has his Moriarty, and The Doctor has The Master. He is just as brilliant as The Doctor, but he went a different way. He is totally consumed by his ambition for power, an ambition which is only matched by his desire to trump The Doctor. This alone has been his incentive to prolong his existence beyond the boundaries of the normal Time Lord lifespan. He wishes to utterly destroy The Doctor in ways that go beyond petty homicide. The rivalry between The Doctor and The Master has raged for centuries and throughout time and space. For The Master nothing is sacred, and nothing is beyond his capacity for evil. He will destroy thousands of worlds and kill millions if it means making The Doctor suffer and destroying everything he cares about. The Master’s duplicity has reached levels that could best be described as sadistic and spiteful. He will plunge a planet into chaos and dangle it in front of your face with demented glee. As sure as there is The Doctor, there will always be the one who likes to be called The Master.