The Fifth Doctor Era Survey Results

Part 3

By Paul Scoones

By Paul Scoones

The Monsters

BEST %     WORST %
1. Cybermen 26.6   1. Myrka 23.8
2. Daleks 16.8   2. Tractators 12.8
3. Raston Warrior 13.5   3. Mara 11.0
4. Mara 7.5   4. Ergon 7.3
5. Sea Devils 6.0   5. Malus 6.4
6. Tractators 5.6   6= Terileptil Android 4.6
7. Terileptils 5.5     Yeti 4.6
8. Silurians 4.3     Garm 4.6
9. Garm 2.5     Xeraphin 4.6
10. Malus 2.3   10= Urbankans 3.7
11. Cyber Androids 2.1     Plasmatons 3.7
12. Urbankans 1.8     Magma Beast 3.7
13. Yeti 1.5   13= Daleks 2.8
14. Xeraphin 1.0     Terileptils 2.8
15. Terileptil Android 0.8   15. Silurians 1.8
16. Ergon 0.7   16= Sea Devils 0.9
17= Plasmatons 0.5     Raston Warrior 0.9
  Myrka 0.5        
  Magma Beast 0.5        
COMBINED AVERAGE %
1. Cybermen 19.4
2. Daleks 12.9
3. Raston Warrior 11.0
4. Sea Devils 6.2
5. Mara 6.0
6. Terileptils 5.7
7. Silurians 5.1
8. Tractators 4.6
9. Cyber Androids 3.9
10. Garm 3.5
11= Urbankans 3.3
  Malus 3.3
13. Yeti 3.0
14. Xeraphin 2.6
15. Terileptil Android 2.5
16= Plasmatons 2.4
  Magma Beast 2.4
18. Ergon 2.1
19. Myrka 0.1

The stunning appearance of the Cybermen in Earthshock gave them their easy win over the Daleks in this category. Their powerful ruthlessness" appealed to James Docherty, and Jeff Stone thought their "return was handled brilliantly". David Bishop thought the Cybermen were the only monsters in Davison's era which weren't "crap or didn't appear in crap stories", and Joshua Preston wrote, "Earthshock was the story that showed how good the Cybermen could be with good scripts. Why couldn't Saward have written another good one?"

The highest-ranking original monster of the era was the Raston Warrior from The Five Doctors. Geoff Tompsett thought it would be good if the creature returned in the future but, to my mind, the perfect killing machine is a little limiting in terms of interaction with characters - i.e. it kills anything it encounters! The Mara, one of my personal favourites, is next on the 'Best' list and high on the combined average. It was also Paul Rigby's favourite monster because he "felt it was totally evil (and of course involved lots of Tegan)." Matthew Goodall also liked this aspect - "I've always loved the Mara for choosing Tegan and showing a new aspect of her. Also the psychological aspect and the Doctor's non-violent method of defeating it were both refreshing and interesting." Chris Girdler thought the Mara would have been a better monster "If they had made a decent snake."

On the subject of Worst Monsters, David Bishop was correct in predicting that "the Panto Horse (Myrka) had to take this out, and the Magma Beast gets a mention for being the only really naff thing in all of The Caves of Androzani. Joshua Preston thought all three monsters from Warriors of the Deep were dreadful and commented that the production team "could have had some more original means of bringing them (Silurians and Sea Devils) back." Chris Girdler thought the Garm (Terminus) was "one of the tackiest monsters on Doctor Who, even though there were a lot of them, and the Xeraphin in Time-Flight was as nearly as boring as the story." In Elvis Bowring's opinion, the worst thing about the era " would have to be the monsters that were stiff and hardly moved and, when they did, a snail could pass them, but this is probably due to the budget."

When I compiled the survey form, I included a question that drew a surprisingly large response from the readers. The question was worded: "Do you think the policy of having many returning monsters was a good one? Were there any you would liked to have seen return to battle Davison's Doctor but didn't?" Well, as Warwick Gray points out, there weren't all that many stories with returning monsters - Earthshock, The Five Doctors, Warriors of the Deep, Resurrection of the Daleks, and Snakedance if you allow that the Mara first appeared within this era - but consider that Tom Baker's era, which had more than twice the number of stories, yet only featured five returning monsters - so relatively, speaking Davison had twice as many, and indeed in two of the stories, more than one monster returned. Almost everyone agreed that the policy was a good one. Murray Cramp thought that it helped "to maintain the tenuous continuity of the show and make things seem less random," and Elvis Bowring though it was important to ensure that monsters don't return too often.

In answer to the second part of the question, many monsters were suggested, including Draconians, Autons, Wirrn, Zarbi, Menoptera, Daemons, and Rutans, with Sontarans, Zygons and Yeti getting several votes, but the clear leaders were the Ice Warriors, who were of course scheduled to return in the cancelled Season 23 story Mission to Magnus.

The Villains

BEST %     WORST %
1. The Master 19.5   1. Monarch 14.6
2. Davros 13.3  2. Solow 9.6
3. Lytton 13.1   3. Wrack 8.6
4. Sharaz Jek 12.7   4. Persuasion 7.7
5. Omega 8.5   5. Sir George 7.3
6. Black Guardian 7.9   6= Nilson 5.9
7. Gravis 4.4     Mawdryn 5.9
8. Morgus 4.3   8= Enlightenment 5.0
9. Borusa 2.8     The Master 5.0
10= Wrack 2.6   10= Borusa 4.5
  Mawdryn 2.6     Gravis 4.5
12. Monarch 1.6   12. Morgus 3.6
13. Dukkha 1.5   13= Sharaz Jek 3.2
14= Hindle 1.2     Omega 3.2
  Solow 1.2     Hindle 3.2
16. Enlightenment 0.8     Davros 3.2
17= Ringway 0.7   17. Ringway 1.8
18= Persuasion 0.5   18= Lytton 0.9
  Sir George 0.5     Black Guardian 0.9
  Stotz 0.5     Kalid 0.9
        21. Dukkha 0.5
COMBINED AVERAGE %
1. The Master 14.6
2. Lytton 11.3
3. Davros 10.8
4. Sharaz Jek 10.3
5. Black Guardian 7.7
6. Omega 7.6
7. Morgus 4.6
8. Gravis 4.5
9. Dukkha 3.5
10. Borusa 3.4
11= Mawdryn 2.9
  Stotz 2.9
13= Hindle 2.6
  Ringway 2.6
15. Kalid 2.3
16= Wrack 2.2
  Enlightenment 1.9
18= Sir George 1.1
  Nilson 1.1
20. Persuasion 1.0
21. Solow 0.9
22. Monarch 0.1

I suppose the winner in this category is a foregone conclusion, but Lytton, Davros and Sharaz Jek all came close to the Master in terms of their scores. Interesting to note though that, of the top six villains, only one was confined to one story within the era.

"The Master appeared in so many stories that he couldn't possibly not win Best Villain," commented Chris Girdler. Geoff Tompsett's reason for liking the Master is "because he is so devious," and Matthew Goodall adds that "The Master has always been the Doctor's ultimate foe - a position which could be altered by the sorely underrated and underused Omega. Wrack also made a refreshing change as a totally ruthless, although not totally evil female villain." Sharaz Jek was, in Alistair Hughes' opinion, "exceptionally well realized by Christopher Gable. A tremendous costume, combined with his dancer's poise, menacing voice and flawless performance all combined to make Jek an unforgettable character."

Davros also scored highly, but one of the anonymous respondents had this to say - "I dislike Davros. I just can't stand him because he has survived so improbably for so long." Paul Rigby thought Commander Lytton was the best villain: "He had an `air of mystery', and walked away from the warehouse at the end of Resurrection of the Daleks, not killed off like too many other villains." Lytton also appealed to Jessica Smiler - "Commander Lytton was great - he was in control, knew what he was doing, was a bit sneaky - I think Turlough and he would have gotten on like a house on fire." The anonymous respondent also said that he would like to see Omega again in a future episode. "I think he was the most interesting of all Time Lords. I don't believe that Omega is a villain, as he only wants to live and be accepted into Time Lord society. I also don't think Mawdryn is a villain as all he wanted to do is die."

Although not rating very highly, The Caves of Androzani's Morgus drew some comment. Joshua Preston says: "Morgus chilled me from the first sight. Absolute power, such strength, so evil!" David Bishop's comments were typically blunt yet meaningful - "Morgus - what a bastard!" David also voted as his choice for worst villains Stratford Johns, JNT and Peri!

TO BE CONTINUED...

This item appeared in TSV Special #1 (December 1990).

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