In Doctor Who’s long history there have been many monsters and aliens but only a few make it big. Only a few repeatedly return to menace the Doctor. Only a few are as recognisable as the main character or the TARDIS.
While there is certainly a thrill the be had by having player characters match wits with the big names it would be a shame to restrict yourself to such a narrow portion of 50 years worth of fiction.
This is a look at just a few of the aliens and monsters that deserve a chance to shine in your campaign.
Mysterious humaniods from ‘The Keys of Marinus’. Combining elements of the Cybermen with an aquatic angle. They are perfect for an underwater invasion on Earth or other planets with oceans.
Capable of telepathy and mind control it is entirely possible that they could turn any one into their puppet. Even one of the player characters might be an unwitting sleeper agent for the Voord.
Their black wetsuits are visually striking and would help camouflage them in low-light settings. The biggest mystery their suits hold is what they look like within.
You might consider having the Voord arrange an alliance with the Sea Devils or the Zygons. Together they could attack shipping lanes or rise up to strike against the surface world.
Hampered by a costume that restricted movement these aliens could be much more effective in your own campaign. Resembling giant wood lice they had the power to control gravity and their invasion of Trion was so terrifying that Turlough experienced nightmarish racial memories.
The Tractator believed their reputation was such that the Time Lords would be seeking them out. While the series didn’t really support that idea they can live up to their potential in your own campaign.
Burrowing underground player characters will have to cope with darkness and tight confines in order to deal with them. Worse still the Tractator can usse their powers to drag other into the ground, suffocating them.
They could prove to be a threat for spaceships, causing them to crash on to any planet the Tractator occupied. Potentially they could use the same tactics as the bugs in ‘Starship Troopers’, using their gravitational powers to hurl meteors at planets.
A grizzly idea all but edited out of ‘Frontios’ was that the Tractator created organic machines from the body parts of their victims. This is an idea you can introduce into your own campaign if the players have strong stomachs. It would certainly make them more memorable and give the PCs more of an incentive not to be captured.
A race of sentient seaweed who conquer worlds through economics. In ‘The Sun Makers’ we learn they have transformed Pluto into a planet capable of support human life, at the cost of placing the population into eternal debt.
Their power seems to exceed even the Time Lords, with their survey of Gallifrey deeming it unworthy of development. While the Doctor is quite dismissive of the The Collector this is surely a race that deserves to be developed and explored.
There must be many other worlds like Pluto that the PCs can discover. Freeing a planet from a covert economic enslavement is a lot more tricky than tackling an invading army. In this scenario the population might not be aware of their predicament and be more interested in protecting their jobs than being free.
Planets, empires and corporations could all be controlled by the Usurians. The PCs might have to follow the money to track down these aliens, damaging their profits along the way until they can finally put them out of business.
A bestial, emotionally volatile race with no ethical problem with eating sentient species. ‘The Two Doctors’ illustrated that a single Androgum can leave death and chaos in its wake. The Androgum could be used in an adventure based around a string of killings, with the PCs learning that the culprit is an Androgum experiencing the local tastes.
The Doctor commented that an Androgum with a Time Lord physiology and access to time travel would have no limit on the evil they could produce. Their threat level could be increased by any amount of ‘uplifting’ performed by another species.
This allows the species to be used on two different levels. On the most basic level they are killers but they become expediential more dangerous depending on what technology they obtain or how their genetic makeup is changed.
PCs should fear more intelligent Androgum, especially those who have the capability to travel to other worlds. Even if the PCs aren’t willing to kill such Androgum they must must find ways to restrict their movements and return them to how they were supposed to be.
The Faceless Ones
Shape changers driven by the destruction of their own identities they are both tragic and terrifying. They are even more relevant in an age where ‘identity theft’ is a danger than many people face.
The abstract nature of their predicament, that their identities were destroyed in an explosion, make them stand out from other shape changers such as the Zygons and Rutans.
This dream logic would fit right in to a Moffat inspired campaign. Their ability to steal the identity of others could work on the same nightmarish process as the Weeping Angels and the Silence.
While the Faceless Ones can work as an alien species they are equally effective as strange beings on the fringe of society. You might look in the mirror one day and find they have stolen you face, that they have taken your name which you no longer remember, that even your friends and family belong to them now.
Faceless Ones might need access to information to assume an identity, making online data a tempting target for them. The PCs could have to fight a war on the internet to prevent the Faceless Ones stealing every ones identity in one go.