10 Darkest Doctor Who Moments

Devilish deaths and horrifying transformations you'll need a night on Darillium to recover from.

Doctor Who The Impossible Planet Toby Zed
BBC Studios

TV campaigner Mary Whitehouse – who was displeased with violent moments in several classic Doctor Who serials – would've had a field day with modern Doctor Who.

There are often things written in the media or on forums about whether Doctor Who is too scary for children, but it would make for a decidedly dull show if all we watched was the Doctor and their companions sunning it up in Marbella in 1989. And as the Tenth Doctor said to Donna:

"You need a good death. Without death, there'd only be comedies. Dying gives us size."

So, prepare to be supersized, because there's quite a heavy dose of death coming up.

From characters being killed in some truly horrifying ways, to certain lines of dialogue that hit harder than the TARDIS flying at full pelt, modern Doctor Who has had some memorably dark moments over the years.

This show thrives on 'hide behind the sofa' horror, giving the kids a fun scare on a Saturday night before the Doctor swoops in and saves the day. But there are some moments likely to give even the adults nightmares...

10. The Boneless' Murals (Flatline)

Doctor Who The Impossible Planet Toby Zed
BBC Studios

The Boneless were belligerent beings from a two-dimensional universe, who caused the Twelfth Doctor all sorts of problems by shrinking the TARDIS exterior while he was inside it.

They eventually converted into surreal-looking 3D monsters that could've come straight out of a Salvador Dali painting. Now there's a killer episode concept.

Terrifying though they were emerging from the ground and giving chase in a suitably dark tunnel, the Boneless were at their most sinister in 2D. The pre-credits sequence shows a frightened man on the phone to the police, saying "I can't speak up, they might hear me... they are everywhere", before being snatched from underneath, and ending up on the wall as a screaming mural.

Doctor Who Flatline Boneless mural
BBC Studios

Later, PC Forrest is also muralised as she searches a missing person's room. The Boneless slither towards her, then brutally pull her into the floor. Barely a second goes by when Clara and Rigsy burst into the room after hearing PC Forrest's screams, only to discover her nervous system graphically displayed on the wall like a twisted art piece.

The episode's writer Jamie Mathieson believed that Doctor Who should be "utterly terrifying and filled with body horror". Stringing out people's innards was certainly one way to make that statement, demonstrating that the Boneless were savage creatures who could not be bargained with.

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The name's Colbourn, James - yeah, doesn't quite have the same ring to it.