Doctor Who may be seen by some as a kids show, but that detracts from the complexity of it, the depth of the characters, and the fact that at times it is really, really, hide-behind-the-sofa levels of scary.
Its success is built not only on its titular hero and his ever-changing face, but an impressive rogues gallery that has spanned (and terrified) generations and given popular culture a number of iconic villains.
From A-to-Z, or Animus-to-Zygons, each series both ‘classic’ and ‘new’ has featured an array of enemies for The Doctor to defeat, with varying degrees of difficulty. After all, he is an all-powerful Time-Lord, so many of these monsters ultimately aren’t a match for him and his screwdriver, and can be dealt with fairly swiftly.
There are those, though, who pose a huge threat and even come close to being an equal, who have great power and none of the responsibility, and who keep coming back for more even when they’re beaten.
The best Who villains (not to be confused with Whovians, the term for fans of the show) are those that are frightening in appearance but even more frightening in their methods and abilities, and here’s a look at some of the most powerful foes from the past forty years or so…
10. The Beast
Appearing in the two-parter The Impossible Planet/The Satan Pit, the Beast was essentially the devil itself.
A malevolent being that claimed to predate creation and be the basis for all mythological devil figures, such as Lucifer, it is certainly one of the best ‘nuWho’ villains.
It possesses great intelligence and supernatural abilities, able to play on the deepest, darkest fears of people it meets, and telepathically controls the Ood to relay its rather chilling messages, with the ability to possess humans as well. It’s a shame that it wasn’t given a longer run on the show, as a ‘devil walks among us’ arc could’ve been pretty interesting, especially considering the fact that it looks creepy as the hell from which it came.
Such is its power that it was imprisoned in a pit (hence the episode title) on the planet of Krop Tor for billions of years, kept in place by an energy source, and if it tried to escape it’d be sucked into a black hole, which is what ultimately happens to it.