10 Terrible CGI Moments In Modern Doctor Who

The Doctor's greatest enemy will ALWAYS be budget constraints.

Doctor Who The Lazarus Experiment
BBC

For all the amazing, wonderful energy that Doctor Who puts out into the world, it's not a perfect show, something that even the most hardcore Whovian will probably admit.

Sometimes it's a bit too complicated, sometimes it's a bit too silly, and sometimes, the acting leaves a lot to be desired. But the king of all these flaws - the one weak point that stretches back to the very origins of the show - is its special effects.

From that ridiculous giant rat in The Talons of Weng-Chiang to the Wirrn from Ark in Space, Doctor Who has been struggling to depict its fantastical sci-fi worlds and crazy alien creatures for the past 57 years, and when the show started to heavily incorporate CGI in its 2005 revival, the BBC's purse-strings didn't suddenly get a lot looser.

So while there have been some fantastic special effects in this modern era of Doctor Who, there have definitely been more naff ones than good ones. In fact, you could probably choose any episode at random to find a couple of examples of rough CGI.

But rather than rambling on for hundreds of entries, let's be a bit more selective, shall we? Here are some of the worst offenders: the dodgiest CGI we've seen since Doctor Who returned to our screens in 2005.

10. The Cybermen And The Burning Sky (Death In Heaven)

Doctor Who The Lazarus Experiment
BBC

While the Capaldi era certainly had some of the better CGI we've seen in modern Doctor Who, it still wasn't perfect, and one bad example that sticks in the mind is this climactic scene from Series 8 finale Death in Heaven.

At the end of the episode, the doomed Danny Pink gives a rousing speech and leads the rest of the Cybermen high into the sky, killing themselves in order to burn up the dark clouds and save the day.

There are two offending shots here: the first is the wide shot of all the Cybermen taking off from the graveyard, and the second is the shot of the Doctor, Missy and Clara stood beneath the burning sky.

For the former, the Cybermen look a little too rigid and flat - like 2D images that have been hastily keyframed in - and the smoke beneath their feet looks ridiculously cheap, like a basic chroma key effect found on YouTube. And for the latter, the three actors are clearly reacting to nothing, while the sky itself is far too bright and lacks texture.

Doctor Who Death in Heaven Clara Missy
BBC

The scene looks much worse in motion than it does in still images, absolutely, but it stands out as a bad effect because this is the big "saving humanity" climax from the finale, and thus, it's one of the most important moments of the series.

And it's hard to really feel that importance when you can tell you're staring at a load of green screen and pixels.

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Writer and video editor WhatCulture/WhoCulture. Bought a 4K copy of The Martian in 2016 and still haven't watched it.