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Top Ten Scariest ‘Doctor Who’ Antagonists

Written By: Andrew Kennedy

I love horror as much as the next guy, but sci fi and fantasy are really my wheelhouse. However these three genres go hand in hand quite often, especially when it comes to ‘Doctor Who’. I was originally going to call this the scariest villains of ‘Doctor Who’, but of course with us nerds that sparked a huge semantical debate between me and my friends on what classifies a “villain.” Does a villain need to have some sinister plot, or is a villain purely someone who does evil things? Evil is subjective, so I will present you with antagonists and you can decide for yourself if they are villains. Perhaps not all of them are in the strictest definition of the word…looking at you, weeping angels.

10. The Weeping Angels:

Number of episodes: 7
First appearance: Series 3 Episode 10 “Blink” (2007)
Last appearance: Series 9 Episode 12 “Hell Bent” (2015)

What makes these creatures special? They look like statues, and when they are being observed they become what is called time locked and they can’t move…but if you look away or “blink”{‘Doctor Who’ fans will get that joke}, they move extremely fast and with one touch ZAP! Back in the past for you, and you have one fat dumb and happy angel. They are called the weeping angels because they cover their eyes as to not look at each other and permanently time lock each other.

I know, I know–why so low on the list? Well I will explain. As I stated above, these creatures are not inherently evil. They are doing what they do to survive. Also these creatures do not kill you; they simply transport you back in time and feed off the potential of what your life would have had if you live the rest of your life out in another part of time. It’s never even stated that it hurts. Sure, emotionally it probably does, losing all the people in your life that you care about, but we humans are a sturdy race we will form new relationships in our lives.

notable angels


The Statue of Liberty



angel bob

9. Werewolves

Number of Episodes: 3
First appearance: Season 25 Serial 4 “The Greatest Show in the Galaxy” (1989)
Last appearance: Series 3 Episode 8 “Human Nature” (2007)

The werewolf, an iconic horror movie monster, made its way into ‘Doctor Who’ starting in 1989 with Sylvester McCoy’s rendition of the doctor. Mags is a young girl who was secretly a werewolf and afraid of her transformation. Yes, I know Mags was not a villain, but I cannot talk about werewolves in ‘Doctor Who’ without mentioning her.


However, the next werewolf to make an appearance is definitely menacing in David Tennant’s rendition of the doctor. He and his companion Rose land in Scotland during 1879, running into Queen Victoria. She is on her way to Balmoral castle but is stopping for the night at Torchwood Estate because of a fallen tree blocking the road to her train. Which is all part of an assassination attempt by a group of monks. when they arrive at the estate we see that the owner of the estate is in distress; we later find out that the monks had planned on the queen stopping at the estate and they brought her a friend to play with: “The Host,” a creature form another world who when exposed to moonlight turns into a giant wolf. The Doctor and company are chased around the estate, barely avoiding death until they are in the estate’s observatory. The Doctor uses the queen’s diamond to supercharge the moonlight into a beam that will kill the wolf, pointing out that even water is lethal in large amounts to humans. At the end of the episode it is heavily implied that the queen was bitten and is a werewolf herself now (though it’s not confirmed).

notable werewolves





The Host



8. Cybermen

Number of episodes: 26
First appearance: Season 4 Serial 2 “The Tenth Planet” (1966)
Last appearance: Series 10 Episode 12 “The Doctor Falls” 2017

Ahh the Cybermen: science fiction at its best! If you ever wanted to strive for perfection, strive no longer–the Cybermen can help you with that! All that it requires is a few “minor upgrades.” One thing that makes the human race absolutely fantastic is that we are all very different people with different personalities and emotions. When you take those away we are nothing, and that’s a terrifying thought. The Cybermen want to do just that; they see emotion as a weakness and expect everything to be perfect in their image and will stop at nothing to do that. The Cybermen are one of the Doctor’s most iconic nemeses and for good reason. They don’t look particularly scary, but consider that when you see one quite often it is actually a human who has lost all humanity. They are very powerful beings that can easily outnumber you and swarm you to accomplish their end goal; it is best to avoid them!

7. The Silence

Number of episodes: 8
First appearance: Series 6 Episode 1 “The Impossible Astronaut” (2011)
Last appearance: Christmas Special “The Time of the Doctor” (2013)

Ever walk into a room and cannot for the life of you remember why you went in there? Most people think it’s because of old age or perhaps tiredness, but in the ‘Doctor Who’ universe it is something much more sinister: I give you The Silence.


Creepy looking, I know! The Silence is an organization created to stop the prophecy of the question. There is a prophecy that the Time Lords, who were locked away in another dimension, would ask through cracks in time Doctor Who? In response the Doctor would give his name, and that would be the signal for the Time Lords to return to that dimension. It is believed that if that happened the great time war would begin anew and many would die. The Silence stops at nothing to stop this from happening. They work in secret to stop it so the Doctor does not do anything to get in their way. They have the ability to make people forget that The Silence has been seen. They’re low on the list because although scary, they aren’t lethal and don’t wish people harm.

notable members of the silence
mealody pond aka River song


melody pond AKA River Song






6. The Beast

Number of episodes: 2
First appearance: Series 2 Episode 8 “The Impossible Planet” (2006)
Last appearance: Series 2 Episode 9 “The Satan Pit” (2006)

David Tennant’s version of the Doctor and Rose land the Tardis on a very unusual planet–the doctor is dumbfounded. It shouldn’t exist because a planet orbiting a black hole in perfect orbit without falling in is impossible. There are some human researchers along with their Ood slaves, while inside the base there is a massive earthquake that collapses the tunnel that the Tardis is in. While being stuck, the Doctor decides to spend his time figuring out what this planet is and why it is so special. The Ood start to act very strange and say things like “He is awake” and “You will die here.” The scientists are drilling towards the center of the planet, where they see a reading of a very strong power source. After the drill stops signaling the end of the tunnel the doctor descends it and finds a very frightening foe: the devil himself! Nothing more frightening than that, right? Though the CGI is somewhat poor, the story that takes place over this two episode span is very eerie and has many horror elements. This one is a definite must-watch.

notable beasts


the devil must really say more?



5. The Vashta Nerada

Number of episodes: 2
First appearance: Series 4 Episode 8 “Silence in the Library” (2008)
Last appearance: Series 4 Episode 9 “Forest of the Dead” (2008)

We’ve made it to the top 5, the scariest of the scary! The Vashta Nerada only appeared in two episodes, but when it did it made every fan tremble in their shoes and look at their shadows. Why, you may ask? Well, shadows are exactly what they are when they colonize. If you look down and have more shadows then you should, chances are that you’re about to be devoured by tiny shadow creatures the equivalent of tiny piranhas. To me the scariest creatures are the ones that you can’t see; one minute you’re fine and happy, the next you’re dead and there is nothing anyone can do about it. This is another one on the list that is not a villain in the strictest definition of the word since killing is not what they do as a sinister plot but more as a survival instinct, but they’re terrifying nonetheless…who turned out the lights?!

4. The Empty Child

Number of episodes: 2
First appearance: Series 1 Episode 9 “The Empty Child” (2005)
Last appearance: Series 1 episode 10 “The Doctor Dances” (2005)

“Are you my mummy?” Words that still send shivers down my spine since the first time I heard them. This is an absolutely horrifying and brilliant creature. While chasing an object heading towards Earth, Rose and the Doctor land in London 1941 during the Blitz. Not knowing what time he is in he asks people in a pub if they have seen anything falling from the skies, which brings lots of laughter. After the doctor leaves the pub he hears his phone on the Tardis ring, which is strange since it is not connected to anything. He starts to answer it when a girl named Nancy stops him, telling him it is not for him. The Doctor promptly ignores her, giving us the first time we hear the words “Are you my mummy?” The Doctor is very confused and starts to venture around the city looking for clues to the object he was chasing, all while looking for Rose, who ran off in search of a boy calling out for his mother! Take a guess who that is. Sirens go off, warning citizens to retreat into bomb shelters, at which point the doctor sees Nancy go into a house. We learn that Nancy is feeding the neighborhood homeless children with food from the people hiding in the bomb shelters. A boy knocks at the door, which scares Nancy; she tells the kids to run. The Doctor asks her why she is keeping the boy out, and she tells him that he is evil and is hurting people and that the doctor should run. Later the Doctor meets an actual doctor that has many people lying in beds with gas masks on their faces. The Doctor examines them and notices that the masks are fused onto their faces and they all have the same marking on their hands as the boy. Suddenly the Doctor sees the other doctor sprout a gas mask and asks if he is his mummy. It turns out if you are even touched by the boy or people that he touched you turn into something similar. We find out by the end of the 2-part episode that Nancy is older than it appears, and the boy is in fact her son who died from a bomb dropping on him. What the doctor was chasing was a medical ship carrying organisms used to heal, which went to the boy and tried to heal him. Since they had never seen a human they did the best they could but were confused about human biology. Since he was wearing a gas mask they thought this was a normal feature for us, so they move from person to person, healing them. Nancy goes up to the boy and tells him she is his mummy and hugs him, at which point the organisms work out the true form of humans and heal all the people that were transformed. A fantastic episode, by far one of my favorites.

3. The Daleks

Number of episodes: 47
First appearance: Season 1 Serial 2 “The Daleks” (1963)
Last appearance: Series 10 Episode 8 “The Lie of the Land” (2017)

“Exterminate! Exterminate!” Iconic words in an iconic mechanical voice for an iconic enemy of the Doctor. This is a race of genetically engineered warriors whose sole purpose was to take over the universe. They are referred to by the Doctor as his worst enemy and likewise him by the Daleks. The Time Lords fought the Daleks during the great time war, and since then the Daleks have been trying to fight the Doctor at every step of his journey. Believing that he wiped all the Daleks out, the Doctor has been surprised by their recursion. These mutants, much like the Cybermen, have had all emotion except hate bred out of them. They were created by an evil man named Davros who originally created them to end a war on his home world, ultimately ending both races involved. What makes these creatures so scary other than their hellbent need for destruction? How about their force shield that makes them nearly invincible to projectiles? Or their suit of armor made out of a metal that is nearly impenetrable? If that’s not enough for you, they have a laser beam that can kill in a single shot anywhere on the body? This is one to be feared.

notable daleks


download (1)




Emperor Dalek



The Cult of Skaro



2. The Master

Number of episodes: 40
First appearance: Season 8 Serial 1 “Terror of the Autons” (1971)
Last appearance: Series 10 Episode 12 “The Doctor Falls” (2017)


The Master is a Time Lord just like the Doctor. He used to actually be close friends of the Doctor when they were in the academy together. However, his desire for power eventually led him to want to kill the Doctor. The Master is extremely smart and resourceful which is what makes him so terrifying. He will stop at nothing to get his end goal of power, even working with the Daleks,who tried to wipe out his entire race. The fact that he can regenerate himself like all other Time Lords means that he is never truly dead, making him an ever looming threat. The Master is the Doctor’s archenemy, and he deserves the title!

1. The Doctor

Number of episodes: 839
First appearance: Season 1 Episode 1 “An Unearthly Child” (1963)
Last appearance: Series 10 Episode 12 “The Doctor Falls” (2017)


I know, I know,he’s the hero! you say, but wait before you start looking around for the nearest pointy object to stab me in the eye with, let’s take a look at our so called hero. Here is a man who is so full of himself that he is a classic megalomaniac. He believes he actually committed genocide by killing the entire Dalek race and locked away the Time Lords in another dimension, and he shows very very little remorse for those actions. He constantly brings normal humans along on his wild adventures even though he is fully aware how dangerous it is to open their eyes up to a greater universe for them. This is a man who is so dangerous that even the Daleks are afraid of him, a race that I stated earlier has had all emotion wiped out of their gene pool. They refer to him as “the oncoming storm” or “the predator.” The only time we have seen the Doctor feel actual regret was when it revolved around him. He has no regard for the lives around him even if he does feign that he does. Not to mention that he’s a thief; the Tardis that he is so fond of isn’t even his–he stole it and fled from his homeworld and has been on the run with it since. I submit that our hero is not so heroic after all.

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