The Earth is a big place populated by all creatures great and small. I recently spent time reviewing The Blu in VR and saw some of those creatures! Whales and jelly fish, turtles and squid. Awe-inspiring. There are birds and rodents and pets… my home alone is shared by a nutty cat, unwelcome spiders, rude crickets, and the most bizarre lifeform on earth: teenagers. This is a species that listens to sounds they call music and likes to wear their hair at odd angles that make Euclid cry! The point is, we share the planet with a lot of other beings!
After the events of The Witchfinders, it dawned on me that it was time to take a look back through the long history of Doctor Who, to see just how many other races share the earth with us. For the record, I am focusing on the distant past to the modern era; I am not looking into the “future”.
Surprisingly, during the Hartnell era, there is no alien presence revealed as cohabitants. This trend does not start until Patrick Troughton’s The Underwater Menace. Polly believes it to be the modern era and it is apparent that sea people live here with us. Perhaps localized only to Professor Zaroff’s little Atlantean hideout, but we do see them roaming about in the sea. In The Abominable Snowmen, we discover that real Yeti exist in the Himalayan mountains along with robotic ones controlled by the Great Intelligence. While the Great Intelligence may fall firmly into the realm of invasion, the Yeti remain peaceful neighbors. By Fury from the Deep, however, we discover the Atlanteans are not the only creatures in the sea. Bear in mind that none of these creatures are killed off. The seaweed retreats but presumably it’s still down there somewhere. Watch out…
Jon Pertwee’s era brings us more fellow residents. In Doctor Who and the Silurians, we are introduced to our favorite reptiles, the Silurians. By The Sea Devils, we discover the Silurians have cousins who live in the sea, perhaps training their pet Myrka and breeding seaweed. Azal and The Daemons have been here for a long time, trapped underground, until some archaeologists rouse them. Does Azal mind having Silurians, Sea Devils, seaweed, Yeti, and Atlanteans on this planet too or is he just irritated by us? It was only a surprise when dinosaurs turned up in the modern era in Invasion of the Dinosaurs, because we knew they existed, we just didn’t expect them showing up for dinner now. Azal was the only one kicked off the planet, all of the others are still here.
You’d think with Tom Baker’s Doctor being more of a universal wanderer, Earth would get a break, but that was not to be! The Seeds of Doom showed us that at least two seed pods were frozen in the arctic and Terror of the Zygons is all about a race that had been living under Loch Ness for a long time, as one does. Sutekh seems to have agents here on earth since ancient Egyptian times in Pyramids of Mars when robotic mummies were all the rage! Sutekh can lend us a hand (he has an extra one, after all) in determining if it’s alright to charge rent to Eldrad? I mean, s/he was just a Hand of Fear for several million years so maybe she gets a discount? Same applies to the skull featured in Image of the Fendahl, but it was linked to an intelligent entity, so again… where’s the rent?? The Talons of Weng-Chiang introduces us to a maniac time traveler living in 1880’s London with his sentient, pig-brained puppet. (Goodness, you’d almost think this was a political commentary!) And The Stones of Blood introduced another race that had been on Earth, the Ogri, probably influencing our love of Rock and Roll for all time. (I wish I hadn’t already used the “pillars of the community” joke!) Scarlioni’s angle doesn’t fit in with Euclidean geometry any more than teenagers hair in The City of Death, which shows us that a Jagaroth has been here since the very start of life on earth. And how long has Professor Chronotis lived in Cambridge in Shada? You’d think Time Lords would have better places to go, but I’ve said it before, Earth is Time Lord for “Florida Retirement Home”. On the plus side, every one of these had been evicted, although the Zygons will come back later and take up permanent residence! (There’s a good chance that I work with one!)
Ironically Peter Davison’s era doesn’t add much more than an old Malus to our list of tax evading aliens in The Awakening. Made sick and evicted!
Timelash sends the Borad to Scotland where he will be mistaken for the Loch Ness Monster because he’s shaped exactly the way a Plesiosaur isn’t. Far as we know, he’s still there.
McCoy’s Doctor continues the list of non-tax paying resident aliens: Josiah Smith seems to have an entire entourage living with him in a mansion in Perivale in Ghostlight. How do we even begin get our back taxes from them? And The Curse of Fenric shows us that a vase has been left on earth (because, why not?) containing the greatest evil ever conceived. This also creates another batch of sea creatures that look a bit like the love children of the undead and Cthulhu. Luckily, they were all defeated. Ace burned down the house of the Smith family, just for good measure, and Fenric was killed by Cthulhu’s nephew. All in all, we made out alright from this batch, but it was a narrow squeak!
Thankfully, neither Paul McGann’s nor Christopher Eccleston’s Doctors revealed any other horrors on earth. It wasn’t until David Tennent took over that we discovered that at the formation of the planet earth, in the very heart of it all, is a ship full of spiders in The Runaway Bride. And we can’t be sure how long the witches were living in Shakespearean London during The Shakespeare Code but this may constitute an invasion, more than cohabitation; we simply don’t know. The same can be said of the Pyrovile of Pompeii in 79 AD during The Fires of Pompeii. All evicted, but the damned Racnoss left plenty of offspring for me to contend with!
Matt Smith’s Doctor reintroduced The Silurians in Cold Earth, so we know they are still here, in hibernation. Did they find the Racnoss ship, or were these guys too close to the UK, while the Racnoss ship was more central to the core? The Silence have been here on earth forever, influencing mankind and teaching us how to dress for business meetings in The Impossible Astronaut. While they did get the boot, they were here for a long time, and probably owe us quite a bit in back taxes. And how long was the Siren here, trapped in becalmed waters in Curse of the Black Spot? She’s gone, though I could have used her help shaking this cold! Speaking of the cold, there’s at least one frozen Ice Warrior on earth during Cold War. He gets an Ice Uber ride back home shortly after thawing. Should the witch of the well pay rent when the ghost was actually stuck in a pocket universe in Hide? I can let that slide, I guess. On the other hand, the red leech of The Crimson Horror was a lifeform that existed since the time of the Silurians; we just got lucky that we never encountered one before the 1800’s. Lastly, the Zygons return to sign a lease with humanity, and they are going to be here for the long-term as we learn during Peter Capaldi’s era. (I think the signing of a lease means they will be paying taxes, so they are welcome to stay!)
Along with Zygons, there’s at least a race we don’t know about that can hide like a pro in Listen. They seem to be here for a long time but when did they arrive? Maybe that was just one of the Silence, come to think of it? Dream Crabs live up at the north pole right by Santa’s workshop in Last Christmas. The Harry Potter equivalent of Mos Eisley exists in London as a trap street; who knows how long they’ve been taking up residence in Face the Raven. And in Thin Ice we find a sea creature that poops out explosive bricks. (Yup, I really wrote that!) Wood lice have been a real problem in England in Knock, Knock until they destroy themselves out of kindness. In The Eater of Light, there’s evidence of some sort of presence “living” beneath a hill, playing Celtic music! If only these “teenagers” would choose some good Celtic music instead of that… stuff…
That brings us to Jodie Whittaker’s time in the TARDIS. So far, the only thing we’ve seen is a tree-prison for mud creatures in The Witchfinders. You know, tree prisons that can be broken up and used as weapons? Yeah, that kind of tree prison. Duh!? But on New Years day, we will learn about one more, trapped here since the 9th century. I can’t wait to see what that’s all about…
But for now, here’s the list of beings we still live with, whether we like it or not…
- Atlanteans in an undisclosed location out at sea.
- Yeti in Tibet.
- Seaweed somewhere off the coast of England.
- Silurians somewhere underground near England and Wales, at least.
- Sea Devils somewhere off the coast of England.
- Zygons living throughout the world, in secrecy, because people don’t like suckers
- The Borad, retired, but living in Scotland.
- An unknown race of perfect camouflage creatures living possibly everywhere, not unlike spiders. Possibly the offspring of a Silence and a Weeping Angel…
- A giant explosive-poop sea creature, after having moved out from the Thames it could be anywhere.
At least now you know that those things going bump in the night, while they could be Santa Claus, they might also be any number of creatures with whom we share this little blue-green marble. Happy holidays! ML