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Top 5 Doctor Who Villains

Updated on March 19, 2009
The Daleks
The Daleks

A lot of you are more than likely aware that Doctor Who has a vastly rich universe, featuring some of the most imaginative villains.

This article is a hope to give a very biased view on the Top 5 Doctor Who Villains of All Time.

No. 5 - The Sea Devils

At number 5, in our Top 5 Doctor Who Villains, are the Sea Devils. First appearing under the reign of the charming and suave 3rd Doctor (Jon Pertwee), the Sea Devils were an instant classic villain.

These creatures only appeared twice in the classic series, and have not appeared at all in the new series (yet!) but I am sure they will see a return one day.

The Sea Devils were a race of sea dwelling amphibious reptiles that ruled the seas during prehistoric times.

The Doctor first defeated them while working for U.N.I.T during his time exiled to Earth. The Sea Devils had returned to the surface, hoping to rid Earth of the primitive humans, to once again claim their ruling over the oceans.

The second time the Doctor encountered them, they were working with the Silurians (who ruled the Earth in prehistoric times) to attack a naval base and again attempt to reclaim their planet.

The Sea Devils, in some ways are a very mysterious race, as we learn very little about them during their time on screen. They are long overdue a return, perhaps Steven Moffat, the new producer of the new Doctor Who series will have a go at fleshing them out in a future episode.

No. 4 - The Sontarans

The Sontarans are a war like race that first made their appearance again in Jon Pertwee's era in the episode The Time Warrior.

They make it into number 4 in our Top 5 Doctor Who Villains despite their two dimensional portrayals on screen.

The Sontarans are (during most of the Doctor's lifetime) at war against a mysterious race called The Rutans. The Doctor usually encounters the Sontarans while they are trying to exploit humans in some way to learn more about war.

Six Doctors in total have met or fought the Sontarans in the television series. The third Doctor encountered them first, having already heard of them in some previous unrecorded adventure.

The Sontarans make it into this Top 5 Doctor Who Villains because they always get the Doctor doing what he does best - taking the higher moral ground.

No. 3 - The Cybermen

Number 3 in our Top 5 Doctor Who Villains are the "emotionless" Cybermen.

They made their first iconic appearance during a time of major change in Doctor Who. Their first appearance marked the last appearance for the first Doctor - William Hartnell.

It was during the Doctors first battle with the Cybermen that the adventures in the TARDIS was starting to really take its toll on the Doctor and he was forced to regenerate for the first time.

The Cybermen were originally from Earth's "twin planet" that had drifted out of our solar system many years ago. The inhabitants of this planet - called Mondas - were similar to humans in many ways, except they were far more advanced than us humans by having the ability to replace limbs and body parts with cybernetic improvements as and when they got too weak or damaged.

Eventually the people of Mondas became so dependant on these cybernetic changes, that they ended up replacing every part of themselves with a full cybernetic body, thus the Cybermen were born.

Over time, these Mondasian's removed all weaknesses from their thought, eradicating all emotions. After remove all emotion, they focused on only one thing - survival.

Unfortunately, over time the producers and writers of Doctor Who all had their own ideas of how to improve or update the Cybermen, and because of that at times they seem very emotional, a good example being in the story Revenge of the Cybermen. In that story, they are portrayed again as emotionless robots but they seem more bent on the emotional response of revenge than perhaps we should be comfortable with!

The Cybermen make it to number 3 in the Top 5 Doctor Who Villains because they will always offer excitement and high sense of wonder to any child that watches them.

No. 2 - The Daleks

The Daleks, number 2 in our Top 5 Doctor Who Villains line up, really need no introduction.

They have been major icons in the United Kingdom ever since their first appearance in 1963. The little black pepper-pots were a major success for their creator Terry Nation and also a wonderful achievement as the first ever monster featured on Doctor Who.

Doctor Who was originally intended to be a strictly educational TV show, so to include such science fiction elements was seen by some as a huge departure from the original shows remit.

Thankfully, for fans of the show, the Daleks were a great sign of how wondrous the worlds of Doctor Who can be.

The Daleks were unique because it was less obvious that they were just people in costumes. There were a lot of humanoid races in Doctor Who throughout the shows runs and The Daleks are one of the few races that don't look like weird humans.

This was a key factor in their success, and also, as people grew tired of them, in their downfall. Plenty of jokes would surface about the fact that the way to best a Dalek is by running up a flight of stairs. Of course this was addressed in later episodes of the show when they gained the ability to "hover" up staircases in dramatic cliffhanger inducing style.

The Daleks have appeared in numerous episodes of Doctor Who. There have been some outstanding episodes, and some poor episodes.

One of their notably best appearances comes from the new series, in the episode simply titled Dalek. In this episode, the Daleks are returned to their former glory of being all powerful and a major threat to the human race. Utilising Christopher Eccleston's excellent acting ability, the episode hypes up the possibility of one lone Dalek being as big a threat to the human race as any full scale invasion.

Although again falling into the "joke" category, due to their constant disappearing-reappearing acts in the recent new series, the Daleks remain one of the most iconic and instantly recognisable Doctor Who villain.

No. 1 - The Weeping Angels

Straight in at number 1 of the Top 5 Doctor Who Villains are the subtle yet very scary Weeping Angels. The Weeping Angels are unique on this list for having only ever appeared in one episode - Blink.

The Weeping Angels, at first glance, are your simple common or garden angel statue. What makes them so scary, is the way in which they "get you". When they attack, they only move when you are not looking at them. This is how the episode gets its name. If you blink, they'll move closer to you.

This gimmick creates amazing tension and really makes them the stand out number 1 Doctor Who Villain of all time.

Let me know...

Let me know your Top 5 Doctor Who Villains. Where has this list gone wrong? Did I make a huge mistake in not including the Doctor's arch nemesis The Master? Feel free to leave a comment with your top 5.


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    • profile image

      4 years ago






    • profile image

      Rodney 6 years ago

      5. The Silence. Easy concept... don't turn around, or you'll forget.

      4. The Gas mask Zombies. Four words, "Are you my Mummy." That sends chills down my spine... but can be defeated, by asking it to go to it's room?

      3. Cybermen. They are like the most humaine fascists out there, they turn you into them, that and their cool looking in the 2005 reboot.

      2. Weeping Angels. I was thinking of putting Cybermen at #2 but, the weeping angels both look cool and threatning at the same time, that and their like the Silence... just deadlier.

      1. Dalek. How could I not put these guys on here? They killed the time lords for god sakes. They keep dying... but coming back to finish what they started... Exterminate everything in the universe!

    • profile image

      Kayla 6 years ago

      Ok so

      5. Daleks

      4. Cybermen

      3. Weeping Angels

      2. Vashta Nerada

      1. Come on, seriously, it's obviously The Master! I mean he's horrible and incredibly sexy at the same time. Let's be honest, there's just something about his character.

    • profile image

      Shivi 6 years ago

      we're forgetting the Silence!It almost killed him! =O

    • profile image

      braixlord 6 years ago

      Of course now we have to rearrange the whole list with the newer seasons but i'll give my top list:

      10. Toclafane

      9. Rassilon

      8. Slitheen (scared the hell out me as a kid)

      7. The Beast

      6. Davros

      5. The Midnight Beast

      4. The Weeping Angels

      3. The Daleks

      2. The Silence

      1. The Master (everything the Doctor could have become)

    • profile image

      Harry Potter and the Doctor's Amigo  7 years ago

      5. The Empty Child: the whole concept is creepy three words: Are you my mummy?

      4. The Master: Timelord, physcotic, takes over the world several times. Quite Scary, really

      3. The Weeping Angels: They're everywhere every city turn your back and your dead. As the Doc would say "Don't even blink

      2. Cybermen: They just are, know what I mean? Hack the military, turn the worlds stuff against us while we're all under the threat of being deleted

      1. Daleks: in the word of that guy off the potato chip ad, the original and the best

    • profile image

      surlyoldcat 7 years ago

      Very well done, chum. I might disagree with a couple of points you made, I think you did very well for yourself. Also, when you get the tip, the Weeping Angels have appeared again in Series 5. Talk about a heart stopper!

      Also, just to act an ass here, I am surprised there haven't been any detractors complaining about you racially profiling the villainous fiends in your list. Seriusly! They way people are nowadays, any opportunity to have a row is rarely missed. Heh.

      Anyway, excellent hub. Keep them coming.

    • profile image

      zshuler 7 years ago

      Don't forget some classic monsters such as morbius, taren capel (the mad scientist from robots of death), the krynoid, sutekth (from pyramids of mars), the zygons (i remember watching them as a child- really scary), magnus greel and mr. sin, sharaz jek... and i am sooo tired of the daleks. can we please have a season without them? we need the ice warriors back! autons are good too.

      SO here is my top 5 without the big 2 of the daleks and cybermen:

      5. morbius

      4. mr. sin/magnus greel

      3. sutek (misspelled)

      2. zygons

      1. ice warriors

      I really can't say that the new series has a classic monster worth mentioning although the weeping angels are very good. I do have to say that the series is much better than the 80's thankfully!

    • profile image

      martino 8 years ago

      5 - Sontarans (though the aren't written as well for the new series as the old..particularly with them doing the Sontar Haka).

      4 - Weeping angels

      3 - The old Cybermen. The new Cybermen are naff.

      2 - The Master. Just plane evil, he is the Docotr's Moriarty

      1 - Daleks...c'mon, mechanical evil icons, the Daleks are not just a Dr Who Icon, but a general Pop icon.

    • profile image

      Predator2010 8 years ago

      Top Five

      5: The Cybermen

      4: The Weeping Angels

      3: The Daleks

      2: The Master

      1: The Silurians

    • profile image

      paulster 8 years ago

      I was gonna do 5, but I had to do 11

      Honarable mention: Casandra

      11; Empress of Racnoss

      10: Krillitane


      8: Weeping angels/heavenly host

      7: John Lumic

      6: Slitheen: People say their just stupid and rude, but they're very evil.Hello, me cut you open, me steal your body, me rule

      5: Sontaran: Potaeto heads. Nothing more really.

      4: Davros: "I created the daleks, but they do all the work now, it's lame."

      3: The master: I really wanted him number 2, but I decided the cybermen were better

      2: Extremely cool.

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      doctor dan 8 years ago

      this is my list of the best:

      5. sontarans (brutal killers, cool catchphrase)

      4. the master (bloody psycho)

      3. weeping angels (scraded the hell outa me)

      2. the cybermen (thry're awsome

      1. the daleks (they just the kings)

    • profile image

      Hercule Cam 8 years ago

      1) Slitheen! They're just so awsome!

      2) Abzorbaloff! This episode had me laughing out loud, I just had include it on this list, so ridcuous!

      3) The Empty Child- First watch of this episode really freaked me out! Such an awesome concept.

      2) The Vashta Nerada! They are also a pretty good concept, similar to weeping angels.

      1) The Weeping Angels! I completely agree with the person that wrote this list, weeping angel are so awesome! And the best thing is, they're in series 5 which is coming really soon! Looking forward to it!

      Who agrees that my top 5 are the best! I do, cause they are!

    • profile image

      mksilver 8 years ago

      Great list and mine goes:

      5 Slitheen (after all, they blend in rather well apart from their gas exchanging!)

      4 Judoon (may not totally be villians but deadly none the less)

      3 Sontarans (a million cloned in four minutes...Yikes!)

      2 Cybermen (you just can't beat them)

      1 Daleks (they may be around all the time, but I can't get enough of them! Plus they have Davros)

    • profile image

      alli 8 years ago

      I think you should've had the master on there instead of the Seas devils, so my list is something like:

      5. Sontarans

      4. Cybermen

      3. Daleks

      2. The Master

      1. The Weeping Angels

    • profile image

      Matt 8 years ago

      5. Empty child

      4. Weeping Angels

      3. Kandyman

      2. Daleks

      1. Davros

    • Teresa McGurk profile image

      Sheila 8 years ago from The Other Bangor

      The Daleks used to scare me silly (I was about four years old at the time) -- that is, until the Cybermen came along. I haven't seen the Weeping Angels -- you make me want to watch all the episodes I've missed! Thank you for reminding me of how much I enjoyed this show.

    • AMDugan profile image

      AMDugan 8 years ago from Erie, Pennsylvania

      I'm relatively new to the Dr. Who universe, started with Christopher Eccleston, but I have to agree, the Weeping Angels freaked me out. Even more freaky was the montage of statues and gargoyles that came at the end. Scary.

    • profile image

      Steve 9 years ago

      Well, the Master's more of a villain than a monster, which is a different list, so you did fine!

      To narrow it down to five? That's a tall order! Lemmie see. . .

      5. Sontarans,

      4. Ogri,

      3. Axons

      2. Daleks,

      1. Cybermen. Always number one in my book. "Earthshock" is my all time favorite. Even if they did show a bit more emotion than they're supposed to have, the Cyber leader, as played by David Banks, is one of the greatest villains ever, a spokesman for all the dehumanizing forces in society. Still sends chills down my spine.

    • profile image

      liam 9 years ago

      yes u did make a mistake leavin the master out and the weepin angels might be the scariest but that doesn't make them the best.


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