Genres and Villains
There are three basic styles of Dr. Who stories: science fiction,
fantasy and horror. Each can be identified by the sort of villain
that opposes the doctor.
Science fiction is a more scientific, futuristic story in which the
villains are smooth, metallic creatures from different planets. Their
existence is explained in more or less scientific terms.
A type of this villain is the Daleks, glittering pepper-pot-shaped
villains capable of moving any direction, mindlessly shouting
"Exterminate! Exterminate!" in a mechanical voice and carrying
out their own commands.
Fantasy is more the realm of superstitious, primitive magicians.
No attempt is made to explain their existence or powers.
The villains most closely connected to this genre are the beautiful
but deadly weeping angels.
They look like medieval statues of angels, and are incapable of
moving so long as you are looking at them. However, they move
instantly closer if you blink. Just try watching without blinking.
Horror can be anything from monsters, like the tetrap (below), a
bestial humanoid resembling a bat, to the seemingly normal British
street that is only slightly off. In fact, a scene in which a
companion is walking in the dark and starts around a corner to the
tune of menacing background music can be more horrifying than
even the most monstrous creature. Horror imagined always seems
worse than horror displayed.
Neil Gaiman, award-winning novelist and occasional writer of Dr.
Who episodes, once characterized the series as “lurching from
genre to genre in a way that is considered very messy in literature,
but perfectly O.K. in real life.” But whatever the genre or style,
Dr. Who is always science fiction, and there is a rational
explanation (in science fiction terms) for events that seem like
magic or pure horror.
Daleks (above) and Weeping Angels
(left) are among the villains the