Six Smart Women Discussing Doctor Who

VerityEpisode48-210Welcome to an aesthetically-oriented episode of Verity! Join Deb, Erika, Katrina, and Lynne as we take a look at monsters/aliens/villains from a design perspective. Which baddies look great? Which don’t? Does a fleshed-out back story that dovetails with the design help or hinder? And of course, we save time for our most (and least!) favorites! It’s a fascinating discussion that almost breaks Deb at one point–not every DW design choice was a wise one. Sometimes a cape in and of itself *is* the superhero.

What do you think of monster design? Do you have favorites or ones you think work well? Poorly? Let us know in the comments!


Also covered:

Bonus links:
Doctor Who Monsters and Aliens (w/pictures!)
Watsonian vs Doylist perspectives on fiction
A bear walking upright

Download or listen now (runtime 1:17:14) 

Comments on: "Verity! Episode 48 – Designing Monsters" (17)

  1. One of the things I enjoy about watching classic DW on DVD is the making-of special features. The Myrka becomes 186% more charming when you know how much agony went into that poor lumbering beast.

  2. James C said:

    Good episode!

    I enjoyed the happy things segment this week (Whopy things?) and thought I’d share a couple:

    1. Wandering along the shore of Sydney Harbour the other day and seeing the TARDIS waiting for Peter and Jenna to appear.

    2. Listening to this radio interview with the pair of them. It’s a good interview in its own right, but what happens at the end (at 14:30) sets it apart from all the other bits of media on this tour. Listen! No spoilers.

  3. I noticed that you mentioned The Beast from The Satan Pit a couple of times. The piece of design that really freaks me out from that two parter? Toby covered in mysterious writing and with red eyes.

    It must be the painted person thing that Erika mentioned. 😉

  4. I am sad none of you mentioned the original Cybermen from Tenth Planet or Tomb of the Cybermen. I think the design and concept are very scary and effective. (An opinion I was pleased to learn is shared by Mr. Capaldi.)

    I am very glad that the Gatiss/Lazarus creature from The Lazurus Experiment was mentioned as an example of relative poor execution. Whenever I hear someone say “bad CGI” that creature involuntarily pops into my head.

    I’ve not piped in on these forums much lately, but I still listen eagerly. Verity! is one of the highlights of my week. I have my ticket to the cinema screening on the 25th, and it’s burning a hole in my pocket. I am very excited to see it, and I look forward to hearing your reactions to it in episode 49.

    Thanks for all you do!

  5. Korina said:

    (Yay, it’s not a week after everyone else has left the party!)

    I am shocked, SHOCKED, that none of anyone of you mentioned the Gooey Master! He’s as villainous (and craycray) as they come, and waiting for those bulging eyeballs to fall out of that rotting face gives me the willies.

  6. I love this topic. At the outset, Doctor Who requires a willing suspension of disbelief. Certainly, some classic episodes test this suspension more than others. But I think that’s the fun of Doctor Who. It requires an imagination. I use classic Who as a litmus test. If you can’t get past the wobbly sets and dodgy monsters, then you probably have a stunted imagination and little ability to think abstractly, informing me that we’d probably have little in common (my god, that sounds misanthropic).

    That being said, I did have trouble not picturing the Zarbi singing King Bee, a la The Blues Brothers.But that’s only because, chronologically, the bee outfitted Blues Brothers embedded themselves in my mind long before the Zarbi.

    Side note: Hearing the phrase “please put a curtain on that wang” has vastly improved my day.

  7. I wish there had been some talk about the original Silurian costume. I think this is a great example how the rubber masks can break a story. I watched Doctor Who and the Silurians for the first time and could barely get through it because the lack of threat from the Silurians. The rubber masks meant that none of the actors emotions can come through. Please don’t yell at me if these improve during the Classic era because I haven’t seen those stories yet.
    Also, as usual, I agree with Kat about the Sensorites and the mongoids. They are brilliant.

    Put a cape on that wang….seriously want to make it my email signature.

  8. For my money, the more unwieldy a monster it is, the more I love it in general. I love that the Tractators got a shout-out at the end of the podcast, because they are one of my favorite Who aliens. There’s a line that Gravis has in “Frontios,” something like, “Only one who has been isolated for millennia can truly appreciate the power of mobility.” To hear a six-foot rubber roly-poly talking cogently about the philosophy of loneliness to a dude in an Edwardian cricketing outfit…there’s just something beautiful about it.

  9. I would like the see the Draconians (from Frontier in Space) make a comeback. They were a great design, very effectively realised, and they also felt like they had a fully rounded culture, not just monsters of the week. Moffat’s been doing a little bit of world building and I think the Draconians would fit into his universe nicely.

    • I totally agree about the Draconians. I’ve been listening to a number of the Bernice Summerfield audios, and you may already know that Draconians play a big role in the eighth series from Big Finish. They would fit in well with the new series, if included in the right story.

      • I had no idea that the Draconians had made a comeback in Big Finish, so thanks for the heads-up! 🙂

      • Happy to be of service, Paul. They appear in a few other stories, as well, including a story my Marc Platt titled Paper Cuts with Colin Baker as the Doctor and India Fisher as Charley Pollard. It’s a fair story with some great individual elements, including details of Draconion Imperial succession.

        The Benny stories I mentioned were written by Simon Guerrier, Joe Lidster, Dave Stone, Eddie Robson, Nick Wallace, and Daniel O’Mahony. From the stuff I’ve heard so far, it is a very cohesive season, with some big character developments for Benny, Brax, and for Jason Kane in particular.

    • Korina said:

      This. I hesitated to mention the Draconians, because they’re not technically monsters or villains, but they are utterly cool. Because who wouldn’t love Japanese dragons?

      • It occurs to me that the Draconians might look a bit too much like the new Silurians, but maybe the extravagant costumes would be enough to distinguish the two. And who knows, maybe the Draconians are distant relations of the Silurians! 😀

  10. I listened to this on my walk tonight. My thoughts on Peladon was that it was redone very early in the new series – The End of the World featured the same kind of variety.
    The description “man in a huge mask wearing a very nice suit – any colour but white” hmmm that sounds like the Silence to me?
    And regarding weeping Angel cosplay I snapped a pic of the most adorable kids cosplay at the Brisbane Doctor Who Symphony earlier this year teeny Tom Baker, River and a Weeping Angel – they were just SO CUTE – I will find the photo and share it with you on twitter or FB maybe

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