Thursday, 19 April 2007

Doctor Who - New Series, new species

Hello reader(s)

A new series of Doctor Who is now upon us, bringing us a new companion and all new adventures. I don't really want to review them here as that will end up taking too long and won't be too interesting (though I may give my thoughts on the year 5 billion episodes at another time, but there's a whole essay's worth of material there) so instead I'll indulge in something a little bit more nerdy and a little bit more fun - cataloguing the brand new alien species introduced as the series unfolds. Thanks to the Tardis Wiki for all the images and info as well as the Official Site also.

Judoon - These fellas were an impressive start to the series, storming out of their spaceships over the moon's surface to a hospital that had unexpectedly been plonked there. The black armour with huge oversized helmets were an impressive sight to behold, and the fact that it's a rhinocerous's head stuffed under there didn't make them any less cool/original.

The Judoon are a powerful race that act as law enforcement for hire, hunting down dangerous felons with little fear of causing collateral damage as long as they remain within the loose guidelines of the law, nor do they care about the wellbeing of others as long as justice is carried out. Their language consists of monosyllabic words uttered in quick succesion, though they can assimilate other languages after obtaining only a small sample.
Their technology is advanced, their weaponry can disintigrate a large mass with one blast, their scanners can discover the race of the person scanned, though they can be fooled by close contact with another species. They also utilise a H2O scoop to transport a suspect's entire location to "neutral territory" In short they are a powerful race, and though technically a force for good, their blind obedience to the technical letter of the law and their tendency towards logic and ignorance of emotion and imagination makes it dangerous to get in their way.

Plasmavore - I wasn't as bowled over by this species and I kept waiting for it to turn into something else. Though a necessity of Science Fiction, species that are identical to humans are a bit boring to see. However the actress playing the part was very good, and the character was well written too, especially using a straw to suck a victim's blood! Note that her victim's name was Mr Stoker, an obvious vampire reference there.

Plasmavores are a dangerous race, little is known about them other than that they appear (or at least are able to appear) to be human, close enough to fool human medical agents. They take the blood of other species for sustenence, which is what makes them so dangerous. Assimilating human blood made one of them human enough to fool a scanner into thinking she was human, it is unknown if absorbing the blood of other species gives them their properties. This ability makes them blend in well with other species (humans at least) and hide from those who might want to destroy them.

Slab - Obviously these guys were just blokes in motorcycle gear, but nonetheless they were pretty cool and worked well as the first signs that something was off in the episode. The concept behind them was good, and very Doctor Who.

Slabs are an android race, designed to fulfil whatever task their owner requires of them. They are designed to appear as anonymous, background people to best serve their masters. They obey without question, and have a physical strength higher than most humanoids. They are composed almost entirely of one material, in one instance there were Slabs composed entirely of leather and given helmets to make them appear like motorcycle couriers. As they have no vital organs, presumable projectile weapons are of little use against them, though radiation and energy weapons work quite well. Slabs invariably come in twos.

Carrionite - Obviously this is Doctor Who's interpretation of witches. This was yet another "It's an alien" moment where every mystery in the universe is solved by saying "it's an alien" yet despite this it actually worked well and was a good episode. The Carrionites were intriguing and didn't spend too long being stereotypical witches either. The power of words thing was quite interesting too, though RTD did quite chuffed with himself for coming up with the idea of words having power over physical elements - I think Genesis 1 beat you to it Russ!!

The Carrionites are an ancient and powerful race bent on death and destruction. They were so powerful and dangerous that the Eternals (don't ask me 'cause I don't know) banished them to the Deep Darkness (possibly the void- my theory). However William Shakespeare inadvertantly freed three of them, who planned to manipulating him into freeing the rest of their species so they could descend on the Earth.

In terms of appearance they closely resemble humans, though they look wrinkled and ugly. They can manipulate their appearance to that of a human and sustain that visage for some time. They can levitate and teleport naturally and use words as a form of power, manipulating people by extracting samples of them and creating puppets and presumably they have many other abilities too. However they were foiled in their attempt to take Earth and were returned to their prison so little else is known of them, though it is likely they who encouraged thoughts and myths about witches in human culture.

Well that's it, the Macra (crab things, or "tulips" as RTD calls them) in episode 3 were actually a returning species so I won't mention them now, but I'll leave by informing you that there's a lot of Matrix-based news coming up soon.

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