Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Doctor Who - New Series, new species part 12

Ok, so we're back to the big one, the fourth new series of Doctor Who has come to our screens. Donna Noble's reappearance has been a controversial subject, but she seems to be doing alright so far. But anyway, I'll leave the comments on the series for a clever bunch of who fans who've set up their own fan based "Podcast of Impossible Things" providing DVD style episode commentaries and other comments and anecdotes. As for myself I'll get on and discuss those aliens shall I, starting with one from the Christmas Special.


I quite liked Bannakaffalata and his race, visually interesting and with quite a good backstory revealed over the episode. The element of him being a secret cyborg was an interesting twist and created a believable setting for such an extraordinary creature. Time has fogged my memory so I'll move on to species description.

The Zocci were a small race hailing from the world of Sto where they lived alongside other species. Though diminutive and sometimes frowned upon by larger species they seemed to be accepted and respected by other races. In the late 20th century cyborgs were reviled and outlawed and it was a shame to be part machine. However early in the 21st century the laws began to change, though the word was slow in getting around. One Zocci, Bannakaffalata, accepted himself and even used his cybernetics to defeat an enemy at the cost of his own life, making him no only accepted, but a hero.

Unknown Near-Human Race

While I quite liked the characters I wasn't too keen on a bunch of people from an Alien planet who look and behave pretty much exactly the same as us lot. Humans are obviously used a lot in Who, but they're usually from the future or past and on Earth, but this group from the unknown world of Sto came with virtually no explanation or logic to their existance so though they were good characters as a species I found them quite poor.

This unknown race were nearly identical to humans in almost every respect, though a lot of them remained quite ignorant of human culture and some were even fascinated by the mysterious world called Earth. On Sto, the planet they hailed from, cyborgs were reviled and this promted one of the species, Max Capricorn to set up a devious plan using one of his luxury liners to wreak devastation on Earth to leave his former company in disgrace and retire quietly, fortunately he was stopped and though most on board were killed a few were able to return safely and one even stayed on Earth to see more.


Though some weren't too keen on the cuddly nature of the aliens on Doctor Who's premier episode I mus admit to taking a liking to them myself. While they were a threat to humans in terms of their arrival and nature in and of themselves they were harmless which made the issue a little more complex than usual. I also liked the angle that the Adipose were actually beneficial to humans but the aggresive manipulation of their Matron made them a threat.

Adipose are an important and influential race, but who have a complex birthing process, much more complicated than other races. Evidently they needed the right conditions and material to birth a new Adipose. For some time they controlled a breeding planet which sufficed for this duty, but when this world was destroyed a new method was needed and the Adipose resorted to darker methods. Setting up a facility on Earth through an outside agent, the Adipose used human fat, from unsuspecting volunteers, to birth the new generation of Adipose. When the plan became dangerous and the Doctor intervened, the Adipose came to collect their children


I must confess to having a number of niggles with this race, cool as they were in appearance and concept. The first is the name, the obvious use of "pyro" in the name completely made the naming of the creature underwhelming and disapointing and it's not the first species to have it's name be more or less a description of itself. The second was the look, a bit too similar to a roman soldier if you ask me - it works well thematically, but makes no sense in practice. nonetheless they were impressive and a convincing piece of CG monstery.

The Pyroviles were an ancient and powerful race, some of whom crash landed on Earth during Roman times in the city of Pompeii. An influencial species theyr were able to contact and manipulate local soothsayer, giving their premonitions incredible accuracy and slowly turning them to stone, making them a first step in a new race of Pyroviles on Earth. The pyroviles seemed comprisev of stone and magma, able to fire blasts of heat, though water could sting or even kill them in sufficient amounts. The Doctor was able to halt their takeover, but at great cost triggering the famour Pompeii eruption killing almost all in the town.

And that's it - a lot more information on the Ood was released in the thirs episode, but they are a returning species and I have made it my policy only to discuss brand new species, besides - this article has gone on long enough I think!

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