There was a time in my life when I wasn’t scared of sculptures of angels, silence, robots that look like giant tea-pots and when the words “Rose Tyler, I…” only meant someone didn’t manage to finish a simple sentence.
But one day, I started watching Doctor Who and now, I have a vast collection of emotional scars. I love it.
Whether you are a Classic Whovian, a Modern Whovian, or Whovian all around, you can’t deny there have been moments and characters that have left an emotional mark on us.
They might have made you cry, laugh, shriek or peek under your bed from time to time. Here’s a small selection of monsters, creatures and moments that have left a permanent mark in my life and mind.
1- Weeping Angels
The Doctor was right in describing them as the “deadliest, most powerful, most malevolent life-form ever produced” because oh heaven, are they creepy! Those freaking statues-that-are-not-statues, that can attack you if you blink, and by “attack” I mean send you many, many years back in time without the chance of ever coming back to your time… Man, my heart skips a single, terrifying beat every time I come across an angel statue.
It doesn’t help that my mom has never liked angel statues and she doesn’t know why, but once I started watching Doctor Who I couldn’t help but think, “MY MOM’S FEAR IS NOT IRRATIONAL AS I THOUGHT!”
And that’s why neither my mom nor I dare to blink should we come in contact with one.
Okay, I confess: I freeze every time I see any statue because remember how it has been suggested that any, yes, ANY statue might be an angel in disguise (in a different context, that would have sounded oh so romantic).
But hey, let’s take a short moment to remember the cherubs from “The Angels Take Manhattan,” because before that episode, it never crossed my mind that there could be baby angels as mean and creepy as the “adult” ones. But that giggle, though… Ok enough. Next.
When you see something in the corner of your eye, then you turn around and… wait, what were we talking about?
Don’t be fooled by the sharp suit: they are scary as hell, mainly because you immediately forget you saw them, not to mention you’ve no idea as to their own agenda, for which we are all merely puppets.
These alien-like creatures are not only physically creepy (although you will forget what they look like) – think Munch’s “The Scream” – but their existence is a total secret as once you see one, you will forget about it the moment you look away.
The angels will “kill” you, the Silence you won’t even remember. Which is scarier? The problem is that whatever the Silence may have told you while you’re looking at them will remain as a retained thought. Ah, see? Remember to keep a pen with you and mark a tally on your body when you see one.
3- Vashta Nerada
The name is literally “the shadows that melt the flesh.” They’re the reason I tend to count shadows.
They’re microscopic, swarming creatures which, when in high enough concentration, are indistinguishable from shadows; they use this to their advantage in approaching and attacking their prey. They can strip their victims to the bone in an instant, which is why they are described as the “piranhas of the air.”
The Doctor explained they exist even on Earth, and can be seen as the specks of dust visible in brightness. He also adds that they are the reason most sentient creatures have an instinctual fear of the dark.
Doctor Who, once more, giving a validation to a childhood fear. Yeah, I’m still afraid of the dark, and even more so after watching “Silence in the Library” (friendly reminder that the books and The Library itself were built out of wood from the Vashta Nerada’s native forest, which is why there was a high concentration of them there).
Let’s move on before I start side-eyeing my books.
4- Donna’s memory wipe
Donna is probably my favourite companion because her relationship with the Doctor was purely fraternal. They were best mates and there was no romantic attraction whatsoever, which is excellent. Not every companion has to be a love interest for the Doctor.
But moving on to the moment that broke my heart in a million pieces: episode “Journey’s End.” In short: Donna gains Time-Lord knowledge when she touches the Doctor’s energised severed hand (Tennant’s very first episode, remember?), and although this helped her save the world, the Doctor is forced to wipe her mind to save her life, and that means losing his “best mate.”
Donna’s face a moment before he wipes her memories is possibly one of the most heart-breaking moments ever.
5- “Rose Tyler, I…”
The way I see it, Whovians are divided in two: those who believe this moment was extremely romantic, and others who believe it was extremely sad. I’m part of that second group.
That moment made me cry for days. Days! The Tenth Doctor was the first Doctor I watched and Rose Tyler was my first companion. To this day, I still ship them; but that’s not the point.
If you didn’t cry when she gets trapped in the parallel universe and cries and hits the wall in hopes that the Doctor will save her… you are robot. And if you didn’t cry when the Doctor manages to transmit a goodbye message to her, which drives Rose to confess her love for him and the connection is lost right when he says “Rose Tyler, I…”… then you, my friend, are a cyberman.
Don’t you even dare approach a Whovian with the words “Rose Tyler, I…” because more likely than not, you will get a black eye.
The original list was WAY longer, but I struggled through, and somehow managed to keep it a bit simpler and less tear-jerkery.
Doctor Who has a golden throne in my heart; it has been that one show that, I don’t know how, but is always on TV when I’ve had a bad day, or I’m feeling down, or I simply need to relax.
I am also one of those who strongly believe the Doctor is real, and there’s nothing you can do to burst that bubble.
Quick fun story: one morning, I was sleeping and a plane flew by… it made a TARDIS noise so I immediately got out of bed and looked out the window… heart-breaking to see a plane instead of the blue box. Maybe someday. I’m still holding out hope.