21 Scariest Doctor Who Moments 5
9 The First Sight Of Morbius
“The Brain Of Morbius” (1976)
Inside a creepy castle there’s a spooky laboratory housing a veiled bed. As Sarah Jane moves through the half-light, something moves behind behind the veil. The audience is screaming, “Run!” in unison, but Sarah is made of sterner stuff/acting like a typical horror movie heroine/aware there’s a cliffhanger coming up* (*delete according to cynicism). She draws aside the veil and… aaarrggghhhhh! It’s horrible. And it is. Surprisingly so for a creature with a fish bowl for a head. Doctor Who at its gothic finest. Embrace those clichés. Embrace them with gusto.
Big screen relatives: Frankenstein, of course. Though we could be cruel and say Robot Monster (1953) as well.
8 The Maggot Inching Towards Jo
“The Green Death” (1973)
Maggots are just yuck anyway. So even though the giant maggot in this scene is slightly hampered by some dodgy CGI, the mere fact it’s a GIANT MAGGOT still makes you queasy. And aside from the the curse of ’70s effects, it’s a brilliantly conceived and written scene, with a blissfully unaware Jo Grant reading a book while the recently-hatched whale-bait slithers up behind her. There’s a great, wonderfully brief moment when the maggot pauses and rears up for a second before continuing on its journey – it’s a small thing but it somehow takes the creatures from brainless to malevolent. Also Jo is wearing a dress with a massively low cut back, revealing a lot more flesh than Who companions normally would at that time, and making her feel so much more vulnerable.
Big screen relatives: As primitive as the effects are in “The Green Death” some of the maggots don’t look too far away from the one that Geena Davis gives birth to in Cronenberg’s The Fly.
7 Linx Removes His Helmet
“The Time Warrior” (1973)
It’s so simple, but it works. And it works because the striking prosthetics, performance and choice of shots mesh so perfectly to provide the punch. All that happens is that Lynx removes his helmet and we get our first ever glance at a Sontaran. And while these days familiarity had bred complacency as far as the spudheads go, back in ’73, the squat brutal features of Linx were unlike anything we’d see in before in the show. The mask was a design that truly captured – almost impressionistically – the brutality and vileness of the character. Actor Kevin Lindsay helps the effect by sticking his tongue through the lips of the mask, a small mannerism that really brings the prosthetic to life. Even the way the head is exactly the shape of the helmet is deeply unsettling. One of the show’s best monster reveals ever.
Big screen relatives: When the Predator takes off his helmet for the first time.
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