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article imageWho-Monoid reunion: Monster ‘returns’ to Doctor Who 47 years on

By Mathew Wace Peck     Dec 12, 2013 in Entertainment
A race of science-fiction monsters that last made an appearance in the BBC TV series “Doctor Who” almost half a century ago are to return to the show later this month, it has emerged.
Previously, it had been announced that some of the show’s most popular and deadly enemies would be on hand to despatch the current Doctor — played by Matt Smith — who is stepping down from the role after four years, in this month’s Christmas special, The Time of the Doctor.
Those already known to be taking part in the 60-minute drama are the Daleks, Cybermen, Silence and Weeping Angels. However, as evidenced by the latest set of publicity photographs issued by the BBC in the run-up to transmission, the Monoids are to be referenced, too — albeit in a less obvious sense.
The Monoids made their debut way back in the 1966, in the four-part serial, The Ark, when William Hartnell was playing the First Doctor. The Doctor and his companions, Dodo Chaplet (Jackie Lane) and Steven Taylor (Peter Purves), met the one-eyed humanoid creatures when they landed in the TARDIS on the Ark, a spaceship carrying with the last of the humans.
Monoid  in Doctor Who: The Ark (1966)
Monoid, in Doctor Who: The Ark (1966)
Creative Commons
Until now, the Monoids have not reappeared in the TV series, although they have cropped up in a number of Doctor Who spin-off series, including the audio adventure The Kingdom of the Blind and the novels Doctor Who and the Doomsday Weapon, Infinite Requiem, The Pirate Loop and Synthespians™.
Referring to the photograph above, a Monoid puppet can clearly be seen alongside a puppet of Smith’s Thirteenth Doctor, in a Punch and Judy-type show. Punch and Judy is a popular puppet show about Mr Punch and his wife, Judy, and assorted other characters, with its roots dating back to 16th-century Italy. Punch and Judy references have cropped up in Doctor Who on several previous occasions, most recently in the 2012 Christmas special, The Snowmen.
Since Doctor Who returned to TV screens eight years ago, a growing number of monsters and aliens, and other characters, from the so-called Classic era of the show have made reappearances in the series.
Punch and Judy
Punch and Judy
The Daleks and Cybermen can be said to be on the A-list of Doctor Who monsters: the Daleks, considered to be the ultimate Doctor Who villains, were the first-ever “bug-eyed monsters” to be featured in the show — in the 1963 six-part serial, The Daleks; the Cybermen, the second-most popular, made their debut in Doctor Who ’s first “regeneration” story, in 1966. Both sets of monsters have returned many times in the last 50 years, including on numerous occasions since 2005.
Other popular Classic monsters and villains to have made a comeback in recent years include the Sontarans (debut: 1973), Davros (debut: 1975), the Master (debut: 1971), the Silurians (debut: 1970), the Ice Warriors (debut: 1967), the Great Intelligence (debut: 1967) and the Zygons (debut: 1975). All but the Zygons had appeared on more than one occasion to do battle with the Time Lord.
The Monoids definitely fall into the category of lesser-known monsters and aliens, and it’s always an extra thrill for Who fans when one is referenced in the show. Often, it’s been done with a throwaway comment made by the Doctor — as in The Waters of Mars (2009), when the Tenth Doctor (David Tennant) referred to the Ice Warriors, a full four years before their long-awaited return in (Ice) person!; or in The End of Time Part One (2009), when the Tenth Doctor, again, referenced the Sensorites and the Sense-Sphere (debut: 1964). In 2007, then Doctor Who showrunner Russell T Davies (Cucumber) delighted older fans by placing another more obscure monster, the Macra (debut: 1967), into Gridlock.
Silence will fall!
The Silence (debut: 2011) and Weeping Angels (debut: 2007), meanwhile, are both NuWho aliens – both created by the current showrunner, Steven Moffat. Since their debut — in the Hugo-award-winning Blink — the Weeping Angels have returned on several occasions, their last appearance being in 2012, in The Angels Take Manhattan. Although not making their first appearance until 2011 — in The Impossible Astronaut — the Silence had been teased throughout the 2010 season of Doctor Who.
Filming of The Time of the Doctor took place in September, following Smith’s return from the US, where he was to film How to Catch a Monster, the film from first-time director the Hollywood actor Ryan Gosling.
The Silence in Doctor Who: The Impossible Astronaut (2011)
The Silence in Doctor Who: The Impossible Astronaut (2011)
Creative Commons
A festive-period outing for Doctor Who has become part of Christmas tradition, The Time of the Doctor being the ninth in a row since the show’s return to TV screens in 2005.
This year’s outing, however, will be the first time in the show’s 50-year history that the Doctor will be seen to regenerate on Christmas Day. The actor chosen to play the Fourteenth Doctor is Peter Capaldi. Originally, announced as the Twelfth Doctor, Moffat has recently declared that the current Doctor — previously understood to be the eleventh incarnation of the Time Lord — is, in fact, the thirteenth!
Doctor Who: The Time of the Doctor will premiere in the UK on Christmas Day: Wednesday, December 25, 2013. It will also be shown on Christmas Day in several other countries/territories, including Canada, Germany the US and parts of Latin America.
Other countries to have confirmed transmission dates are: Australia and New Zealand (Boxing Day: December 26); Poland and Scandinavia (December 29).
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