The Misunderstood Aliens of Dr Who. 22 August 2013 Fiona Jarrett's defence of the intergalactic underdogs

Ever since watching an episode featuring ‘Lady Cassandra’ (a modified human alien thing with stretched skin) I have always been a Doctor Who cynic. To me, the whole concept seems ridiculous and, frankly, selfish. The Doctor – who won’t even tell us his real name (trustworthy hmm?) – is an interfering so and so who messes with the natural order of the universe and then is surprised when he ends up with inter-planetary wars and irate aliens.

The way I see it is that if a whole alien species is going to be destroyed by a giant slug then so be it. Everything happens for a reason! Get over it Doctor Who! Or whoever you are.

For me, the most misunderstood species of the show are the Daleks. Doctor Who and his buddies have been trying to pulverise them since the 1960s - it’s only natural that they would be a bit tetchy. Like anyone would in their situation (a minority, on a foreign planet, can’t speak the language, persecuted) – they are just trying to protect themselves, their young and their unique culture. Leave them alone Doctor Who! Regain their trust and I’m sure we could learn a few things from them anyway – engineering, mechanics, aviation?

Ok so, ‘Daleks are little Nazis’, I hear you say? Well that doesn’t mean you have to go and blow them up! There are plenty of more humane ways of dealing with a Dalek; spray it with water, wrap it in cling film, put a blanket over its head. Or you could just unplug it.

Most of these cynical thoughts have been amplified by the fact that my partner is a HUGE fan. And I don’t just mean a fan of the cool modern Doctors like Matt Smith and David Tennant. After watching a variety of ‘classic’ episodes such as Dinosaurs on a Spaceship, A Town Called Mercy and The End of the World, I have taken it upon myself to stand up for the aliens, speak out about the prejudice they are subjected to and, if necessary, to be their earth correspondent.

Despite my attitude towards the world’s biggest meddler, the Doctor, I must admit that I have developed a soft spot for the show. I love the special effects, make up, costumes (cardboard Cybermen in particular) and just the incredible imaginative energy that goes into every episode. When I watch it, I imagine the production crew and staff, caterers and cleaners and those lucky ones who work in the props warehouse all having a blast; giggling away every time a new script comes through with descriptions of new aliens. 

So basically what I’m saying is, I love to hate Doctor Who as much as I hate to love it. I also recently bought a TARDIS teapot, but I can’t remember if I bought it to be ironic or not...

Here is another misunderstood alien. If you look closely, this Jagrafess alien is actually singing.

Fiona Jarrett

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