TV Series

Guess Who's Back? 10 Doctor Who Baddies who Returned for Revenge

By Paul Lang

At the end of every adventure, the Doctor and friends move on to somewhere new and exciting, but sometimes the past has a habit of catching up with them! Here's 10 memorable times where enemies they thought they'd defeated made an unwelcome comeback…





Margaret Slitheen

Boom Town (2005)

The Doctor thought he’d seen the last of Blon Fel-Fotch Pasameer-Day Slitheen – a scavenging Slitheen from the planet Raxacoricofallapatorius wearing the skin of murdered MI5 bigwig Margaret Blaine – when she was blown up along with 10 Downing Street. But he hadn’t counted on her having an emergency teleport device, which deposited her in a skip on the Isle of Dogs. From there, she set about rebuilding her political career, becoming Mayor of Cardiff as part of yet another plan to explode the Earth and flog off the wreckage for cash. The TARDIS eventually turned Blon back into an egg, and she got the chance to start her life all over again.




The Master

Utopia (2007)

In the far future, a scientist called Professor Yana was troubled by a drumming sound in his head that had been there as long as he could remember. It was just background noise – until the Doctor turned up and people started talking about regeneration, and the TARDIS. The drums got louder and louder until the Professor finally realised who he really was. He’d made himself human to escape the Time War, hiding his Time Lord essence in a pocket watch. His true personality reasserted itself and, following a swift regeneration, Professor Yana became The Master once more!



Dorium Maldovar

The Pandorica Opens (2010), A Good Man Goes To War (2011), The Wedding of River Song (2011)

Dodgy dealer Dorium wasn’t strictly an enemy of the Doctor’s, but he wasn’t exactly a friend either. Nevertheless, he stepped up when the Doctor needed his help at the Battle of Demon’s Run, when Amy Pond and her baby had been kidnapped. The big blue fella ended up getting his head chopped off for his trouble, which seems a bit harsh. Luckily, that wasn’t the end of him – the Doctor was surprised and delighted to encounter his lopped-off noggin again some time later, this time babbling something vague about a question that must never be answered. Understandable, really – being decapitated must be quite confusing.




The Three Doctors (1972), Arc of Infinity (1983)

Omega was one of the founding Time Lords who, along with Rassilon, carried out the first time travel experiments. He was killed in a supernova – or so everyone thought, at least. He’d actually fallen into an antimatter universe, and was understandably keen to get back out again, a plan which caused so much trouble that it took the combined efforts of three Doctors to prevent it. He had another crack at escaping by trying to create a new body for himself based on the Doctor’s DNA, but he got his sums wrong again and his new body didn’t last for long.



Dalek Caan

The Stolen Earth (2008)

The Cult of Skaro were an elite Dalek foursome given the challenge of thinking in new, un-Daleky ways. They were also the first Daleks to have names – Sec, Jast, Thay and Caan. The other three were killed when an attempt to convert humans into Daleks went catastrophically wrong, but Sec managed to teleport away, later reinventing himself as the personal soothsayer to Davros. With his casing cracked open and the mutant inside on show, Caan giggled, burbled and sang his way through a number of troubling predictions – including death for the Doctor’s most faithful companion. Eek!




The End of the World (2005), New Earth (2006)

The Lady Cassandra O’Brien.Δ17 was dying to be thin and beautiful – literally! She’d ditched almost all of her body and become just a bit of stretched skin in a frame. And without constant moisturising, her flesh ended up going pop, leaving just the frame behind. Or so the Doctor and Rose presumed – they hadn’t realised that Cassandra’s brain was still alive and kicking, and she fashioned herself a new face using skin left over from her bum!




Remembrance of the Daleks (1988), The Stolen Earth (2008), The Magician’s Apprentice (2015)

The creator of the Daleks has been presumed dead more than once, but Davros usually only has to trundle into view for the Doctor to realise that he’s back in business yet again. On one occasion, though, he made a surprising entrance from inside the shell of the Emperor Dalek, where he'd taken refuge after his knackered body finally gave up the ghost. Later, during the Time War, his command ship flew into the jaws of the Nightmare Child, but even that didn’t polish him off – Dalek Caan plucked him from the maelstrom of the war and restored him to life. After yet another near-fatal encounter with the Doctor, Davros then ended up back on Skaro, his home planet, where he tricked the Doctor into giving him a quick puff of regeneration energy to revitalise his clapped-out carcass.



The Master (again)

World Enough and Time (2017)

Some days, the Doctor just can’t catch a break. Not only had he been frantically trying to rescue Bill Potts, trapped on a lower level of a ship so big that time moved more slowly at the bottom, but the ship turned out to be a colony vessel from Mondas, birthplace of the Cybermen. The one thing he had in his favour was that Missy had inexplicably turned good and was trying to help out. But all her efforts were cancelled out when Razor, a man who had apparently been helping Bill, revealed himself to be Missy’s predecessor, The Master. And he definitely hadn’t turned good – he’d turned Bill into a Cyberman!



Everyone, basically

The Pandora Opens (2010)

Deep below Stonehenge, an ancient prison cube called the Pandora was waiting to receive its occupant – said to be the deadliest creature in the universe. The Doctor was understandably worried about such a creature making an appearance, especially when the massed armies of all his oldest enemies started swarming in the skies above Stonehenge. This battalion of baddies started to beam down – Daleks, Cybermen, Sontarans, Autons, Atraxi, Judoon, Silurians, Slitheen, Sycorax and many more all rocked up. That wasn’t the biggest shock of the day, though – it transpired that the Doctor had been deemed the deadliest creature in the universe, and his old enemies were actually there to bang him up in the Pandorica. What a cheek!




The Woman Who Fell To Earth (2018), The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos (2018)

On her very first day, the Thirteen Doctor had to get over regenerating and falling to Earth from a great height quickly enough to defeat T’zim-Sha, a tooth-studded Stenza who’d come to hunt innocent humans to death. The Doctor thought she’d sent “Tim Shaw” back to where he came from, but thanks to a damaged recall device, he actually ended up on Ranskoor Av Kolos. There, he took advantage of the Ux, a people of faith who blindly assumed he was their creator, to snatch planets from space and stick them in stasis pods. His last target was to be Earth, the planet where the Doctor had first defeated him. Luckily the Doctor, Graham, Ryan and Yaz defeated Tim once again, and he’s now languishing in one of his own prison pods for all eternity. Or is he…?




Missed The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos or would like to watch it again? You can catch up with the current series On Demand at BBC iPlayer (UK) or BBC America (US). For other regions, visit the Watch page to find out where to catch up in your territory.

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