Doctor Who Monsters, Aliens and Villains

The Slitheen
Aliens of London/World War Three
A Slitheen
 Name: The Slitheen, species name the Raxacoricofallapatorions (The Doctor has also fought rival Raxacoricofallapatorion crime family the Blathereen)

 Format: Television show and Book.

 Time of Origin: Raxacoricofallapatorius, have encountered The Doctor in the present, on the prison planet Justica in the 25th century, and in Greece in 1500BC (These last originating from around the year 36 000).

 Appearances: "Madquake", "Aliens of London/World War Three", "Boom Town", "The Monsters Inside", "The Taste of Death" and "The Slitheen Excursion"; a Blathereen appeared in "Twelve Doctors of Christmas: A Comedy of Errors".

 Doctors: Ninth Doctor and Tenth Doctor; the Second Doctor encountered a Blathereen; the Fifth Doctor’s companions faced the Slitheen while The Doctor was absent.

 Companions: Rose Tyler and Captain Jack Harkness, Mickey Smith and June; Jamie McCrimmon and Zoe Heriot encountered a Blathereen; Nyssa, Tegan Jovanka and Marc faced some Slitheen while The Doctor was absent; a group of Slitheen encountered Sarah Jane Smith and K9 while Sarah was operating on her own.

 History: As a species, there's little to say about the Raxacoricofallapatorions, except for the fact that The Doctor and his companions normally think of them as the Slitheen, since that was the name of the family of Raxacoricofallapatorians the TARDIS crew encountered in their adventures. Raxacoricofallapatorions also possess a heightened sense of smell, allowing them to detect adrenaline and fear, and females are capable of producing poison if in danger, either via a dart in the finger or simply through breathing onto a foe. Due to them being a calcium-based life form Slitheen have been known to turn to stone if left alone for a significant length of time - approximately a few centuries - although specialist technology is required to restore them from this condition. One of their more interesting pieces of technology is a matter compression unit worn around the neck that allows them to shrink their rather sizable bulk into something slightly smaller. The compression ratio had its limits, however, so the disguises tended to be that of already big-bodied people. The exchange of gases that compression entailed also built up within the acquired skin, causing a condition similar to farting in the form of the release of a smell remarkably like bad breath.

Christopher Eccleston
The Ninth Doctor
The Slitheen are a galactic crime family, using their technology to travel to more primitive planets and commit various crimes of some make or description, such as mining the planet of all its valuable resources and selling them off, regardless of the consequences this would have for the planet itself. They have an almost ritualistic love of hunting, being trained to hunt and kill from a young age, although their main objective is always profit. All the family members, even down to their fiancées, are subject to the death penalty if they set foot on their planet again.

 Eventually, the Slitheen's criminal activities brought them to the attention of The Doctor when they arrived on Earth in the year 2006, attempting to gain control of the planet by replacing certain appropriate cabinet ministers (e.g. those of a certain weight and over) with their own people, and then sending a fake alien spaceship to crash into the Thames after damaging Big Ben. At the time, the Ninth Doctor had just arrived with his companion Rose Tyler, and, while Rose tried to settle down with her family, The Doctor checked out the 'alien' in the spacecraft... to learn it was only a surgically altered pig, even if the scale of the surgical enhancements made it clear that aliens were involved; essentially, aliens had faked an alien invasion. The government then called in all the top alien investigators to study the problem (Which, naturally, included The Doctor), but, after arriving there, The Doctor realised that there was one obvious reason for the false spaceship; a trap, to get rid of the alien experts on Earth, the only people with a real chance of stopping the attack.

Aliens of London/World War Three
A Slitheen
 The Slitheen revealed themselves and managed to kill most of the experts with an electro-shock device, but The Doctor was able to dispose of his and escape, leaving him, Rose and Harriet Jones (the MP for Flydale North) trapped in a locked-down cabinet room while the Slitheen gathered outside. Figuring out their planet from what was known of them, The Doctor realised that the Slitheen were vulnerable to vinegar, which Mickey and Jackie (Rose's ex-boyfriend and mother respectively) were able to use to stop one of them... but the others were still active, and their plans were in motion.

 When one of the Slitheen claimed that an alien spaceship was above London preparing to attack, The Doctor realised what the Slitheen were up to; since the UN had the control codes for the UK's nuclear defence network, the Slitheen had been forced to engineer this crisis to get the access codes. With these, they intended to start a nuclear holocaust that they would sit out in their spaceship... and, when it was over, they would cut the radioactive cinder that was left behind into smaller chunks and sell it off as a power source for spaceships. Outraged at their callousness, The Doctor had Mickey hack into UNIT's secret website and launch a missile at Downing Street from a destroyer off the British coast, annihilating the Slitheen while he, Rose and Harriet waited out the explosion in the cabinet room.

 However, contrary to appearances, one Slitheen had survived; Margaret Blaine, real name Blon Fel Fotch Pasameer-Day Slitheen, using a miniature teleportation device in her possession to escape at the last second before the missile hit (Although it only had enough power for her to escape). Having become Lord Mayor of Cardiff, she was constructing a nuclear power plant over a rip in space/time, intending to trigger a meltdown that, amplified by the rift, would destroy the Earth while she got away on a stolen tribophysical waveform macro kinetic extrapolator - essentially, a pan-dimensional surfboard. The Doctor, Rose, Mickey, and new companion Captain Jack Harkness decided to take her back to Raxacoricofallapatorius, but they would have to wait until the TARDIS had refuelled by absorbing the power of the rift... and, in the meantime, Margaret tried to convince The Doctor to let her go, since she would be executed the second she set foot on Raxacoricofallapatorius. Whether her attempt to plea for freedom would have worked in unknown, given that it turned out Margaret had a back-up plan; if she was discovered, the extrapolator would lock on to a nearby alien energy source and use it to open the rift... and it had locked on to the TARDIS. She nearly escaped, but had failed to take one thing into account; the TARDIS was alive, and knew Margaret was trying to destroy it. The console opened, exposing Margaret to the power at the heart of the TARDIS... and it reverted her to an egg, giving her a second chance at life as The Doctor took her to a new family on Raxacoricofallapatorius.

Another group of Slitheen operatives - now forced to hide as they were hunted by The Judoon and other rival crime families - were also encountered on Earth by The Doctor’s past companion Sarah Jane Smith, now defending Earth independent of The Doctor and UNIT with the aid of a group of children - one of which was her adopted son Luke Smith, the result of genetic engineering by a race called the Bane - when they infiltrated a building company to try and turn off the sun and drain the world’s energy. Although Sarah was able to destroy their equipment, all but two Slitheen managed to escape, the remaining Slitheen using more advanced compression technology - allowing them to disguise themselves as people of normal weight - to pose as Luke's real parents as part of an elaborate plot by Sarah's traitorous supercomputer Mr Smith to use Luke as part of a plan to make the Moon crash into Earth and release more of Mr Smith's crystalline race from their prison at Earth's core. This plan was again defeated when K9 distracted Mr Smith long enough for Sarah to infect the rogue computer with a virus, allowing her to convince Mr Smith that his true purpose was to defend Earth, the Slitheen forced to retreat once their plan was defeated.

 At some point after the twenty-first century, the Second Doctor had a brief but interesting encounter with another Raxacoricofallapatorion crime family when he arrived on a spaceship taking Princess Triana of the Sita Federation to the planet Luxona, which had been strip-mined for years to pay her father's taxes ("Twelve Doctors of Christmas: A Comedy of Errors"). Fellow Raxacoricofallapatorion criminals the Blathereen wanted to prevent the princess's coronation as they had gained a great deal of profit from the mining and Triana intended to abolish the taxes as one of her first acts upon officially becoming queen, but The Doctor, Jamie McCrimmon and Zoe Heriot began to suspect what was happening when they arrived on her cruiser and were mistaken for actors. Learning of the various complications faced in the run-up to the coronation, The Doctor began to suspect that 'Billie Butlins', the director of a troupe of actors putting on an adaptation of Much Ado About the Beanstalk, was an impostor, soon realising that she was waiting for the perfect opportunity to kill Triana before she could be crowned. Once The Doctor identified Butlins as a fake based on her inaccurate theatre knowledge and her smelly farts, she decided to try and kill Triana during the performance. Despite this, The Doctor and Zoe were able to stop her by striking Butlins with custard pies laced with vinegar, causing her to explode (The Doctor noting that he had intended to stun her and had miscalculated the necessary amount of vinegar), allowing the coronation to proceed as planned.

 While The Doctor was not involved in these events himself, three of his companions once had to deal with a group of Slitheen on their own. Following a traumatic experience that saw new companion Marc being partially converted into a Cyberman ("Warzone/Conversion"), the Fifth Doctor left Nyssa, Tegan Jovanka and Marc on the planet Callanna to give them time to recover from the experience. When a Slitheen ship arrived, it was revealed that Professor Cott, their therapist, was actually Steppa Westma Cotter-Thatch Slitheen, using an advanced matter-compression unit to impersonate a human of a more regular size. However, Cott made it clear that she had created the skinsuit herself rather than killing anyone to get it, and even pointed out how the suit had been designed to change so that she could give the impression that her human self was aging naturally. The newly-arrived Slitheen intended to steal the atmosphere of Callanna, which had unusual properties allowing it to essentially manipulate the emotions of those living on it (Cott speculated that the planet was actually sentient and responded to the needs of the residents). While Tegan, Nyssa and Cott infiltrated the Slitheen ship, Marc and fellow patient Mison were able to keep the other Slitheen busy, Marc’s cybernetic enhancements so great that he was even able to hold one of the Slitheen hostage against its fellow. Once the atmosphere scoop had been disabled, Tegan was able to use Cott’s artificial skinsuit to impersonate Bamma Lotta-Proppa Klatch-Par Slitheen, a feared Slitheen matriarch rumoured to eat relatives that disappointed her, ordering the others to depart the planet by dismissing them as failures.

Book - The Monsters Inside
The Monsters Inside
(Stephen Cole)
 The Ninth Doctor and Rose (from a point after defeating the initial Slitheen threat but before they met Jack Harkness) would have another encounter with the Slitheen when they arrived on the prison colony of Justicia five centuries in Rose’s relative future ("The Monsters Inside"), being arrested for their accidental trespass on a local planet that was part of a system-wide prison system and taken to different planets to face arrest. Once taken to his cell, The Doctor realised that his cellmates were the descendants of the Slitheen he had originally faced, claiming that they had been arrested while trying to retrieve their ancestors’ equipment out of historical curiosity. By this time, the matter compression units had improved a great deal, to the extent that not only could the Slitheen impersonate normal-sized humans, but they would even shrink themselves down to the size of basketballs, although they released a great deal of gas when reduced to that size. The Doctor and Rose were initially sent to separate prisons, but The Doctor was able to make an impression in the alien prison by assisting in a gravity manipulation experiment, convincing the governors that Rose was an astrophysicist with useful experience. However, during her own time in prison, Rose had witnessed another Raxacoricofallapatorion in disguise, only just managing to escape being killed before she was transferred to The Doctor’s prison planet. The Doctor was intrigued to note that the planets in the system were in a perfect circular, equidistant orbit, creating the perfect environment for a gravitational centrifuge, but only had time to confirm that someone had created this environment before Rose’s shuttle crashed when she realised the pilot was another Raxacoricofallapatorion.

 Fortunately, The Doctor was able to escape with the aid of the lead scientist on the gravity experiments when she witnessed another Raxacoricofallapatorion stripping its disguise, while Rose realised that these Raxacoricofallapatorions were the Blathereleen, a rival crime family who had put the Slitheen out of business due to them being cheaper. After Rose realised that the Blathereleen had taken over the prison by replacing the Justician governor, The Doctor discovered that the Blathereleen had developed warp-gates that would allow for easy transport between the planets. However, the Blathereleens’ final goal was to create a larger system of warp-gates that would allow the entire solar system to travel through space, releasing solar flares that would turn planets to radioactive waste that could be mined by the prisoners without anyone knowing about it, the prison population kept fresh through a steady supply of new prisoners and using the mixed-gender prisons to serve as ‘breeding stock’. With the aid of the Slitheen, along with Rose having developed a reputation as a rabble-rouser among the prisoners, The Doctor was able to start a riot that distracted the Blathereleen enough to allow him to shut down their equipment, rerouting the system's power so that the Blathereen were incinerated when they tried to activate the warp-gates, although two of the Slitheen apparently died in the process. With the Blathereleens’ plan defeated, The Doctor and Rose departed, having recommended most of their prisoner allies for early parole, However, they were unaware that the Slitheen had escaped death by ‘hiding’ in some of the Blathereleen corpses and teleporting away when the bodies were placed on a funeral pyre, intending to begin a new age of crime using the Blathereleen technology now that their rivals were dead.

Book - The Slitheen Excursion
The Slitheen Excursion
(Simon Guerrier)
 Following The Doctor’s regeneration, the Tenth Doctor and Rose would have to deal with the Slitheen again when an attempt to visit a famous restaurant on the planet MXQ1 led to him and Rose discovering a particularly twisted Slitheen plot. Having replaced the Bluestone brothers - the chefs who owned the restaurant - the Slitheen were harvesting their own customers to sell their organs to the Hazrateen, cousins to the Slitheen with maroon skin and a refined digestive system. Once Rose made the Hazrateen aware of the deception, the Hazrateen sent Raxacoricofallapatorian ships to arrest the Slitheen and take them to prison (their death sentences having been commuted by this time even if the Slitheen family were still considered criminals).

 Some years later in his life, The Doctor, accompanied by temporary companion June, discovered a group of Slitheen in Greece in 1500, the Slitheen in question originating from the 374th century; they claimed to still be exiled from their planet, although they were expecting their situation to be re-assessed in the coming millennium. These Slitheen were running holidays tours into the past for various alien races, thus allowing these aliens to witness the ‘barbarity’ of the human race at its very beginning. However, whether as part of a deliberate plan or an unintended bonus, the presence of this tourism program had the result that humanity was becoming so dependent on the futuristic tourism that they would be unable to progress themselves. While The Doctor tampered with the Slitheen time-travel technology June incited a revolt by encouraging the tourists to sympathise with the humans over the Slitheen, forcing the Slitheen to flee and be captured. Having returned the tourists to their proper times, The Doctor and June subsequently gave the people of the time some brief lessons in the essentials of agriculture and other matters before departing, confident that history would unfold as it should have done before the Slitheen became involved (Although they then had to ensure that the authorities captured the Slitheen in the present before they finally parted company).
Aliens of London/World War Three
Aliens of London/World War Three
Aliens of London/World War Three
Aliens of London/World War Three
Boom Town
Boom Town
Boom Town
Boom Town
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Parts of this article were compiled with the assistance of David Spence who can be contacted by e-mail at
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