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The image of an angel becomes itself an angel. So don't look away. Don't even blink. You blinked.

"Every single creature in the universe has an irrational fear of the dark. But they're wrong. Because it's not irrational."
—The Tenth Doctor, 'Silence in the Library'

Doctor Who: Combining cheesy camp with utterly nightmarish television since 1963. Sweet dreams!

Classic Series

All seasons

  • Showing the Doctor's face in the opening titles must have sounded like a good idea at the discussion table, but the final effect was often seven shades of creepy. The Fourth Doctor's head, with Tom Baker's trademark grin, is probably more unnerving than any other.
    • Same with the Sixth Doctor's opening. Colin Baker's smile is less Cheshire Cat and more "I'm going to eat your soul."

Season 1

  • Episode 2 of An Unearthly Child displayed a whole human skeleton with its skull tilted to stare out at the audience, and a cave of piled human skulls. The episode (prior to the serials having collective names) was aptly titled "The Cave of Skulls".
  • In the original Dalek story, we see a lake full of horribly mutated aquatic creatures. One of them takes a Red Shirt, and before that we hear their cries. All through the night, our heroes heard them.
    • They pulled a Dalek creature out of its casing and Ian climbed in. It must be so gross in there.
  • The Edge of Destruction. The predecessor to Midnight with just the Doctor, Susan, Ian, and Barbara on the TARDIS and they begin to fight each other.
  • Marco Polo has Tegana, a treacherous, cold-hearted Jerkass who takes more than a few measures to give hell to our heroes on their journey.
  • The booby-trapped building in The Keys of Marinus. Also the Brains of Morphoton.
    • One Voord, traveling through the sea of acid, got a tear in their protective suit. Slow and painful death apparently ensued.
    • How about the bit about Barbara being trapped in an icy mountain, at the mercy of a deranged hermit? Who is the former Trope Namer for a form of murder?
  • The Aztecs takes human sacrifice and rolls with it. Not to mention Barbara's realisation that she can't possibly hope to change that aspect of history.
  • The Sensorites is worry-inducing enough with the City Administrator's scheming against the heroes, but then come the monsters in the sewer...

Season 2

  • In Planet of Giants, Barbara accidentally comes in contact with some nuts laced with incredibly dangerous pesticide, and becomes nearly as sick as that time everyone got radiation poisoning in The Daleks, on the verge of collapsing. Just then, the last we see of the villain involves him getting a spray of said pesticide right in the eyes.
  • The Dalek Invasion of Earth. The early series' sense of hopelessness and despair in its purest form, as Daleks have taken over Earth entirely. Before the Doctor shows up, there is no one around fit enough to stand up to them, let alone defeat them. Couple that with that they choose the most fit among the survivors and turn them into robotic slaves, you got yourself a solid 3 hours of nightmare fuel. Heck, this story (not counting The Daleks) was by far the show's darkest moment, and its ticket into a lifetime of full-fledged Nightmare Fuel.
  • Vicki in The Rescue is a small girl virtually alone on a planet, save for her crippled crewmate who turns out to be a psychopath who killed the rest of his crew and committed genocide just so he could save himself from the Earth authorities by blaming it on a monster, who is also himself in disguise.
  • The Romans functions as a light humour piece for the most part, but towards the end, the Doctor realizes that he just may have caused the Great Fire of Rome... and laughs eerily.
  • The Web Planet: Six episodes of tension and fear as the psychically superpowered Animus (revealed in the Expanded Universe to be a creature from the Lovecraft mythos) constantly sends the usually peaceful Zarbi to massacre the rest of the natives, and becomes obsessed with the Doctor once he arrives.
    • Especially when the Doctor and Vicki get cocooned in cobwebs and it looks like they are suffocating.
  • The Space Museum: First you find yourself in a silent shadow of the world a few minutes into the future, where you yourself leave no footprints, walk about unseen and unheard, like a ghost. Then you see your own stuffed and mounted corpses on display. Brrr.
  • The Time Meddler: Imagine a full-scale invasion of organized Pirates, hundreds of ships. Yeah. That's what the historical Viking invasion of 1066 was.

Season 3

  • The varga plants in Mission to the Unknown. They are The Virus, and when you turn into one, you have this overwhelming urge to kill.
  • The Dalek's Master Plan. The whole thing:
    • It begins with a politician, an admired and respected public figure, revealed to be allying himself with the Daleks and basically selling out the whole of humanity for his own benefit.
    • They go on to explain how the Daleks are "allying" themselves with delegates from all over the universe to overthrow the solar system by building a doomsday weapon.
    • The Doctor manages to steal a vital component of this weapon, but in his escape he and the crew are forced to stop in the planet Desperus, a prison planet, where they just dump the convicts on the surface and leave them to fend for themselves.
    • When one of their allies (played by Nicolas Courtney) tries to get help from his sister, a guard from the Second Great and Bountiful Human Empire, she kills him and plots to do the same to the others.
    • The lot are accidentally teleported to a planet plagued with invisible monsters, which only the Daleks are able to keep at bay.
    • Later, they land on a volcanic planet, meeting an old enemy who locks them out of the TARDIS as the magma builds up around them.
    • Nearing its conclusion, the Doctor is forced to give up the device's core through an intricate plot involving Egyptians, and he has barely enough time to chase the Daleks before they activate it...
    • ...and when they do, it goes out of control, taking the planet Kembel (hosting the most hostile of jungles in the universe) and reducing it to a dry, eroded ball of nothing, as the corpses of every living creature on it are strewn across its surface. The last few minutes are just the Doctor and Steven contemplating all the destruction.
    • Victims of the Daleks' activation of their Time Destructor include themselves (hyper evolved into as the novelisation puts it "starfish creatures") and the Doctor and one of his companions. He survives although is weakened by the millions of years of time that washed over him, she is less fortunate. And the audience gets to watch as she screams and ages to dust.
  • The Celestial Toymaker, a Psychopathic Manchild (played by Michael Gough) who will turn you into one of his playthings if you lose his games and destroy the world if you win (and you with it unless you can make a fast enough exit).
    • And what about the games themselves? The Blind Man's Buff game wasn't so bad, compared to the booby-trapped chairs, the dance that entraps, and the electrified floor on the hopscotch field.

Season 4

  • There's a surviving clip in part 3 of The Smugglers where Captain Pike has just given one of his goons the You Have Failed Me treatment, and then the camera follows a bloodstained handkerchief to the pirate's corpse. Then, the dead man's eyes are staring right at you.
  • The original Cybermen make their first appearance in The Tenth Planet and prove to be extremely unnerving:

 Cyberleader: (after learning of the men trapped in the space probe) It is not important. There's really no point, they could never reach us now.

Polly: But don't you care?

Cyberleader: Care? Why should I care?

Polly: Because they're people and they're going to die!

Cyberleader: I do not understand you, there are people dying all over your world yet you do not care about them?

 Cyberleader:(after the general contacts the emergency line) That was really most unfortunate, you should not have done that.

 Cyberleader: The energy of Mondas is nearly exhausted and now returns to its twin and will gather energy from Earth.

Doctor: Energy!?

Barclay: For how long?

Cyberleader: Until it is all gone.

Dyson: But that means the Earth will die!

Cyberleader: Yes, everything on Earth will stop.

Barclay: But you can't just stand there and tell us we're all going to die!

Cyberleader: You are not going to die.

Doctor: Then how are you going to stop this drain of energy to Mondas?

Cyberleader: We cannot, it is beyond our power.

Doctor: How are we going to survive!?

Cyberleader: By coming with us.

  • The Power of the Daleks: A scientist restores an inert dalek and shows it off to the other members of his space colony. The Doctor also happens to be present, and while he tries to warn them of the misery and destruction that the creature may bring, the dalek overlaps by yelling "I am your ser-vant! I am your ser-vant!" over the Doctor's increasingly desperate cries. They keep chanting "I am your ser-vant" throughout the serial, to very creepy effect.
    • Later in the serial, the scientist catches wind of the daleks' true nature, which leaves him such a shock that he cannot speak without his voice trembling, and by the end he's gone completely insane, believing that the daleks have come to replace man as the dominant species. And the eyes. God, the eyes.

 Ben: You've done all this. Why did you give them power in the first place?

Lesterson: Well, I could control it, you see. And then Janley got one of her men - Valmar, I think it was, yes - and he rigged up a secret cable. It's carrying power directly from the colony's supply.

Doctor: Where? Where is it, Lesterson?

Lesterson: Valmar's the only one who can answer that. Or the Daleks of course. They know everything. Yes, you should ask the Daleks.

    • Not to mention his final moment of madness:

 Lesterson: I want to help... you.

Dalek: Why?

Lesterson: I... am your ser-vant.

    • Heck, that guy was creepier than the Daleks.
    • At the beginning of that same story, after the Doctor's regenerated for the first time, he huddles around in disorientation, eventually pulling out a chest with some old belongings, including his recorder, a 500 year-old diary, and a piece of metal which makes him remember a single word: Extermination.
  • The Fish People from The Underwater Menace were born humans, but went through a mind-numbing operation (which is almost forced onto Polly) which enabled them to survive underwater. Also, Zaroff's watery doom.
  • The Macra in their original story are sentient and cunning. The clips on Lost in Time are terrifying, especially when the "Controller" is pleading in vain for mercy and very obviously not in control. Thank God these things eventually devolve.
  • That tour company in The Faceless Ones. Tourists board but never disembark (unless the Doctor shows up before they start dying, which he does).
    • The Chameleons' modus operandi, not fully explained until Jamie reaches their hideout in space: when they board the planes, the victims are slowly subjected to a process of spatial compression, and by the time they've reached the hideout, they're the size of dolls, and are unconsciously kept in drawers until the Chameleons have further use for them. Also, if their disguise-generating armbands are prematurely removed, they dissolve into lifeless blobs.
    • The And I Must Scream horror of the victims paralysed in their little boxes, staring, only able to scream mentally... absolutely terrifying when this happens to Vicki.
    • On a Fridge Horror note, what must have happened on the Chameleons' home planet that forced them to steal other creatures' faces and identities to survive?

Season 5

  • Tomb of the Cybermen: "... you belong to uzzzzz ... you shall be like uzzzzz"
    • The scene where they all start waking up and climbing out of their hive-like tomb... ugh. The music that plays during that scene is pure nightmare fuel too.
    • By the time The Tomb of the Cybermen comes around, we've seen enough of the implacable cyborgs to be immediately scared by them, but this story also introduces the cybermats, small, creeping cybermooks designed to look vaguely like silverfish, but with a highly Uncanny Valley pair of bug-eyes (complete with pupils), which seem to pulsate during the extreme close-ups given in the scene where they crawl over some of the sleeping main cast.
    • The Cybermats are very clearly stated in Expanded Universe materials to be made from minaturized Cyberman tech and organs of creatures too small to be effectively cyberconverted. Including children.
  • The Abominable Snowmen:

 Padmasambhava: Oh, Intelligence. You promised to release me, yet still I feel your grasp upon this frail body. Why? What is happening? This was not your plan. But if you continue to expand...

(He realises what the Intelligence's plan really is.)

Padmasambhava: I have brought the world to its end.

  • The Enemy of the World progresses with a plot which wouldn't be out of place in an action movie (almost Bond-like) right up until the very end, the only time when the Doctor and Salamander meet, engaging in a duel inside the TARDIS which causes them to accidentally flip the dematerialisation switch. Only problem, the doors weren't closed, and Salamander is flung out by the turbulence into the vortex, screaming, left to die an unimaginable death. And then, it just ends. Thankfully, the next story picks up at this very moment.
    • There's something disturbing about how Fedorin chokes and dies.
  • The robot Yeti, especially the death of that curator in The Web of Fear
    • Oh boy, The Web of Fear. Where do we begin? Due to the disbelief of a pompous collector and the fact that the only man who knows how to fight them has grown old and is now mocked, the Yeti make a nightmarish takeover of London, covering the entire city in a web which is also the physical manifestation of the being that controls them, which spreads so far that the first look the Doctor and co. have of the city includes a man who was ensnared alive, and the only way people have found to survive is to retreat into the underground, where the Yeti and said web are steadily closing in on them, leaving them with nowhere else to go. When Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart tries to lead a team of soldiers to a safer area on the surface, they run into a few Yeti, who kill everyone except himself... BUT that's not all. There's clearly a traitor among the small group of survivors who turns out to be dead from the start, his corpse animated by the same abomination which masterminded the whole thing. This lost trailer for Web of Fear is a testament to any remaining doubt anyone may have had about "behind the couch".
  • Fury from the Deep has Oak and Quill's attack on Maggie, van Lutyens being captured by the weed creature, and Robson attacking the guard. And that's just in the surviving footage.
    • Imagine being stuck in an enclosed complex, miles away from civilisation, with the man in charge being prepotent and irresponsible, as well as being occasionally harassed by a couple of creepy men who seem to do everything in synch. You try to distract yourself, so you go lie down- what's that pounding noise? Is that foam coming closer to the windows? And where'd that piece of seaweed come from? What's going on? Why are the two of you here? W-what's he- HOLY FUCK, WHAT ARE THOSE TENTACLES, WHERE'S ALL THE FOAM COMING FROM, WHAAAAARGH...
  • The Wheel in Space is rather slow plot-wise, serving more than anything as an introduction for Zoe (The Cybermen, the stellar villains, aren't even in it that much, and the Doctor doesn't even meet them until halfway through the final episode). So it can come as quite a surprise to see a cold, calculating Cyberman violently writhing in pain as he's fried to death by a force field.

Season 6

  • The Dominators has the (extremely painful) intelligence tests. Some may consider the Quarks' destructive power to be this as well.
  • In "The Mind Robber", there is a scene where Jamie and Zoe are trapped between the pages of a closing book -- and are turned into fiction.
    • And that's a Cliff Hanger, so we get to see it twice.
    • Those really bizarre sound effects in episode 1.
      • Make that almost everything in episode 1. When Jamie and Zoe are lured into the void by a mysterious intelligence, the imagery starts to get incredibly surreal. Then there's that ending... After an onslaught of deafening noise as the Doctor struggles to keep hold of sanity, the TARDIS explodes. Jamie and Zoe cling to the console as it spins in a black sea of nothingness. Zoe spots the Doctor floating, unconscious, some way off, and screams like there's no tomorrow. The rest of the serial is tame in comparison.
    • Jamie loses his face. Aaaaugh!
  • The Invasion: Cybermen rising from the sewers of London, beginning their invasion from within the capital. And if that wasn't enough they come with horrifying sounds. Even to this day, nobody knows how or why exactly Cybermen are producing such noise, which makes it even more scarier.
    • Professor Watkins tells Vaughn he'll kill him when he gets the chance, so Vaughn challenges him by giving him a gun. After a moment of doubt, Watkins does in fact shoot him- Vaughn takes the bullet no problem. His body's made of metal!
    • One of the Cybermen was used as a test subject for an emotion-exaggerating machine, frightening it out of its mind, as it screamed inside its helmet and killed anything in front of it.
    • When Vaughn is forsaken by the Cybermen, he goes mad, destroys the communications device, then calls for his minion- and a Cyberman steps into frame.
  • In The Krotons, the primitive humanoid Gonds are tested for samples of high intelligence, and the rejects are vaporised. No Gond has been accepted during the tests, which have been going for a good thousand years.
  • The seed pods in The Seeds of Death multiply as fungus which then swells up and bursts into fumes which suck out all the oxygen in your lungs, killing you instantly. The remnants of the smoke travel invisibly to rapidly breed into more fungus.
    • An Ice Warrior transports himself to Earth and spends a number of scenes just eerily striding through the countryside, across the foam, killing anyone foolish enough to stand in his way.
  • The nightmarish abductions of The War Games make up for some pretty strong Nightmare Fuel. Along come the Time Lords, and decide that the only fitting punishment for the perpetrators is BEING ERASED FROM TIME, SPACE, HISTORY AND ALL OF EXISTENCE.
    • The Second Doctor's forced regeneration sequence isn't a pretty sight. First multiple images of himself surround him and start spinning around him, then his face is obscured in darkness as he starts spiraling down into the black abyss repeatedly shouting "No!".

Season 7

  • The Autons who first appeared in the Third Doctor's inaugural serial Spearhead from Space and have come back numerous times since: they're animated mannequins who want to kill you. Think about that. Yeah.
    • The Auton faces alone creep some people out.
    • The buildup to them: After hinting strongly that the alien consciousness controls plastic, they shove a doll factory montage in your face, predating Moffat's "inescapable horror shots" by decades.
    • Everything about Channing. Bilis Manger took inexpressive-face lessons from this guy.
      • Ugh. Channing. The eyes. The lack of emotions.
  • The Silurian Virus, and how it spreads rapidly to kill people in the hundreds in a matter of hours.
  • In The Ambassadors of Death - "I don't know what we brought down in Recovery 7... but it certainly wasn't human!"
    • When the astronaut in the rescue capsule goes into the stranded rocket, he looks up and screams, but you don't hear him scream. You see him scream. And it's terrifying.
  • The end of Episode 6 of Inferno. Yeah, it's an evil Mirror Universe, but the world ends and everybody dies. And the last shot of the episode is of the only remotely sympathetic secondary characters watching a river of magma crawl toward them, knowing there's nothing they can do to save themselves.
    • The horror of the ending didn't set in until you start thinking about what must have been happening further away from the penetration site. All over the world, innocent people were falling into fissures, burning alive, being beaten to death by crazed proto-human zombies, or turning into said zombies, and 99.9% of them would never even know why.
    • There's an absolutely terrifying shot in that final montage which brings the above horror home: in the midst of seeing lava spewing everywhere, people running all over the place, we see two men, sitting dazed in the middle of the lava mists, as the world goes up around them. Just sitting. While the world dies around them. There's something so moving and yet so horrific about that single moment that it almost overwhelms the final shot of Episode 6 mentioned above. Almost.

Season 8

  • "Terror of the Autons" features: a man getting suffocated by an inflatable couch, another getting his neck bitten by an evil looking doll and Jo Grant almost getting suffocated by a plastic film sprayed over her mouth by a plastic daffodil. That's before we even get into killer British bobbies.
  • The Mind of Evil features a machine that literally brings your worst fear to life to kill you. And it grows in strength so much, even the Master has trouble resisting it. Of course, this is because those with more evil are more vulnerable to it, but still...
  • Axos. Ship, captain, and crew are a single parasite that eats all living matter off a world, after persuading someone desiring to be seen as a public benefactor to disburse the axonite.
  • The Daemons was, basically, Doctor Who doing Hammer Horror, with the Master practicing what seemed like devil-worship. The occult elements have made it a firm fan favourite.

Season 9

  • Take your pick from The Mutants. The psycho Marshal, the mutation gone wrong, the Fridge Horror of the locals, who have the same failings we do, turning into Gary Mitchells...

Season 10

  • The Three Doctors has a man's face entrapped in cosmic lightning, a bizarre antimatter alien that is initially believed to destroy anyone it touches, and Omega has had his entire body eroded away by exposure to his antimatter world and exists now as nothing more than his essence full of rage and hatred. Seriously, when he takes of his helmet...
  • Drashigs in Carnival of Monsters. Relentless predators that cannot be diverted from a scent. Because they have no brains!
  • A fungus in Planet of the Daleks can sense when an endotherm is passing and fire spore slurry at them. If not treated, the fungus chokes you. Then, there's the whole Fridge Logic of what would have happened to the universe if the Daleks had succeeded in mastering invisibility.
    • This is one of few stories in which the Daleks themselves show genuine, desperate primal fear. When Wester unleashes the Daleks' bacteriological weapon onto their scientists, sealed in a testing room, they yell "WE CANNOT LEAVE HERE. NO ONE CAN ENTER. WE CAN NEVER LEAVE. NEVER. NEVER." and remain locked in there as their base is destroyed, flooded by an icy volcano which proves lethal on contact to Daleks.
  • In The Green Death, we have: the Doctor being nearly annihilated by the hostile wildlife of Wales, miners dying from an incredibly painful infection which makes their skin glow green, mutant maggots which are able to jump and seek to spread said infection, the Doctor and Jo being forced to paddle their way through a pool of these creatures...
    • The BOSS, whose cheerfulness can be very unsettling (he sings when he's minutes away from unleashing his world-domination plan) especially when considering he's an insane computer.
    • Keep in mind that Wales is not a planet.

Season 11

Season 12

  • When Sarah Jane's nightmares do not involve Daleks, she is likely reliving the incident with the Wirrn. Giant insects that turn you into them. Brr.
    • Probably the worst bit of that episode is when the Doctor encounters Noah in the final form of his transformation, with part of his mouth twisted into a hideous grimace, and bits of his face covered in green Wirrn skin...
  • The eponymous procedure in The Sontaran Experiment, but especially the outstanding part that fits this trope the most.

 Styre: Project: resistance to fear.

  • Remember Davros' experiments in The Daleks? We see more of them, land-based, in Genesis of the Daleks. One of them nearly eats Harry.

Season 13

  • Planet of Evil gave us a Monster that only appears in the form of a red outline, is never heard to speak (except for a very surreal scene where it communicates with the Doctor in the black void), devours people and later regurgitates their dessicated bodies and contaminates a member of the expedition, turning him into an homicidal ape-man that can duplicate itself. Bloody terrifying still to this day.
  • Sutekh. Holy Egyptian mythology, Sutekh.
  • The Android Invasion featuring evil duplicates of both Sarah Jane and the Doctor, the only thing in the universe that can make Tom Baker's smile even creepier. The way Android!Doctor helps Android!Sarah Jane up would be touching, until you remember.
  • The Brain of Morbius sounds rather tame - a mad scientist tries to ressurect a Time Lord war criminal by building a new body. But it's only when you actually watch the episode that the Nightmare Fuel kicks in:
  • The Krynoid in "The Seeds of Doom". The seed pod hooks into an animal life form -- including Human -- and takes it over. When it matures (in a matter of days), it expels a thousand seeds to repeat the cycle. Oh, and it can turn all the vegetation to its cause, as well as some people.
    • What about Mr. Chase's mulching machine? Possibly the scariest moment in the story is when he puts Sergeant Henderson in it. He doesn't come out. Not long after that Chase himself follows the him... awake and screaming.

Season 14

  • In Masque of Mandragora, there's a sequence where two villainous characters are discussing their plans to kill off the heir to the throne, while said heir's best friend is screaming in agony just off-screen. And you never know what they did to him, you just see the results later...
    • To clarify - said best friend is being tortured, nastily, by a bloke who, according to the novelisation of said story, loves red-hot pokers a tad too much.
  • The Deadly Assassin: This serial is a real nightmare fuel pile-up. Having your foot stuck in the rails when a steam train comes at you at full tilt? Check. Being drowned (a scene so horrible it was censored for years)? Check. Evil dentists with huge, fuck-off needles? Check. Random samurai kicking you off a cliff? Check. Gas mask soldiers? Check. Goddamn evil clowns? Check. Random snipers? Check. Trapped in a nightmare (one engineered by your worst enemy, no less)? Check.
  • The Robots of Death: A Christie-ish mystery with a small, rapidly diminishing number of people at the mercy of a madman who reprograms their servant robots to do murderous deeds. Said robots have designs straight out of the Uncanny Valley, with extremely detailed but completely immobile faces- one of the crew, especially sensitive to human body language, goes mad from "robophobia", a fear related to the robots' lack of body language that makes him feel he is surrounded by the walking dead.
  • The Talons of Weng-Chiang - a hideously decaying war criminal from the future sucking the life force from local women, giant rats stalking the sewers and feeding on the corpses, the living satanic doll with the cerebral cortex of a pig as its wetware... A Grade Nightmare Fuel.
  • The cliffhangers of season 13 and 14 were amazingly frightening. For example, the cliffhanger to the first episode of "The Hand of Fear"., where the eponymous hand starts reconstituting itself and moves.

Season 15

  • The Horror of Fang Rock. The creepy, fog drenched atmosphere. The high death toll. The growing paranoia of being besieged in a small building with no contact to the outside world. But then there was a shot of the shape-shifting Rutan just standing there on the stairs, unseen in the shadows, expressionless.
    • The periodic sounding of the foghorn only adds to the creepy atmosphere.
    • The cliffhanger to part 3 deserves a mention:

  The Doctor: Oh Leela, I've made a terrible mistake. I thought I'd locked the enemy out. Instead, I've locked it in, with us.

  • For the most part, The Invisible Enemy is delightful nonsense. But the idea of an intelligent virus... brr.
  • The Fendahl are giant slug-like creatures that paralyse you and eat you alive. An ancient horror that reaches out through time and takes over your mind, transforming people around you into said monsters as vessels for its rebirth. Some of this would make Steven Moffat back away shuddering.
    • Not to mention that twelve Fendahleen (the slug-like creatures) and the Fendahl Core (the formerly human "mind" of the Fendahl) are powerful enough to drain the life force of every single thing on the planet, from humans to protozoa. And the Doctor--"The Oncoming Storm" himself--was terrified of the Fendahl, even as an adult.
    • "There are four thousand million people on this planet. If I'm right, within a year, there'll be just one."
    • The sequence with the skull and Thea has rather poor SFX -- the eyes/eye-sockets are mismatched -- and yet is absolutely terrifying. The Fendahleen themselves are wibbly-wobbly hissing things, and so completely alien they're scary even when small.
  • The Steamer in The Sunmakers.
  • The Seers from Underworld.
  • The Doctor pretending to side with the villain of The Invasion of Time shows how mad and dark he can be.
    • Especially in Part 1 when he was screaming his head off at Borusa.

Season 16

  • The planet that pounces on other planets, killing everything on them in The Pirate Planet. Sweet dreams.
    • In the same story there's the Captain. Most of the time, he's a rather comical Large Ham, but when the Doctor kills his robotic parrot, he suddenly becomes quite calm and very creepy. Particularly when he shows the Doctor what fate he has in store for him:

 Captain: A plank! The theory is very simple. You walk along it. At the end, you fall off. Drop one thousand feet. Dead!

      • And the sudden crashing realization that, as ridiculous a method of execution as it is ... it's so simple that there's nothing for the Doctor to latch onto to find an out. If he hadn't prepared his trick well in advance he would have died. And in fact ... when you think of how the Fourth Doctor actually did die ...
  • The monsters of "The Stones of Blood". Stonehenge-like stone towers that can move around, and one touch from them means instant and very painful death. The worst moment is when an innocent bystander who's camping nearby gets curious and touches the stone, and we get a close up of his hand being skeletonized while his screams echo all around.
  • The android Romana. Imagine someone you trust turning out to be a Killer Robot.

Season 17

  • Vraxoin, a drug that can cause total apathy, and has levelled whole civilizations. Yes, anvils can still be Nightmare Fuel.
    • The Captain, high on Vraxoin, laughs openly and mockingly upon seeing the crew and passengers being slaughtered by mandrels.
  • Skagra's mind-stealing machine in Shada. Brr...

Season 18

  • State of Decay isn't that frightening for a child, but once you get old enough to recognise the sexual undertones... the head vampire reallly likes Adric and wants to make him a vampire too. Bad touch.
  • The ending of Warriors' Gate - All the secondary characters are wiped out when they accidentally blow their own ship up. Once the dust settles, you see the aliens they'd been keeping as slaves calmly leaving the blackened remains of the ship... aliens which are out-of-synch with time due to just having been revived from comas, meaning they leave eerie after-images everywhere they go.
    • In episode four, when one of the revived Tharils electrocutes one of the slavers. He just flops back on the table with a look of complete terror frozen on his face and his skin instantly pales to an unnatural shade of grey, staring wide-eyed at the camera. Made worse by the fact that most of the crew of the slave ship were characterized as ordinary, blue collar guys just working for a paycheck instead of Complete Monsters.
  • In the final scene of The Keeper of Traken, (Feb. 1981) with the crisis resolved and the Doctor departed, Consul Tremas goes to investigate a long case clock that has appeared. He touches the clock face and is unable to move. Unseen by anyone else, the ghoul-like figure of the Master emerges from the clock, gloats "A new body at last", merges with Tremas, and then leaves in the clock, his TARDIS. No blood, no gore, just horror at its understated best.

Season 19

  • The Mara. Otherworldly beings that invade your mind and possess your body because you fell asleep. They are the physical embodiment of Nightmare Fuel. The sequences in Tegan's mind -- in the dark, alone -- were some of the most blood-chilling ever.
  • Earthshock: The first enemies encountered by the Redshirt Army blow them into puddles of goo. To be honest the Cybermen guns are far less horrific (though suitably hammed up by the actors).
    • The Cybermen as they were about to destroy the planet. And then the trauma redoubled itself with Adric's death.
  • The way the Master's Kalid disguise falls when Tegan and Nyssa first interrupt the power in "Time-Flight". Yuck.

Season 20

  • Mawdryn Undead, where Tegan and Nyssa find someone they believe to be the Doctor, covered in blood. Then there was the cliffhanger to Part Two, where they and The Brigadier enter the TARDIS and find the same person, healed, but missing half a skull.

20th Year Anniversary

  • Borusa's fate in "The Five Doctors".
    • Speaking of The Five Doctors, the Raston Warrior Robot...a lightning-fast killer ninja android that massacred a whole squad of Cybermen. To be fair, some might consider it to be super extra-freaking sweet, but seriously, this thing decapitates one Cyberman, impales a few others and cuts the limbs off of at least two more. ON A KIDS' SHOW!

Season 21

  • Frontios had people being sucked under the earth without warning 16 years before The Hungry Earth/Cold Blood.
  • Resurrection of the Daleks features the titular creatures attacking a space station by unleashing a flesh-dissolving gas upon its crewmembers. The lucky ones die almost instantly on exposure with the gas. One less lucky crewmember only gets a minor dose of the gas and is seemingly fine... until near the end of the first episode, when his face and hands starts to dissolve, resulting in another crewmember putting him out of his misery by shooting him.
    • To make it worse gas like this actually exists and was used in the first world war and other wars. Blister agents such as Lewisite and Mustard gas. Once they come into contact with the skin they slowly cause the flesh to blister and literally rot off.
  • The Caves of Androzani had Sharaz Jek. He had burns over most of his body, was quite mad, and wore a black body suit and mask that made him look like something you'd see peering in your window at night. Not only that, but he had a very unhealthy obsession with Peri. He's a man who's been stuck in an underground cave for years surrounded by nothing but androids, and as soon as he sees Peri he decides he has to have her because she's so pretty. The implications of her fate had she not escaped with the Doctor are quite unsettling.

Season 22

  • "Vengeance on Varos" when an unconscious Sixth Doctor is about to be chucked into an acid bath because the guards think he is dead. Then he moves and the guards try and throw him anyway. The first one is startled and falls in the acid when the supposedly dead Doctor speaks to him. And the first guard pulls the second one in while trying to pull himself out. The Doctor's lack of horror at the grisly fate of the guards is a little disturbing.
    • The creepiest part of this scene was before they go to throw the Doctor in, they get rid of another corpse in the acid bath, with nightmare fuel music playing as they lower the body.
  • Those landmines in Mark of the Rani that turn you into a tree.
  • The Two Doctors has an experiment that tampers with the Doctor's physiology and psychology. Not the Chameleon Arch; an experiment.

Season 23

  • The scene in The Mysterious Planet where Drathro's castle is being raided, and the viewer just knows that the overworlders are going to die, no question about it.
  • The section in Mindwarp where Kiv's brain is transplanted into Peri's body.
  • All of Terror of the Vervoids. Plants will never be seen the same way again.
  • The exploding feathers quill pens from The Ultimate Foe.
    • And the thought that the Doctor could actually become the Valeyard.

Season 24

  • The two old women in the tower block in Paradise Towers. Something about one of them throwing her black shawl over Mel...
  • A guy's face melts in "Dragonfire".

Season 25

  • The Special Weapons Dalek in Remembrance of the Daleks. More Dakka combined with Nightmare Fuel.
    • The other Daleks think this one's a homicidal maniac.
    • The girl they shoved into a Dalek command shell. The Daleks took her and used her brain as the wetware for their attack systems.
      • Right off the bat it's shown that there's something up with this girl, given the creepy little song she sings when she first catches sight of the Doctor:

  "Five, six, seven, eight. It's The Doctor at the gate..."

  • The Happiness Patrol, whilst on first viewing is pretty innocuous and has a really unconvincing villain in the shape of the Kandy Man (a giant 'Bertie Bassett' shaped thing, that isn't quite a robot, and definitely isn't nice) is actually really fucked up.
    • The story revolves around Helen A and her husband/partner Joseph C who rule a colony on the planet Terra Alpha where it is illegal to be unhappy. The scene that's really nightmarish is when a man is executed by Helen A and Joseph C for the crime of unhappiness. A huge pipe is lowered over his head and molten candy is poured over his head. It's not clear if it's boiling hot, or if he drowns with his lungs full of molten sugar, but either way it's very disturbing. This is made even worse when (just before the camera cuts to the next scene) Joseph C leans forward, scrapes some candy off the corpse with his finger and eats it with a grin on his face. Urgh.
  • The Greatest Show in the Galaxy/Has a circus straight out of Bradbury/With Monster Clowns and evil eyes/And Big Brother kites up in the sky/The audience lands in the ring/And has to perform for some nasty things/Who rank the act with zip or nine/And if they're amused then you are fine/But if the rank they give is nil/With an energy blast, the act is killed.

Season 26

  • The final series of the classic show had Ghost Light, fun with de-evolution. The fate of the reverend and the police inspector were incredibly disturbing (even if one was meant to be something of a Karmic Death).
  • The Curse of Fenric featured Alien Vampires, a doubting priest whose holy symbols have no effect on said vampires, and the Ancient One, a giant fishy blue thing who rises from the water.
    • In one scene, several women are in a room into which a few Haemovores approach. The next time we see the room, all of the women have become Haemovores.
    • When Fenric decides that he doesn't need two of the Haemovores, he has the Ancient One turn them to dust.
    • The cliffhanger for Episode 3 has a crippled scientist collapse, dead. Momentarily, he stands up, with glowing eyes, and says "We play the contest again, time lord." The beginning of the following episode has the windows shatter after and the man disappear.
    • When Ace reveals to one of the soldiers the way to solve the Doctor's puzzle, thinking Fenric to be dead, only to learn that Fenric has moved into the soldier's body. Lightning promptly shoots through the window and sets the table on fire.
    • And also, when the Doctor was yelling at Fenric about how stupid Ace was and how much he hated her, while Ace was on her knees, crying.
  • The Cheetah People in Survival. Also, the planet that is falling apart around them.

The TV movie

  • Possessed Grace in the 1996 telemovie. Her eyes turn completely black and all the while sports an incredibly creepy grin.

Steven Moffat

Steven Moffat: Fuelling Nightmares Since 2005.

  • Every episode of the new Doctor Who has some moments that could give somebody nightmares, but "Blink" gave everybody nightmares. If you are prone to nightmares, don't watch any Steven Moffat stories... in fact, stay away from the Eleventh Doctor's first season ENTIRELY. Moffat is the drunken captain of the oil tanker full of nightmare fuel that's headed full speed ahead straight for the rocky coast of your dreams has given us, in addition to "Blink",

Series 1 - The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances

    • The gas mask people from "The Empty Child" / "The Doctor Dances"

Series 2 - The Girl in the Fireplace

    • The eighteenth century French girl who grows up and dies with the prospect of meeting the Doctor only a few times while only a handful of minutes pass for the Doctor himself (or the "clockwork robots" stalking her, especially when disguised, and the way they repair their space ship structural/electronic/critical damage with human organs).
      • The real chilling bit was how entirely believable the scenario was. Not from the sci-fi perspective, but consider it this way: they were repair drones, and the ship was in need of repair. It's their one purpose, their only reason to exist. And, as one said, "We did not have the parts." And he just repeats that, over and over, until the Doctor gets it, " one told them the crew was off limits." With an AI that single-minded, it seems horrifyingly probable for the prime directive to supercede things like "human life."
      • This scene takes a few seconds to sink in, but when it does, you'll shit bricks:

 The Doctor: [looks at a broken clock] Okay, that's scary.

Reinette: You're scared of a broken clock?

The Doctor: Just a bit scared, yeah. Just a tiny bit. 'Cause you see, if this clock's broken, and it's the only one in the room, then what's that ticking?

      • The scene where the Doctor looks under Reinette's bed is already a pretty touchy subject for anyone who's had night terrors, but when the camera slowly pans up to show that all-out shit-inducing nightmare mask, hidden in the shadows just so, you find yourself cowering under the covers.
      • The very practical approach to organ harvesting "I will not set foot there again." "We do not require your feet."
        • One line sums it up: We did not have the parts.
    • The sheer horrifying creepiness of the clockwork 'bots themselves. Eyeless 18th century pseudo-Mardi Gras mask? Check. Monotonous voice? Check. Slow and jerky but inexorable movements accompanied by sounds to alert their arrival and your sure demise? Check. Retractable saws and other scary implements? Check. Total single-mindedness focusing on harvesting your organs? Check.

Series 3 - Blink and Series 5 - The Time of Angels/Flesh and Stone (The Weeping Angels)

  • When it first aired, "Blink" had a special warning telling parents that the episode was scarier than normal and should be watched in the day instead of at night. Only Doctor Who could make an episode about statues the most terrifying thing in the world.
    • One of the most impressive things about the Weeping Angels (pre-The Time of Angels and Flesh and Stone) is that they were the most terrifying creation of the new series, possibly the entire run of the show, and they didn't actually kill you. Not really; you were just zapped into the past. Both Kathy Nightengale and Billy Shipton lived out happy, full lives before dying of natural causes. They don't kill you, and they still cause even the most hardened horror fans to wet themselves. Tip of the hat to the Moff.
      • If anything, that makes them even more terrifying. They don't need you to die; they draw their energy from the time you would have spent living in the present, while dooming you to reflect on what's happened to you and just what you've lost forever. The fact that they feed on your lost, wasted life is scarier than if they just outright swallowed you whole.
      • "You're not looking at the statue." "Neither are you." Cue the bottom picture Jump Scare.
      • And to make things worse - "Anything which contains the image of an Angel becomes an Angel itself."
      • On the subject of anything which contains the image of an Angel becoming an Angel, here's some nice Call Back/Fridge Horror for ya. At the end "Blink" Sally Sparrow has some pictures of the Angels.
        • It gets even better though - look in an angel's eyes long enough, and it can come out of the image you have of it in your brain. Now think back to how many times there have been close-ups of the angels' faces, and suddenly those statues are even more terrifying.
          • Do the math here: By not looking at an Angel, it will kill you before you can even realize you're not looking. By looking, it will turn you into one of its own. Either way, your existence is over.
        • After all those ways of killing you, you'd think it couldn't get worse. Sometimes they get absolutely sadistic and like to fuck with you before they kill you. Making you count down to your own demise, making you believe you're turning to stone, and even fucking with your friends. By this point you're better off letting them kill you normally.
      • "Bob, keep running but tell me, how did you escape?" "I didn't escape, sir. The angels killed me, too. They broke my neck." Scariest. Conversation. Ever.
        • "And when you say you're coming, you mean..." "That's right sir, the angels are coming.". Scariest part of the episode, hands down.
        • What makes it really creepy was how emotionless he said it. He was being so scared in the beginning that that monotone makes you just KNOW that something's horribly wrong. There was also this quote: "If [they] have two heads, then why don't their statues?"
      • The montage of statues, narrated by David Tennant's "don't blink speech".
      • In Flesh and Stone... The Angels move. In the most creepy, unsettling way imaginable.
        • Worse, Amy has her eyes closed the entire time, and then she drops her communicator
      • And when the barrier sealing off the forest rises up...there's an army of angels just standing there. Who's at the front to greet them?Bob, the one who told the Doctor his neck was snapped and the angels were coming.
      • The horrible, demonic shrieking noises that the Angels make... when they laugh.
    • Those Angels are standing in a secure parking garage, under many light bulbs. Light bulbs burn out.
      • What about when the Doctor asks Angel Bob why the Angel in Amy's mind is forcing her to count down. "To make her afraid, Sir." "Yes, but why?" "For fun, Sir."
      • The Time of Angels takes the concept of the Weeping Angels, turns it up to eleven and rips the knob off it. A dead man describing to the Doctor over the radio how the Angels snapped his neck, and the Doctor recalling the builders of the temple having two heads. And then realising that all of the seemingly innocuous statues littering the temple only have one. They then turn out to be rotting, decaying angels. Brrr.
      • That nightmarish effect of the moving angels isn't created by CGI, either; the moving statues are all actual actresses in Uncanny Valley makeup.
    • The Angels don't move when you see them. They don't move on-screen, even when the characters aren't looking. They can see you. They can affect you.
    • Doctor Who Live makes all the monsters even worse, seeing as its gimmick is letting the monsters wander among the stage and audience. The Weeping Angel segment is one of the worst; two Angels on the stage, killing actors dressed as investigating policemen, with the image of one on the massive screen behind them. All set to the most soothing music of the night. Can be seen here.
  • "Flesh and Stone":
    • First, the Doctor has to shoot the globe that's keeping the entire MAZE of Angels at bay.
    • Then, the Doctor, Amy, River, Father Octavian and the Clerics running through the ship, having to periodically shut the lights off in order to open the doors.
    • the Doctor and River leaving Amy, who must keep her eyes shut at all times or the Angel inside her head will get free, and the Clerics alone with the Angels in the forest. The crack seems to be calling to the Clerics - who walk over and are rewritten out of time, like they never existed. Amy is left completely alone, essentially blind, and must walk through the forest full of Angels as if she can see, because only the illusion that she might be able to see them is keeping the Angels from attacking.
      • The Doctor explaining what the time energy will do to Amy: "If the time energy catches up with you, you will never have been born. It will erase every moment of your existence. You will never have lived at all.
    • On top of the terror of the Angels in this episode is bad enough, but when we learn that the crack in time is widening, things get worse. Now instead of letting things cross from universe to universe, it wipes them out... And not just by killing them, but by retroactively erasing them from existence so that no-one will even remember you, or why you went missing.
    • The soldiers shooting at the Angels in the tunnel... not because they actually expect the bullets to work, but to use the muzzle flash to light them up.
    • When just dying is actually a pretty good outcome (see also The Big Bang), things are probably pretty firmly in HONF territory.
    • Here's some Fridge Horror HONF for you: All the angels were thrust into the crack in time at the end of the episode making everything have a nice, (relatively) happy ending. Now remember what happened when the cracks closed? How everything that got erased from time came back? Yeah... Have fun sleeping tonight...
      • Oh, it gets worse. "The God Complex." One of the rooms contains Weeping Angels, and Amy's terrified when she sees them. Turns out it was Gibbis' worst fear. The Doctor proved that they weren't real ( he could put his hand through them like a hologram), but remember "that which contains the image of an Angel, itself becomes an Angel." Oh Crap.
        • The fact that, because Amy remembered the Angels from her own experiences with them, one could surely argue the Angels now exist again from her re-remembering everything back into existence in "The Big Bang" - and Gibbis has just confirmed it by clearly remembering them himself! Not to mention, nobody ever said that the four Angels in "Blink", or even the many in the Series 5 Angels two-parter were the only ones in existence... apparently, they had initially been trying to take the latter episode's planet over before running out of "food". So... where are the rest of them?

Series 4 - Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead

  • Silence in the Library/Forest of the Dead -- A two-part story penned by Steven Moffat, involving living carnivorous shadows in a giant space library, plus a cyberspace segment involving vanishing children and a woman with a warped face.
    • Apparently the little specks in bright light are Vashta Nerada, too.
    • "Hey...who turned out the lights....?" Go ahead; shudder.
    • What makes "count your shadows" so horrifying is that it's not impossible to have two shadows. If you're standing between two light sources of similar brightness (Two lamps, or even two windows on different walls) you will have two shadows.
      • More the point that you almost never even notice your own shadow, even when you think about it.
    • "The lights... are going... out..."
    • The Doctor saying that every creature in the universe has a irrational fear of the dark... only to explain that the fear isn't irrational.
    • Oh god... The Vashta Narada exist on every world in the universe. Sometimes a person just goes missing....
      • It's also especially implied that they exist on earth...
    • Let's not forget the line by the Doctor after they've fled from Proper Dave.

 The Doctor: [to River] You said there were five people alive in this room, right?

River: Yes.

The Doctor: So why are there six...?

[beat; everyone turns around slowly]

Proper Dave/Vashta Nerada: Hey! Who turned out the lights?

  • A person's last dying thoughts getting stuck in the suit radio until they fade: "Icecream, Icescream, I scream..."
    • Finally, the cliffhanger:

   "Donna Noble has left the Library. Donna Noble has been saved. Donna Noble has left the Library. Donna Noble has been saved. Donna Noble has left the Library. Donna Noble has been saved..."

Series 5 - The Eleventh Hour, The Beast Below, The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang

  • The Eleventh Hour. Kids, see that crack in your wall? It's got a murderous shapeshifting alien behind it which looks like the hybrid of a moray eel and xenomorph. And if you look into the crack there is a giant eye that will look back at you.
    • One night that murderous alien made his way through the crack and into your home. Where it went into hiding. Without you knowing. For over ten years.
    • And that crack will eat your Mum and Dad. And it's getting bigger.
    • Moffat got the idea after seeing a crack in his son's bedroom wall. Yeah. That's right. He tailor-designed nightmare fuel for his own child!
      • According to the commentary for the episode, his son doesn't find the crack itself terribly frightening. Nonetheless, he bravely 'rolled up [his] sleeves and called a man to fill in the crack.'
  • Everything about Prisoner Zero.
    • Not to mention the Paranoia Fuel linked to it, and pretty much the world in general. Anyone you know go into a coma recently? Prisoner Zero might be masquerading as them. In fact, it could be watching you...right you look at this page...''and you won't even notice. And thanks to Perception Filters, there could be many horrible things you aren't noticing...
    • "Oh, I'm getting it wrong again, aren't I? So...many...mouths."
    • The teeth of the transformed people are hugely creepy.
    • The mixed up voices were creepier for some, especially when the little girl uses the woman's voice, diving headfirst into the Uncanny Valley.
      • The man barking instead of the dog.
    • There might also be hidden rooms in your house which you can't notice and which contain evil shapeshifting monsters.
      • If you just look in the corner of your eye...
    • The sequence where Amy is going into Prisoner Zero's room, and the Doctor -- The Doctor! -- is absolutely terrified, screaming for her to turn back, and she just keeps going...
      • "Walking down a hallway towards a door that shouldn't be there while someone screams not to open it? Hey, who needs sleep?"
    • Prisoner Zero was in that room for 12 years and had forged a mental link with Amy strong enough to knock her out by the time she was an adult. What would having an alien creature who had done something so awful that it's guards are willing to distroy a planet to stop it do to the mind of a little girl as she grew up? Some fans have even pointed out Amy shows signs of mental illness. From that perspective, she really needed those psychologists.
    • The Atraxi were willing to destroy an entire planet just to get rid of him. Just what the hell did Prisoner Zero do for this extreme action?!
      • The Doctor does make a fairly simple case that there must have been a less "extreme" method, since one would assume there must be a method for dealing with major convicts on planets that you can't just torch. And in the process reminds us why he's so greatly feared as to get his own Pandorica.
    • Don't forget the picture taken by the Hubble Space telescope a few years ago. [1]
  • "The Beast Below" has Smilers and their demonic frowns.

 Girl: A hole sends a man above below./ One has a plan but both must go./ Mile after mile; above, beneath./ One has a smile, and one has teeth. / Though the man above may say hello, / Expect no love from the beast below! [cue the elevator plummeting, then the floor opening]

    • "This, then, is what has been done to preserve the safety of the British people. May God have mercy on our souls."
    • Oh, god, most of The Beast Below was freaky--well, until we get near the end when it's discovered what's so horribly wrong about the ship having no engines. It's not just that it oughtn't be moving, it's that they're torturing a star whale who volunteered to help, to achieve propulsion.. The Smilers are creepy in the pre-title sequence alone.
      • The Doctor's immediate assumption that his only choice is to to burn out the star whale's brain in order to save the humans and to spare the whale any further pain. This is a horrible choice--but two things rev it Up to Eleven: the Doctor knows the creature is sentient, and the Doctor is telepathic. Yet he never once thinks of using his own abilities to communicate with the creature. He just jumps into "I must destroy" mode and never comes out of it. Now think about all the times that the Doctor has decided that there's only one thing he can do...and realize how many innocent sentient creatures may have been destroyed by the Doctor.
      • The Smilers' faces are made of porcelain... And each face takes up 50% of the head... And there's -THREE- faces.
      • That's not the creepy part. The creepy part is that the Smilers were never explained.
    • The fact that the Queen had lived through her 10 year reign many times, each time discovering the secret and being presented with this option:

 (forget) (abdicate)

  • The whole idea of the Alliance: Daleks, Cybus Cybermen, Sycorax, Silurians, Hoix, the Weevils out of Torchwood, Autons...
    • Even worse. All of the Doctor's enemies (and some other aliens) gang up on him and lock him in the Pandorica, which was built to prevent him apparently blowing up the universe. It didn't work.
    • "There was a goblin, or a trickster... Or a warrior... A nameless, terrible thing, soaked in the blood of a billion galaxies. The most feared being in all the cosmos. And nothing could stop it or hold it, or reason with it. One day it would just drop out of the sky and tear down your world." This is the description of the monster in the Pandorica, and it's the Doctor. Think about that.
      • Fridge horror when you consider the ending of The Wedding of River Song. Someone had just tried to stop him, and someone else attempted to reason with him. He still hasn't done what got him imprisoned in the Pandorica.
    • Also from The Pandorica Opens, the Cyberman's helmet springing open to reveal the rotting human skull inside.
      • And attempting to acquire a new body by sealing Amy's head inside it!
        • "You will be assimilated". Somehow, Steven Moffat made the Cybermen a genuinely terrifying enemy in one line than Rusty managed in three series of them.
          • Hey, at least he didn't add "resistance is futile", despite the major similarities. That always goes through my head after that line. Whole other level of terror if they were somehow actually related to the Borg...
    • Also from The Pandorica Opens: After listening to the Doctor begging and pleading to his enemies to be let out of the Pandorica to save the universe, then panning out to see every single star exploding and darkness and silence covering everything, THE FUCKING BACKGROUND MUSIC SHUTS OFF and the scene fades to black in silence.
    • The outcome of a a Total Event Collapse. The Earth and the Moon are the only things left. Not just that it's the only planet left, but it's the only planet to have ever existed. Every single alien race, good or bad, never came to be. Earth is utterly alone, with the only intelligence left being the Silurians. Thing get worse when what's left starts suffering the same fate.
      • How the HECK did Earth & Moon survive the Sun (only 8 light-minutes away) going SUPERNOVA?! (EVERY star went supernova, as the Doctor reminds us, specifically to remind us that that definitely includes good ol' Sol.)
        • Timey-Wimey Stuff. That's how.
    • Oh,and here's something you may like. The Cyberman said that "all universes" will be deleted. That's right, a Class Z. And if The Multiverse truly exists, this means all of creation was wiped out during "The Big Bang". That includes our reality. WE NEVER EXISTED.
    • The Doctor hinting what he thinks happened to Amy's family That they were erased by the crack, and judging by the number of rooms, that could easily include siblings she has no clue (n)ever existed.
    • One more: Van Gogh's painting of the TARDIS exploding, with imagery eerily reminiscent of his magnum opus Starry Night.
    • "I'm sorry, my love."
      • The "outside force" landing the TARDIS... with it's door facing a rock wall. On a place in space that is likely about as far from the Earth as the Sun. Thus probably Mars. Also, apparently at least the rock wall's edge was included in the TARDIS' time loop, since it remains even after the erasure of it's the universe's existance. Special design, or Hand Wave?
      • Eleven screaming: "PLEASE LISTEN TO ME!!!" when the Pandorica closes. The Doctor had never sounded so desperately scared in his life.
    • The Pandorica itself is terrifying when you think about it. It's a very small box where you can't move, not even your head. And it won't let you die, because that would be "escaping". Now imagine what would've happened if Rory hadn't freed the Doctor.
      • "Lucky" Amy; she was "dead" the whole time. Lucky it didn't heal her upon entry... if you imagined what the Doctor would have gone through, what about Amy? look what an apparition of an ancient and tortured Rory was like; and he wasn't immobile. Of course, he was just a projection, but that doesn't change the possibility.
  • Imagine you died. Killed. Gone forever. Then, suddenly, you're alive again, in an entirely different place, in an entirely different time, with everything that you've known being as distant as a dream. As if your entire life never happened... And then, you run into someone you thought didn't exist. Someone you loved. And they don't remember who you are. You desperately try to get them to remember, but before you can, your body, moving on its own, kills them. Not only do you have to live with killing the one person you can recover from your old life, but you are a false machine copy of who you think you are. And you're working for the bad guys.
  • "The Big Bang" gives us a half dead/half alive fossilized Dalek screaming "RESTORE! RESTORE! RESTORE!" as it tries to reboot itself. Perhaps one of the most frightening Dalek scenes of the new series.
    • It also shoots the Doctor but fails to quite kill him instantly, leaving him wincing in pain for a good chunk of the episode.
    • River Song is pretty scary now. She made a Dalek beg for mercy. A freakin' Dalek. She didn't just get it to beg - she got it to metaphorically roll over and scream for mama. You can actually hear in each iteration of the word 'mercy' its progression from 'Oh Crap' to 'please don't kill me' to 'OHMYGODI'MABOUTTODIE!' And all in the same emotionless tone. Just be glad she's on our side. We believe...
      • River Song. It's a combination of the fact that she not only killed a man, she killed "a good man. The best man I ever knew" and the fact that the last time she sees the Doctor in The Big Bang she tells him that soon he'll find out who she is and then "I'm sorry, but everything will change." Neither of those sound good.
      • The question is, WHAT DID SHE DO TO THAT DALEK?
    • Rory gets about as close to And I Must Scream as you can get while still fully mobile, standing guard over Amy for almost 2000 years, and not even being able to sleep through any of it. Of course, the fact that he takes this on willingly (and it's even his idea in the first place) also means it's a killer Crowning Moment of Awesome, Crowning Moment of Heartwarming, and Tear Jerker as well.

Series 6 - The Impossible Astronaut/Day of the Moon, A Good Man Goes to War/Let's Kill Hitler, The Wedding of River Song

  • Series 6 gets kick-started with the Silence--a race of aliens where you turn to run, and instantly forget there's anything there to run from.
    • "Run, get out of this room, right now!" A reminder from Amy to herself... only a moment earlier.
    • Also, they look like a cross between Slender Man, the Gentlemen from Buffy, and Edvard Munch's "The Scream." Not quite seeing the "Scream" inspiration? Wait 'til it opens its mouth...
      • And then it absorbs all the local electricity to blast you into... mostly unrecognizable bits.
      • To add to the Slender Man resemblence, River Song's reaction to a pair of them? "I see you."
        • That's not all. The Silence apparently influenced humans subconsciously, including the artist of the Scream. That would mean they influenced us into MAKING SLENDER MAN.
    • It keeps getting worse - they HANG. FROM THE CEILING. IN PACKS.
    • Also consider what we find out in Day of the Moon: the Silence have been subtly influencing humanity and determining the course of every action we take for the entirety of human history. Humanity are slaves and we don't even know it.
    • How many Silence have you killed? Your home could be filled with their corpses.
      • You know how while walking you will occasionally trip over something that you can't see, and you just chalk it up to tripping over your feet? Wrong...
      • Ever walk into a room, and immediately forget why you went in there in the first place...?
      • Ever wake up in the morning much more tired than when you went to bed? Maybe with some inexplicable aches and pains? Consider that your late-night trip to the fridge or the bathroom was far more "eventful" than you'll ever remember.
      • More fun thoughts. There's absolutely nothing saying that the Silence can't fight back. They may not be armed to begin with, but still all they have to do is get out of your line of sight and then try to nail you from behind some way. And who's to say they don't later choose to arm themselves? If you catch one of the Silence stealing something of yours and they get out of your sight, do you assume you misplaced it or forget that you owned it in the first place?
      • This just hit me- how many missing person cases will forever remain unsolved, or how many murder cases will forever be blamed on the wrong person, because the culprit isn't human and isn't possible to catch?
    • "You should kill us all on sight!", repeated over and over. Having that simply imprinted in your mind, even if it's the best option... And you don't even know it.
    • For me, the most scary part was whenever someone looked at his/her arm and saw marks. Then looked back and saw more. Or when Amy looked in the window and saw her face covered with marks. To realize that you've just seen Silents and yet to have your memory telling you you didn't, well that's just creepy on a whole new level.
  • The Slenderman-like things in "The Impossible Astronaut" are creatures known as The Silence (as in "Silence will fall"). And good grief, they're terrifying. Not only can they literally appear anywhere, you also forget seeing them once you aren't looking at them. Their first clear appearence is in a Ladies Room, and a scene set there has never been so creepy.
    • How can you be sure there isn't one behind you right now? You can look, but you'll instantly forget as soon as you look away...
    • As Steven Moffat said in a 'Confidential' episode, his inspiration for that aspect of the Silence came from him pondering just how much he had forgotten in the past year. Think about that, can you account for every single second of your life in the past year?
      • What if we assume the average human could theoretically speaking remember every single second ... and we don't because of the Silents.
      • He full-on admitted he wanted to make "the scariest Doctor Who monster". He created the Weeping Angels. And he's Steven freaking Moffat.
    • Consider the various times we feel sick or nauseous, without explanation. We assume it's something we ate, but what if you'd just seen a monster so terrifying it caused you to be physically sick and then just...forgot?
    • These guys are triply scary - not only the forgetting thing, but they can also mind-control you and influence your behaviour - and you'd forget that happened too! - and, to top it all off, blow you up with lightning too. Ouch.
    • Oh, man, the scenes in the tunnels. Sleep well, children of Britain!
  • Somebody killed the Doctor in "The Impossible Astronaut". And by killed, it doesn't mean a regeneration. It means actual death. The question is, who the hell would do such a thing!
    • A spacesuit.
    • It's implied to be River. Yes, there's the distinct possibility that the Doctor is dating his murderer. Especially now that we know she was trained to commit said murder.
  • According to "Day of the Moon", we have all probably killed a Silence at one point or another and we don't remember it. That's some serious nightmare fuel, taking a life without even realizing it.
    • Add onto that if we are killing them en masse, what are we doing with their bodies? How many times have you noticed an odd smell you couldn't pinpoint, feel like you just stepped in something, or tripped over "nothing"? Ya'll have fun now.
      • Take that one step further: ever walk into a room, and immediately forget what you went into the room to get or do? Yeah, ya'll sleep well tonight!
    • Dr Renfrew, the insane children's home director. And the fact that the Silents have memory wiped him so many times there's just nothing left... His mannerisms, voice patterns and vague stare just make it worse.

 Amy Pond: "It's the kids, yeah? They did that?"

Dr Renfrew: "Yes, the children! It must be. Yes."

      • It was nice of him to try to warn people away, despite his near-total-mental-collapse state. And also to try to clean it up. So that people wouldn't be warned...
      • Never mind the crazy caretaker, ["Laser Guided Tykebomb 'grew up' in this hellhole! With only him and Kovarian for human contact and dozens of Silence "programming" her, messing with her Memory to the point that she hardly remembers her early life to the point that she didn't recognize Kovarian, or know why she was trying to kill the future love of her life, encased in an astronaut suit filled to the brim with weaponry that barred her from any touch or basic human things like eating. Her first encounter with her mother, whom she only knew from pictures, consisted of said mother pointing a gun at her, willing to shoot her dead for a murder she hadn't committed yet. After she escaped from her horrible situation, she had to fend for herself on the street and contracted a terminal illness. She survived it by regenerating, but at the cost of being stuck on the street... as a toddler. And in spite of how warped all of this left River, she still remained somewhat human with the... capacity for suffering this entails. She tracked down her parents, like any lost child. She was twice their age when she met them, but she could never tell them she's their daughter lest she cause a paradox that prevents her conception. We have this poor woman who knows that she will probably kill the love of her life and have to live with the fact that she killed him every time she meets him, who knows that one day, she's going to meet the person her life revolves around, and he won't have a clue who she is. And then Kovarian and the Silence come for her.
    • "This isn't an invasion, this is their empire" They've been here for centuries and no one has noticed.
      • The scenes where the camera barely flickers and suddenly someone's palm is blinking. Or worse, their face and arms are covered in marks, and they can't remember why.
    • Amy finds a whole bunch of Silents sleeping batlike on the ceiling... and one of them starts moving.
  • And now in "A Good Man Goes To War" we have the Doctor. No, seriously. Through the entirety of Nu Who we've seen the Doctor's What the Hell, Hero? tendancies. With Ten's A God Am I moments, this was taken a step further. Eleven is full-on warned that he is on the edge of good & evil. After telling the Doctor that it is he who has influenced Earth's usage of the word 'Doctor' as someone who saves and heals and fixes, River hits him with a fact of the language of a recently-dead ally who was only near the battle in the first place to meet him, and asks him how far his name will be twisted.

 River Song: For them, 'Doctor' is the word for 'great warrior'.

    • He's a scary man. Think back to "The Impossible Astronaut": "Don't play games with me. Don't ever, ever think you're capable of that". There's just something about the slightly contemptuous way he delivers that line that makes you wonder what he really thinks of humans...
    • Also the fact that Rory and Amy's baby has been taken to be made into a weapon and she happens to be River Song who just happens to have admitted in the past that she has killed the best man she ever knew and also was the girl in the astronaut suit that was then worn by whoever (quite possibly her) killed the Doctor for reals in "The Impossible Astronaut". And the Doctor completely ignores this!
    • When it turns out that Melody is a flesh avatar and dissolves. Doubles as a massive Tear Jerker.
      • Imagine that you thought your child was lost, taken away from you, that you would have to fight and search and tear the world apart to find her. But you're wrong, she's right there, in your arms, safe; nothing could separate you again. And then she explodes in your arms, leaving only a sloppy sticky splatter of liquid Flesh thing behind.
      • Kind of wrecked given how completely disinterested the main cast is in finding her again for the rest of the season...
    • The Headless Monks' Attack Chant. Hell, the Headless Monks in general!
    • "Good men don't need rules. Today is not the day to find out why I have so many."
  • The prequel to The Wedding of River Song. Silents are shown being held in status tubes, with yet another version of Tick Tock Goes the Clock played over it.

 Doctor, brave and good, he turned away from violence

 When he understood the falling of the Silence.

    • Then there's the episode itself. A creepy-ass catacomb full of living, carnivorous skulls that eat someone.
    • While a Crowning Moment of Awesome too, Amy killing Madam Kovarian with "She didn't get it all from you, sweetie." was also genuinely creepy.
      • Hell, when the agents of the Silence broke out of their containers and electrocuted most of Area 52. Then they taunt Rory about how he can't stop dying, just for the lols.
    • The Doctor's confrontation with the crippled Supreme Dalek is another one that walks the line between awesome and terrifying. Sure it's bad-ass as hell, but the Doctor's a little too enthusiastic about pointing out that we're watching a creature who's "dying [...] a long way from home in terrible pain" getting mind-raped by its culture's equivalent of the devil because of a conflict it had nothing to do with.
      • The line might be equally applicable to the Doctor. He's a long way from home, he's always pained, and he's about to die. And then he sees the devil itself - for him, a Dalek.

Christmas Specials

  • According to Moffat, the flying shark in "A Christmas Carol" is inspired by his own childhood nightmare that sharks would be able to leave the sea and eat him, possibly as a result of evolution.
    • Also in that episode, we have the Face Spider, a creature that the Doctor claims lives on the back of wardrobes. Or in the mattress. (Very funny, Moffat.) So, is it called that because it has a face, or because it likes to hang about on faces? Or both?

New Series

Series 1

  • The Autons/killer dummies in "Rose".
    • The huge, throbbing amorphous Nestene Consciousness in the sewers controlling the Autons.
  • The gaseous aliens who possess dead bodies like zombies, and the fact that the Doctor later claims that the servant girl in the mortuary had already been dead when she told everyone to run and then blew up the house and sacrificed herself to kill the evil aliens,
  • The genetically modified anthropomorphic pig (not to mention the aliens who mutated the pig itself, especially how they wear human skin as disguises).
  • The man who has his cranium sucked by the Dalek's arm (or the fact that the entire Earth military could be defeated with one Dalek)
    • From the same episode; what initially seemed like a success for Rose and a few humans being chased by the Dalek think they can escape the alien cyborg horror, by merely going up a flight of stairs as the Dalek has no legs to do the same. Then... EL-E-VATE.
      • When the Doctor is first put in that room with the chained-up Dalek. The horrified look on his face when he (and the audience) figures out what it is...
  • All the timewarping caused by Rose when she tries to save her father from death in the past,
  • The particularly gruesome description of how the Raxacoricofallapatorians punish planetary genocide on their homeworld (although it's quite a deserved punishment).
  • The game shows/reality shows of the far future with a twist (it's fatal to everyone except the winner, or even him if there are no other contestants). What's even worse is that it's not disintegration, but being turned into Dalek material...
    • The wireframed girl who's grown to be the motherboard of the satellite's computer that broadcasts these shows (not to mention Earth having all its surface destroyed).

Series 2

  • An order of medic nuns who incinerate any research subject that become conscious.
  • The probably first truthfully frightful werewolf depicted in a TV series.
  • The aliens who take over a school to use the children's minds as a supercomputer, and eat the rejects.
    • That doesn't begin to describe it. The opening of this episode is the creepiest three minutes of Doctor Who ever.

 Finch: No parents? No one to miss you? I see why the nurse sent you. You poor child. Poor... thin child. Come inside. It's nearly time for lunch.

  • The Alternate Universe Cybermen's origins, with the "upgrade or be deleted" scene, and the scene where the Doctor has to kill a Cyberman who he discovers was a bride at her wedding, (and "The Lion Sleeps Tonight").
    • And the way the Doctor defeats the Cybermen. Allowing them to feel once again, to realize what they have truly become! And you know out there one of them is AU Jackie Tyler!
    • The most chilling - you're walking around, minding your own business, and suddenly your mind shuts down and you mindlessly walk into an incinerator. The one shot of that was... horrific.
      • The screams and agonised howls as we get a shot of the Cyber Conversion machinery from the victims POV. It's all whirring saw blades and vicious knives cutting away everything human. Now think about that...the machines are stripping the flesh and bone of the victim removing the brain and putting it inside a metal suit. And the victim is conscious and feels every second of it. No wonder they go insane when their emotions are restored. The trauma would drive even Chuck Norris mad. And somehow the creepiest part of the scene is still Mr Crane bobbing away to the "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" as he calmly oversees the conversion process.
  • The faceless zombies and the killer TV, and the Government hoarding them away and said killer TV saying "Goodnight children everywhere" while absorbing a panicking Rose's soul... in an episode written by Mark Gatiss.
    • Killer-TV-Lady sucking her fingers, screaming/begging "Feed me!" is terrifying.
  • The Ood of the far future (and the scene where a black hole eats a system with a "billion years old civilization" in it), along with Satan himself (whatever it was) together with the man he possessed.
    • After that female crewmember is blown out into space and they find her floating overhead the space station and towards the black hole, it looks like her corpse is waving to the others to come join her, or waving goodbye.
    • "Don't turn around..."
    • The possessed Toby is what's really scary, which is very understandable. The body was trapped at the center of a planet which is circling a black hole. Its body can't even touch someone standing right in front of it. Its mind is not trapped. Its mind can take over the Ood and the station's speakers and people. Its mind is rather scarier than its body.
    • Oh, the don't turn around scene. Imagine thinking that something horrible is right behind you, it's getting closer, it's almost touching you and yet you can't turn around or else you'll die. Brr.
    • The moment when he looks down and realizes that the demonic hieroglyphics are all over his body is still creepy.
    • "The Pit is open, and I am free!"
  • The group of the Doctor's fans who form a fanclub and end up absorbed by an alien to die gruesomely (although one survives, as a face in a street tile... and it is also explicitly said that she and the episode's protagonist still have a love life...).
    • It's really hammered in that they're people, with friends and family, especially when you see them having fun together in LINDA.
  • The episode of the girl who ionically traps other children into drawings, especially the scene where a drawn kid screams at the screen... with no voice. Or the drawing of Dad in the closet.
    • That drawing of the (implied) abusive dad was terrifying, especially later when all of Chloe's drawings come to life and you see her and her mother cowering in fear from the booming, menacing voice...


  • Finally, in the finale, we see Daleks and Cybermen waging all-out war on humanity and each other, Cybermen disguising themselves as dead loved ones to gain humanity's "trust," Daleks using their plungers to reduce a man's head to a dried-out husk (and of course, seeing nothing wrong with it), Cybermen managing to implant mind-control devices attached to your brain (and yes, we do see one ripped out), Daleks shooting anything that moves above Canary Wharf, Rose almost being sucked into Hell along with every Dalek and Cyberman on the planet and, finally, Cybermen converting humans in the basement and, by the end, only doing half the job.
    • "I did my duty! For queen and country! I did my duty. I did my duty. I did my duty. Oh God, I did my duty!"

Series 3

  • Millions of giant ancient spiders crawling out of the Earth's core. To eat you. Merry Christmas!
    • The Doctor himself is what made "The Runaway Bride" scary. For the first time we get a glimpse of what happens when Ten is pushed too close to the edge (which becomes something of a feature of series 3 and 4). The look on his face as he watches the baby Racnoss die is just kind of chilling.
  • A little old lady vampire (with a bendy straw, which is simultaneously terrifying and hilarious) and a brutal "police force" who can reduce you to atoms just by pulling a trigger!
  • An apparently sweet-looking girl, actually a hideous witch who uses voodoo to kill her victims! (and the Doctor shuts her and her mothers up in a pocket dimension for eternity! When we seen them briefly in a Season 4 episode, they're still screaming.)
  • A drug which induces bliss but kills a few minutes later! Space crabs that eat people who venture below the motorway! The fact that it takes years and years to cross the motorway, and there's nobody on the top of the planet anymore!
  • More Daleks! (This time, one becomes a tentacled human hybrid by sucking a human into its armour!)
    • The evolved form of the Dalek is Nightmare Fuel in itself. Especially, for some reason, the mouth. It's way too small and low for the face, and it's always smiling.
  • A machine that turns people into mutant throwbacks! And its user (Mark Gatiss again, this time acting rather than scripting) ends up chasing the main characters through a cathedral!
  • A living star which possesses people and causes them to burn their loved ones until there's nothing left but a shadow on the wall!
    • Oh, man, 42... Everyone trapped on a hellishly hot and red-lit spaceship that's about to crash into a sun, claustrophobic dark tunnels, getting trapped in disengaged airlocks, people getting burned into dust and possessed by a sentient sun, all of this culminating in a screaming and absolutely terrified Doctor trying to stave off aforementioned possession while being pushed into a minus 200 deep freeze? The line: "You should've scanned for life!" in particular.
      • This is one of the very, very few times we see the Doctor completely, out-of-control terrified. Just plain disturbing.
      • "Burn with me, Martha!"
    • "I'LL SAVE YOU"
  • The punishment inflicted on the Family of Blood. Immortality... spent in various horrific prisons. The punishments all narrated calmly by the teenage son was the icing on the cake. Hell, the Family of Blood themselves. They were pretty creepy.
    • The Family of Blood example is just one instance of what's truly the scariest thing in the series: what our Technical Pacifist hero, the Doctor, is capable of when he's had enough. Don't cross him. Just don't.
    • And now every time you look in the mirror...
    • Listen carefully as he describes the fate of Daughter of Mine: He doesn't say that the Doctor trapped her in a mirror, he says the Doctor trapped her in every mirror. If even your subconscious takes this the least bit seriously, you are now trapped in an eternal, incredibly creepy game of I Spy that you can never win. Thank you, Paul Cornell.
    • What the heck happened to the minds/souls of the Family of Blood's 'hosts'? Naturally you'd assume they were killed, but we see no injuries or possible signs that the bodies were dead... What if the minds of the hosts were still there? Living out the Family of Blood's punishments with them...
    • The Family themselves are just a disturbing bunch of individuals. They are so desperate for a physical form that they will enter completely innocent people and erase their control over their bodies and minds. They take pleasure in slaughtering people who weren't even standing in their way, if it means drawing out the Doctor. And they even take pleasure in possessing other people, with Mother of Mine accusing her host of dying without dignity and screaming in terror as the entity entered her body.
  • The last three episodes include humanoid wildmen, the end of the universe looming, a kindly old man who, when he gets his memory back, turns out to be a genocidal monster who immediately murders his gentle assistant, the utterly eerie pleasure the human Lucy (whose mind the Master destroyed) takes in decimating the global population (she dances to pop music while he does it) and, last but certainly not least, the revelation that the robotic killing machines with childlike voices are actually powered by human brains - those of the last humans in the universe, no less, who cannibalized themselves and went back in time to avoid the end of the universe. And they share minds with one another, though that means out there is the little boy who back on the spaceship gleefully told Martha that his mother had told him in Utopia "the sky was made of diamonds".
    • Listen carefully when Professor Yana opens the fob watch: among the miscellaneous "flashback" sound effects, you can clearly hear the Master's voice saying "Step aside human, and release my majesty." Compare that to how the Doctor's essence behaved toward John Smith: Smith was allowed to choose whether he wanted to resume his life as a Time Lord. Yana, by contrast, was allowed no such luxury; a sweet, innocent old man had the vile mind of a thousand-year maniac literally forced upon him.
      • The most horrifying thing about Professor Yana is that, according to the Doctor in "Family of Blood"/"Human Nature", a Time Lord's chameleon arched self is actually made from a part of their personality. If not for Rassilon, the Master could've been a kindly old Doctor figure rather than the viciously evil person he became instead.
    • There's also Chantho's fate to think about. The kind, generous, quirky genius with whom she's worked (and developed other feelings) for the last seventeen years suddenly undergoes a total shift in personality and begins opening up their base to invasion by the Futurekind. When she tries to stop him, he electrocutes her without a second thought. Viewers know what The Master's deal is, but Chantho dies having no idea what's going on or why she's being murdered by her best friend.
      • Chantho is also forced to listen to the psychopathic Master ranting about how irritating, rage-inducing and frustrating he (not Yana, unbeknownst to her) finds her. Chantho has to listen to him calmly contemplating how he'd say he was provoked after killing her, and when she finally understands that the man standing in front of her isn't Professor Yana. At. All.
    • While many fans count the Master's gleeful reaction to killing Jack ("And the best part is...I get to kill him again!") as a Moment of Awesome, it is equally horrific. For perspective, consider the many, many ways a human being can be tortured, maimed, and killed (if you need help, consult Wikipedia); now imagine that information in the hands of a man who is utterly batshit insane, with unlimited resources, and a test subject who can't die. Oh, Jack...
    • The Master getting ready to turn the Doctor's TARDIS into the Paradox Machine. It's just a brief shot of the Master standing at the console... with a blowtorch and one of the most psychotic grins ever seen on a face. The sheer malicious pleasure he shows, knowing that he's going to take what is essentially the Doctor's best and oldest friend, and he's going to break it, and twist it, and hurt it... Fridge Horror at its finest.
      • Try re-watching that scene after viewing "The Doctor's Wife" (where you find out just how alive the TARDIS really is). It becomes horrific on a whole new level.
    • The description (delivered alternately by the Master and the captured Toclafane) of what humans found at Project Utopia, at the end of the universe. "Furnaces, burning... the last of humanity screaming at the dark. There was no solution. No diamonds. Just the dark, and the cold. All that human invention that had sustained them across the eons... it all turned inward. They cannibalized themselves--regressing into children. We made ourselves so pretty! But it didn't work. The universe was collapsing around them. But then the Master came, with his wonderful time machine, to bring us back home!"
    • And the Master was the Doctor's childhood friend. Which makes everything so much worse, because in a way they're still friends.

Series 4

  • The hosting robots for a space ship turn evil and try to kill any survivors from the previous meteor collision.
  • A diet pill that creates aliens from body fat itself and occasionally from all those other bits of the body, although the creatures themselves were just too cute for words. (Which just makes it worse.)
  • Pompeiians being turned into statues(which look eerily like the casts pulled from the ash molds found at the Real Life Pompeii) by subterranean lava creatures.
    • And what makes it worse, some of the natives of Pompeii believe that becoming statues is the will of the gods and therefore an honor that should not only be accepted but embraced.
  • The Ood return, revealed to be a race of aliens turned into willing slaves by lobotomy. Some of them have glowy red eyes and go apeshit crazy. They get their revenge by turning their human captor into an Ood in a nightmarish transformation sequence. It's even worse when the human captors include Everton from Chef! and Percy from Blackadder,
    • When Halpen turns into an Ood, he peels back his face and vomits up his own brain.
  • The Sontarans returning and Martha Jones emerging from a goo filled coffin.
  • A war fought by very quickly grown clones took place over countless generations with the implication that thousands and thousands of people had died with only an inkling of what they were originally fighting for. How long was the war? Seven days.
  • Killer wasps. GIANT killer wasps. As in cow-sized giant killer wasps.
  • An unknown and unseen intelligence that repeats absolutely everything said, possessing a woman, causing claustrophobia on a space shuttle and leaving the Doctor completely helpless and broken for once. It's not the monster that's scary, it's the fact that it Mind Rapes the Doctor and then convinces six ordinary people to murder him, and does so very easily.
    • That isn't even the worst part. The worst part is that the Doctor is forced to repeat everything the monster says...including her commands to kill him. He is literally made to beg for his own death. Imagine being completely paralyzed, as several people physically drag you to your death, and hearing your own voice say, "Faster!"
    • This exchange:

 The Doctor: (with Sky repeating) "Listen to me. Whatever you want, if it's life or form or consciousness or voice, you don't have to steal it. You find it without hurting anyone. And I'll help you, that's a promise. So, what do you think? (Sky speaks first) Do we have a deal?"

    • Even worse, Midnight is the only episode in the history of the show in which we never find out what the monster actually was. Good luck sleeping now.
      • If you have the DVD set and are planning a marathon any time soon, it's not recommended to go straight from watching Midnight to Turn Left. There will be trauma.
    • By far the most terrifying part of Midnight is just how quickly a group of ordinary people decide that killing an innocent person is the best response. Just. . . the whole mob mentality/homicidal rage thing. . . Because that's something that can and does actually happen. Not the (also terrifying) alien, you don't have to worry about that. . . but you can worry that, some day, you just might be stuck in a confined place with six panicking people. And you might try and be the voice of reason. And they might just straight up fucking murder you in the face for it.
    • An addendum: Doctor Who Nightmare Fuel is at least somewhat reduced by the end of the episode because the monsters get defeated. In this one? We have no guarantee the thing is dead. Nor do we know if there are more of them.
    • The Midnight theme. DO NOT listen to that theme late at night in the dark.
    • A planet made of diamonds has been found.
  • A world where the Doctor and Donna never met, thus the Doctor is killed and every attempted present-day alien invasion of Earth from that point onwards is successful, turning Earth into a doomed dystopia. It's not easy seeing one of your beloved characters getting KILLED.
    • Almost every single companion so far in the new series plus three CHILDREN and the members of Torchwood dying in an effort to save others after the Doctor was gone was sufficiently nightmarish.
    • The implication of what brutality and cruelty the governments stoop to during the ensuing dystopia to be particularly unsettling. Using ethnic segments of the population as political scapegoats and then shipping them off for 'gainful employment' (and, presumably, oven-related death) is chilling.
      • An oven-related death may be the least of their worries. Listen closely during that scene: the Cyberman theme is playing.
      • Three little words out of Donna's grandfather Wilfred: "It's happening again."
    • "There is something on your back."
    • All of this put together, and we are all but told outright that The Doctor is the only thing between this world, and countless others, and total annihilation. And one day he will run out of regenerations. Sleep tight.
      • Bad Wolf Bad Wolf Bad Wolf Bad Wolf Bad Wolf Bad Wolf Bad Wolf Bad Wolf Bad Wolf Bad Wolf Bad Wolf Bad Wolf Bad Wolf Bad Wolf
  • Guess who comes back for the finale? (Hint: They were in two out of the three previous finales. And their freakish creator returns as they begin their grandest invasion of Earth ever.).
    • To further establish the utter brutality of the episode, in one scene both Sarah Jane and Captain Jack are horrified by one word spoken by our returning "friends". While in and of itself it's not that scary, think about the implications. Jack is hundreds of years old, has seen and done everything, is virtually unkillable, and one word terrifies him. Sarah Jane's grown up and had a life fulfilling beyond the Doctor, seen more then most other companions, and in a way grown from a child to an adult. And one well placed word reduces her to tears because she's so scared. You know that when Sarah and Jack have nightmares, they are hearing the word "Exterminate". Just something about that sequence that really drives it home -- this isn't an invasion, it's a sterilization.
      • The fact that for a brief instant you saw his skeleton through the after-effects of the attack, and the fact that we had forty years of canon at our backs in which the Daleks were always eventually beaten. And now in one split second scene where most people weren't expecting it, you honestly can't help thinking: they've won.
      • Yeah...when the immortal Jack Harkness, who has died thousands upon thousands of deaths and returned each time unscathed can only say, "there's nothing we can do--we're dead"--you know it's bad.
        • When they finally established communication with the Doctor Jack's terrified rant at wondering where the hell the Doctor has been tells you that Jack's afraid of them, even with being immortal. Don't forget: they killed him. And they can keep killing him over and over and over.
      • Think about it! Sarah Jane was present when Davros created the Daleks and Jack—you never forget the first time... the first time you die that is.
        • Seriously, kudos to Liz Sladen and John Barrowman for selling the Nightmare Fuel in that scene.
  • While "The Stolen Earth" gives the Daleks one or two funny bits ("Yes, we know who you are."), there is enough effing Nightmare Fuel of every kind in the episode. For example (all of these come with the warning that you may negate a perfectly good Wham! Episode):
    • Aforementioned reaction of Sarah, Jack and Martha to "Exterminate".
    • Daleks stealing entire planets as part of their master plan.
    • Daleks marching everyone on Earth out of their homes and incinerating anyone who doesn't come along.
    • Dalek Caan screwing with the Time Vortex in a way that beats out even the Doctor.
    • Dalek Caan's current state.
    • Davros' eaten away chest and exposed organs. Ugg.
      • And that tiny little pieces of him were used to make an effing Dalek! WHAT?
    • The Daleks effing shooting the Doctor during a horrific subversion of The Meadow Run, leading to an equally shocking cliffhanger.
    • And, last but not least, Davros being within 10 seconds of achieving his extremely long life's ambition of ending everything. EVERYTHING. Ever. Period. No backsies. Just a small corner of existence filled with Daleks. "YES! I WOULD DO IT!" indeed.
      • His metaphorical holding a mirror up to the Doctor to show him who he really is - "the man who never carries a gun..."
    • "Yes, we know who you are"? Funny interlude for some, Nightmare Fuel for others.
    • The dialogue leading up to his "THE DESTRUCTION. OF REALITY. ITSELF". Davros is going into great detail to explain to Rose and the Doctor how, once the Reality Bomb goes off, it can't be stopped. It is going to spread out and destroy everything. Every planet, every star, every living being in existence is going to be reduced to nothingness - and not just in "our" universe, but every dimension in The Multiverse. Absolutely nothing will survive... except Davros and the Daleks. Think about that - there'd be nothing left except a race of Complete Monsters and their Mad Scientist creator. That's what the final legacy of the universe would have been had the good guys lost, which they came within a hairsbreadth of doing. All of creation reduced to inert particles, and the only exception are Space Nazis.
      • Have you ever considered that theory about multiple realities? The one that states that there's a different reality for every possible outcome of any event? Such as there being an alternate universe where the Reality Bomb successfully went off?
        • What's worse than that? The Multiverse may very well exist. That would mean there is an infinite number of universes, and thus a reality where everything that happens in Doctor Who is real. Including the Reality Bomb. And, if the Reality Bomb can truly live up to its name, there's a universe where it went off. For all we know, this has happened multiple times, and we live in a multiverse born out of the ashes of the old.
        • Replace "went off" with "will go off". Now consider that this could be that very universe. Have fun.

2009 Specials

  • The specials-only year started with a bang, with Christmas 2008 bringing the return of the Cybermen, who create animal-like ninjas with dog brains, and the 100-foot Humongous Mecha that crushes houses with its feet. Oh, and more brain-electrocution and ambushes, of course.
    • The "fugue state" Jackson Lake suffers from? It's a real condition.
  • Easter 2009 gave us a man being burned to a skeleton as he steps through a wormhole, and a vast swarm of killer stingrays that turn planets to sand within a year.
  • Russell T. Davies said that "The Waters of Mars" would be very scary, going on to describe it as "nightmarish". Consider how many people were left hiding under the bed after episodes that were not intended to be that scary. How did he do?
    • Well, if you don't find the prospect of monsters that infect you with the very thing that makes up 60 percent of your body, or over 70 percent of this planet's surface to be at all scary of course. One drop. And if you're literally anywhere else other than the small, tightly enclosed, easily destructible environment the episode takes place in, infection is only a matter of time. Water can get in anywhere.
    • "Water is patient, water just waits. Water always wins."
      • That and the Doctor when he realises that he is the only Time Lord left, and that consequently, he makes the rules. Nothing scarier than a man who rules reality, and is now willing to abuse that fact.
        • And what it takes to halt him. Specifically, the companion-of-the-week killing herself to preserve the order of time.
      • The Time Lord Victorious speech can be compared directly to the Master's conversation with the shrunken Doctor in LOTTL. The similarities in the mindset of the respective Timelords at those points are REMARKABLY similar, and provoked physical shaking and symptoms one might possibly associate with Mind Rape
      • "I'm a Time Lord. I HAVE THAT RIGHT." Tell me that didn't make the hair on the back of your neck stand up.
      • It puts right out in the open a fact that often gets sort of lost in the Doctor's Cloudcuckoolander and Bunny Ears Lawyer qualities: The Doctor is mentally ill, and fairly unstable. In The Waters of Mars it wasn't made cute or funny, it was dark, and serious... and deadly, and not ignorable. That was scarier than any villain or monster they've had on the show.
      • They even say 'tough' in the same way. Oh, and in The End of Time, he quotes him directly- "Funny? No? Little bit?".
      • Far worse is the way that the Doctor's A God Am I Sanity Slippage parallels that of the Time Lords in The End of Time. During the War, they went mad with their own power, to the point of being willing to destroy the universe to "ascend to a higher form of consciousness." This was why the Doctor had to kill them in the first place. Now bear in the mind that the Doctor was able to do that - to destroy not one, but two all-powerful civilizations, all by himself. Then realize that if he were to go down the same road, there might be no one at all capable of stopping him.
      • The Doctor sonic-ing the Gadget robot and Roman screaming in pain because his brain is connected to the robot. And the worst part is? The Doctor is completely unaware of the damage he's causing, running around with a big grin on his face.
      • And of course, what makes that final scene even more unsettling is that the Doctor's cocky, I'm-really-so-very-awesome-me smugness in that scene isn't a million miles off from how he's behaved in other episodes after beating the baddie of the week... except this time, it's presented in a much more unsettling light. And rather than everyone around him boosting him up by fawning over how great he is in dazzled awe, they're utterly freaked out and terrified by him. And of course, the fact that it's one of the most matter-of-fact A God Am I moments ever makes it far more unsettling than a million ranting megalomaniacs.
      • While the Time Lord Victorious might have been unsettling, the manner in which the Flood transformed people into hive-minded water zombies was utterly terrifying. Bonus points for the tremendous Tear Jerker of Steffi desperately turning on a recording of her children during her last few seconds of consciousness, before emerging from the room she'd been sealed into (after a behind-the-back view of the transformation) to terrorize her former crewmates. Oh God. Oh, and adorable Roman's living example of the 'One Drop' being fatal.
      • Well, "The End of Time" took that moment of A God Am I Up to Eleven with the Doctor looking at Wilfred, who will most certainly die if he doesn't sacrifice himself in his place, and declaring him 'unimportant' and at the same time rambling about how important he himself is. It's a terrifying moment wherein you briefly think the Doctor is utterly and completely willing to sacrifice an innocent man because he thinks "The Doctor" counts for more. This is made more horrid by the fact that Wilfred had seen such a move coming, as earlier he had called the Doctor out on his willingness to put a Time Lord's life before that of the entire human race, and is still telling the Doctor to 'let him die'. *shudder*
    • What happened at the climax of The End of Time Part One with the Master turning EVERY human in the world, apart from Donna and Wilf, into him.
      • For that extra chilling edge: Gwen, Martha and Sarah Jane Smith never saw that coming, did they...
      • Or Jo Grant. Or Ace. Or the Brigadier. Or any of the Doctor's other companions on Earth, alive or dead. Wait a second...wasn't Mels/River Song on Earth then, too?
        • Since she was part Time Lady, it probably wouldn't have worked on her, which is even worse -- imagine everyone around you changed into cackling, psychotic madmen, and you had no idea why or why you were spared?
      • For extra squicky fear fun: Think of the children and babies as well!
      • And even worse: people who were having sex at that moment.
      • Hey. Think about it. What happens to unborn but viable (that is, for the sake of argument, alive) babies still in the womb?
      • Torchwood's Children of Earth was set in September, by which point Gwen Cooper was pregnant. The End of Time takes place on December 25th. Oh, dear....
          • Part two hints at something worse The dead and buried are the Master too.
      • Speaking of him in EoT: it's heavily implied he eats people. And just leaves skeletons.
    • Imagine seeing this [2] face falling from the sky on top of you while a psychotic voice yells "DINNER TIME!!" right before you die.
      • The Doctor's mention of the horrible things that the Time Lords would bring back from the War if they were released. We may never get to see them, but somehow that just makes it worse. Just the expression on the Doctor's face alone makes you realise that, to him, the Time Lords returning is HIS Nightmare Fuel. And this is the guy who pretty much tells anyone he meets that the Time Lords were great and awesome -- WERE being the operative word. And then he takes up the gun...

 "You weren't there, in the final days of the war. You never saw what was born. But if the time lock's broken then everything's coming through and not just the Daleks but the Skaro Degradations. The horde of travesties! The Nightmare Child, The Could-Have-Been King with his army of Meanwhiles and Never-Weres... the war turned into HELL! And that's what you've opened: right above the Earth!"

      • The Time War. So the two most powerful civilizations in the universe ever are going at it with the gloves off; bad enough. Some of the weapons are creepifying just by their names- the Dalek fleet that "flew into the jaws of the Nightmare Child" is one hell of a noodle incident to ponder. The use of time travel to constantly resurrect the warriors, only for them to die again and again, hundreds of times? But worst of all is the simple fact implicit in its name— because it's a time war, you can never really meaningfully say that it's over from an internal perspective. It's just sealed away, with no escape...
      • Here's some lovely Fridge Horror for you -- in the old series, the Time Lords all wore robes colored according to the Chapterhouse they belonged to. In "The End of Time", every single Time Lord is wearing Rassilon's red-and-gold. Based on what we saw of Rassilon, what do you think happened to the other Chapterhouses?
      • The thought of the Time Lords returning made the Doctor pick up a gun. Willingly. And another thing from The End of Time. Remember Donna's reaction to seeing her mother and fiance turned into the Master. Now go look him up in the Doctor Who wiki (if you don't watch The Sarah Jane Adventures) and you will find that Luke Smith, Sarah Jane's adopted son, is an artificial human, who likely would not have been affected, the same as Donna. How did he react when Sarah Jane was transformed?

Series 5

  • "Victory of the Daleks", where in your brightest moment, you're told that your inventions are actually planetary exterminators, every single thing about you is a lie, and that you're a bomb that's gonna blow up in a few minutes.
    • Guess why it's called "Victory"? That's right, because the Daleks win.
    • When the 'Ironside' is introduced: "I-AM-YOUR-SOL-DIER." Not again. (See classic Season 4 for the reference)
      • Watch in hindsight, knowing their plan. That is distinctly a note of smugness in those mechanical tones - it knows they've set it up so that the Doctor will lose this time and it's already rubbing his face in it.
  • In "The Vampires of Venice", when the Doctor muses about what would be so bad that it wouldn't mind being thought to be a vampire...
      • Their true forms are aquatic beings with horrifying teeth. and you can become one if you survive the blood transfusion...
      • The creepy room where they actually do the "transfusion." Not only is it creepily lit and stone, but they also strap you to a chair.
      • And then there's the end. Notice how all the people have disappeared, and it's silent? Sweet dreams.
        • What people? Who are you talking about?
  • Amy's Choice: you REALLY don't want to know how you think.
    • When the Doctor and Rory leave Amy with the Dream Lord:

  "And now he's left you with me. Spooky old not-to-be-trusted me... Anything could happen."

  "Cold can burn, sofas can read."

  • There's a new one from "The Hungry Earth" that, depending on the viewer, might just take the cake altogether.

 Moe: They did it to me. While I was conscious.

Amy: Okay, you're really freaking me out. Did what?

Moe: Dissected me.

    • Amy waking up in a glass coffin.
    • Amy getting sucked into the Earth, convinced she is going to die.
      • Somewhat scarier when you realize from watching Confidential that Karen really is claustrophobic and those tears and screams are real.
    • The people getting Retgoned in "Flesh and Stone" was bad enough, but it gets even worse when it happens to an actual main character that we'd gotten to know over several episodes. And who was already dead, so the crack just stole the one kind of existence he had left.
    • If that's not bad enough, in "Cold Blood" the Doctor actually reaches into the crack and pulls something out, which we're not shown for several minutes. IT'S A PIECE OF THE TARDIS.
  • First it's statues, then it's darkness, then water, now the ground beneath our feet. Is anything safe?!
  • You can't even see the Monster of the Week in "Vincent and the Doctor." More Paranoia Fuel.
  • You would think that "The Lodger" would be the one episode of Series 5 without any Nightmare Fuel. Wrong: It begins around 2:30 of this clip: [3]. Nothing bad really happens, but Eleven seems to perceive a threat.
    • The silhouettes of the "people" at the top of the stairs... Luring victims up the stairs, where we hear them screaming as they are consumed by a creepy, hungry, half-sentient machine. And their burnt remains seeping down into the room below... yeesh.
    • The worst thing in that episode is the fridge horror. They repeatedly state the human population is 6,400,000,026. This number is at least 299,999,974 people less than what the population was at the time in real life. Those three hundred million are the deaths from all those alien invasions whoniverse-Earth suffers.

Series 6

  • The Curse of the Black Spot: Don't get hurt. Something might crawl out of the water and take you away. And then we discover it extends to reflective surfaces, too.
  • They let Neil Gaiman write an episode, The Doctor's Wife. Its antagonist was a creature with the same level of evil as A.M. itself, and it eats TARDISes. Oh, and that voice. And the fact that Auntie and Uncle are stitched together from slain Time Lords and who-knows-what-else.
    • Oh god, the short scene where Amy and Rory are running around in the TARDIS' corridors. The scenes where they get stuck on opposite sides of a door. Where Amy keeps going (three times!) and finds Rory increasingly older and more insane until she finds a dead corpse and hell-curse-you writing all over the walls. Then the real Rory comes up behind her. The scene is only ten minutes long or so, but it's still horrible.
    • Insane!Rory was stuck in the TARDIS for a long time waiting for Amy and he hates her for it. Before he dies again, he writes on the wall, HATE AMY, KILL AMY, KILL ME AMY HATE AMY, KILL AMY over and over again. But he's not the real Rory. It's House's Mind Rape. It terrified Amy, though. Seeing Rory, who is normally the level headed one, shout and scream like that is extremely unnerving.
    • TARDISes can mess with time and space. If it could do that internally then it's entirely possible some version of Rory really did live that life and House has been mind raping him for decades before wiping it all out and starting over. Even if it actually wasn't him there's a good chance that scene was created based on Amy's own fears; we learned early on in the reboot that the TARDIS gets inside her head), thus making that scene the product of her guilt at his having to wait for her for so long and her absolute terror of losing him. Imagine watching your loved ones die several times, knowing it could happen again, permanently, any second...
      • Mind rape?
        • "They hurt me, Amy. They come, every night, and they hurt me. Again and again."
    • It's worse than that. Imagine seeing the moldering remains of someone you love. Now imagine seeing that and knowing full well that they died hating you more than anything else in the world.
    • After House takes controls of the TARDIS and leaves, the way Auntie and Uncle talk about their impending deaths as if they were just going out somewhere and then dying in mid sentence, their nonchalant tones never changing through the end, is chillingly unnatural. Imagine that you're just talking to somebody and then after a while they cheerfully announce that they're going to die in a few seconds and then suddenly just dropping dead just like that.
    • We are starting to be quite familiar with now a very pissed off Doctor. Suffice to say we have seen on numerous occasions that the Doctor has displayed signs that he could be heading to a darker path, events in "The Family of Blood", "The Waters of Mars", etc have shown what the Doctor is capable of when his patience is pushed to the limits. Knowing this, the pain and anger he showed when talking to Auntie and Uncle after his discovery makes for a very tense moment.
    • "You gave me hope and then took it away. That's enough to make anyone dangerous, God knows what it'll do to me!" Indeed.
    • One line that seems to be a typical Doctor Badass Boast can be taken in a completely different and terrifying light.

 House: Fear me, I've killed hundreds of Timelords.

The Doctor: Fear me. I've killed all of them.

The glib way he says this once again showcases how easily he can become the Timelord Victorious.
    • Think about it. House did that using only the TARDIS herself. She could do that to anyone, at any time, if she chose. [1] We know she's alive, and sentient, and loves the Doctor. That leads us to the conclusion that she can probably get angry. She consciously controls herself if she needs to. Imagine being trapped in the TARDIS being MindRaped again and again and again, indefinitely, and not being able to escape, because no one knows you're there. No one ever will know. Don't upset the TARDIS.
    • Nephew's fate, while not on the same level of terror as the previous examples, is slightly disturbing. The Doctor and Idris materialise a TARDIS on top of him.

 The Doctor: He's been... 'redistributed.'

Amy: Meaning...?

The Doctor: You're breathing him.

  • The Gangers in "The Rebel Flesh" once they undergo Glamour Failure. Especially the first time the audience is shown it during the second solar tsunami, where they flash between their human and Ganger faces - with their Ganger face locked in a screaming expression.
    • The scene in the toilets where Ganger!Jennifer attacks Rory by punching him in the face, her arm stretching like rubber through the door to do so, then she stretches her head through the hole and speaks to him with the Voice of the Legion.
    • The ending where the Doctor is confronted by his own Ganger.
      • And preceding that, the disembodied mouth floating in a pool of living goop, whispering "Trust me."
    • Showing once again just how terrifyingly paranoid un-cloned humanity loves to be. Especially if it will obviously lead to everything you'll regret. Especially. (See Midnight episode for close reference)
    • Heck, the scene before the credits where one of the Gangers gets dissolved in a pool of acid, which is treated with completed nonchalance by the other crewmembers.
  • The cliffhanger to "The Almost People": "Well, dear. You're ready to pop, aren't you? Little one's on its way. Here it comes. Puuuuuusssssh." *The most blood-curdling scream in the series' history follows*
    • The pile of rotting Gangers who are both alive and fully conscious.
      • The freakish elongated monster that Jennifer turns into, which apparently got lost on its way to a casting call for the next Resident Evil game. Or the hallway with eyes in the walls. Really, the last half of the episode is one non-stop cavalcade of Nightmare Fuel of the Body Horror variety.
    • The fact that Ganger!Jenny deliberately kills another, sentient Ganger of herself to convince Rory she's real. Because, as the Doctor repeatedly tells us, the sentient Gangers are just like real humans.
  • The landlord's involuntary transformation into a doll in "Night Terrors".
    • Which is scary because at first you think they're going to fake you out. But they don't. It's made to look like it's going to be offscreen... but it isn't.
    • Or Amy's.
    • The dolls.
    • The landlord getting sucked down through his carpet while his dog just watches, not reacting in the slightest.
    • The dolls' nursery rhyme, playing over the closing scene on the TARDIS.

  "Tick tock goes the clock, he cradled and he rocked her / Tick tock goes the clock, even for the Doctor…"

  • Amy spends 37 years completely alone, constantly on the run from robots who will inadvertantly kill her. Is it any wonder that she hates the Doctor more than anyone else by the time she gets to talk to him again?
  • From The God Complex: A Hell Hotel that contains everyone's worst fears, with a room for everyone. A great big Minotaur wanders the halls, forced to eat the inhabitants. And Room 11 holds The Worst Thing In The Universe.
    • Also from that episode, the Doctor is describing the Minotaur and how it wanted to die. The Minotaur apparently thinks he's talking about himself. The Doctor swears he's not saying he wants to die, but he seems to have trouble convincing himself.
    • Are you praying yet? 'cause that's about the worst thing you could pos... Praise him.
    • The scene where the Doctor finds his room (11) to be most unnerving. He opens the door, and in the dark room, the Cloister Bell of the TARDIS is tolling in low, dark tones. His eyes widen, and then, with a profound sigh, he says, in response to his greatest fear and in resignation, "Of course. Who else?" and we never get to see what it is. The implication is that it is himself.
    • Or Rory.
    • There's the fridge horror. The hotel keeps showing Rory an exit, and we find out later that this is because Rory lacks both fear and faith. But we also find out that the Hotel is a spaceship. Where do exits go on spaceships?
  • At the end of Closing Time, River Song is trapped underwater in a spacesuit (by Madame Kovarian and the Silence to be exact), drugged and forced to kill the Doctor. Enhanced by Kovarian's taunting, and the Silence simply standing there and making no sound.
    • River, freshly Doctor Song, is reading up on the Doctor, when guess who comes out of the shadows. Also, this:

  Kovarian: You never escaped us. We were always coming for you.

    • Plus that terrifying nursery rhyme from Night Terrors is back with a vengeance.

 Tick tock goes the clock, he cradled and he rocked her

 Tick tock goes the clock, 'till River kills the Doctor.

    • If you think about it, River's situation at the end of Closing Time comes pretty close to And I Must Scream. River knows that she is about to be forced to kill the man she loves. She will apparently be completely conscious for this, but unable to do anything to stop it. You gotta wonder just how messed up she was after this...
    • From the main story, Craig's Cyber-conversion. Made oh-so-much worse by Alfie's (aka Stormageddon, Dark Lord of All) plaintive wailing, as if he knows what's happening to his father.

Expanded Universe

  • The Big Finish audios could have a section all to themselves:
    • Zagreus sits inside your head / Zagreus lives among the dead / Zagreus sees you in your bed / And eats you when you're sleeping...
      • The fun kicks off at the very beginning of the audio play, where you hear the thousands of voices in the Time Lords' Matrix desperately trying to keep history on track... and failing.

 Matrix AIs: I... can't remember... I can't remember! I CAN'T REMEMBER!! *shudder*

      • The Zagreus rhyme and Eight going bonkers was bad enough, but the worst part is where the evil TARDIS, in the form of the Brig, is hunting Romana, Leela, and Charley. Talk about Mind Screws.
      • Evil!Brig!TARDIS is just scary in general, especially when you realize that its reasons for revenge against the Doctor (other than being possessed) are actually pretty valid. The Doctor obviously cares about the TARDIS but he does tend to abuse it, albeit unthinkingly. What happens if one day it snaps?
      • And then you realize that something similar to what happened in Zagreus happened in The End of Time, when Ten's regeneration blew up the console room. That must have hurt.
    • Goldilocks is the single scariest Doctor Who villain ever. Mechanical puppet voiced by Bonnie Langford? Hilarious. Mechanical puppet voiced by Bonnie Langford who is a Complete Monster, will brainwash you with fairy dust and is working for the Divergents? Really scary.
    • Mmm. Way before the Time Lords went the way of the Daleks and tried their hand at friggin' Davros' plan to utterly annihilate all of reality in order to remain as incorporeal gods, good old Rassilon was already quite the monstrous leader. The things created in the Foundry by him in Zagreus prove that the Time Lords had to be completely desperate or utterly nuts to release him from the Anti-Time universe to lead them against the Daleks. And how he broke the Doctor and reshaped him into the monstrosity Zagreus was quite horrific itself.
    • Scherzo, which follows Zagreus, is drive-you-crazy horrifying in its simplicity-- it's a "two hander" with no special effects, but they make completely disturbing use of it. The Doctor and Charley are trapped in a long white hallway, completely silent, and start to slowly lose all feeling and sense of time (which for the Doctor especially is like having a limb ripped off). Then they start coming across bodies, which look like Charley, which they eat, as they have no other sustenance. And that is all before they discover there's something in there with them that's stealing their voices...
    • The Holy Terror starts off as a light-hearted satire of Medieval Morons and ends up Mood Whiplashing you into a gruesome Kill'Em All Downer Ending orchestrated by the Enfant Terrible to end all Enfant Terribles.
    • The Natural History of Fear. The fact that it's one colossal Mind Screw / Tomato Surprise is bad enough, but you don't truly know scary Who until you've listened to Paul McGann's silky smooth voice spouting Orwellian propaganda as he lobotomies a woman who's awake for the whole time.
      • "You may think the worst thing I can do to you is hurt you..."
      • Normally, evil!Eight is on the hammy side (as one troper said, they might as well name it Face Ham Turn in his honor), but in this one he's... not. Not even remotely. And it is straight-up goddamn terrifying. The Editor isn't some monstrous creature like Zagreus; he's a human(ish) person who's a little too good at his job, and who seems to take a little too much quiet satisfaction in his work. Seems to. Things get weird. Paul McGann is one of a very few people who can be sexy and utterly scary at the same time...using just his voice. It must be heard to be believed.
    • Terror Firma: Davros manages to Mind Rape the Doctor and his companions to within an inch of the Despair Event Horizon, and the centre of the new Dalek Empire is... Earth. Revenge by Proxy on a massive scale, indeed.
    • Son of the Dragon, featuring Special Guest Star Vlad Tepes, aka Dracula. The fun kicks off with the Fifth Doctor and friends landing in a village which has been turned into a massive graveyard of slaughter involving a forest of impaled villagers on spikes.
    • Night Thoughts: The Doctor and his companions trapped on an island mansion during a storm with no electricity, a ghostly spectre of a woman drowning in the lake and a hooded creature that likes to whistle while removing people's eyes? Don't listen to this baby at night.
      • Things you'll never ever ever want to see again after this story: Taxidermied bears, stuffed toy rabbits, beartraps. What's worse is that ending... oh god the ending. Where the Major gets his eyes gouged out by the zombie child/evil toy rabbit and not only do you hear him scream, not only does the monster whistle that jaunty tune, but you also get to hear the actual sounds of his face being cut into and his eyes being removed You know, for kids!
      • Likewise, Horror of Glam Rock is a pretty humorous installment... except for the bit where you hear the people in the parking lot get torn to bits. With lots of squishy, meaty sounds and screaming. Yeeesh.
    • The Chimes of Midnight: Sweet Jesus, Chimes is freaky. Nothing is freakier than a place that's abandoned and shouldn't be, but--- brrr. A reality that endlessly replays itself, trying to trap you inside? That takes "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing" and makes it creepy?
      • For best effect, listen to it late at night in an empty street, close to the witching hour. BONG... BONG... BONG...
    • ...ish. Words cannot describe how creepy it is when people get taken over and just start mass chanting "ish, ish, ish" over and over again.
    • Master. As you may have guessed from the title, it prominently features you-know-who, and it's not the suave, here-come-the-drums, Magnificent Bastard Master, either. It's the skeleton-looking, Ax Crazy motherfucker Master. Basically, it's And Then There Were None meets Jack the Ripper as a homicidal Time Lord, but it's WAY freakier (and more tragic) than that. One last thing: you know how one of the Doctor's names is "Time's Champion"? The Master is Death's Champion. You will never look at For the Evulz the same way again.
      • The worst part of Master was the whispers. Gods, the raspy, cackling whispers, just in the background. "All who hear my voice will die." Coming very nearly in second was Jade's Wham! Line while washing dishes:

 They say he sits inside your head,

they say he lives among the dead,

they say he eats you when you're--What an odd verse.

They say he sits inside your head...

    • Axis Of Insanity is not bad either. "The lunatics... have taken over the asylum!" Good grief, but that line is creepy. And then you find out that reality is melting around the Doctor.
    • Spare Parts. It's a story about the creation of the Cybermen, so it's inevitably pretty creepy. One standout moment is when a person you've met previously is cyberconverted, but only partially. They return to their family confused and the father, who thinks that she's just in the "workcrew outfit" tries to pull her cloth mask off and she screams in the horrible cyberman voice. The ending has you thinking that the Doctor has prevented the Cybermen turning evil and stopped further cyber-conversion, but then the Cybercommander suddenly turns out to be alive. "We will begin again"
    • Red. Ax Crazy as The Virus. And Friend Computer in charge decides the best way of stopping the spread is to burn out your brain. Red. Red. Red. Red. Red...
    • Caerdroia. "I'm the nasty one." And "Of course I will!"
    • Mission of the Viyrans. Starts with Peri chatting with the Doctor after a fun night on a party planet. He seems distracted. Then he starts vacantly repeating everything she says. Then he painfully, graphically transforms into a clone of her. Thus begins the most Mind Screw Big Finish has ever packed into 30 minutes. Happy listening!
    • Bedtime Story, one of the shorts from 100, is incredibly dark. The Doctor meets a man named Jacob, whose family is under a curse in which parents always die as soon as they become grandparents. Then it turns out they're not really dead, they're frozen in time but still aware, so countless generations have been buried alive, completely conscious until their minds broke. Then there's the ending which reveals the narrator, who we assumed was Jacob telling a story to his grandchild after the Doctor broke the curse, is actually the psychotic shapeshifting alien creature who was behind the curse to begin with...
    • Return of the Krotons. Former harmless villains the Krotons return, now developing a horrific form of crystal-based Body Horror.
    • The Blue Tooth from the Companion Chronicles series is flat-out terrifying, made more so by playing off an incredibly common fear. Think you dreaded going to the dentist before? Now imagine said dentist wants to infect you with living metal that slowly, painfully turns you into a Cyberman. Also, Cybermats CRAWLING AROUND UNDER YOUR SKIN.
    • The Reaping has one of the most beautifully understated threats you've ever heard, courtesy of the Cyber-Leader:

 We have your companions, Doctor. You will assist us, or their deaths will be... emotional.

  • Similar to Big Finish, some of the Expanded Universe novels and audiobooks have their moments. The latter includes David Tennant's seriously creepy voice for the monster in Day of the Troll: "Come under the bridge..."
    • Even worse in Tennant's run is the audiobook Dead Air which is recorded and staged to make it seem like a genuine BBC recording which has been recovered from a sunken ship, being played "for the very first time" on live radio - the enemy is a sentient weapon, a creature made entire out of SOUND (not to mention a Time Lord creation) that infects and eats everything that makes a noise, and everything that hears it. All throughout the book (which is recorded at an ever so slightly wrong pitch so Tennant's voice sounds just a little off the whole time) we're treated to the spectacle of people being devoured by this machine, stripped to mere soundwaves, their identities stolen by the weapon. The audiobook ends with only the Doctor still alive, everything else having been destroyed, and with him telling The Virus that by recording the very audiobook you're not listening to, he has trapped the weapon inside it, where it will be stuck forver... Unless someone else listens to it. Well guess who's listening to it right at that moment?
    • Winner Takes All is a prime example of what you can't show on TV. A guy's brain EXPLODES as evil alien porcupines use a machine that tortures humans.
    • In The Resurrection Casket there is a cyborg girl named Silver Sally whose entire left side is made of clunky machinery that runs off steam in order to keep her alive. Later we find out that Sally is actually "Salvo," an assassin robot who was damaged, and the metal machinery is her real body. She grafted on the human skin and organs in order to keep the robotic parts running, not the other way around.
  • Doctor Who manages to be damned creepy even in Flash-animated webisode format. In Scream of the Shalka, we're told how one of the characters' friends died at the hand of villains who already exemplify Paranoia Fuel before we ever see them or know what they do: she was forced to cover her body with lava, screaming and begging the entire time, having no hands by the time it was over, until she finally covered her face with it, at which point she became entirely petrified, becoming the humanoid-ish rock formation seen on the street earlier. How bad are they? It's such a relief to finally see them, to have an image that's inevitably friendlier than the one your mind's conjuring by now. It really has to be watched to be properly understood or appreciated.
    • Later the aliens physically control an entire village and force them to walk to a location for their own purposes. They come across two innocent men whose only crime is standing in their way. The village tear the two men apart. Not of their own choice, you understand, but imagine being thier place. Being forced to tear someone limb from limb, with two hands you can no longer control, unable to do anything but watch.
  • In the novel Human Nature one of the students' heads explodes after being shot by a small, sticky grenade thing, spraying blood and brain matter all over John Smith, Bernice Summerfield, Joan Redfern, and the room full of school children sitting next to him.
    • Damaged Goods, Russell T. Davies' contribution to the Seventh Doctor novel series, deserves note for its cavalcade of horrors, including an undead half-mechanical drug dealer, machines exploding out of people's heads, a man experiencing hellish hallucinations while delirious from being stabbed (and giving himself makeshift stitches with a sewing kit), and a woman killing her husband by lovingly preparing a rat-poison-laced dinner and forcing him to eat it in front of her.
  • The Adventure Games don't shy away from this either. In Blood of the Cybermen, the Cybermats return, now spreading a virus that converts flesh into metal.
    • The fourth game in the series is titled Shadows of the Vashta Nerada, which features the titular creatures, but underwater!
  • The Eighth Doctor Adventures are much Bloodier and Gorier than the TV series, and the Doctor gets the worst of it. Case in point? The (theoretically) Affably Evil villain rips the Doctor's heart out of his chest bare-handed. The villain in question has hands the size of hams and ripped the Doctor's heart out of his chest while he was awake and screaming. Previously this villain wasn't much of an antagonist; this scene comes shortly after he was the best man at the Doctor's wedding, which makes it so much worse.
    • The ED As certainly didn't shy away from terrifying their readers. Anybody remember the Krotons? They killed and ate the crew of a Dalek warship.
  • Ramón Salamander. Last seen on-screen, being thrown out of the TARDIS mid-flight into the Time Vortex. Funny thing is, he never, ever, died...
  • In the DWM comic 'The Flood', a group of Cybermen from the future use what can best be called 'emotional rain'. This rain causes humans to experience extreme emotional attacks. This leaves the victims so traumatised by the intensity of their experiences, that when the rain cuts off, and the Cyber Leader offers the humans freedom from their emotions, they all go willingly for conversion!
    • Astrolabus' final fate in "Once Upon A Time Lord", as Voyager reclaims his star-charts. We only get to see Astrolabus' arm afterwards, but that's enough.



  • We've mentioned many of the Daleks' acts, but what about the Daleks themselves? They are covered in near invincible armor (indeed, are often mistaken for being robots), and possess a weapon capable of killing ANYTHING in one hit and destroying most barriers. They fly, are strictly organized, have massive numbers, AND SEEK ONLY THE DESTRUCTION OF EVERY OTHER LIVING THING IN EXISTENCE. Many people forget that Daleks almost never fail when the Doctor is not present. The Daleks are known throughout time and space as the most horrible thing in existence. They are invincible, absurdly powerful, and omnicidal. Could you sleep well knowing that something that was capable of destroying everything was around?
    • By extension, Davros himself is a cripple who can do little more than talk and move his right hand. Yet he has a genius appreciated even by the Doctor (who is not one inclined to compliment anyone's intelligence without mentioning his own), and when asked whether he would release a virus capable of consuming all life in the universe, gleefully proclaimed that he would do it. The idea of a single life-form being the sole and single thing in existence was fascinating and the power to set that virus free was the power of gods. As Davros goes on, he loses more and more of his humanoid form, going from a man in a wheelchair to just his head. Later he appears to reacquire a body, but rips it apart to provide raw material for a new army of Daleks. Every bit as unreasoningly evil as his creations, Davros also possesses the intellect to bring his plans to fruition. Davros wants nothing more than to create the ultimate life-form, and then prove it by destroying all others.
      • Here's some lovely Fridge Horror for you. Dalek society... well, there isn't much of it. They don't waste time on art or cultural pursuits, they don't trade with other races, they don't eat, they don't sleep, they don't have friends, they don't have families, they don't do any of the thousand little things that humans occupy their time with. So, what do they do with all that time? They plot to FUCKING KILL YOU. Every second of every day, the entire Dalek Empire is focused on killing everything in the universe that isn't Dalek. Think about that level of relentless, psychotic hatred for a minute, and you realize that the fact that the omnicidal little bastards haven't yet swarmed over the entire Whoniverse and crushed everything out of existence through sheer relentlessness is an absolute miracle.
      • There is absolutely nothing rational about what they want. And they want it anyway.
        • The true horror of the Daleks comes in this little gem from Doomsday:

  "Technology using the one thing a Dalek can't do--touch. Sealed inside your casing. Not feeling anything... ever. From birth to death, locked in a cold metal cage. Completely alone. And that explains your voice! No wonder you scream."

  • How the hell do overgrown tin cans scare the crap out of everyone on a daily basis? One word: EXTERMINATE.
  • The Valeyard is pretty terrifying. He’s the utter dark side of a character we have followed and loved for years. He has all the intelligence, the drive and knowledge of the Doctor. But none of the morals. NONE. He is manipulative, nasty as hell and will kill you with a second thought. If you’ve ever listened to ‘He Jests at Scars…’ we actually see what would have happened if the Valeyard had won in ‘The Trial of a Time Lord’. Without spoiling too much… Let’s just say that there is a damn good reason why the Master did NOT want him around. He’s THAT bad. What makes it worse is that, it is pretty much hinted at that the Time Lord Victorious and the Dream Lord from Amy’s Choice is a sort of Proto-Valeyard. Think about that.
    • Let us reiterate: the Master was afraid of the Valeyard. What does that say about the Doctor when a madman is afraid of his dark side?
  • The Cybermen (particularly in their original form) are people who have had organs ripped out and replaced with machines, metal welded onto their flesh and then covered in bandages. How can people overlook this concept as being mind numbingly terrifying?
    • This Concept art for the Series 2 Cybermen is truly nightmare fuel.
  • The entire concept of the Silurian and Sea Devil races, especially in their eponymous serials. Species of humanoid reptilians coming up from beneath the ground/under the oceans to reclaim the world feeling that we have usurped it from them. Extra points go to the Silurian Plague in their story and the shots of random members of the public dying in the streets. Chilling!
  • The Atraxi from "The Eleventh Hour". They were pretty creepy themselves.
    • "PRISONER ZERO WILL VACATE THE HUMAN RESIDENCE, OR THE HUMAN RESIDENCE WILL BE INCINERATED." Repeated on a loop. In every language. On every TV channel, radio station, speaker, even outside. Everywhere in the world.
  • The Master's drums. Don't you get scared every time you hear a steady drumbeat, counting four hits each time, somewhere in the background.
    • If you want an example of where you can hear that rhythm... try the show's theme tune.
      • 4 Beats in a constant rhythm...It's the heartbeats of a Time Lord.
  • The Doctor is the living embodiment of nightmare fuel. Let's see, near godlike control over time and space+ willingly commiting genocide+ deciding that since he's the last time lord, he makes the rules=one nightmarish alien. No wonder the Daleks consider him a demon.
    • The Cult of Skaro did (or would if they had the ability to) in Doomsday when Rose identified the man on the video screen as the Doctor. They weren't scared of 5 million Cybermen but this ONE "doctor" has ruined a lot of their plans and destroyed so many of them, they know to be scared. EVERY time the Daleks try something, he manages to interfere, even managing to mock them and in some cases just being casual about how he is able to defeat them.
      • At least two other species do the same. "I'm the Doctor." Aliens run away. They're the smart ones. By the way those were The Vashta Nerada and the Atraxi.
    • In "The Pandorica Opens" we learn that the Pandorica houses "A nameless, terrible thing, soaked in the blood of a billion galaxies. The most feared being in all the cosmos." That nameless, terrible thing? The Doctor. They just hadn't locked him in quite yet. The Pandorica was opening to receive him.
      • "And nothing could stop it or hold it, or reason with it. One day it would just drop out of the sky and tear down your world."
      • Nameless is correct.
    • Both the Doctor and the Master are charming, suave fellows with timetravelling capabilities, entirely alien biologies, the skill to charm the pants off anybody, the power to change their face, masters of technology and engineering, and are both merciless killers who follow their own established order. Y'know who else fits that description? Nyarlathotep.
    • Let's all give a moment of thanks that The Doctor is on our side.
      • ...Mostly...
    • Here's a 6:33 reason The Doctor is pure Nightmare Fuel.
  • An unknown, undefeated monster that repeats everything you say until it catches up with you and possesses you. And then it pleads with your voice to kill you. Add to that, it also makes people around you on edge. That's what could go wrong on the planet Midnight, Doctor.
  • The Silence. Bizarre, black-suited beings with sunken eyes and no visible mouth. Until they open them and kill you. Their entire MO as a villain seems to consist almost entirely of infiltrating humanity at every conceivable level (bathroom in the white house included), where they guide and manipulate us for their own ineffable ends. They orchestrated the entirety of the space race, apparantly so that they could use a space suit. How have they done this? By some quirk of biology, should you ever actually see one, you will instantly forget the moment you look away. Even images of them decay in very short time. Not to mention their... memetic guidance means that anything they tell you will stick in the back of your mind, guiding you to their whim. Imagine that. If you ever see one you will instantly forget, if it notices you it will force its will upon you, and if it decides you are dangerous, can't be used or to make a point, it will kill you by firing an arc of plasma at you.
    • They're the ones who tried to bring about the annihilation of reality twice. So basically, one minute reality is there, then the next it's not -- and even when things are back to normal, you'll never know who was behind it all.
  • The Toclafane, in sort of the same way as Cybermen but SO MUCH WORSE. Both were originally human but were changed. Depending on which version of the Cybermen you take; they are either from Earth’s twin planet or from parallel Earth, but you don’t get a choice about becoming one. It’s forced on you. In fact if you take away the ‘Emotional Inhibiter’ they go mad from the knowledge of what they are. On the other hand the Toclafane chose to become what they did. They were the last of humanity. When you see a Toclafane you are seeing the future of the human race, at the end of the universe. ‘Furnaces, burning... the last of humanity screaming at the dark. There was no solution. No diamonds. Just the dark, and the cold.’ So what do they do? They decide to make themselves ‘pretty’ by becoming little balls of flying death with a hive mind. The worst thing? They enjoy it. They have a childlike joy of killing and making others suffer.



  1. And she has done -- see "Zagreus" in the Expanded Universe section below.
  2. File:Weeping Angel 291.jpg
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