At the Eyeball we have a soft spot for Doctor Who, even though the increasingly convoluted plots and two Doctors on a perpetual sugar rush have led to more of a ‘dipping in’ strategy when it came to actually watching it.
However, once we heard that a certain horror icon was guest starring, we tuned in this time. We won’t spoil who that was here, as the whole internet can tell you what happened – or watch it on the BBC iPlayer if you can. The episode was stronger than earlier ones with a leisurely start that perfectly laid out what was at stake, with an impressive group of female heroes setting the scene.
But what we’ve come to comment on were the gloriously nasty new monsters known as the Whisper Men.
The Whisper Men are sinister henchmen for an ongoing Big Bad, played with sneery superiority by Richard E Grant. Incidentally, wasn’t Grant a former Doctor in a parody or web cartoon version? He keeps the Whisper Men around and has a nifty trick of morphing his consciousness into them if one of him gets destroyed. There’s a reveal of this that’s rather like The Invisible Man, revealing only hollow air inside his face before taking over another Whisper Man. Shudder.
So what else is impressive about them? If they stick around we hope they’ll do more, but they did manage a fair amount of menace in this one appearance:
- Cadaverous, sharklike grins.
- Those broad top hats, undertaker chic taken to extremes.
- Faceless monsters. Can they see you, or are they just gonna sniff you out?
- Their whispering nature. They seem to stalk you with words as well as appearances.
- They can also reach into your chest and stop your heart on a whim. Yuk.
- They can corner the Doctor!
- The way they morph into Richard E Grant and look vaguely annoyed by the process.
- The pale faced, towering humanoid is a foolproof horror classic, going right back to Cabinet of Doctor Caligari.
The Haunted Eyeball figures that this makes a change from referencing Daleks and Cybermen when it comes to Doctor Who. Also, we’re quite looking forward to when the show returns at the end of November 2013. Please, writers of Who, cut down on the sugar for once, and it might even be watchable, just like this one.