Halloween from Behind the Sofa

By Bronte Henwood

We’ve reached that time of year where we’re all looking for a fright. It’s October – the height of the spooky season, and Halloween is coming! We all love to feel the tingle of fear that something is behind us or will jump out from behind a corner. When looking for a scare, what better place to look than Doctor Who?

Since returning to our screens in 2005, Doctor Who has continued to bring us stories of friendship and fun – but also, fear. In many episodes, there is something to make you want to cover your eyes, particularly in most fan-favourite stories.

Resolution (2019)

Sometimes it comes in the form of a monster, alien or creature. The ones that don’t look particularly nice and make it clear they want to cause harm from the moment they appear on the screen. This fear is something the audience can share with the characters under threat in the story. This is what makes Doctor Who stand out from classic shows that just put in scares *because they can*. As a family centred show, it provides us with the perfect combination of fun and frightening thrills, making it perfect for everyone to watch together. Not a lot of shows in the science fiction genre are able to create stories that can make audiences of all ages laugh and gasp at the same time.

One monster that has scared audiences for generations are The Daleks; one of the most iconic villains from the show. From their metal exteriors to their slimy interior selves, the Daleks have both thrilled and terrified children ever since they first appeared on screen in 1963. Sometimes it’s the suspense of not knowing what they’re going to do next, other times it is their endless killing sprees that haunt us. Bringing them back for the New Who era meant that adults and children alike could experience The Daleks in a whole new way, with updated graphics and designs to enhance the shocks and scares. They have always seemed like the furthest thing from human, which is what makes them worth fearing.

Fear can also be present in the things that the audience never get the answer to. Midnight is, in my opinion, one of the most haunting episodes to come out of the modern era of Doctor Who so far. Not because of the characters, time or place it is set, but because of the creature that has no face; only knocks. You don’t know when it’s coming, you don’t know how or why. All you know is that it wants you and it will get what it wants in the end. While the Doctor tried to find a probable cause of the creature’s existence and what it wanted, the audience is left wondering. To many of us, not knowing something is the worst kind of fear. It’s something that we usually have no control over and cannot change. That is why it’s scary, why we fear it, and why it’s so effective when used in a great Doctor Who story. After all, not everything worth fearing lives under the bed.

The Doctor and Clara investigate the unknown in Listen (2014)

Because it’s Doctor Who though, there is, of course, an episode that explores our fear of what is hiding under our beds. Like Midnight, it begins with a creature that the audience doesn’t know anything about. Playing again and again on that fear of the unknown that anyone of any age will understand. The Doctor is questioning if we’re ever really alone, a concept terrifying to even think about. The episode explores the possibilities that when we wake up from our nightmares, someone is waiting there in the dark – a dream that seemingly everyone has had. Mixing the ordinary with the extraordinary, the story is truly some of the scariest Doctor Who there is.

Fear comes in all different shapes and sizes. While traditional jump scares and the odd gory death are more traditionally scary, the fear of forgetting can also send chills down everyone’s spines. This is where the Silence come in. As soon as you turn away, you’ll forget you’ve ever seen the huge, terrifying creatures. It’s the type of scary that’s hard to run away from (because you literally cannot get away from them).

The Silence terrified audiences during the 11th Doctor’s era.

The Weeping Angels also tap into our nightmares similarly by moving as soon as anyone looks away or blinks. The cruelty in being sent back to another time to live out your life is petrifying in itself, but the fact that merely blinking could cause this makes them one of the most genius creations in Doctor Who history.

Doctor Who brings people many things, making it a place for everyone to find something they like. Some might prefer to be caught off guard and jump out of their seats, while others may prefer horrific creatures, blood and gore.

The Weeping Angels first appeared in Blink (2007)

I love the combination of things that Doctor Who can bring to its audience. Being on the edge of your seat and fearing for the characters while pondering the underlying meaning of each episode is truly something special that connects people of all ages across the world.

Have you found the thing that makes your heart race and hairs stand on end? Let us know your scariest Doctor Who monsters, villains or moments @thetimeladies_ or email us at thetimeladies@yahoo.com

Art by Fetin Sardaneh


Wholloween: Trick or Treat with Tales Of Terror

What are your plans for Halloween? Are you dressing up in our Rose Tyler cosplay and heading out? Or getting some friends round to watch some of the scariest Who stories? We think there’s nothing better than spooking yourself silly with a good book, by yourself or with friends! So when we were sent Doctor Who: Tales of Terror we set up our own mini Wholloween party.

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With twelve short stories – one for each Doctor, you have a whole host of chilling tales to choose from. So light those candles, turn off the lights and get stuck in. When reading aloud with your friends (or cats) at your Wholloween party, impressions of each Doctor are absolutely essential. Kinda.

We don’t want to ruin the monster surprises but expect some your favourites: Carrionites, Daleks and… no we’ll stop, shhh. Reading these monsters written into new worlds, being discovered by Doctors they haven’t met or meeting one-story only companions is so thrilling. There’s something about reading Doctor Who fiction that’s pretty magical – you can see the episode it would be in your head, know exactly what shots would look like and feel the pacing of the episode. Your imagination is the director and it can take the words on paper to whole spin-off series!

We particularly loved re-visiting The Family of Blood with the tenth Doctor, and the illustration wins the prize for both the most stunning and unnerving.

‘How could anything live in a mirror?’ 

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The illustrator of these wonderful stories is Rohan D Eason. To me, his drawing feels very reminiscent of dark fairy tale illustrations – ever read a Brothers Grimm fairy tale and the imagery was stuck in your mind for years after? I’m still terrified of Baba Yaga and her house with chicken’s legs (Russian fairy tales are next level).

Read Rohan’s interview with Doctor Who Comic Art here to learn more about his work as an illustrator, his process and what inspires him!

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If the scary stories are the trick… we need the treat!

I made some Dalek-esque cakes to incentifise those friends dreading your David Tennant impression… ahem.

Here’s what you’ll need (for around 12 cakes)

150g Marg/slightly salted butter
150g caster sugar
125g self-raising flour
3 eggs
50g ground almonds
2 tsp almond essence
cake cases (silver if you can find them unlike me!) and case cases tray

150g marg/slightly salted butter (softened)
250g icing sugar
black food colouring
blue chocolate beanZ (I found mine in Sainsburys’ baking section)
black/near enough gummy sweets (I used jelly tots as a vegetarian)
candy sticks
silver balls
silver spray (optional! But also in baking section)

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180c/350f/gas mark 4 and place cake cases into tray.

2. Beat together the butter and sugar till light and fluffy, then add in the eggs and flour gradually whilst mixing. Add the ground almonds and almond essence and mix till light and creamy looking (it should smell v. almond-y and yum).

3. Divide the mixture between the cake cases, filling around 2/3rds of each case. Put them in the oven for 16 mins (although they might need up to 20). The cakes should be firm but bouncy to the touch and golden brown. When they’re done pop them on a cooling rack for a while till cooled (duh.)

4. Mix together the butter and icing sugar to create a buttercream, then add the black food colouring till your desired Dalek grey! Then spread onto cakes.

5. Squash your gummy sweet onto a candy stick and place the stick in the cake. Then cover half the cake with the blue chocolate sweets in a a Dalek pattern. Place silver balls on top and spray the other half of the cake with the edible silver spray.

6. Exterminate by eating.

This was an altered recipe from the official Doctor Who Cook Book since I couldn’t find half the ingredients/mini cup cases, boo.

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Get your own copy of Doctor Who: Tales of Terror here and let us know what you’re doing for Wholloween – we’d love to see any Rose Tyler cosplays or Dalek-inspired cakes!

– Kez

10 Scariest Stories To Watch This Wholloween

The nights are drawing in and there’s more of a chill in the air, it’s only natural you want to spook yourself a bit and watch some scary Who! Here are 10 stories that give us the collywobbles, and by that we mean that even uploading the photos made Kez wobbly. Let us know if your fave didn’t make the list by tweeting us here!

1. The Empty Child – Beth


 “Are you my Mummy?”

If you don’t feel even slightly scarred by this episode then we applaud you! Set entirely at night during the World War 2 Blitz and featuring TERRIFYING gas mask zombies, its a recipe for complete peeing-your-pants viewing. If that’s not enough, Moffat throws in EVERY creepy old object and jump-out-of-your-seat sound AND a possessed child stalking the streets of London just to make sure we’re hiding behind the sofa. Oh, and not to mention the bombs dropping from the sky!

Fear factor rating: 9/10

2. The Impossible Planet / The  Satan Pit – Kez

Impossoble Planet

“You will die here, all of you. This planet is your grave.”

Now arguably you can’t really get scarier than, yknow the actual DEVIL. But this story’s sense of impending doom isn’t just from the ‘Welcome to Hell’ message that the Doctor and Rose see within 5 minutes of landing… With crew members being pulled into the vacuum of space, Rose being chased through air shafts (Alien, anyone?), the Doctor stranded and the Ood taking on the terrifying voice of some unknown being who knows everything about you, this 2 parter is chilling from start to finish. It’s Kez’s favourite Doctor Who story of all time. Don’t turn around Toby…

Fear Factor: 8/10

3. Spearhead From Space – Beth


 “They’re all part of one entity. Let’s say a collective intelligence.”

If there’s anything that Doctor Who does brilliantly, it’s making seemingly normal everyday objects scary. And lets face it- We all get a little bit terrified of dolls, toys and shop window dummies. This story brings them to life and cleverly taps into our human instincts- leaving us shaking in our boots! The creepy faces of the plastic dummies programmed to kill are positively haunting. Walking into a clothes shop you say? Pah, easy peasy… we totally aren’t watching the dummies out of the corner of our eyes…

Fear Factor: 6/10

4. Midnight – Kez


“We must not look at goblin men.”

When the Doctor and Donna are on a relaxed holiday on the planet Midnight it feels like we can all breathe a sigh of relief, I’m one for a quiet life and Donna spending the day in an alien spa sounds right up my street. Equally the Doctor’s day trip sounded lovely, putting your feet up and having a good read till the destination of the Sapphire Waterfalls. Obviously what happens is far more dark. As an unknown creature enters the travelling vehicle the Doctor is on, it possesses a character onboard and starts to learn very quickly about humans… and unfortunately Time Lords through speech and words. The other characters turn on each other, questioning how far they can be pushed before all humanity slips away into something far more visceral. This episode is partly terrifying because of the creature and partly from its commentary on human beings and what they are capable of. The format feels very much like a play and you feel the claustrophobia of the characters almost climbing on top of each other in such a small space. A psychological thriller of an episode!

Fear Factor: 8/10

5. Blink – Beth


“Don’t blink. Blink and you’re dead.”

Arguably one of THE most iconic Doctor Who stories, Blink introduced us to the terrifying Weeping Angels and changed the way we looked at statues FOREVER.  With The Doctor and Martha trapped in 1969, It’s even more scary without our heroes around to save the day, leaving Sally Sparrow to stop the angels herself. Set in a HUGE creepy house with an overgrown garden and an equally as creepy attic, it sends shivers down our spines, and that’s before the statues are involved! What’s more terrifying than statues that move as soon as you take your eyes off them? Oh yeah, statues that move as soon as you take your eyes off them AND zap you back in time.

Fear Factor: 8/10

6. Snakedance – Kez


“That’s right. Look at me. Look at me.”

 The sequel to the equally chilling Kinda, Snakedance starts with Tegan’s re-occurring trippy dream of entering a cave shaped like a snake’s mouth (not ominous at all!) The Doctor quickly realises her mind is still under the control of the Mara and tells Nyssa not to let Tegan out of her sight… can you imagine what happens? Fully possessed by the Mara (complete with a spooky booming voice), Tegan sets out to do the Mara’s bidding. Janet Fielding’s performance is brilliant and the added lipstick on the teeth is
bloomin’ terrifying!

Fear Factor: 7/10

7. Under The Lake/Before The Flood – Beth

Under the Lake

‘They can walk through walls, they only come out at night, and they’re sort of see through. They’re ghosts!’

A claustrophobic underground base? Check. Ghosts? Check. A massive alien fish king? CHECK! This timey wimey tale has it all covered if you want a slice of scary, and it doesn’t shy away from gruesome either. There’s nothing like a crew getting killed off one by one and getting turned into TERRIFYING ghost creatures to get the heart pounding, right? Those eye sockets haunt ALL our nightmares. And if the countless chase scenes weren’t enough, we eventually get introduced to the giant fisher king JUST to keep us on our toes. Phew, we hardly survived this roller-coaster tale!

 Fear Factor: 5/10

8. The Shakespeare Code – Kez

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“I gaze upon this bag of bones, and now I name thee, Martha Jones!”

Now we couldn’t do a Halloween post without mentioning witches could we? Or Carrionites in this case. The Doctor and Martha visit Shakespearean London in the hope of meeting the man himself… What they didn’t expect was mysterious deaths – a man who drowned to death but was nowhere near water? Hmm. And when the Doctor confirms to us that it was indeed… WITCHCRAFT we have a little squee because it’s just so perfect. The witches are almost like Disney’s Hocus Pocus in their nature but that’s exactly how we love em’. It’s a little bit silly but no one can deny that they wouldn’t fancy bumping into Doomfinger or Bloodtide down a dark alley.

Fear Factor: 7/10

9. The Waters of Mars – Beth


‘Water just waits. Wears down the cliff tops, the mountains. The whole of the world. Water always wins.’

This story is scary in more ways than the traditional sense. Not only do we have possessed water zombies on mars, but we have a scary Doctor too! The effects are particularly gruesome in this one and turn our stomachs. And making water scary? Doctor who really knows how to freak us out! Creepy possessed water, a claustrophobic base and a LOT of death… totally terrifying.

Fear Factor: 9/10

10. The Mind Robber – Kez


“I think we may be in a place where nothing is impossible.”

Although not initially scary, this twisted world the Doctor, Zoe and Jamie land on grows increasingly creepy as their journey continues. In a land of fiction they are haunted by mythological Gods, giant clockwork soldiers and characters like Lemuel Gulliver and Rapunzel. I find the creepiest part of the story to be  when Jamie attacks a soldier, is shot and suddenly turns into a cardboard cut out. The Doctor is tasked with putting Jamie’s face back together like a jigsaw puzzle but panics and completes it wrong – causing a ‘new’ Jamie to come back to life! This sequence feels so much like a trippy dream you instantly want to roll over and go back to sleep until the ‘real’ Jamie makes an appearance again! Playing with story, space and context turns this seemingly fun adventure into a nightmare you want to wake up from.

Fear Factor: 7/10


A massive thank you to Lucy Crewe for the brilliant artwork! Check out her work here: @CreativeCatFX