Doctor Who: 10 Aliens With The Most Absurd Weaknesses

Across 60 years of television, Doctor Who has graced audiences with some of the most iconic monsters in all science fiction. From the Daleks to the Cybermen to the Weeping Angels, the show has always been able to conjure up nightmares that children can both imitate and cower at.

Despite the clout Doctor Who has received for its monstrous creatures, the program has also been fairly ridiculed for its absurdities, a fact which renders some of the scariest villains as laughable. It might be cruel to poke fun at the Weeping Angels inability to look at a mirror, but Doctor Who has more than enough tough skin to withstand a few minor criticisms about alien weaknesses.

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10 Classic Daleks Can't Climb Stairs

Dalek Invasion of Earth from Doctor Who

While the Daleks are some of Doctor Who’s most dangerous creatures, they have a history of being treated like jokes in the classic series. Several times, they’ve been defeated by a hat placed upon their eye stalk and being pushed around by ordinary humans.

Related: 10 Best Dalek Episodes, According To IMDb

The most egregious sin of classic Doctor Who was the Daleks inability to climb stairs. Given just how capable the Daleks are at conquering planets, it remains laughable that they were thwarted by stairs for the longest time before stories like “Remembrance of the Daleks” and “Dalek” allowed them to overcome such a minor obstacle.

9 The Slitheen Explode When Exposed To Vinegar

Slitheen in Doctor Who

The Slitheen were first introduced in the Series One episode "Aliens of London" wherein they attempted to take over Great Britain to start a nuclear war and harvest the energy for profit. To do this, they famously wore skin suits which resulted in them farting frequently due to their being compressed.

Though the Slitheen are by no means anyone's favorite Doctor Who villain, what respectability they have is rendered obsolete by the fact that their weakness is vinegar (or as the Doctor more elegantly put it, Acetic Acid). The show might try to justify this weakness by explaining that the Slitheen are living calcium, but it does little to excuse how easily Jackie Tyler takes one out by pouring a pitcher of pickled foods onto it.

8 The Zygons Are Helpless To The Swing Of A Clock's Pendulum

Osgood and Zygon Osgood with a Zygon in promo image of Doctor Who: The Day Of The Doctor

Though Doctor Who is home to several species of shape-shifting aliens, the Zygons remain the most iconic for several reasons. They have creepy, whispered voices, their technology is fascinating given the biological components present, and their puckered design is among the most inspired in all of Doctor Who.

While the Zygons have improved as alien adversaries over time, fans might be shocked to learn that the villainous shape-shifters could have been stopped in all their episodes by an old grandfather clock. In one of the more obscure pieces of Doctor Who media, the 1997 video game Destiny of the Doctors, the aliens were shown to be easily hypnotized by a clock pendulum, a fact that many people have rightfully forgotten about.

7 The Krillitanes Burst Into Flame When Covered In Their Own Oil

The Krillitanes attack in Doctor Who

The Krillitanes are one of Doctor Who's more underrated monsters considering their ability to take on the characteristics of the races they've conquered. It makes them a formidable foe and serves as a wonderful contrast to their low-key plan in "School Reunion" to take over the universe using math.

Related: 10 Best Doctor Who Monsters

Though the Krillitane are brilliant for a number of reasons, one of the most befuddling aspects of the race is their weakness to Krillitane Oil. Though expanded media such as The Krillitane Storm has tried to justify the weakness as a consequence of their constant physiological alterations, it still doesn't explain how they're able to naturally produce the oil without being harmed.

6 Davros Has A Kill Switch On His Chair

Colin Baker as the Sixth Doctor with Davros in Doctor Who

The creator of the Daleks is one of the smartest characters in Doctor Who. Besides being the forebear to the Daleks, Davros created a multitude of weapons during the war between the Thals and the Kaleds, and thwarted death for centuries despite his crippled body.

Given Davros's massive intellect, it remains puzzling why he has an on/off switch on his life-support chair. It's a massive design flaw that the Doctor nearly utilized to prevent the creation of the Daleks in the classic story "Genesis of the Daleks."

5 Kane Melts When Exposed To Direct Sunlight

Kane puts on a glove in Doctor Who

In one of classic Doctor Who's least regarded stories, the Doctor ends up on a space-trading colony called Iceworld where he teams up with an old acquaintance to find a hidden treasure. Little does he know that the duplicitous Kane wants the treasure for himself.

While Kane is a mostly forgettable Doctor Who villain with bland motivations, he does stick out for his death scene (which is lifted straight out of Raiders of the Lost Ark). Despite being an ice-based creature who has the power to kill humans by touching them, it is utterly ridiculous that Kane would melt when exposed to direct sunlight considering the lack of heat it would give off.

4 The Old God Of Akhaten Is Defeated By A Leaf

The Doctor stands by Akhaten

"The Rings of Akhaten" is one of Doctor Who's most polarizing episodes. Some have called it an emotionally resonant drama that does more for Clara's character than the rest of series 7 while others have deemed it a boring ball of nothing.

Related: 10 Most Heartbreaking Eleventh Doctor Quotes

Regardless of how fans feel about the quality of the episode, there seems to be a consensus that the Old God Of Akhaten shouldn't have been defeated by Clara's special leaf. The idea behind it, that the leaf contains an infinite number of potential causalities, is sound on paper, but frankly chalks up to being melodramatic and overblown considering Clara is a (relatively) normal person, even if she is "the Impossible Girl."

3 The Sontarans Are Addicted To Chocolate

Sontaran in Doctor Who

Historically, the Sontarans main weakness has been the ventilation probe on the back of their necks. While this has always been a questionable vulnerability considering the Sontarans status as a race of genetically altered beings, it is a justifiable one for the plot.

What's less forgivable than the ventilation probe is the recent revelation that Sontarans are susceptible to sugar's addictive qualities. Though the scene of a Sontaran hungering for chocolate is hysterical, it ultimately degrades the villains to a degree where it's hard to see them as any sort of threat.

2 The Abzorbaloff Can't Hold The People He's Absorbed When His Cane Is Broken

Abzorbaloff Doctor Who

The main threat in one of Doctor Who's most contentious episodes, the Abzorbaloff took on the form of Victor Kennedy and infiltrated L.I.N.D.A to take out the Doctor. He was a decidedly silly threat, but one befitting of "Love & Monster's" plot.

As the Abzorbaloff's name implies, the villain absorbs other beings. Despite his natural power, he was defeated by the Doctor breaking his cane, which stabilized his ability to maintain control of the people he absorbed. Needless to say, it makes the Abzorbaloff look incredibly weak and makes viewers wonder how useful his natural absorbing abilities are.

1 The Cybermen Choke On Gold

A Cyberman explores Telos in Attack Of The Cybermen.

One of Doctor Who's creepiest villains, the Cybermen's technological augmentations make them tougher than the average human. Most firearms are ineffective against them, they can withstand the pressures of space, and have shown an ability to adapt to their environments to overcome any previous weaknesses.

Despite the impressive physical capabilities of the Cybermen, they are weak against gold because of its non-corrosive nature provided the metal enters their lungs or breathing apparatus. It's a ridiculous weakness considering the Cybermen's logic of eliminating all physical weaknesses and is rendered nonsensical by the fact that they've walked across the moon (a satellite that lacks oxygen).

2022-09-11T21:57:02.000Z

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