Doctor Who: Every Alien Species Returning in Season 13

The full-length trailer for Doctor Who Season 13 confirmed a lot of returning aliens, who may or may not be involved with the mysterious Flux.

The release of the full-length trailer for Season 13 of Doctor Who, aka Doctor Who: Flux, has provided the first footage of the various aliens who will meet Jodie Whittaker’s Thirteenth Doctor. Although a few of them are brand new, there are plenty that longtime viewers will recognize, but some of them look rather different from their earlier appearances.

Throughout Chris Chibnall’s tenure as Doctor Who‘s showrunner, the number of creatures from previous eras of the program has steadily increased. Season 11 only used new monsters, save for a lone Reconnaissance Dalek in the 2019 New Year’s Day special, “Resolution.” The 2021 special, “Revolution of the Daleks,” featured more of the killer pepper pots, while the preceding Season 12 reintroduced the Judoon and the Cybermen. There are at least four returning alien species in Flux, so here is a summary of them all and their recent history.


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The Weeping Angels

Doctor-Who-Flux-Weeping Angels

Created by Steven Moffat for Season 3, Episode 10, “Blink,” the Weeping Angels are killers who send their victims back in time with a single touch, leaving them to die in the past so the Angels can feast on the resulting time energy. They were recently the focus of The Lonely Assassins, a mobile game featuring Larry Nightingale (Finlay Robertson) from the original episode. One Angel did appear in prison with the Doctor and an Ood during “Revolution of the Daleks,” but this looks to be their first major story since Season 7, Episode 5, “The Angels Take Manhatten.” The Doctor will no doubt hope that they fail to ensnare her current companions as they did Amy Pond (Karen Gillan) and Rory Williams (Arthur Darvill).

The Sontarans

Doctor-Who-Flux-Sontaran

Introduced along with Sarah Jane Smith (Elisabeth Sladen) by Robert Holmes in “The Time Warrior,” the Sontarans are the fiercest warriors in the cosmos, a race of clones bred solely to engage in galactic combat. The most well-known Sontaran is likely to be Commander Strax (Dan Starkey), a third of the Victorian crime-solvers “The Paternoster Gang” along with the Silurian Madame Vastra (Neve McIntosh) and her human wife Jenny Flint (Catrin Stewart).

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However, the Sontarans who appear in the trailer for Doctor Who: Flux are quite different from Strax, having regained their darker, blotchier complexion from “The Time Warrior.” They have also ditched the shiny blue helmet and armor they have worn since the Season 4 two-parter “The Sontaran Stratagem/The Poison Sky,” in favor of a grey and black combination that hews closer to how they appeared throughout the original series. The new look suggests that these Sontarans will be more fearsome than any the Doctor has encountered before.

The Ood

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Invented by Russell T Davies for Matt Jones’ Season 2 adventure “The Impossible Planet/The Satan Pit,” the Ood are a telepathic species whom the Doctor later freed from slavery, becoming valuable allies from then on. They are gentle creatures by nature, but their eyes glow red when threatened or taken over by another lifeform, and they can electrocute opponents using the “translation spheres” attached to their faces if necessary. It is unclear whether the Ood seen in the trailer is the one who was also imprisoned with the Doctor in “Revolution of the Daleks,” but if not, it could be of great help to the TARDIS team.

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The Cybermen

Doctor-Who-Flux-Cybermen

Devised by Kit Pedler and Gerry Davis, the Cybermen’s debut in “The Tenth Planet” ended with William Hartnell regenerating into Patrick Troughton, creating the concept that has allowed the role of the Doctor to be passed from actor to actor. They are a cybernetic race who seek to turn every being into one of their own, replacing limbs with metal equivalents and emotions with unending willpower. They are one of the Doctor’s oldest foes, and most recently appeared in three episodes of Season 12.

The Cybermen glimpsed in the Doctor Who: Flux trailer are Cyber-Warriors, the newer, more lethal variation from Season 12’s two-part finale, “Ascension of the Cybermen/The Timeless Children.” They formed an alliance with the Master (Sacha Dhawan), who provided the bodies of his fellow Time Lords to create the superior “CyberMasters.” Considering that it is the earlier Cyber-Warriors who appear in the trailer, it is unlikely that the Master will be pulling their strings, though that does not rule out a surprise reappearance from him. If that happens, the Doctor will have her work cut out trying to defeat two of her deadliest foes.

 To see all of these iconic aliens, catch Doctor Who: Flux on BBC America starting Oct. 31.

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