Which monsters are residents of the Judoon prison in Doctor Who‘s latest holiday special? In Doctor Who season 12, Jodie Whittaker’s Thirteenth Doctor encountered a past regeneration she couldn’t remember, and learned that her entire life was a lie. On the orders of the mysterious Time Lord agency known as the Division, The Doctor was captured by the Judoon in the final moments of season 12’s finale, and trapped in a prison away from her companions.
Years of incarceration failed to dent The Doctor’s spirit, and she made conversation with security cameras, recited Harry Potter, and bantered with the litany of monsters also locked up in the facility. It’s still not known why the Division were hunting The Doctor, or whether the prison she was taken to is actually Shada, but it is clear that the Judoon have apprehended monsters from across the Doctor Who spectrum. With Chris Chibnall clearly raiding the BBC’s props cupboard, “Revolution of the Daleks” features some obvious monster Easter eggs, and some (don’t) blink-and-you’ll-miss-it nods too.
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Of course, Whittaker eventually broke free thanks to the loyal heroics of Captain Jack Harkness and his spacious secret hiding place, no longer forced to make conversation with Angela, Tiny, Bonnie and Clyde. Here are all the monsters The Doctor was trading cigarettes with after being captured by the Judoon.
One of the highlighted residents of Doctor Who’s multi-species prison is Angela, the Weeping Angel. Introduced in the Tenth Doctor episode “Blink,” the Weeping Angels are widely considered to be the premier monsters of the modern era, on par with classic baddies such as the Daleks and Cybermen. These super-fast statues can only move when unseen, and feed on the energy generated after forcibly sending victims back through time. The Doctor has encountered Weeping Angels on several occasions since the Sally Sparrow incident, most notably when Amy and Rory were caught and torn from the Eleventh Doctor’s side in New York. In “Revolution of the Daleks,” Angela is hooked up to a special set of restraints. These don’t seem to inhibit her movement, but likely stop the Angel travelling through time. Curiously, this technology seems beyond the simple-minded Judoon, suggesting the prison’s real controllers are The Division.
The mighty (and underrated) Pting makes its comeback as The Doctor’s next door neighbor in the Judoon prison. Nicknamed “Tiny” by the confined Time Lord, the Pting is desperately trying to munch its way to freedom like a miniature Andy Dufresne, but to no avail, and it seems desperately unhappy about being caught. A Pting first appeared in “The Tsuranga Conundrum,” where The Doctor and her companions found themselves trapped on board a futuristic medical ship during a Pting attack. The mostly harmless creature was eating its way through the vessel until The Doctor ushered it safely into space using a delicious explosive. Like the rest of its species, Tiny’s instinct is to eat its surroundings, but this Pting is a slightly different color compared to the original.
The Ood have become a common feature in Doctor Who since making their debut while David Tennant was piloting the TARDIS. The Doctor discovered the Ood in “The Impossible Planet,” where folks from Earth kept the spaghetti-mouthed creatures as their slaves. When they’re not being oppressed or controlled by Satan, the Ood are a friendly and intelligent species, and allies to The Doctor. However, the Ood in “Revolution of the Daleks” (nicknamed Bonnie, for reasons that will become apparent below) appears to be maddened by some unknown affliction. Rather than communicating calmly via its sphere, the Ood prisoner is red-eyed and shaking its cage. Occupying the cell adjacent to The Doctor, this is the first time in Doctor Who that Jodie Whittaker’s Doctor has encountered an Ood.
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The “Clyde” to Bonnie the Ood is a member of the Sycorax race, with the two prisoners situated directly next to each other in the grid of inmates. Unlike the above trio, this monster is a more obscure member of Doctor Who’s villain roster, making only a single featured appearance courtesy of 2005’s “The Christmas Invasion.” Back then, a Sycorax ship arrived on Earth and faced the newly-regenerated Tenth Doctor in a duel. The Time Lord won (despite losing a hand), and the Sycorax were sent packing, but the British PM decided to attack anyway. Didn’t she look tired? The Sycorax have been relatively quiet since, merely making cameos in a handful of episodes, but one obviously upset enough people to land itself in space jail. Unlike the Ood, the Sycorax are a race of warriors, so it’s perhaps not surprising to see one fall foul of the authorities.
During the holiday special’s first sequence with the jailed Doctor, a Silent can be seen skulking around to the right of shot, but he’s easy to miss (and to forget). Fortunately, the monster gets a close-up when The Doctor returns later in the episode, with Thirteen remarking how she forgot this silent cellmate was around. One of The Doctor’s most dangerous enemies, not only do The Silence project lightning through their fingers, but victims also forget about the creature immediately after seeing it, making them tough villains indeed. The purpose of The Silence was to prevent another Time War, and although they first sought to do so by killing The Doctor, they eventually became his soldiers during the Battle of Trenzalore. As with the Weeping Angel, it seems unlikely that the Judoon could capture a Silent by themselves. The memory trick alone would be enough to throw the thuggish rhinos for a loop.
The very familiar outline of a Cyberman can be glimpsed in “Revolution of the Daleks,” standing in a cell to the left as The Doctor enters the prison’s communal area for the first time. One of the most famous Doctor Who monsters, Cybermen are ruthless soldiers created by stripping humans of all emotion and giving them a cybernetic shell. The metallic menaces had a hand in the First and Twelfth Doctors’ regenerations, and came close to dominating the universe in Doctor Who season 12 after The Doctor ignored Captain Jack‘s stark warning. The Cybermen are so formidable because they attack in superior numbers, so it’s not surprising that one solitary unit has been apprehended
One of the less obvious inmates in the “Revolution of the Daleks” Judoon jail is the snappily-named Gathering Coil – a villain that made its bow in Jodie Whittaker’s very first episode, “The Woman Who Fell To Earth.” Despite being a sentient entity in its own right, Doctor Who’s first Gathering Coil was a weapon of the Stenza – a warrior race competing with Earth as their battleground. Gathering Coils are made, rather than born, and can be used for gathering information or killing enemies, which perhaps explains why the monster gets its own cell in the Judoon prison. The Gathering Coil on Earth was destroyed by Grace, Ryan’s grandmother, and the 2021 newcomer is discernible from its shifting black mass of wires and electricity, buzzing away next to Clyde the Sycorax.
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Another monster from the Whittaker era, the Skithra first appeared in “Nikola Tesla’s Night of Terror” and were introduced as the galaxy’s most notorious gadget thieves. Stealing technology from a wide variety of races and engineering the loot to their own designs, the Queen of the Skithra had her sights set on the genius intellect of Tesla until The Doctor and her fam swooped in to save the day in electrifying fashion. The Skithra Queen is extremely similar in appearance to the Racnoss, but it’s one of her less humanoid subjects incarcerated in “Revolution of the Daleks,” most likely caught red handed trying to swipe an iPhone.
A relatively recent addition to Doctor Who canon, the Chagaska was created by Zellin the Eternal in Doctor Who season 12’s “Can You Hear Me?” Based on the nightmares of a young woman named Tahira, the Chagaska’s kills were, nevertheless, very real, but Tahira was eventually able to turn the beast on its immortal creator. Due to the nature of the Chagaska’s birth, it’s possible that the prisoner is the very same creature seen in “Can You Hear Me?” Alternatively, Zellin’s original Chagaska might’ve bred into a fully-fledged species since the 14th century. In “Revolution of the Daleks,” the Chagaska can be seen behind Angela.
Also deriving from Doctor Who season 12, the Thijarian’s intentions in “Demons of the Punjab” were misunderstood. Where The Doctor believed these (admittedly intimidating) aliens bore hostile intentions towards Earth, the few remaining Thijarian actually appear to any living being who dies alone – their own special way of honoring the fallen. In older times, however, the Thijarian were deadly assassins, and it’s likely this line of work that landed one of them in jail, rather than the creepy-but-harmless pastime of watching people die.
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