Doctor Who Monsters, Aliens and Villains

Book - The Devil Goblins from Neptune
The Devil Goblins From Neptune
(Keith Topping & Martin Day)
 Name: Control

 Format: Book.

 Time of Origin: Uncertain; he has been confirmed as being present on Earth from 1971 to 2003, but given that he apparently never aged between 1970 and 1999 it is uncertain whether he was even human, or where he came from originally if he wasn’t born on Earth.

 Appearances: "The Devil Goblins From Neptune", "The King of Terror", "Escape Velocity", "Time Zero" and made a brief appearance in "Trading Futures"

 Doctors: Third Doctor, Fifth Doctor and Eighth Doctor

 Companions: The Brigadier, Sergeant Benton, Liz Shaw, Mike Yates, Tegan Jovanka, Turlough, Fitz Kreiner and Anji Kapoor

 History: Even after confronting The Doctor directly on at least three occasions, the true origins of the mysterious individual known only as Control remain a mystery. Although he appeared to be a human working for the anti-alien division of the CIA, the fact that Control appears to have never aged a day between 1971 and 1999 raises several questions, coupled with the fact that he apparently knows enough about The Doctor’s various incarnations to be aware that the Fifth Doctor is the ‘vulnerable one’ ("The King of Terror"). When these details are taken into account, along with The Doctor’s anger and automatic knowledge that the CIA were the ones responsible for a particular crisis ("The Devil Goblins From Neptune"), there is enough evidence to suggest that the CIA share more than just an acronym with the Celestial Intervention Agency of the Time Lords, a theory that is further reinforced when noting that Control appeared to have visibly aged during his appearance in "Time Zero", an event that took place ‘after’ Gallifrey’s destruction (Assuming that its destruction only ‘registered’ to the rest of the universe after Fitz Kreiner departed from Compassion in 2001 rather than beginning after The Doctor was left to recover in 1887).

Book - The King of Terror
The King of Terror
(Keith Topping)
 Despite the mystery surrounding Control’s origins, his agenda has always been explicit; ‘defend’ Earth from alien assault while taking the technology for the CIA to develop and exploit, constantly demonstrating a strong arrogance and belief that every action he takes is the right one simply because he is the one making it (The similarities in method suggest that there may have been some connection between the CIA and the pre-Canary Wharf Torchwood, given that both regarded all aliens as an automatic threat and were convinced they knew best about how to deal with the problems caused by their presence on Earth only to prove woefully inadequate at dealing with a problem in any way other than brute force). During his first appearance, Control revealed that the CIA - precisely when he became involved in the department is unknown, although his lack of aging suggests that he could have been present from the beginning - first became aware of alien life during the Roswell crash of 1947 when American military forces shot down a spacecraft belong to the Nedenah, a benevolent alien race, subsequently keeping the Nedenah prisoner in Area 51 while attempting to duplicate their technology.

 Having become aware of UNIT, Control resolved to expose them for the upstart incompetents they were, believing that their alliance with The Doctor proved that they couldn’t be trusted with the defence of Earth. Unfortunately for Control, his attempt to discredit UNIT failed miserably when he constantly underestimated his enemies; although he managed to get an inside agent into UNIT to steal various files, the agent’s attempt to escape after killing a scientist and dressing the man in his own clothes was quickly exposed, and even when Control managed to capture The Brigadier in Area 51 The Brigadier swiftly overpowered his guards and escaped to rescue the Nedenah. Control’s arrogance was further demonstrated when he attempted to destroy The Waro - invading aliens who sought to create a cobalt bomb to destroy Earth - using planes developed using Nedenah technology, only for The Waro to rapidly destroy the planes and easily slaughter the American forces. Fortunately, The Brigadier was able to free the Nedenah in time to help them return to their ship, the Nedenah subsequently releasing an airborne chemical that destroyed the chemical blocks the Waro had previously created to control their natural anger to turn it against only non-Waro life forms, driving the Waro to destroy themselves before their brains collapsed from the sheer intensity of the rage they felt. Despite this ‘setback’ Control continued

Book - Escape Velocity
Escape Velocity
(Colin Brake)
Control and The Brigadier met once again in 1999, after The Brigadier had contacted the Fifth Doctor to help in the investigation of InterCom, a major communications conglomerate whose head, Paolo Sanger, had recently purchased a large amount of plutonium. Thanks to information gathered from the CIA, The Doctor’s investigations swiftly revealed that InterCom was actually a front for the Jex, a ruthless insect-like race of conquerors who had once controlled a vast corporate-based empire before their former slave race the Canavatchi rose up against them (Although the Canavatchi were almost worse than the Jex, destroying entire planets just because the Jex had been on them), the Canavatchi having been operating on Earth for centuries to retard humanity’s development - via the use of artefacts and mysticism such as the Turin Shroud and the prophecies of Nostrodamus - while the Jex intended to alter Earth’s atmosphere to make it suitable for their own long-term habitation, capturing The Doctor’s companion Turlough to try and analyse his genetic make-up to work out a means of altering humans to serve as a suitable slave-race for the future. Although Control had been attempting to manipulate the Jex in order to gain access to their technology, the presence of the Canavatchi threw off his plans, the two sides now determined to wage war on each other even after The Brigadier managed to kill the Jex leaders by throwing a grenade into the main conference room while they were distracted with a Canavatchi infiltrator. Unable to deal with the assault himself, Control was forced to contact UNIT for help, The Doctor using their resources to modify Earth’s satellites to generate a force field that would protect Earth from the worst of the upcoming battle. As The Doctor departed, however, Control - who was apparently answerable to another, although his superiors were never identified - reflected that this new alliance with UNIT would give them a significant advantage in future dealings with alien invasions thanks to their access to The Doctor.

Book - Time Zero
Time Zero
(Justin Richards)
Control’s third encounter with The Doctor was probably his most frustrating yet, since he was dealing with a Doctor who had no memory of his past and thus had no idea who Control was; specifically, he was dealing with the Eighth Doctor, coming to the end of his century-long amnesic exile on Earth after the destruction of Gallifrey ("The Ancestor Cell" and "Escape Velocity"). Following reports of a man with two hearts being killed in Brussels - the advance guard of an alien race called The Kulan - Control was alerted to the presence of alien technology when one of his agents stole an alien gun from a hotel room belong to tourist Anji Kapoor, Control seeking to resolve the problem without involving UNIT, only for matters to become complicated when Anji met The Doctor’s companion Fitz Kreiner - who had investigated reports of the death in case it turned out to be The Doctor - and was thus introduced to the amnesic Doctor. Despite Control’s efforts to find the aliens by capturing Fitz and planting a tracking device on him, matters rapidly escalated out of his control when his agent was killed, resulting in the Kulan spearhead escaping to the main fleet, with the invasion only being thwarted when the TARDIS completed regenerating itself and The Doctor was able to take it up to the Kulan mothership, Anji subsequently accidentally turning all the ships in the fleet against each other when she attempted to take control of the ship’s weapon systems only to fail to fully understand the controls.

 Since then Control has yet to make a return appearance in The Doctor’s life, although he did appear ‘off-screen’ during the events of "Time Zero", when he ordered a CIA division to investigate an area in Siberia that had caused a plane to experience a strange form of time-lag before they caught up with the rest of the world. Assuming that this time lag was caused by a time machine, Control ordered the team to acquire the machine, although The Doctor, Fitz and Anji discovered that it was actually a temporal anomaly leaking ‘dark matter’ into the universe rather than a controlled effect. Although Control never appeared in person, he was described as appearing significantly older than in his previous appearances, suggesting that, if his lack of aging was connected to the Time Lords’ Celestial Intervention Agency, the destruction of Gallifrey has - like what happened to The Doctor’s old companion Leela during her imprisonment by the Z’nai - caused him to begin aging at an accelerated rate to ‘catch up’ with the years that were kept back by the Time Lords, presumably accounting for his desire to acquire a time machine. Control’s current status is unknown; however, given the implications of his new ability to age, coupled with the similarities between his potential problem and Leela’s own, it seems likely that Control has died of accelerated aging by the time the Ninth Doctor arrived on Earth.
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Parts of this article were compiled with the assistance of David Spence who can be contacted by e-mail at
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