Doctor Who Monsters, Aliens and Villains

The Fendahl
Video - Image of the Fendahl
Image of the Fendahl
 Name: The Fendahl

 Format: Television show

 Time of Origin: Planet Five - the fifth planet in Earth’s solar system, between Mars and Jupiter -, approximately twelve million years ago; the last remnants of it confronted The Doctor on Earth in 1979.

 Appearances: "Image of the Fendahl", referenced and played a vital role in the events of "The Taking of Planet 5"

 Doctors: Fourth Doctor

 Companions: Leela, technically K9 (K9 had begun travelling with them at this point but he remained in the TARDIS for the duration of the confrontation)

 History: The Fendahl is essentially the most powerful predator ever to evolve anywhere. Described by The Doctor as a ‘super-vampire’, the Fendahl is capable of sucking all other life into itself, converting other organisms into component parts to form a gestalt, and was capable of eating its way across the smorgasbord of space and time while always being assured of finding something to eat wherever it went. It was such a dangerous life-form that the Time Lords broke their usual rule of non-interference in order to stop the Fendahl from spreading beyond Planet Five - the fifth planet of our solar system, between Mars and Jupiter -, trapping Planet Five in a time loop that would keep it contained from the rest of the universe for all eternity.

 Although the majority of the Fendahl was contained on Planet Five, it was able to at least partially escape by transmitting itself as psionic energy to the inner planets, one of these ‘fragments’ arriving on Earth twelve million wears in the past and hiding in a humanoid skull, apparently influencing human evolution to create a situation that would allow it to escape. The skull was eventually discovered by millionaire scientist Doctor Fendelman, who, accompanied by his team - chronology technician Thea Ransome and palaeontologists Adam Colby and Maximillian Stael - set out to investigate the skull using a time scanner he had devised, the distortion the scanner caused in the time vortex attracting the Fourth Doctor’s attention and prompting him and Leela to investigate.

Book - The Taking Of Planet 5
The Taking Of Planet 5
(Simon Bucher-Jones & Mark Clapham)
 Learning of a suspiciously rapidly-decomposing corpse that had been discovered outside the priory the previous night, with the only sign of foul play being a mark on the back of his neck, The Doctor’s fears were proven when he confronted a monstrous creature that nearly killed him when he was briefly immobilised by the time distortion caused by the scanner. As Thea began to transform due to her previous contact with the skull, The Doctor recognised the creatures as Fendahleen, but he was prevented from taking action when Stael, believing that the Fendahl was the being that he worshipped as a member of a cult, attempted to use Thea as a sacrifice to awaken the power within the skull but only succeeding in completing her transformation into the Fendahl Core.

As the Fendahleen began to emerge from the cult members, Stael committed suicide to weaken the Fendahl and prevent the full manifestation of the gestalt. With this sacrifice buying them time, Leela and the rest of The Doctor’s allies subsequently used rock salt to keep the Fendahleen at bay - sodium chloride killed the Fendahleen by affecting the conductivity and throwing the overall electrical balance preventing the disruption of localizing the osmotic pressure - before The Doctor was able to set the time scanner to run until it imploded, destroying the Core and embryo Fendahleen, The Doctor and Leela subsequently taking the skull to the heart of a supernova to destroy it once and for all.

 Four lifetimes after this encounter, the Eighth Doctor fought to prevent a group of Time Lords from Gallifrey’s future from releasing the time lock around Planet Five and thus unleashing the true Fendahl, the future Time Lords seeking to use the Fendahl as a weapon in the War (A war that would be waged in The Doctor’s personal future between the Time Lords and an initially -unidentified Enemy). Although The Doctor failed to prevent the time loop being broken, it was revealed that time inside the loop had actually been accelerated, resulting in the evolution of The Memeovore, a devourer of concept that had evolved to kill the Fendahl itself, The Doctor later managing to expel the Memeovore from the universe with the aid of a platoon of highly evolved TARDISes (One of which created the temporal rift which Fendelman’s time scanner had originally accessed after it crashed).
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Parts of this article were compiled with the assistance of David Spence who can be contacted by e-mail at djfs@blueyonder.co.uk
 
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