Doctor Who Monsters, Aliens and Villains

The Herazi
Audio - Infamy of the Zaross
Infamy of the Zaross
(John Dorney)
 Name: The Herazi

 Format: Audio

 Time of Origin: Arrived on Earth in 2007, but their exact home planet was unidentified, although they had clearly travelled a great distance across space.

 Appearances: "Infamy of the Zaross"

 Doctors: Tenth Doctor

 Companions: Rose Tyler and Jackie Tyler

 History: Although the Herazi would only consider themselves television producers, The Doctor stated that their actions were the most appalling crime against the universe that he had ever witnessed, and that was when he thought their actions had 'only' led to the conquest of two planets. The Herazi were the producers of an inter-planetary show known as 'Take Me To Your Leader', which followed the course of an alien invasion carried out by the Herazis' chosen stars, with the entire invasion staged to favour the invaders to the point that the local 'resistance' were given fake weapons.

David Tennant
David Tennant
When The Doctor met the Herazi, they were working with the warthog-like 'Zaross' as they invaded Earth; in reality, the Zaross were a race known as the Forzell, whom The Doctor described as a peaceful race known for making great pottery, the Forzell disguising themselves with an unspecified degree of make-up. Based on their invasion of Earth, the producers' policy appears to be to stage an invasion in an isolated and easy-to contain part of the planet, most likely splicing later footage of the wider civilisation to give the impression that the invasion was more large-scale than it actually was. They typically target lower-technology planets to prevent the civilisations involved from presenting an effective counter-attack, although this likely also has the ulterior motive of limiting the risk that their next 'stars' would work out the truth about the Herazis' series. Unfortunately for the Herazi, they made a crucial mistake when they selected Earth as the target of their next invasion, with their 'film site' being Norwich just as Jackie Tyler, the mother of The Doctor's current companion Rose Tyler, was visiting Marge Ellmore, an old schoolfriend of hers, for a holiday. As a result, when the Zaross invasion began, Jackie was able to call Rose for help, resulting in Rose and the Tenth Doctor arriving in Norwich a few minutes before the invasion and waiting in the flat until Jackie made the call.

Witnessing the Zaross ship landing and the Zaross emerge to attack, The Doctor was immediately suspicious when he realised that he had never heard of the Zaross; while he acknowledged that he couldn't be expected to have heard of every alien species in existence, those aliens with a habit of invading planets tended to create a reputation for themselves. With that in mind, he returned to the TARDIS to check the ship's databanks, but a casual examination revealed no reference to the Zaross by name, and even a more in-depth scan based on an image of the Zaross themselves in case they were better-known by a different name revealed nothing, with the closest match of the Forzell still not being especially close. While The Doctor carried out further checks in the TARDIS, Rose and Jackie saw the men that the Zaross had 'enlisted' to act as the military being helplessly gunned down despite their arsenal including a tank.

With Jackie having been taken to the Herazi ship to be assessed as possible members of the future resistance movement, along with Marge's daughter Jess, The Doctor sent Rose to a relay station to get more information while he confronted the Zaross leader, using the sonic screwdriver to disable most of the drones observing the 'invasion'. However, when The Doctor realised that the Zaross leader was seeking instructions from a director now that the drones were down, he quickly observed that the leader was wearing make-up and prosthetics, realising that the Zaross were actually the Forzell. Initially hopeful at the implications of this development, The Doctor was left outraged when he learned that, while the weapons the show had provided for the humans were duds, the Zaross were actually firing live weaponry, which meant that the humans they had been shooting at were genuinely dead. Once he learned that this was the third series of the show, The Doctor informed the Zaross that the leader was lucky The Doctor was even talking to him after that revelation, vowing to end this 'campaign' even as the Herazi reactivated the drones and began feeding instructions once again.

Taking the TARDIS up to the Herazis' ship, The Doctor and Rose confronted the producers, who had decided to 'reinvent' the series based on a suggestion from Jess to focus on the Zaross trying to save their own show by fighting The Doctor and his allies directly. The Doctor rejected that offer in favour of alerting the Shadow Proclamation to the Herazis' actions, but Jess, impulsively desperate for any sort of fame, stole the sonic screwdriver and destroyed the communications console, resulting in her and Rose being captured while The Doctor and Jackie fled to another part of the ship. However, when Jackie revealed that one of the Herazi had mentioned that the show was on its tenth season, The Doctor recalled the Zaross leader identifying the current season as the third, giving him a vital clue.

Studying the Herazi ships' records, The Doctor was able to reveal to the Zaross that they were not the first race to have been chosen as the stars for the Herazi's show, explaining that their first invasion targets, the Drozni, had actually been the previous stars, with the Raboon the stars of the first three seasons. With the revelation that they were not as special as they had believed, but merely the latest in a long line of 'stars' who could be easily disposed of when they became boring, the Zaross agreed to The Doctor's suggestion that they instead try to be remembered for something good and turned on their former producers. After The Doctor, Rose, Jackie and Jess had retreated back to the TARDIS and departed the Herazi ship, the Zaross detonated the Mega-bomb (which the producer had been unaware was a real weapon rather than just a prop), destroying the Herazi ship and ending the show once and for all.
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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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