Doctor Who Monsters, Aliens and Villains

The Laiderplacker
Audio - Invaders from Mars
Invaders from Mars
(Mark Gatiss)
 Name: The Laiderplacker

 Format: Audio

 Time of Origin: Precise planet unspecified; arrived on Earth in 1938.

 Appearances: "Invaders From Mars"

 Doctors: Eighth Doctor

 Companions: Charley Pollard

 History: While The Doctor has fought many alien invasions over the centuries of his many lives, the Laiderplacker are an interesting enemy as they were actually less arrogant than many of the aliens he has faced. Where most aliens start out with high opinions of themselves and confident that humanity will easily fall to them - an assessment that could generally be accurate if The Doctor wasn't involved - the Laiderplacker started out with a relatively small-scale plan that only escalated to larger ambitions because their human contact 'helped' them realise just how much of an advantage they had over Earth.

Eighth Doctor
Eighth Doctor
 As noted by The Doctor, the Laiderplackers' original plan essentially amounted to an elaborate protection racket. The two The Doctor encountered were Conserver Norium and Destroyer Streath, with Streath often eager to at least propose a violent solution while Norium attempted to keep him focused on their agenda. Resembling large bats, the Laiderplacker would send a breeding ship to Earth containing creatures that 'reproduced' by binary fission, allowing these creatures to 'reproduce' and spread out across their target planet. Once these creatures had caused enough damage, the Laiderplacker would arrive and 'save' the planet by putting the creatures back to sleep, and then demand some form of currency, such as water, to ensure that other creatures were kept away. These creatures arrived in the form of a meteor that passed over New York and crashed in Brooklyn a month before The Doctor's arrival, where they were discovered by a criminal gang led by Don Chaney. Chaney subsequently captured defected Russian Professor Yuri Stepashin to analyse the technology in the pod, intending to sell it to the CIA.

 About a month after the meteor crashed, the Eighth Doctor and Charley Pollard arrived in New York, where they discovered the dead body of a private investigator who had clearly been killed by advanced weaponry. When The Doctor tracked down the man's office to try and determine what he had been investigating before he died, he was mistaken for the detective in question by Glory Bee, a woman who visited the office looking for help finding her missing uncle, Professor Stepashin. Intrigued by the possibilities, considering the professor could have a role in the weapon he had witnessed, The Doctor took the case, initially unaware that he was in the middle of a potential gang war as some of Cheney's forces had tried to sell their new weapons to Cosmo Devine, another aspiring gangster who just intended to sell the weapons to the highest bidder.

 Cosmo's men were able to capture Charley in the hope of interrogating her about Chaney's new weapons as they overestimated her knowledge of the situation, but Charley managed to escape with another hostage, only to be captured by Streath and Norium. Detecting the use of their weapons, Streath and Norium took their ship to the Brooklyn Bridge where Chaney had been keeping the technology, becoming caught in a stand-off between The Doctor, Devine and Chaney, 'Glory Bee' having been exposed as a Russian spy trying to force the Professor to return to Russia. Glory was killed in the subsequent stand-off and Stepashin was apparently lost when the breeding party escaped their pod just before Streath and Norium arrived.

 While The Doctor and Devine each tried to claim that they spoke on Earth's behalf, The Doctor swiftly deduced that the Laiderplacker didn't have the scale of resources they pretended to have, identifying their plan as nothing more than a warped protection racket. However, when Cosmo tried to argue that the Laiderplackers' technology was still sufficiently advanced for them to conquer Earth on their own, The Doctor took advantage of the fact that their 'invasion' occurred on the same night as Orson Welles' infamous War of the Worlds broadcast, which had caused riots as those who listened to it believed that it was depicting a genuine alien invasion. With this side-benefit, The Doctor convinced the Laiderplacker that Earth had already been invaded by the Martians, aided even further as the Laiderplacker were aware that Mars was inhabited by a race of warriors (the Ice Warriors) although they were ignorant of the exact details of this race.

 While The Doctor, Charley and Chaney were able to escape during the confusion as the breeding party attacked, Devine remained to make his pitch to the Laiderplacker after Norium had calmed the breeding party down with a calming signal. Recognising that Devine was intelligent enough to direct the Laiderplacker so that they could mount a few precise attacks and trick humanity into surrendering, The Doctor convinced Chaney to take them to the CBS Radio studio and send some of his men to collect the TARDIS. Meeting Orson Welles, The Doctor persuaded the studio staff to let them make a new War of the Worlds broadcast, transmitting it directly to the Laiderplacker ship with the TARDIS to convince them that Earth was already being invaded.

 The initial plan was almost a success, as the Laiderplacker concluded that Devine had been manipulating them while his existing alien allies invaded, and prepared to depart the ship with Devine still on board Unfortunately, The Doctor and Welles forgot to stop the transmission when they began to talk about their victory, giving the Laiderplacker proof that the transmission had been a deception. However, as they began to return to Earth, Devine discovered that Professor Stepashin had returned to the ship after he was injured by the breeding party, with the confirmation that the Laiderplacker were returning to Earth giving Stepashin all the incentive he needed to take action. When the Laidperlacker had retrieved their equipment from Chaney's base, they also collected Stepashin's experiments, which included a prototype atomic bomb that Stepashin had created based on Laiderplacker technology. Despite it being historically created half a decade ahead of schedule, the early neutron bomb proved powerful enough to destroy the Laiderplacker's ship before it could return to Earth's atmosphere, ending the threat they posed and sparing Earth from a true invasion.
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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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