Doctor Who Monsters, Aliens and Villains

The Ravenous
Audio - Ravenous 2: Seizure
(Guy Adams)
 Name: The Ravenous

 Format: Audio

 Time of Origin: Kostlan, a planet in the Time Vortex in Gallifrey's distant past.

 Appearances: "Ravenous"; specifically appeared in "Seizure", "Deeptime Frontier", "The Odds Against", "Planet of Dust" and "Day of The Master" (as well as a brief appearance in "Sweet Salvation"); were responsible for the events of "An Unearthly Woman".

 Doctors: Eighth Doctor; one of their agents attempted to capture the First Doctor.

 Companions: Liv Chenka, Helen Sinclair; River Song helped protect Susan Foreman from one of their agents in a crisis that Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright were peripherally involved.

 History: An ancient myth from Gallifrey's past, the Ravenous were long known as the natural predator of the Time Lords, capable of devouring the energy Time Lords released upon regeneration. It was at least speculated that the Ravenous were capable of draining the life energy of other life-forms, but The Doctor mused that other entities would just be the equivalent of a packet of crisps where Time Lords would be a full steak dinner for the Ravenous. In their natural state, the Ravenous resembled clowns, with The Doctor speculating that they inspired the traditional image of the modern clown as part of a universal racial memory, humanity attempting to make them less scary by making the clown a figure of fun.

Eighth Doctor
Eighth Doctor
 For a long time, the true history of the Ravenous was unknown, with myths suggesting that they had evolved to prey on the Time Lords to maintain the balance of the universe. Some of these myths suggested that the Ravenous had initially only been one large clan, but The Doctor noted that darker takes on the myth suggested that the Ravenous had been an entire species that the Time Lords hunted to extinction apart from the final clan that they spared to maintain a moral high ground. One such legend stated that the human colony Yalta Prime, which had been scheduled a visit by Time-Skiff Alpha 9 as part of Rassilon's attempt to impress the colonists, arrived a week late with a single living crew member after the Ravenous caught it during its flight. Regardless of the truth behind the myths, the Time Lords were eventually able to trap the Ravenous in a dimensional prison, which seemingly ended any threat they might pose in future.

 At some point, the Ravenous began to reach out from their prison to try and seek out a Time Lord to be brought to them in their prison dimension. They were able to send the energy-seeking Nightstalker to Shoreditch in 1963, with the goal of capturing the First Doctor and Susan before The Doctor's travels began in earnest, possessing a young woman named Sheila Page as a host while it searched for them ("The Diaries of River Song - An Unearthly Woman"). Fortunately, River Song was alerted to the existence of the Nightstalker and followed it to 1963, where she was able to trap it long enough for Susan to use a dimensional phase battery to banish the Nightstalker back to its own dimension.

Audio - Ravenous 3: Deeptime Frontier
Deeptime Frontier
(Matt Fitton)
 However, the Ravenous were eventually released as part of a Time Lord mining effort that went wrong. Seeking new sources of power that could serve as a substitute for the Eye of Harmony, the Time Lord Rasmus had been conducting 'mining operations' into deep time so that they could explore alternative power sources for Time Lord technology ("Ravenous 3 - Deeptime Frontier"). As part of this research, Rasmus recruited a human scientist in the form of Doctor Daria Visteron, as her disappearance was a historical fact, which would inspire her daughter to follow in her footsteps and continue her research, and she would therefore gain a new chance at life. Unfortunately, Rasmus failed to take into account that Time Lords were so intimidating to those races who knew about them that even his attempt to simply request Doctor Visteron's help was taken by her as a potential threat, prompting her to deliberately seek out the Ravenous after she heard about their legend as she wanted the Time Lords to feel as afraid as she did. Underestimating the scale of the threat posed by the Ravenous, Doctor Visteron's efforts released at least one Ravenous from their dimensional prison, with this Ravenous making its way onto a TARDIS piloted by Jaxa, a Time Lady who had just been killed by the Eleven, the latest incarnation of the Time Lord criminal known to fandom as 'The Collective' due to his rare condition of regenerative dissonance, which caused all of his old personalities to remain active even after regeneration.

 Realising that something else was on 'his' new TARDIS, the Eleven was forced to transmit a distress signal, which led to the Eighth Doctor, Liv Chenka and Helen Sinclair materialising on the TARDIS and being hunted by the Ravenous ("Ravenous 2 - Seizure"). When the Eleven tried to escape by stealing The Doctor's TARDIS, The Doctor was able to trap the Ravenous in another part of Jaxa's TARDIS and set it for a random materialisation, allowing him, Liv and Helen to escape while the TARDIS disintegrated in the Vortex with the Ravenous on board. The Doctor and his companions were subsequently retrieved by Deeptime Frontier, with Rasmus requesting their assistance in analysing the apparent corpse of a Ravenous to determine its history. However, the Ravenous was revealed to have mounted a new attack by essentially possessing a newly-regenerated Time Lord while abandoning its original body, forcing them to flee the station and set it to self-destruct with the Ravenous on board.

 While The Doctor and Rasmus were able to escape the station relatively on their own, Liv and Helen were abducted by the Eleven's past incarnation, the Nine, as part of his attempt to 'collect' all of The Doctor's companions based on information acquired from the captured River Song ("The Wedding of River Song"). However, Liv and Helen were eventually able to turn the tables and escape with the aid of past companions Charley Pollard ("Storm Warning") and Katarina ("The Myth Makers") and future companion Bliss ("Time War 1 - The Starship of Theseus"), as River used her knowledge to gather companions together with particular skills for when the time came for the companions to strike back against the Nine ("Ravenous 3 - Companion Piece"). Eventually, Liv, Helen and Bliss were able to combine their knowledge of technology, languages and computers respectively to hack the Nine's satellite from the food machine in their cell, Charley's nature as a temporal paradox helped her pass through the last of the Nine's defences, and Katarina's corpse was still 'alive' enough on some level due to the artron energy she had been exposed to that she was able to attack the Nine when he tried to scan her mind while confronting the escapees. River was able to return the captured companions to their time of origin in the Nine's TARDIS while leaving the Nine in one of his own cells, but after they had departed the station, the Nine was attacked by more of the Ravenous.

Audio - Ravenous 3: The Odds Against
The Odds Against
(John Dorney)
 Unaware of the Nine's fate at first, Liv and Helen were retrieved from the space station by The Doctor and the Eleven, the Eleven concluding that the danger posed by the Ravenous was so great that his interests were best served working with The Doctor. After consulting a database on various galactic myths to track the apparent origin of the Ravenous ("Ravenous 3 - L.E.G.E.N.D. "), the TARDIS travelled to an ancient monastery that was supposedly the place where the Ravenous were originally banished ("Ravenous 3 - The Odds Against"). However, the monastery turned out to be a trap set by the Nine, who lured The Doctor, Liv and Helen into the basement to be confronted by the Ravenous while he met with the Eleven. When he recognised the Nine's true identity, the Eleven learned that the Nine had discovered that their condition actually made the Collective immune to the Ravenous, as regenerative dissonance in some way contaminated the regenerative energy to prevent the Ravenous feeding on it. However, the Eleven was actually disgusted with the Nine for his attempt to kill The Doctor in this manner, outraged that the Nine had wasted his knowledge of their immunity to the Ravenous on such a relatively petty scheme for revenge. Despite the attempted 'treachery' of the Nine personal in the Eleven's mind, the Eleven was able to banish his past self into the Vortex with a vortex manipulator and subsequently saved The Doctor, Liv and Helen from the Ravenous.

Audio - Ravenous 4: Planet of Dust
Planet of Dust
(Matt Fitton)
 Pretending to have been 'cured' of his condition after the Ravenous were banished ("Ravenous 4 - Whisper"), the Eleven tricked The Doctor into taking him to the planet Parrak, a desert world where the Eleven claimed he would be willing to live as a hermit ("Ravenous 4 - Planet of Dust"). However, the Eleven's true purpose on Parrak was to find the Matrix print of Artron, an ancient Gallifreyan scientist who had discovered the energy sources that Time Lords used for most of their equipment, including the energy they released upon regeneration. The Doctor realised what the Eleven was truly after when he discovered that The Master was also on Parrak, his old enemy now in his decaying final incarnation ("The Deadly Assassin") after all of his attempts to extend his lifespan by stealing others had basically worn out ("The Keeper of Traken"), The Master seeking Artron's Matrix print to learn Artron's regeneration-related discoveries. The Eleven was able to steal the Matrix print and kill The Master, simultaneously damaging The Doctor's TARDIS, but The Doctor and Liv were able to escape in The Master's TARDIS while Helen was 'rescued' by a Time Lady (unknown to her, Missy, The Master's future female incarnation) who sought her help translating a particular book.

Audio - Ravenous 4: Day of The Master
Day of The Master
(John Dorney)
 While the Eleven travelled to an old Time Lord satellite, the Crucible of Souls, that had been intended to absorb energy from the universe in the moments before its destruction ("Doom Coalition 3 - The Crucible of Souls"), The Doctor left Liv in another Time Lord satellite while he travelled to the planet Kolstan, a planet that existed in the Time Vortex itself, pursuing a clue left by The Master. Once he arrived on Kolstan, The Doctor met Artron in person, but was shocked to find that Artron was working with another incarnation of The Master, this one currently trapped in a dying human body (the 1996 Eighth Doctor film "Doctor Who: The Movie") and trying to trick Artron into giving him a new source of energy to restore his ability to regenerate ("Ravenous 4 - Day of The Master"). Liv was able to investigate the Eleven's activities when another Time Lord retrieved her from the station, but she soon realised that this Time Lord was another incarnation of The Master (although she was unaware that this Master was from The Doctor's relative future, being The Master who would fight in the Time War against the Daleks ("Utopia")), as The Master's TARDIS had taken her and The Doctor to a Time Lord station The Master had long ago claimed for himself as a base.

 With The Doctor, Liv and Helen dealing with three different Masters in three different time periods, the three travellers were able to learn more about the Eleven's plan and the origin of the Ravenous. Liv and the War Master learned that the Eleven intended to use Artron's Matrix print and the Crucible of Souls, reversed to grant life energy to the universe rather than take it, to basically granting the entire universe of the Crucible's time period the ability of perpetual regeneration with no limits and not requiring the subject to change their appearance, making the entire universe a potential source of food for the Ravenous. Helen and Missy were able to find Artron on Earth in the distant future by following a map that only Helen could read, Artron now a slightly deluded old man with some subtle ability to manipulate reality, while The Doctor learned that Artron's actions had indirectly created the Ravenous. Kolstan's native population, the Kolstani, each had the ability to manipulate energy to a limited degree, but The Master attempted to force Artron to develop a machine to transfer the energy of all the Kolstani into him, only for Artron to channel that energy into himself to save The Doctor from a fatal wound. Taking the energy from the Kolstani had left them all with a desperate 'hunger' for energy that they attempted to satisfy by feeding on the energy of Time Lords, but The Doctor and Artron were able to escape when Artron's new power was revealed to grant him the ability to warp reality. Based on this twist, The Doctor realised that he had met Artron's future self in Salzburg during a recent visit where Artron was granting wishes to others ("Better Watch Out/Fairytale of Salzburg"), The Doctor thus intentionally giving Artron the 'limits' that he would impose on his wish-granting abilities, such as only being able to grant one wish per person and unable to use another person's wish to negate a previous one.

Audio - Ravenous 4: Day of The Master
Day of The Master
(John Dorney)
 On the dying future Earth, Helen was able to make a wish that allowed her to rejoin The Doctor and Liv on the Crucible of Souls; The Doctor speculated that this was because Liv's date was chronologically in the 'middle' time period where he had been in the distant past and Helen in the far future, but this left The Doctor, Liv and Helen with no wishes of their own that they could use to stop the Ravenous (The Doctor had used his wish to get himself and Artron to safety, Helen had used hers to bring them together, and Liv had used her wish in Salzburg to save Helen's life). As the Eleven gleefully observed the Ravenous feeding on the rest of the universe, The Doctor was unsure what to do to stop them, but found himself with an unexpected set of allies when the three Masters came to the Crucible, Missy having captured Artron in the future and taken him to the Time Lord station to reunite with her other two selves. The Masters claimed that they would give Artron to the Eleven in exchange for being spared from the Ravenous's feeding, but in reality their purpose was to distract the Eleven and allow The Doctor to talk to Artron. While The Masters used the Crucible to restore mortality to the universe and remove the population's ability to regenerate, The Doctor helped Artron realise that he could restore the Kolstani by granting his own wish, Artron sacrificing his life to transfer the energy he had stolen back to the Ravenous. With Artron's sacrifice, the Kolstani were restored and the threat of the Ravenous was ended, The Doctor, Liv and Helen escaping the Crucible in The Doctor's damaged TARDIS while the Eleven was killed by the three Masters when he tried to propose an alliance against The Doctor. Having claimed Artron's Matrix print, the three Masters used the information stored on that print to restore the dead Master on Parrak to life with a new set of regenerations before the War Master took the Matrix print back to Gallifrey to aid in the Time War (he had been allowed to resurrect his past self to ensure that he would be available to fight in the War, albeit only giving him a new set of thirteen standard regenerations), and The Master in the human body was banished back into the Time Vortex with his memory of recent events erased.
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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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