Doctor Who Monsters, Aliens and Villains

The Saturnynians
A Saturnynian
A Saturnynian
 Name: The Saturnynians

 Format: Television Show

 Time of Origin: Encountered The Doctor in Venice in 1580; precise planet and time of origin were unspecified.

 Appearances: "The Vampires of Venice"

 Doctors: Eleventh Doctor

 Companions: Amy Pond and Rory Williams

 History: A particularly interesting thing to note about the Saturnynians is that they are a unique example of an enemy that began their attack by pretending to be something else, initially ‘posing’ as vampires before The Doctor deduced the truth.

Rosanna Calvierri
Rosanna Calvierri
 Originating from an unnamed world, the Saturnynians’ planet was destroyed when cracks in time and space - later revealed to be ‘pre-effects’of a temporal explosion triggered when the TARDIS exploded on Earth on 26 June 2010 - opened around the planet, unleashing various catastrophes onto their world until a Saturnynian female and her offspring were able to escape through one crack to Earth, arriving in Venice some time before 1580.

With only her male offspring having survived the trip through the crack, their mother used a perception filter to disguise herself as a human as she created a new identity as Lady Rosanna Calvierri, establishing a school in Venice - the partly-water-based city chosen due to its marine nature providing them with an ideal habitat - and creating a reputation for the school as a plague-free haven. As a result, the school was an attractive proposition for fathers to send their daughters to during this turbulent time, the families unaware that the girls were being transformed by the Calvierris, their blood being extracted and replaced with that of the Saturnyians.

The blood extraction added to the Saturnynians’ apparently unintentional resemblance to vampires, as they also failed to show up in mirrors and their true teeth could be exposed when they attacked their prey. This was explained to be a side-effect of the perception filters some of them used to disguise themselves (Although the majority of their population remained hidden underwater inside the school); since the brain couldn’t process what the filter reflected in mirrors, the Saturnynians appeared to have no reflection, and their sharp teeth were exposed when they attacked others as the brain’s fear in the face of danger caused the human mind to break through the filter and see something that would inspire terror. Another interesting twist was that their evolution to exist underwater had rendered them vulnerable to sunlight, with The Doctor holding them back with an ultraviolet lamp and Amy destroying one by focusing sunlight on one of them with a pocket mirror.

 While their attempt to transform humans into their females would take time, the Calvierris had already made a significant impact on the population when the Eleventh Doctor, Amy and Rory arrived in Venice, The Doctor hoping to help repair the damage his presence may have done to Amy and Rory’s relationship by taking them both on holiday. While The Doctor befriended a ship-builder called Guido who had recently sent his daughter Isabella to the Calvierri school - The Doctor subsequently infiltrating the school and seeing the girls’ lack of reflection for himself, Amy and Rory witnessed Rosanna’s ‘son’ Francesco feeding in the streets, prompting them to try and infiltrate the school themselves.

The Vampires of Venice
The Vampires of Venice
 Although Amy was subjected to the first ‘treatment’ to turn her into a Saturnynian, The Doctor and Rory were able to rescue her with Isabella’s help, only for Isabella to be caught and consumed by Rosanna’s sons when her transformation was revealed to have advanced enough to leave her vulnerable to sunlight. Confronting Rosanna in her chambers, The Doctor revealed his true identity to her to fill in the missing pieces of her current plan, but rejected her offer to help her establish a new colony on Earth, noting with disgust that she didn’t even know Isabella’s name. Although The Doctor realised that she intended to sink Venice, he was forced to retreat when the girls attacked Guido’s house, Guido sacrificing himself to save his new friends by igniting the gunpowder in his basement and destroying the girls.

Although Rosanna activated a weather-control device that triggered a vast storm above Venice, The Doctor was able to deactivate it while Amy and Rory confronted Francesco, the last surviving ‘mobile’ Saturnynian, Amy destroying him with her pocket mirror after The Doctor turned off Rosanna’s device. With her perception filter broken and faced with the prospect of being trapped and alone in human form, Rosanna committed suicide by allowing her sons to consume her, leaving The Doctor feeling guilty at causing the death of a species even if he had tried to give her a chance to find another way.
Video - Season 31 (Series 5) - Volume 2
Season 31 (Series 5) - Volume 2
Francesco Calvierri
Francesco Calvierri
The Calvierri Girls
The Calvierri Girls
Video - Season 31 (Series 5) Box Set
Season 31 (Series 5) Box Set
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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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