Wednesday, January 22, 2014
The War Machines vie in my book for the other so-stupid-I-need-a-stupid-pill-to-live villain ever to grace Doctor Who. They appeared in the third season First Doctor serial "The War Machines", which aired in 1966.
They were the idea of Doctor Who science advisor Kit Pedler, who came up with the idea when -- while being interviewed for the position -- someone on the show asked the ludicrous question "What would happen if the New Post Office Tower came to life and took over the world?" Ian Stuart Black is responsible for the script.
In the episode, a supercomputer known as WOTAN decides that humanity is too dumb to live, so it hypnotizes a bunch of factory workers and builds War Machines to take over England. Unfortunately, it builds only 12 of them before starting its genocide, and the Doctor quite easily defeats them all.
The War Machines were quite unpopular, because the episode in which they appeared was as mechanical as they were.
The silly design of the War Machines is cartoonish, with a big hammer in one hand, two rivets on the top that look like eyes, and a viewport across the center that looks like a smiling mouth.
Oh, the War Machines also lit up.