Vaaga / Varga Plants – Allies of the Daleks
- Species Type – Plant-Animal mutation
- Home planet – Skaro
- First appearance Mission to the Unknown
- Latest appearance – City of the Daleks (game)
The Varga plants (sometimes spelt Vaarga) originally appeared in the First Doctor episode Mission to the Unknown the single-episode prologue to the serial The Daleks’ Master Plan.
The Vaaga plants, like the Daleks, were created by Terry Nation.
Varga Plants grew naturally on the Daleks’ homeworld, Skaro. The Daleks experimented upon them creating further mutations. By the 39th century, the Daleks had imported them to other worlds. (Mission to the Unknown)
When the Daleks set up a base on the planet Kembel they brought some Varga plants with them to act as sentries in the jungle surrounding their base. They were suited to this as they could move around freely by dragging themselves along with their roots.
Varga plants resembled cacti; they are covered in fur and thorns. Anyone pricked by a Varga thorn will be consumed by the urge to kill, while simultaneously becoming gradually transformed into a Varga plant themselves. An infected victim would first become homicidal. As the infection progressed, white hair would grow over their bodies. This grisly fate befell astronauts Jeff Garvey and Gordon Lowery, and their commander, Marc Cory, was forced to kill them.
The plants later made an appearance in the Big Finish audio I, Davros: Purity. In this, it was revealed that the Varga plants were one of the oldest species on Skaro, but for most of their history had been immobile. Since the start of the Kaled-Thal war however, exposure to radiation and chemical weapons had caused them to rapidly evolve into a much deadlier form, capable of self-locomotion. It was this discovery that caused Davros to become interested in genetically engineering creatures in order to create weapons of war. Varga plants existed from an early point in Skaro’s history. The name “Varga” meant “devourer” in the Dal language. Originally they could not move; instead they would wait until their prey approached them. Later, due to the chemical and radiological pollutants in Skaro’s atmosphere and environment, they began to mutate and became able to move. (I, Davros : Purity)
The plant was again found on a terraformed Jupiter where the plant infected a large battalion of Earth Alliance troops. (Dalek Empire II: Dalek War)
Varga Plants appeared in City of the Daleks where after the Time War they infested the ruined Dalek city of Kaalann on Skaro but here their appearance was rather different.
The Varga plants that infested Kaalann were different in appearance, being more akin to a Venus Flytrap and immobile. Their venom also killed with a touch.
So will the Varga / Vaaga plants ever appear again in Doctor Who? Probably not, but you never know…