Archive for the ‘11th Doctor’ Tag
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…
Well, it seems the mysterious Dalek in the museum has indeed been turned to stone…
Concept Art for the “Stone Dalek”
Latest issue of Doctor Who Magazine…
The Doctor facing a Dalek :
This looks to take place in the museum (?) where the Doctor encounters the younger Amy :
Plus, more Daleks – possibly beneath Stonehenge :
Here we see the White Supreme Dalek, Yellow “Eternal” Dalek and (an) Orange “Scientist”.
Will we find out what the “Eternal” Dalek’s function is…?
Mentioned in the clip (but not necessarily appearing on screen) are Terileptils, Zygons, Atraxi, Chelonians, Dranvins and Draconians – to ad to the list of those already confirmed as appearing (see earlier posts)
The latest bunch of spoilers from The Pandorica Opens includes this photo…
Obviously it is a New Paradigm Dalek, and it appears to be in a museum or perhaps an art gallery.
Also obviously, the Dalek has been damaged or killed. I’ve seen it suggested that the Dalek has been turned to stone but to my eye it looks more like it has been frozen (and in terms of continuity Daleks are vulnerable to extremely low temperatures e.g. in Planet of the Daleks and more recently in the novel Prisoner of the Daleks).
Whatever the case may be it does seem that there will be a little Dalek action in the episode and not just a lot of standing around looking like teletubbies menacing, as was the case in “Victory of the Daleks” earlier in the season.
This is not going to be a “Dalek” story as such however. The Cybermen would seem to have an important presence – for more info see the Cybermantra blog – and there have been plenty mentions of other monsters. Some of which can now most definitely be confirmed by the following photos –
Above – the Sycorax. Below – Silurians & Weevils (their first Dr Who appearance, previously having been regulars in Torchwood)
Add to this the earlier confirmed aliens below – The new Supreme Dalek, the Judoon and the Hoix
Plus the Sontaran ships (below) appearing in the “Next Time” trailer (together with the return of the actor who played the Sontaran general in “The Sontaran Strategem” / “Poison Sky” and it seems safe to conclude that the Sontarans too will appear on-screen.
Mentioned in the “Next Time” trailers were Nestenes (the brains behind the Autons), Chelonians (a race of cybernetic space-turtles from the Dr Who spin-off books and audios) and the Drahvins (from the story Galaxy 4). These may or may not actually appear on screen – we’ll have to wait and see.
Current rumours also suggest the return of the Slitheen, the Roboform, the Uvodni (from The Sarah-Jane Adventures) and the Blowfish (from Torchwood). I’d been a bit sceptical about those but considering what has been confirmed who knows…
And then there’s the possibility of a Time Lady… And maybe Philip Madoc reprising a role?
I only hope that the story turns out to be as interesting and exiting as the speculations are!
A good picture for scale – from the Crooked Dice forum which can be found here The Dalek is standing next to the “Tweedy Mattison” figure from the Crooked Dice range of miniatures.
(Crooked Dice are the designers of the excellent (and free) Doctor Who Miniatures Game – see the links menu)
There are also so examples of the plastic Daleks painted to a professional standard on this site
After their unimpressive debut in “Victory of the Daleks” the New Paradigm Daleks (or at the very least, the new white Supreme Dalek – but I expect we’ll see others) will be back on-screen in the first part of the Doctor Who season finale, “The Pandorica Opens”.
Also appearing are the Cybermen (or at least one damaged Cyberman which appears to be the familiar Cybus design).
Also mentioned are Sontarans, Nestenes, Drahvins and Chelonians (who have only thus far appeared in spin-off media). There are rumours of Sycorrax, Weevils (from Torchwood), Judoon and the Hoix appearing too.
A leaked photo from the episode shows the new white Supreme Dalek and a Judoon together with what looks like a Sycorrax and one of the cast played a Sontaran in “The Poison Sky” (The “Next Time” trailer also shows what appear to be three Sontaran ships amid a space fleet). The damaged Cyberman appeared first on the pre-series traler and now again on the “Next Week” trailer.
All in all it looks to be an action packed episode…