3 The Krynoid Pod Bursts Open
“The Seeds Of Doom” (1976)
Body horror was all the fashion during the gothic early Tom Baker years, with humans slowly transforming into monsters all over the place. The real horror of this scene, though, comes from dreaded anticipation and the cruelty of one man to his fellow humans. We've already seen what happens earlier in the serial: a krynoid pod bursts open, a tentacles emerges and it latches onto the nearest human flesh, turning the victim into an adult Krynoid. That was bad enough, but now the chief baddie, Harrison Chase - fully aware of what he's doing - offers up our beloved Sarah Jane Smith as a victim for the deadly weed, just so he can see what happens. Her bare arm is held next to the pulsating, ickily-designed seed pod pulses. A split appears in its crusty surface, and… cue the end credits! Cliffhangertatsic.
Big screen relatives: The seed pod is uncannily like the egg in Alien while the whole theme of body horror would later become a key theme in the films of David Cronenberg.
2 The Autons Smash Their Way Out Of The Shop Windows
“Spearhead From Space” (1970)
The Auton mannequins are so ugly you suspect no shop would ever want them to model their clothes. Then again, like clowns or electricity pylons, there's something intrinsically creepy about shop window dummies anyway. So when they come alive, smash their way out of the shop windows, and start killing people it's like a nightmare come true. The creepy way their hands drop away to reveal guns and the fact that some of them are in dressing gowns and slippers only add to the surreal horror. It's such a cleverly shot scene you don't at first notice that no windows were actually harmed in the making of this programme.
Big screen relatives: You can't help but be reminded of all those zombies wandering around a shopping centre in Dawn Of The Dead.
1 The Weeping Angels Move In For The Kill
Children had to fight their parents for room behind the sofa the night this was broadcast. A terrifying combination of scary concept and perfect direction, the climactic moment from Steven Moffat's masterpiece would not be out of place in a big screen horror movie. The idea of a monster is that can only move when you can't see it is horrifying enough, but the design of the Angels, the flickering lights and the staccato cutting up the ante to intense levels. Cushion casualties doubled overnight.
Big screen relatives: Using flickering lights is a horror film cliché but the most effective use ever came in Hitchcock's Psycho when a swinging lightbulb reveals the corpse of Norman Bates’s mother.
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