Friday, 3 February 2012

We Are Scientists

“And now I know you're mad, I just wanted to make sure."

The Doctor has fought many mad scientists among whom are the worst humanity has to offer, others are simply misguided or blinkered by their own fanaticism, usually it leads to their deaths. Here's the run down on my top ten, which goes up to eleven. Because that's mad/I couldn't choose which to leave out/it's the standard set by the BBC iPlayer volume control.

11. Dr Fendelman

Not a bad guy as such, just one who got carried away and wouldn't listen to reason. Was totally fixated upon his work and scientific success until too late. When he realised he was being used by the Fendahl he was murdered by those working to bring it back to life.

10. Prof Stahlman

Another scientist with his judgement clouded by the pursuit of scientific glory, possessed all the worst attributes of Dr Fendelman in abundance. Was aggressive and totally intolerant of anyone attempting to delay his risky experiment to drill into the Earth's crust. Even when contaminated with chemicals from his drilling he did not report the hazard showing a total disregard for Health & Safety. I know it was 1970 but when you turn green and grow hair you should probably bring the industrial accident to someone's attention.

9. Prof Whitaker

Now we get into the distinctly bad scientists. Prof Whitaker is the first of these working on time travel. The loss of grant money gave him a great enough dispute with modern society to want to wipe it out by turning time back to a period pre-dating the evolution of humanity and starting again. There's the glimmer of a noble aim here, but he's still an eco-maniac at best.

8. Prof Kettlewell

Another Professor, who keeps handing out chairs to these loonies? This time an expert in robotics and likely creator of the first sentient robot on Earth. Initially appears to be a kindly old gentleman who has fallen out with the establishment, but actually supports nazi manics who want to annihilate the world with nuclear rockets. At least he had a change of heart though, but more in line with tradition he was killed by his own creation.

7. Prof Lazarus

Prof Lazarus thought he had invented the means for eternal life, to revert his body back to a younger form. Unfortunately it turned him into an enormous monster and drove him utterly insane.

6. Harrison Chase

Perhaps more of an eccentric millionaire than a scientist, but he was hardly your common or garden botanist either. A collector and expert in plant science, he put the acquisition of the rare Krynoid pod before all else and was more than happy to murder people with his own hands to do it. No regard for human life and no time for any attempts to appeal to reason. Ended up mulched in his own compost and missed the moment of his Krynoid blooming and destroying the world.

5. Taren Capel

Robot scientist and psychopath. Raised by robots and had greater affinity for them than humanity itself, in fact had no regard for human life at all. He then attempted to start a robot rebellion and murdered his way through the crew of the Sandminer. Unfortunately died at the hands of his own robots. Oops.

4. John Lumic

An alternate universe crazy who 'created' the Cybermen there on Earth. Like Lazarus he wanted to extend life, particularly as he was terminally ill. But his ambitions extended to taking over the world and converting everyone into Cybermen.

3. Ramon Salamander

Brilliant politician and scientist, very highly respected for his work improving agriculture and tackling world hunger. But in secret he was a madman hell bent on taking over the world. He murdered people behind the scenes replacing them with various accomplices and moved himself into a position of power. His ultimate aim was to subjugate the entire world with the threat of destruction using his control over volcanoes and earthquakes.

2. Prof Zaroff

A completely mad scientist. While his early work in producing food from the sea was highly accomplished he turned to sheer insanity. He disappeared from public life and settled in Atlantis where he came up with a plan to destroy the world. Unlike many on this list the destruction of the world was not an unintended consequence of an evil plan, or a play for power, he simply wanted to destroy the world purely for the hell of it. Or the scientific achievement and personal satisfaction it gave him. Totally disinterested in any appeals to reason he nearly tops the mad scientist list, if only for coming out with the immortal line "nothing in the world can stop me now!"

1. Dr Mehendri Solon

And finally, at the top of the list comes Solon, 'creator of Morbius' as he was desperate to be known. While his ambitions may not have extended as far as personally destroying worlds, the evil he wished to resurrect certainly would. He lies, murders and abuses poor Condo from whom he has stolen his arm, it also seems implied that he has left public view because of questionable ethics regarding his work. And no wonder, Solon is a special kind of mad scientist, while his plan is evil and mad, it shows a distinct streak of egomania. His plan was to piece together a body from bits and pieces in which to place Morbius's brain, yet when the Doctor arrives he immediately sets to work removing his head to attach to the ridiculous homunculus he has built. Not for a second did the obvious occur, that he should perform a straight brain swap, but Solon's pride is such that he is damned if he won't use the body he has made. Seeing as the Doctor slips out of his clutches he ends up dusting off an old fishbowl and putting the brain in that instead. An obviously intelligent man to whom ethics are an unknown concept and common sense is blinkered by his own perceived brilliance.

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