Hello dear reader, I hope you’re doing well. I know that the title of this article will inevitably be scaring a good fair few of you; you’re probably thinking “Daniel, is there any need for you to lower yourself to this? Love & Monsters is one of the universally acknowledged worst episodes of Doctor Who of all time. Surely you’re just making this article because it should ensure a reaction?” and to you I say… keep reading!
I’m starting this defence by saying that I in no way particularly enjoy this episode; however I feel that the premise behind the Abzorbaloff has the potential to be absolutely terrifying. I think the first flaw with the Abzorbaloff has to be it’s design; now I know it was designed by an eight year old child as part of a Blue Peter competition, so the design wasn’t going to be the most polished and perfect thing ever, but surely the art and costume department could have taken some liberties to make it look slightly more menacing. That’s another thing that’s wrong with the Abzorbaloff, the casting. I’m not particularly a massive fan of comedian Peter Kay anyway, but there are dozens of actors that would have been better suited to this role, and also dozens of parts that would have suited Peter Kay more than this one. In all honesty this sort of design and characterisation reminds me of some of monsters from the latter years of Classic Who when it was apparent that the show was struggling to find its feet again and create great villains. So after that roasting I feel that nobody can call me an Abzorbaloff fanboy.
That doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy the monster from Clom’s basic premise something really interesting; the idea that with just one touch, this creature can absorb a person; and not just their physical form, but every part of what makes that person that particular person, from their memories to their intellect to their face and use it to make itself stronger, more intelligent and more powerful is really fascinating. What would have been a good storyline is a totally redesigned Abzorbaloff featured, using the same idea that the Krillitanes had in School Reunion where they can assimilate the best part of every species to make them evolve into the ultimate race, but on a much more personal level, harvesting people to become more powerful and successful… wow I’ve just made this imaginary reimagining of the Abzorbaloff a politician haven’t I?
Visually a remaining of the Abzorbaloff could be extremely interesting to design and look at, less of a green blob with faces stuck to it, and more of a patchwork of peoples ‘best bits’ (think the Half-Face man from Deep Breath but with alien design thrown in too). It has the potential to be a great reoccurring villain too, as in no two episodes would the Abzorbaloff need to look the same, as it would be constantly absorbing and extracting and becoming stronger, being a truly formidable foe for our favourite Time Lord, especially seen as he can’t risk getting too close for fear of becoming absorbed.
So there you have it, by no means an article declaring my love for this Clom-Dweller, but a short defence as to why the idea isn’t that bad really!