‘Doctor Who’ Rogues Gallery: The Haemovores

That’s right, there really was a race of Doctor Who monsters called the Haemovores, who appeared in the 1989 adventure The Curse of Fenric, and do you know what they liked to drink most? Can you guess? Well it wasn’t Gatorade.

So, here’s the tale. In the far future (around 500, ooo AD), Earth has been thoroughly spoiled by industrial waste, and humankind has undergone something of an evolutionary shift. The plus points are telepathy, strength, claws, being bulletproof, the ability to climb shiny things, and the ability to weld metal just by holding it. On the down side, everyone needs to drink blood (or sea water, at a pinch), and a stake through the heart is fatal.

Not that it isn’t fatal for the like of you and me, of course. Oh and if people who are not Haemovores (the new name for the creatures which would, in pre-evolutionary times, have presumably been called Burgervores or Curryvores) want to avoid getting attacked, they must learn to throw up a psychic shield, using a weapon called faith, and pronto.

So that’s a race of creatures that drink blood, are almost unkillable (but for a heartstake) and are bothered by faith. This sounds familiar, somehow…

The last of the Haemovores, Ingiger, travels back to the 10th Century at the behest of Fenric, an evil force hidden in a flask since the beginning of time, and they set up base in Transylvania. Yes, THAT Transylvania. And then he starts to convert humans to Haemovores, and then they’re all attacked by Vikings, who steal the flask with Fenric in it. They are then attacked by pirates, lead by a man called Hemming. He takes the flask to Maiden’s Bay, on the north-east coast of England, and buries it under a church. The Haemovores give chase, but when they discover the flask has been buried, they elect to hang around for a few hundred years or so.

Local legends begin to grow about people being attacked by monsters with Transylvanian accents, and their blood sucked, and one of these stories reaches the ear of Bram Stoker, a writer. He then puts it all together as a book called Dracula.

What? It could have happened that way…

The curious thing about this long and twisted history is that in The Curse of Fenric, this is just the backdrop to a long revenge plot by Fenric himself, which involves him convincing the newly-reawoken Ingiger to invade a chemical weapons factory in the Second World War, and release the toxins that will poison the world, and therefore lead to the evolution of the Haemovores. In order to do this, he takes control of Ingiger’s mind, and demands that he kill off all the Haemovores, and then release the chemicals. So he’s effectively killing Haemovores in order to create Haemovores.

Ingiger, having been influenced by the Doctor, elects to kill himself and Fenric instead, which now means that there possibly won’t be any Haemovores after all, especially as Fenric has killed the other ones.

Which does rather beg the question, how does Dracula get written now?

Next week: The Slitheen

Fraser McAlpine

Fraser has been writing and broadcasting about music and popular culture for over 15 years, first at the Top of the Pops website, and most recently for the NME, Guardian and MSN. He also wrote BBC Radio 1's Chart Blog and reviews albums for BBC Radio 2.

He is Anglophenia's current resident Brit, blogging about British slang and running around the Mall taking snaps of the crowd at the Royal Wedding, as well as reigniting a childhood passion for classic Doctor Who and cramming as much music in as he can manage.

Fraser invites you to join him on Twitter: @csi_popmusic

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