Russell T Davies caused a stir among fandom (he does that) by posting… a photo of a Slitheen pin badge on Instagram. Clearly, this means the flatulent family from Raxacoricofallapatorius are coming back to Doctor Who. Or maybe he just likes cool merchandise of a monster he created.
The pin was by the talented artist, Sophie Iles, and shows a Slitheen head in all its green glory.
You can see why fans went into meltdown, though — Davies has been using his Instagram account to publicise various announcements and tease filming, including the reveals of the new Doctor, Ncuti Gatwa; the return of the old team, David Tennant and Catherine Tate; and Neil Patrick Harris, who may or may not be playing the Celestial Toymaker.
And fans (i.e. those not instantly repulsed by social media and so likely to engage with such PR and partake in that emotion known as “joy”) would surely welcome the return of the Slitheen, a monster that only appeared in a few episodes but which became synonymous with the Russell T Davies era. The first Russell T Davies era, that is.
The Slitheen were rolled out for PR shots and debuted in Aliens of London/ World War Three (2005) then one of them (Blon Fel-Fotch Passameer-Day Slitheen) showed up again in that year’s Boom Town, facing off against Christopher Eccleston’s Ninth Doctor. One cameoed in The End of Time too, while more appearances came in the spin-off series, The Sarah Jane Adventures (which also saw the on-screen debut of their cousins, the Blathereen — a family actually introduced in the 2005 novel, The Monsters Inside, alongside the Hazrateen).
You know what? I love the Slitheen. Less so the unnecessary farting, but their look is cool, their hunting instinct is cool, the fact they’re a criminal family (not a species) is cool. And the zip in the forehead? Exactly what Doctor Who should be: ridiculous but horrific.
So are the Slitheen coming back to Doctor Who? It’s unlikely. Then again, so is Beep the Meep…