Place of origin:
First Seen In:
Vengeance on Varos
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Sil is one of the most unpleasant creatures ever encountered by The Doctor, one of the more prominent reasons for this reputation being his repulsive appearance, resembling as he did a kind of green worm with squat arms, had an ugly face and a set of frilly scales on the top of his head. A glitch in his translator made him even more disturbing, but this was never corrected because nobody ever told him about it (Why the TARDIS’s translation abilities didn’t compensate for the error is unknown; possibly the language translator doesn’t work if the language spoken is already being translated by something else).
When Sil began in the series, he was the representative of the Galatron Mining Corporation present on the planet Varos to extract concessions from the current Governor. Unbeknownst to the Varosians, the mineral Zeiton-7, one of their few natural resources, was not, as they thought, practically worthless, but was in fact extremely rare, and highly valuable to time travelers as a power source for their machines. Devoid of morality and determined to get the cheapest possible price for the zeiton ore, Sil greatly enjoyed the various tortures that were carried out for the enjoyment of the population of the planet to prevent them from doing anything about their situation, including a voting system where the governor was slowly tortured to death every time he received a vote against him.
Eventually, Sil’s plans to get the ore were thwarted when the Sixth Doctor and Peri, seeking Zeiton-7 to refuel the TARDIS, arrived on Varos in the middle of the ‘maze’ where condemned prisoners were sent. Allying themselves with other prisoners – on the basis that they were the only people there not trying to kill them, The Doctor and Peri tried to escape the maze, but Peri was captured after she was nearly mutated into a bird-like creature by one of the traps. Fortunately, Sil’s plans to take control of Varos by killing the Governor with the next vote were thwarted when the guard controlling the torture machine had a change of heart, and the discovery of a new supply of Zeiton-7 prompted the company Sil worked for to order him to purchase the ore at any price. As thanks for his aid, The Doctor was given the ore he sought and departed.
During their next encounter with Sil, The Doctor was forced to not only confront his fear of a childhood bully from the Time Lord academy – a renegade Gallifreyian known as Anzor – but also a potentially lethal alliance between Sil and the Ice Warriorsat this point, the rulers of the planet Magnus Eplison – a planet divided between the male Salvakans and female Magnii – on advice from Sil, sought the aid of a Time Lord to stop an alien spacecraft bombarding their planet with lethal radiation (Their humiliation of Aznor helped The Doctor overcome his childhood fear), but The Doctor tricked Anzor into entering his TARDIS after setting it on a fixed course for the dawn of creationattempting to acquire the resources to mass produce time machines, Sil managed to break into the TARDIS with the planet’s ruler, but accidentally shifted himself a few hours into the future, where they witnessed a planet that had been all but destroyed.
Exploring the ice tunnels beneath the palace, The Doctor and Peri discovered the Ice Warriors that Sil had allied himself with, as well as learning their plan; by setting off several nuclear devices in sequence, the Ice Warriors pushed the planet into a more distant orbit, making it far colder and a perfect habitat for the Ice Warriors. Sil had intended to profit from the disaster by selling cold-weather items such as heaters and clothing to the population in the aftermath, but when the Ice Warriors betrayed him, Sil revealed the existence of a second series of nuclear devices, allowing The Doctor to shove the planet back into its proper orbit. The Doctor and Peri departed, leaving Sil to get rich selling matrimonial and baby goods.
Whether this attempt at ‘reformation’ – if it could be considered that; just because Sil wasn’t actively hurting anyone any more didn’t mean he wasn’t still a merciless monster – was a lie or simply didn’t take, the next time Sil met The Doctor and Peri he was as ruthless as ever, selling arms to the planet of Thoros-Beta while overseeing his master Kiv’s attempt to transfer his brain into a new body, his old head being too small for his ever-growing brain. After being exposed to one of the devices in Sil’s laboratory, The Doctor‘s personality was altered, making him callous and self-centered, resulting in him betraying the Thoros-Alphan rebels who were attempting to overthrow the Mentors. Although he eventually snapped out of it, The Doctor was apparently too late to save Peri from being used as Kiv’s new host; he was pulled out of time by the Time Lords for his newest ‘trial’ (Overseen by his own dark future incarnation, The Valeyard), leaving Peri/Kiv, Sil, and Crozier – the scientist who had overseen the procedure – to be killed by an enraged King Yrcanos, the Alphan leader who had fallen in love with Peri.
(It should be noted that the above events are uncertain, given that The Valeyard was tampering with the evidence to try and achieve his desired outcome for the trial; as was later revealed in “Bad Therapy“, Peri survived Kiv’s attempt to possess her, but the final fates of Sil, Kiv and Crozier are unclear, particularly since Sil’s survival would have had no effect on the ‘threat to evolution’ the Time Lords believed the transference process would result in)
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