Species: The Wyrresters
Time of Origin: Typholchaktas, active until at least 2014.
Appearances: “The Crawling Terror”
Doctors: Twelfth Doctor
Companions: Clara Oswald
In keeping with The Doctor’s tradition of facing giant insects, the Wyrresters were highly dangerous and extremely arrogant, with the group faced by The Doctor in particular believing that they had the right to destroy large portions of their own population to ensure that the ‘elite’ survived the current environmental catastrophes faced on their world, despite the fact that they caused the problems themselves.
In appearance, the Wyrresters essentially resembled giant scorpions, with only a gleam of intelligence in their eyes distinguishing them from simple animals, although they were shown easily using their pincers to rewire cables designed for use by humans. They originated from the planet Typholchaktas in the FureyKing Maelstrom, with The Doctor describing them as intelligent, but savage, brutal warmongers with no moral compunction that had decimated all other planets in the Maelstrom. It is implied that the Wyrresters had a very long life-span, as evidence suggests that the same scientists were involved in their side of the project to escape to Earth for over seventy years with no sign of them being particularly old or weak. The leader of the Wyrrester project was known as Gebbron, with he and his followers having been arrested for their attempt to suggest resorting to racial cleansing of certain groups to try and increase their available resources, resulting in them being sent to a labour camp as war criminals as their planet continued to collapse.
Gebbron’s forces were eventually able to make contact with Earth through a rift in space, using the technological remnants of an ancient race, but this rift could only be opened under specific circumstances, requiring them to transmit a signal to Earth containing instructions on how to create a more stable portal. When Earth received the Wyrrester signal in the 1940s, various scientists were assigned to try and translate it, ranging from Alan Turing to Professor Judson (“The Curse of Fenric”), but each had various other commitments. The program eventually became the responsibility of Professor Jason Clearfield, but even with his efforts the signal had only been partially translated by 1944, although this was enough for the scientists to begin following the instructions contained in the signal. Although the British doubted the value of the signal, when they learned that the Nazis had also received the transmission, they set out to try and create it themselves to beat the Germans to it. Although the Germans completed theirs first, attempts to power the German Bell with hydroelectric energy and other power sources simply killed everyone in its vicinity, with the British version only being perfected when occultist Alesteir Crowley suggested that ley lines were the key to making the Bell work.
To this end, the Bell was relocated to the small village of Ringstone, which had a stone circle known as the King’s Guards – Stonehenge was deemed to be too obvious a target – and a small group of Home Guard soldiers were stationed around the research base. However, they were shocked when their attempt to activate the Bell resulted in its true nature as a portal being revealed, with a Wyrrester emerging through the rift and beginning to attack everyone present. With no way to stop it with current firearms, Private Robin Sanford was convinced to turn on the lights of the project, drawing attention from the Luftwaffe so that they could destroy the Wyrrester. Although the damage sustained by the Bell preventing it from ever being used again, Private Robin Sanford decided to take further steps to prevent anyone doing something like that again by removing one of the standing stones and hiding it away.
However, he was unaware that there had been another survivor of the attack; Jason Clearfield’s exposure to the Wyrrester toxin and the energy of the Bell altered his body chemistry to make him functionally immortal, but he was left with disfiguring scars on his face due to the explosion as the Bell was destroyed. The toxin also affected Clearfield’s thinking, leaving him more open to the idea that the Wyrresters were interested in working with Earth after coming to this planet when their true intention was to destroy humanity. Over the next few decades, Clearfield attempted to bring the Wyrresters through to Earth, convinced that Gebbron now only sought peace and an alliance with Earth rather than outright conquest, but his efforts consistently met with failure.
Even after he tracked down the German Bell in a secret base in the Antarctic (Most likely a different facility to the headquarters of the Fourth Reich encountered by the Sixth Doctor (“The Shadow in the Glass”), feeling that it was easier to use the Nazi Bell than waste years trying to recreate the lost British research, Clearfield couldn’t recreate the portal to Typholchaktas. The loss of the standing stones and his inability to move to a more public location forced him to try and create an artificial substitute for the stone circle in a research base near Ringstone, but his best efforts to create an artificial substitute for the King’s Guards could only allow the Wyrrester to transmit their minds to Earth, and even that process was flawed as the human brains couldn’t cope with the Wyrrester consciousness as it was too alien. Clearfield attempted to find a compromise by augmenting local insects to giant size so that they could serve as substitute bodies, but he was never able to enhance their brains to the point where they could cope with the Wyrrester consciousness, simply creating insect minds that shared bodies with the Wyrresters and could occasionally revert to their traditional behaviour.
Arriving in the village as Clearfield began to increase his efforts, with some of his giant insects escaping to contain Ringstone in a massive web to give him a contained and controllable work force, the Twelfth Doctor and Clara Oswald became aware of the problem when they found a man trapped in a giant spider’s web. When a giant bombardier beetle ‘shot’ down an army helicopter investigating recent reports of the danger, The Doctor and Clara were separated, Clara forced to flee with local vet Angela while The Doctor hid in a church with local policeman Charlie Bevan, where they met with teenager Kevin Alperton, who had worked out how to hide himself from the insects by smearing himself in their leavings.
With the rest of the village being brainwashed into aiding Clearfield through his use of Scopolamine taken from the enhanced mosquitoes, he made his move to take control of the village on a larger scale, leaving The Doctor and Clara to flee with their respective allies while the army discussed what to do about the beetles (UNIT was occupied dealing with a robot attack in South America). Having learned the date of the original experiment by talking with the now-elderly Robin Sanford after Kevin mentioned his stories of fighting giant insects in the war, The Doctor travelled back in time with Charlie to witness precisely what had happened – he needed Charlie to drive a motorbike to get back to the TARDIS as fast as possible due to his own uncertainty about his abilities in his still-new body – the two being captured by the military forces guarding the Bell after they reached the past. Before The Doctor could convince the team to listen to him, the first Wyrrester came through the Bell, slaughtering the staff until The Doctor was able to convince Sanford to turn on the lights. Although he had a chance to get Clearfield to safety from the explosion, The Doctor left him behind, not wanting to risk interfering with history, leaving Clearfield with a particular grudge against The Doctor.
Back in the present, Clara learned the full details from Clearfield, her and Angela having met him when they retreated to the research park to try and find answers. Unfortunately, while normal human minds had proven incompatible with the Wyrrester minds, Clara’s exposure to the TARDIS translation circuits had altered her mind just enough to make it possible for a Wyrrester to take over her body, resulting in Clara being sent to the Wyrrester homeworld while Gebbron was transferred into her body (Although he fortunately lacked full access to Clara’s knowledge). Returning to the research park when the TARDIS detected an energy surge from the Bell, The Doctor, Charlie and Angela were able to escape with ‘Clara’, but he was only able to remove a fluid link from the Bell as a delaying tactic until he could properly work out how to shut it down for good.
While Charlie, Angela and Gebbron-in-Clara were able to make contact with a military detachment that had broken into the village, The Doctor returned to confront Clearfield, having slightly altered the fluid link he’d stolen on a subatomic level so that he could blackmail Clearfield into allowing him to restore Clara to her body. Although Gebbron tried to take control of the situation by taking Kevin as a hostage after discovering the missing stone in Robin’s garden, Clearfield then left The Doctor alone to retrieve it, allowing The Doctor to complete his modifications as Clearfield’s ‘minions’ were just suggestible to strong orders rather than loyal to him. Realising that there was an unexploded German bomb still buried under the stone circle, The Doctor was able to pass on a message to Charlie about the bomb before the army could launch a new airstrike, quickly using the Bell to restore Clara to her body while sending Gebbron’s body to his mind at the King’s Guard. As soon as Gebbron appeared, his mind and body reunited, Charlie and the military destroyed the unexploded bomb with an anti-tank missile, Clearfield being either disintegrated or sent back to Typholchaktas when he stepped into the techno-circle at the moment The Doctor set it into reverse. With Clearfield’s former minions soon returned to normal as the Scopolamine wore off, The Doctor and Clara departed, The Doctor confident that the Wyrresters would never be able to try that again.