I’ve been meaning to getting around to looking at some of Character Options’ older Doctor Who figures, and so today I’m going to start doing just that. Afterall, with the exception of the occasional surprise release (like The Master and Axon set), it’ll probably be a little while before there are any new releases for me to look at. There will be no rhyme or reason to which ones I select or the order I do them in. I’m just going to grab them off the shelf from time to time and dig in. We’ll start with The Scarecrow from Human Nature.
The origins of this creature are possibly a little more convaluted than one might think. They were featured in the Series 3 episodes Human Nature and Family of Blood. which were adapted from Paul Cornell’s excellent 7th Doctor novel, Human Nature. There were no evil animated Scarecrows in Cornell’s original story and the official word is that Russell Davies had the idea to toss them in, because the story lacked a proper monster. Still, it’s kind of hard to not believe these shambling bags of hay might have been inspired by another Doctor Who novel, The Hollow Men by Keith Topping and Martin Day, which did in fact contain evil animated Scarecrows.
Um, yeah. Either way, the Scarecrows from the Series 3 story were simply animated soldiers, drummed up by the aliens who called themselves The Family of Blood, to lay siege to the school where The Doctor was hiding in human form thanks to a very special pocket watch and a device called the Chameleon Arch. Phew. Enough back story. Let’s look at the figure.
I know that there are a couple schools of thought on these guys. Some saw them as silly, some saw them as creepy. But then isn’t that the case with most Doctor Who aliens, both old and new? I rather liked these things and I’m particularly fond of the figure as well. It was actually released with a few different color variants. I have two Scarecrow figures, but they are both the same.
The sculpted detail on this figure is excellent. The colors are all… well, mostly brown and reddish brown and muted. The sculpting on the head bag is particularly well done, complete with a downturned, stitched mouth, angry eyes and the cord around the neck. The outfit is tattered and ill fitting, and I like the way the sculpted hay protrudes from the cuffs.
These are earlier CO efforts, so the articulation is lacking a few points that we are now used to seeing in the Doctor Who figures. This guy has rotating head, rotating shoulders, universal movement in the hips, hinged elbows and knees, and swivel cuts in the wrists and ankles. Conspicuously absent are the swivel cuts in the biceps and thighs that most Who figures have now. Still, not bad articulation, overall.
The Scarecrow is a pretty easy figure to find and fairly cheap too, which makes them good army builders if you are so inclined. I wouldn’t rank them up there as one of the more iconic monsters, and I wouldn’t say that they are a “must” for any Doctor Who collection, but they were well designed, creepy, and they left a lasting impression on me.