15 minutes ago
Warning! The following contains spoilers for the Doctor Who episode “The Tsuranga Conundrum”. Read at your own risk!
Doctor Who has already introduced quite a few new villains to the Thirteenth Doctor, but no villain this season, or possibly any other seasons, has been anywhere near as cute as the Pting. “The Tsuranga Conundrum” certainly made the alien species look imposing and sound like a deadly threat, but are these new creatures really all that dangerous? After all, how can anyone be truly afraid of a face like this?
The simple answer, of course, is any Doctor Who character who knows what those adorable little demons are capable of. A Pting is carnivorous, and cannot be held in captivity due to its ability to eat inorganic matter. As shown, they can clearly withstand a lot of physical damage. The thing effortlessly ate and absorbed a bomb capable of destroying a massive ship without any indigestion. So it wouldn’t be surprising if many viewers developed big assumptions about the creatures.
On the same token, though, the only really scary thing about the Pting was the relative lack of information about how to stop one. Once the Doctor realized the little cutie-patootie craved energy as its primary food, it wasn’t hard to tempt the lovable little bugger into eating that bomb before being unwittingly air-locked into space. Surprisingly, the Pting was relatively cool and unbothered by that turn of events, which really shows how tough these things must be!
So while Ptings are by far one of the most intriguingly intimidating (and darling) villains that Doctor Who has shown to date, defeating one doesn’t seem as though it’ll be a major issue for the Doctor going forward. All she’ll feasibly need to do is direct one or more to the greatest power source in the area and boom, problem solved. Granted, tackling a few more of them may take some evolved strategizing and outmaneuvering, but the Doctor could probably get the job done.
Furthermore, the Pting didn’t seem to hold a specific grudge towards the Doctor. These species, as cute as they are, don’t seem to have a lot going on mentally in general. The aliens mostly want to know where their next meal is coming from, and how much energy they can obtain from it.
We’re hoping that’s the case anyway. Otherwise, that Pting may vengefully remember what the Doctor did, and could possibly return with friends for vengeance down the stretch. Probably not before officially licensed Pting dolls are available for purchase, though.
Regardless of what Ptings are or aren’t, it’s exciting to imagine how Doctor Who will utilize the unique species in the future, assuming the show can keep using the CGI-heavy effects needed. These things could theoretically make short work of most other iconic Doctor Who villains, so it’s a shame the Doctor can’t capture one to use when things get rough. That said, this Doctor seems even more against killing others than past incarnations were, so she may not use one of these adorbs killing machines even if she could.