Vervoids were a type of artificially created humanoid plant. Created as a slave species by scientists, the Vervoids pined for freedom and eventually decided to destroy their human oppressors. The happenings that followed this were used as evidence against the Sixth Doctor when he was on trial.
Vervoids were the size of humans, with pink, head-like organs surrounded by petals. They could release swamp gas out of their mouth-like appendage when panicked. They had short tendrils at the ends of their "arms", which served as hands for simple tasks or to shoot poisonous darts. They were covered in maple-like leaves, capable of regenerating into entire Vervoids if placed in soil. Vervoids grew in pods which were awoken when exposed to a higher spectrum of light. Vervoids had short lifespans, living for less than a year before decaying. (TV: Terror of the Vervoids)
Vervoids were created by a team on Mogar as a race of slaves. This attempt was not entirely successful, as one of the team members was infected by Vervoid pollen and began to mutate. The Vervoids themselves were genetically inclined towards survival. Instead of serving the humans, they saw them as a threat.
After an accident on the Hyperion III in 2986, the Vervoids were awakened early and attempted to kill all animal life. The Sixth Doctor stopped them by speeding their growth rate with vionesium, accelerating their rate of photosynthesis and causing them to die from old age. (TV: Terror of the Vervoids)
After their deaths, the Doctor revealed that he had set up an herbarium containing Vervoid seeds genetically modified to remove their aggressive genocidal tendencies, assuring the benign future of the previously savage species. (PROSE: Interstitial Insecurity)
Previously, the Doctor's trial had viewed these future events but the evidence had been tampered with by the Valeyard, prompting him to add genocide to the Doctor's crimes. The Doctor did not deny wiping out the Vervoids, but maintained he had no other option to save the lives of those whom they were attacking. (TV: Terror of the Vervoids) The charge was ultimately not pursued by the tribunal, due to other extenuating circumstances. (TV: The Ultimate Foe)
When visiting his past self during his trial, the Eighth Doctor argued that the charge of genocide was ridiculous as the Vervoids were an artificial creation and therefore not covered by Article 7. (PROSE: The Eight Doctors)
After Hyperion III
In the video game Happy Deathday, played by Izzy Sinclair on the Time-Space Visualiser, a Vervoid was among a host of "every single enemy" that the Doctor had ever defeated, who were assembled by the Beige Guardian and pitted against the Doctor's first eight incarnations. (COMIC: Happy Deathday)
Behind the scenes
- Vervoids appeared in the invalid stage play The Ultimate Adventure and the invalid 30th anniversary special Dimensions in Time.
- Tom MacRae, writer of The Girl Who Waited, said that one of the scariest Doctor Who moments for him personally was a scene in Terror of the Vervoids where Vervoids attacked a man using deadly seed pods delivered from their hands. He speculated that the idea of hands being frightening may have subconsciously inclined him to create the Handbots, who appeared in his story.