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Anmated corpses taken over by the Gelth (PROSE: Scared Stiff)

A Zombie, also spelled zombi (PROSE: White Darkness) and in numbers referred to as the walking dead, (AUDIO: Mask of Tragedy), was a creature of the undead.

According to the Thirteenth Doctor, zombies were "kind of a dead person walking". (TV: The Haunting of Villa Diodati)

Although in some cases those referred to as “zombies” weren’t scientifically dead, they were typically always mindless beings.

Missy once sardonically compared the Cybermen to zombies. (TV: The Doctor Falls)


Common attributes[]

The Fourth Doctor told Romana II that one could always identify a genuine zombie by the fact that their skin was cold to the touch. (TV: Destiny of the Daleks)

Horror movie zombies[]

In the early 21st century, zombies were often associated with movies. To Ianto Jones, the typical horror movie zombie wore ragged, stained clothes, had discoloured skin and appeared in various stages of decomposition. In the movies, in order to kill a zombie, it had to be shot in the head, destroying the brain. According to Rhys Williams, zombie outbreaks were always caused by "chemicals or radiation or something". (PROSE: Bay of the Dead)

Haitian voodoo[]

While not truly being "undead," it was possible (and often done by tribes in Haiti) to trick a human into believing they were one of the "living dead" using the drug tetrodotoxin. In correct doses, it could lower the consciousness of a person and take away their sensory nerves. The person would then be buried and dug up, making them think they had been brought back to life. They would subsequently be used as slaves. (PROSE: White Darkness)

Encounters with zombies[]

The living corpses animated by Sibelius Crow (and later by Carruthers Summerton based on Crow's work) were referred to as "zombies" by George Litefoot and Luke Betterman. (AUDIO: The Mourning After)

Rose Tyler called the Gelth, while possessing dead human bodies, zombies. (TV: The Unquiet Dead) To Sarah Jane Smith, she described people infected with the Empty Child virus as "gas mask zombies". (TV: School Reunion)

In 1939, the Seventh Doctor called the SS soldiers who had been conditioned by the War Lords, zombies. These troops were able to avoid death owing to a literal realisation of the Prussian military phrase, "corpse discipline": discipline that could make a corpse jump to attention. (PROSE: Timewyrm: Exodus) He later encountered much more conventional zombies on Arviem 2 with Bernice Summerfield; the result of a latent magnetronic field placed upon a swamp to convert and reanimate any dead organic matter, these zombies retained higher brain functions, and sometimes did not realise what they had become. They nonetheless harbored a desire to eat people's brains, preferably highly developed ones. As they were essentially walking corpses, the zombies kept decaying, and occasionally lost body parts; they did not appear able to feel this when it happened, and would remark curiously on how odd it was that they suddenly found organs on the ground around them. (AUDIO: The Revolution)

In 2008, Sarah Jane Smith watched the people who had drunken Bubble Shock!, were under the control of the Bane Mother and were calling "Drink it". Sarah Jane thought they were spreading out like an army of zombies. (PROSE: Invasion of the Bane) A few time later Chrissie Jackson also compared these people to zombies. She told Maria Jackson that once Maria and Alan had moved in opposite Sarah Jane everyone had turned into zombies. (TV: Revenge of the Slitheen)

In 2009, the Sycorax "thinker" Gilfane Craw used a lithic womb containing the mind of Lee Deverill to control an entire population of humans turned into zombies on Shadow Cay island. These zombies, referred to as 'abstracts', were tasked with locating the black box recorder of the Foraxi Yox. (COMIC: The Widow's Curse)

Bill Potts described the monks who invaded Earth in 2017 as "zombie monks". (TV: The Lie of the Land)

Torchwood Three encountered artificial "zombies" in 2009. These zombies looked as if they had stepped straight off a low-budget movie set. (PROSE: Bay of the Dead)

Behind the scenes[]