Whatâ€™s creepier about a giant maggot, other than the facts that it is a) already a maggot, and b) already giant? Well, reader, we have an answer from a rather bizarre source.
To celebrate what wouldâ€™ve been Jon Pertweeâ€™s 100th birthday this weekend, the official Doctor Who channel has released a lovely interview between Matthew Sweet and occasionally-child-hitting take on Alfred the Butler.
The chat is full of wonderful little reminisces of not just what Pertweeâ€™s action-packed, car-and-Venusian-akido-loving Doctor was about, but Pertwee the man himself.
But Sean Pertwee also offers, out of nowhere, some spectacularly gross insight about one of the monsters in the Third Doctorâ€™s most famous stories: the giant Maggots of â€œThe Green Death,â€ which was Katy Manningâ€™s final regular appearance as the Third Doctorâ€™s second companion Jo Grant.
Both Pertwees loved collecting props from Doctor Who as memories of the experience, apparently, with Sean himself owning everything from the Metebelis III crystal that ultimately proved to be the Third Doctorâ€™s undoing in his final story, â€œPlanet of the Spiders,â€ to an Autonâ€™s blaster-hiding mannequin hand.
But one of his proudest was an animatronic giant maggot from â€œThe Green Deathâ€… which apparently was brought to life with a really freaky addition:
I had the Green Death maggot. The head of it was rotted ferretâ€™s head, which I found fascinating as a young boy. Iâ€™d go up to the special effects department and hang out with them. They would somehow rot these ferret heads, and stick them on to a sort of glove puppet body part.
Rotted. Ferret. Heads. Oh my god.
Thereâ€™s long been myths about some of the components that went into making the maggots as practical props – like the infamous and hilarious rumours that some of the â€œbackgroundâ€ maggots for wide shots were made out of inflated condoms.
So maybe Pertwee is just repeating a likewise myth, a tidbit told to a child, because what young boy doesnâ€™t get a bit gleeful over icky things?
Or maybe the giant maggots have rotted ferret skulls for faces, and I can never watch â€œThe Green Deathâ€ again without immediately thinking of this factoidâ€”and then not being able to sleep afterwards.
Thanks, Sean Pertwee!