Venusians are a sapient, radially-symmetrical species with green colored skin, five jointed legs, five tentacles, five eyestalks and five mouths; which inhabited the planet Venus in ancient eras, when life on Earth was just beginning to develop. Around three billion years B.C. their civilization was going extinct due to the temperature increase on the planet.
They are perhaps most well known as the inventors of the martial arts known as Venusian Akido, which is practiced by the Time Lord known as the Doctor, who has visited the Venusians at least twice on his first incarnation; and of the Venusian lullaby song, also a favorite of the Doctor.
Venusians are massive creatures: adults can reach the size of a rhinoceros. Despite this, they are able to leap over relatively long distances. Their anatomy is mostly based on the number five: five legs, five tentacle arms, five eyestalks, five mouths and five lungs. Each leg terminates in starfish-shaped hooves and the tentacle arms terminate, similarly, in five petal-shaped fingers. The eyestalks are similar to these tentacles in every way except of course in which they have eyes on the end. Below each arm there is a Y shaped mouth, containing teeth and tongues within. Their hearing apparatus is located in the upper lips, and gives them a highly acute sense of hearing.
Their skin is rough and dry, resembling tree bark to the touch. Normally green in color, the skin turns bluish when they feel anger or embarrassment, and starts to become more yellowish as they age. Most free metals are poisonous to them, which is why their technology is primarily based on wood. This aversion to metals also provides one of the main reasons they were never successfully able to leave their dying homeworld, despite having been in contact with extraterrestrial species.
The Venusian brain is large and built differently from a humanoid's. Those who consume the memory cortex of a recently deceased Venusian will inherit their memories, and might even experience temporary confusion over their own identity, alternating between their real selves and that of the deceased.
Venusians start life as aquatic larvae which divide into two siblings, which soon afterwards leave their ponds to start life as individuals. They hold the misconception that humanoids similarly go through binary fission early in life. For some reason, the Doctor never attempted to correct them on that. The Venusians reproduce annually, and require at least two females for mating to be successful. After the budding process the newborns leave their ponds and are brought to a designated mother who raises them up to a certain age, and it's only after this period that the young are assigned to a father as well.
Culture and SocietyEdit
An ancient people; Venusian civilizations have flourished for at least three million years before their planet started to become uninhabitable due to the increasingly prolonged days and temperature rise. Despite this, their physiological aversion to metal never allowed their civilization to develop much, technologically speaking. They partially compensated this by their naturally communal thinking. The average Venusian individual is loyal to its clan brethren above everything else. There is little in the way of individual disputes and conflicts, although conflicts between different clans can become quite pronounced.
The Venusians place a high regard on punctuality, especially at funeral ceremonies, in which they have the custom of eating the brain of the deceased to acquire their memories. Surprisingly, this method of memory transferring works just as well in other species which may consume the Venusian brain, including Time Lords and Humans. Venusians greet each other by grabbing the base of their eyestalks, which can lead to awkward situations since they consider the head of a humanoid as an eyestalk and will therefore greet humanoids by holding their necks, which might be easily mistaken for a sign of hostility. Their currency consists of small wooden polyhedrons: pyramids, dodecahedrons and cubes.
- Venusian Lullaby, by Paul Leonard (1994)
Behind the ScenesEdit
Like Earth, Venus is known to have harbored multiple intelligent species in the Doctor Who universe. Another one was the lemur-like Thraskin, or Cytherians; which appear in the Sixth Doctor audio story Voyage to Venus. However, it isn't clear which of the two species inhabited the planet first, or if the two actually coexisted, perhaps living on different continents. The Thraskin are specifically deemed responsible for turning Venus uninhabitable; however the pentapod Venusians are very specifically described as inhabiting the world in the brink of its habitability (and believe the changes occurring are natural in origin); furthermore, the novel firmly mentions the Shanghorn (which appears as a Venusian animal in Voyage to Venus) as being extinct, suggesting that the pentapod Venusians lived after the lemuroid Cytherians.