Origin unknown, resident on Earth
Ever wondered why your floorboards creak as you make your way up to bed? Giant woodlice creatures, with two antennae and large pincers, they are alien insects which secretly inhabit the Earth. They can live inside wood, interacting with it on a cellular level, and inhabit the Landlord’s huge wooden house – creaking around the floorboards, walls and furniture, waiting for human prey to suck into the wood with them.
The Doctor is fascinated by these new beasts – having never seen anything like them before, he speculates about where they might come from. “There’s stories on other planets… The Deathtrees of Souta Four, the Carniverous Forest on Enflusis – maybe it’s these creatures…” While escaping from a swarm of them upstairs, and seeking out safety in the cellar of the house where there is no wood, The Doctor speculates that they are called ‘Dryads’ – “Well I can’t just call them lice, can I?”
But although these creepy crawlies seem sinister, when the Doctor discovers the Landlord’s seriously ill ‘daughter’ Eliza, the wooden woman in the attic, he realises that these are just worker ants. The lice aren’t evil – they aren’t even usually carnivorous – they’ve been trained to hunt humans by the Landlord. Attracted by high-pitched sounds, the Landlord uses these strange creatures to help revitalise and preserve his ill mother.