Fri, 25 April 2008
ive had a few emails from people who dont know much about the returning villain for this weeks show so heres some information ive gathered together to help.
(This is only text - no audio version as Ill be covering a lot of this in the podcast review of Time Warrior DVD)
The Sontarans made their first appearance in 1973 in the serial The Time Warrior by Robert Holmes. There, it was explained that they are a race that reproduces by means of cloning rather than by means of sexual reproduction. They live in a militaristic society obsessed by war. Sontarans are humanoid, with a squat build and distinctive dome-shaped head. They come from a high-gravity world named Sontar in the "southern spiral arm of the galaxy", and are far stronger than humans. They recharge their energy through a "probic vent" at the back of the neck rather than by eating food; they also use this vent in their reproduction process. The Sontarans have been at war with the Rutan Host for thousands of years. In the episode The Invasion of Time, the Sontarans successfully invaded Gallifrey, but were driven out again after less than a day.
Although physically formidable, the Sontarans' weak spot is the probic vent at the back of their neck; they have been killed by targeting that location with a knife (The Invasion of Time) and an arrow (The Time Warrior). They are also vulnerable to "coronic acid" (The Two Doctors).
At some point, the Sontarans encountered the equally expansionist Rutan Host. The war between the Sontarans and the Rutans continued for several millennia, with both sides remaining fairly evenly matched and neither side interested in negotiating for peace. It was still ongoing at the time of The Sontaran Experiment, which takes place at least 10,000 years beyond the 30th century. The episode Horror of Fang Rock, set during the early 20th century, hinted the Sontarans had gained the upper hand, but this proved merely a temporary setback for the Rutans. Thus far in the program's history although both the Sontarans and the Rutans have been seen, they have never been seen together in the same story.
All the Sontarans depicted in the original television series have monosyllabic names, many beginning with an initial 'st' sound (e.g., Styre in The Sontaran Experiment, Stor in The Invasion of Time, Stike in The Two Doctors and Staal in The Sontaran Stratagem). Subdivisions of the Sontaran military structure mentioned in the series include the Sontaran G3 Military Assessment Survey , the Ninth Sontaran Battle Group , and the Fifth Army Space Fleet of the Sontaran Army Space Corps . In a televised trailer for the 2008 episode The Sontaran Stratagem, a Sontaran character is heard to identify himself as "General Staal of the Tenth Sontaran Battle Fleet" .
On October 2, 2007 the BBC's official Doctor Who site revealed that the Sontarans will return in series 4, with Christopher Ryan playing the Sontaran leader, General Staal. This will be in a two-part story, entitled "The Sontaran Stratagem"/"The Poison Sky". The BBC later revealed promotional images which featured the new Sontaran design.
They are mentioned in Eye of the Gorgon, an episode of The Sarah Jane Adventures. Sarah Jane Smith meets Bea Nelson-Stanley, an elderly lady suffering from Alzheimer's disease who recalls her husband describing the Sontarans as looking like potatoes and that they were "quite the silliest creatures in the galaxy".
The origins of the Sontarans have not been revealed in the television series. The Doctor Who role-playing game published by FASA claimed that they were all descended from the genetic stock of General Sontar (or Sontaris), who used newly developed bioengineering techniques to clone millions of duplicates of himself and annihilated the non-clone population. He renamed the race after himself and turned the Sontarans into an expansionist and warlike society set on universal conquest. However, this origin has no basis in anything seen in the television series. The Sontarans have also appeared as a character in the PC game Destiny of the Doctors released on 5 December 1997 by BBC Multimedia. They can be defeated by firing the occupants of an angry beehive at them.
Other appearances by the Sontarans include the spin-off videos Mindgame, Shakedown: Return of the Sontarans and Do You Have A License To Save This Planet?; three audio plays by BBV: Silent Warrior, Old Soldiers and Conduct Unbecoming; the Faction Paradox audio The Shadow Play; and a cameo appearance in Infidel's Comet. Shakedown marks the only occasion in which the Sontarans and their Rutan foes appear on screen together, and was adapted into a Virgin New Adventures novel.
They have also appeared in several spin-off novels, including Lords of the Storm by David A. McIntee and The Infinity Doctors by Lance Parkin. In The Infinity Doctors, the Doctor negotiated a peace between the Sontarans and the Rutan Host when two of them were left trapped in a TARDIS for several hours and got to talking due to their inability to kill each other. General Sontar also made an appearance in that novel. In The Crystal Bucephalus by Craig Hinton, the name of their planet was given as Sontara.
The Sontarans have also appeared several times in the Doctor Who Magazine comic strip, both as adversaries of the Doctor and in strips not involving the Doctor. In The Outsider (DWM #25-26), by Steve Moore and David Lloyd, a Sontaran named Skrant invaded the world of Brahtilis with the unwitting help of Demimon, a local astrologer. The Fourth Doctor faced the Sontarans in Dragon's Claw (DWM #39-#45), by Steve Moore and Dave Gibbons, where a crew of Sontarans menaced China in 1522 AD. In Steven Moffat's short story "What I Did on My Christmas Holidays by Sally Sparrow" (the basis for the Tenth Doctor episode "Blink") the Ninth Doctor has a rooftop sword fight with two Sontarans in 21st century Istanbul, defeating them with the help of spy Sally Sparrow, apparently before the events of "Rose" in his personal timeline.
The Sontaran homeworld was destroyed in Seventh Doctor strip Pureblood (DWM #193-196) but the Sontaran race pool survived, allowing for further cloning; the strip introduced the concept of "pureblood" Sontarans not born of cloning. The Sontarans also feature in the Kroton solo strip Unnatural Born Killers (DWM #277) and the Tenth Doctor's comic strip debut The Betrothal of Sontar (DWM #365-#368), by John Tomlinson and Nick Abadzis, where a Sontaran mining rig on the ice planet Serac comes under attack by a mysterious force.TIME WARRIOR
A Sontaran named Linx, trapped in the Middle Ages, uses crude time travel technology to kidnap scientists from the 20th Century to help repair his spacecraft.
In the Middle Ages, the bandit Irongron and his aide Bloodaxe together with their rabble of criminals find the crashed spaceship of a Sontaran warrior named Linx. The alien claims Earth for his Empire then sets about repairing his ship, offering Irongron “magic weapons? that will make him a king in return for shelter. They strike a bargain, though Irongron remains suspicious.
The Doctor and Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart are investigating the disappearance of several scientists from a top secret scientific research complex. They do not know Linx has used an Osmic Projector to send himself forward eight hundred years and has kidnapped the scientists then hypnotized them into making repairs on his ship. The Projector only lets him appear in another time for a brief period. While the Doctor investigates he meets an eccentric scientist called Rubeish and a young journalist called Sarah Jane Smith, who has infiltrated the complex by masquerading as her aunt. Later that evening Rubeish disappears and the Doctor uses the data he has gathered to pilot the TARDIS back to the Middle Ages.- not realising new companion Sarah has stowed away on board.
Irongron is a robber baron who has stolen his castle from an absent nobleman, and relations with his neighbours are appalling. Indeed, the mild Lord Edward of Wessex has been provoked into building an alliance against him and, when this is slow in developing, sends his archer Hal on an unsuccessful mission to kill Irongron. The robber baron is in a foul mood when a captured Sarah is brought before him. His mood improves when Linx presents him with a robot knight which is then put to the test on a captured Hal. The archer is only saved when the Doctor intervenes from afar, shooting the robot control box from Irongron’s hands. The ensuing confusion lets both Hal and Sarah flee, and they head for Wessex Castle.
Meanwhile the Doctor has realised both that Sarah is in the time period and has been captured, and also that she previously supposed him to be in league with Irongron. The next morning the robber baron and his troops assault the castle using rifles supplied by Linx but the attack is repelled by the Doctor’s cunning. The failure further sours the relationship between Linx and Irongron, which has deteriorated since the robot knight fiasco and the point at which the robber saw the Sontaran’s true visage beneath his helmet.
The Doctor now decides to lead an attack on Irongron’s castle, and he and Sarah enter dressed as friars. He makes contact with Rubeish and finds the human scientists in a state of extreme exhaustion. Linx catches the Doctor in the laboratory once more, but this time is rendered immobile when a lucky strike from Rubeish hits his probic vent – a Sontaran refuelling point on the back of their necks which is also their main weakness. Rubeish and the Doctor use the Osmic Projector to send the scientists back to the twentieth century. Sarah now invites herself into Irongron’s kitchen, using the opportunity to drug the food, thereby knocking out Irongron’s men.
A recovered Linx now determines his ship is repaired enough to effect a departure. Once more he encounters the Doctor, and they wrestle in combat. A crazed and half drugged Irongron arrives and accuses Linx of betraying him: the Sontaran responds by killing him. As Linx enters his spherical vessel Hal arrives and shoots him in the probic vent, and the Sontaran warrior falls dead over his controls, triggering the launch mechanism. Knowing the place is about to explode when the shuttle takes off, Bloodaxe awakes and rises the remaining men and tells them to flee, while the Doctor hurries the last of his allies out of the castle. It explodes moments before the Doctor and Sarah depart in the TARDIS.
The Sontaran Experiment
On a future Earth recovering from devastating solar flares, the Fourth Doctor, Harry Sullivan, and Sarah Jane Smith discover Styre, a Sontaran warrior, conducting experiments on astronauts he has captured during their investigation of the rejuvenated Earth.
Following on from The Ark in Space, the time travellers teleport down from the Nerva Space Station to Earth, ostensibly uninhabited. However, the system is not functioning well, and the Doctor begins repairing it. The other two explore the surrounding area, but Harry falls down a crevasse and Sarah goes to seek the Doctor's help. He is nowhere in sight.
Roth, an astronaut, finds Sarah. He is obviously distressed, and explains that he has been tortured by an alien that lives in the rocks, together with its patrolling robot. He takes Sarah towards the astronauts' campsite, but refuses to approach the campsite, suspecting the astronaut Vural of collusion with the alien.
Three of the astronauts have captured the Doctor. They believe Nerva to be a legend, and tell him in turn that they had picked up a distress signal from Earth. They came to investigate, but their ship was vaporised when they emerged, leaving nine of them stranded. Then they began to vanish one by one. They blame the Doctor for this. Roth appears and the astronauts chase him, while Sarah frees the Doctor. Roth loses the others and meets up with Sarah and the Doctor. The Doctor also falls down a crevasse, and the robot returns, capturing Roth and Sarah and bringing them to the alien's spacecraft. The alien is Field Major Styre of the Sontaran G3 Military Assessment Survey, who has been experimenting on, and killing, the astronauts. Roth tries to escape but is shot dead by Styre.
Styre reports back to his Marshal via a video link. The Marshal is impatient for the intelligence report (without which an invasion of Earth cannot take place), but Styre admits that he has been delayed in his experiments.
Styre subjects Sarah to a series of terrifying hallucinations. The Doctor, free from the hole, has reached her and rips off a hallucinogenic device from her forehead, but she falls unconscious. The Doctor, enraged, attacks Styre, but the Sontaran easily fends him off. Styre shoots him unconscious (believing it to be fatal) when he runs away.
The robot, having captured the three remaining spacemen, brings them to Styre's ship, where it is revealed that Vural had tried to make a deal with Styre in exchange for his own life. However, Styre intends to experiment on Vural anyway. The Doctor recovers, disables the robot, and meets Sarah and Harry. He confronts Styre, goading him into accepting hand-to-hand combat. While the two fight, Sarah and Harry free the three astronauts, and then Harry climbs towards Styre's ship to sabotage it. Styre almost wins the fight, but Vural attacks him, saving the Doctor at the cost of his own life. Styre, now low on energy, heads back towards his ship to recharge, but the sabotage causes it to kill him.
The Doctor informs the Marshal that not only has Styre's mission failed, but that the invasion plans are in human hands. This is enough to ward off the invasion, and the three can return to Nerva.The Invasion of Time
The Doctor returns to Gallifrey, having claimed the Presidency. His behaviour is unusual and has Leela thrown in jail. However, the Doctor is doing this to prevent a Sontaran instigated disaster.
More when I review the DVD.The Two DoctorsSynopsis
The Second Doctor and Jamie are on a mission for the Time Lords that goes horribly wrong, and Jamie sees the Doctor being tortured to death. However, if the Doctor died in his second incarnation, what does that mean for the Sixth Doctor and Peri?
The Second Doctor and Jamie McCrimmon land the TARDIS on board Space Station Camera in the Third Zone, on a mission for the Time Lords, who have also installed a teleport control on the TARDIS that grants them dual control for the occasion. The Doctor explains to Jamie that the station is a research facility and they are here to have a discreet word with Dastari, the Head of Projects. The TARDIS materialises in the station kitchen, where they meet Shockeye, the station cook. Shockeye is an Androgum, a member of a primitive, emotionally and ethically bestial humanoid race which acts as the station's workforce, and is confrontational until the Doctor reveals he is a Time Lord. Suddenly deferential, Shockeye eyes Jamie hungrily and offers to buy him from the Doctor as the main ingredient for a meal. The Doctor, shocked, refuses, and takes Jamie away to see Dastari. As they leave, however, they hear the sound of the TARDIS dematerialising. This is observed by Chessene, an Androgum technologically augmented to mega-genius levels. Chessene has plans of her own, involving someone named Stike who will be arriving in force soon, once Shockeye's poisoned meal to the scientists takes effect. She has also taken possession of the Kartz-Reimer module.
The Doctor speaks to Dastari in his office, telling him that the Time Lords want the time experiments of Kartz and Reimer stopped. The Time Lords have an official policy of neutrality, and so have sent the exiled Doctor to maintain deniability. Dastari introduces Chessene, but the Doctor is sceptical as to whether such augmentation can change Chessene's essential Androgum nature, and he considers such tampering dangerous. Meanwhile, three Sontaran battlecruisers appear near the station, on an intercept course. Before the station's defences can be activated, Chessene incapacitates the technician on post and opens the docking bays. Back in the office, the Doctor warns that the distortions from the Kartz-Reimer experiments are on the verge of threatening the fabric of time, but Dastari refuses to order them to cease, accusing the Time Lords of not wanting another race to discover the secrets of time travel. As the argument grows more heated, Dastari grows faint and falls into a drugged stupor. Energy weapons fire begins to sound in the corridors and the Doctor orders Jamie to run as a Sontaran levels a gun at the Doctor.
Somewhere else, the Sixth Doctor and Peri Brown are on a peaceful fishing trip. When they return to the TARDIS, Peri is startled as the Sixth Doctor sways and collapses — just as, back on the station, Jamie spies the Second Doctor in a glass chamber, writhing in agony as a Sontaran manipulates controls. In his TARDIS, the Sixth Doctor awakens, somehow having had a vision of himself as his second incarnation being put to death. He realizes that this is impossible, since he is still alive, but he is also concerned that he may have died in the past and only exists now as a temporal anomaly. He decides to go and consult his old friend Dastari to see if he can enlist his help.
The TARDIS materializes on the station, but everything is dark, and the smell of decay and death is everywhere. The station computer demands the Doctor leave, and when he refuses, tries to kill him and Peri by depressurising the passageway. The Doctor, however, manages to open a hatch and drag his unconscious companion through to another section. In Dastari's office, the Doctor discovers the scientist's day journal and the Time Lords' objections to the Kartz-Reimer experiments, but refuses to believe his people are responsible for the massacre. Peri suggests someone is trying to frame the Time Lords and drive a wedge between them and the Third Zone governments. They leave the office to enter the service ducts, work their way to the control centre and attempt to deactivate the computer before it succeeds in killing them.
On Earth, Chessene, Shockeye and a Sontaran, Major Varl, take possession of a Spanish hacienda by killing its aged owner, Doña Arana. Varl sets up a homing beacon for the Sontaran ship, while Chessene absorbs the knowledge of the old woman's mind, discovering that they are in Andalucia, just outside the city of Seville. Varl announces that Group Marshal Stike of the Ninth Sontaran Battle Fleet is in descent orbit. Meanwhile, two people, Oscar Botcherby and Anita, are approaching the grounds. Oscar, an ex-English stage actor who is managing a restaurant in the city, is here to catch moths, armed with a net and a cyanide killing jar in his backpack. He and Anita see the Sontaran ship zoom overhead, and observe through binoculars Dastari and another Sontaran carrying an unconscious Second Doctor towards the hacienda. Anita pulls Oscar along, thinking that they are victims of an aeroplane crash and need help.
Down in the bowels of the station, the Sixth Doctor tries to disconnect the main circuit. Suddenly, Peri is attacked by a humanoid in rags, and when her cries distract the Doctor, he is hit by a gas trap and falls unconscious, becoming entangled in the wires.
Peri knocks out her attacker and frees the Sixth Doctor, who saved himself by shutting off his respiratory passages. He disconnects the computer's main circuit, and the two find that Peri's attacker was a half-delirious Jamie, who has been hiding all the while. Jamie moans that "they" killed the Doctor, and under hypnosis, tells the Sixth Doctor what has transpired, giving a description that the Doctor recognizes as the Sontarans. Returning to the office to examine the station records, the Doctor suddenly sees Peri in the glass tube, writhing in pain. As he frantically works the controls to free her, the person in the tube changes from Peri to Dastari to the Second Doctor and even to himself. When Jamie and Peri return to the office, the Sixth Doctor explains that what Jamie saw was an illusion designed to make people believe the Doctor was dead and not investigate further (the animator had been left on and captured Peri's image), which means the Second Doctor is being held captive somewhere. The Sixth Doctor theorises that the Sontarans kidnapped Dastari as well because Dastari is the only biogeneticist in the galaxy who could isolate the symbiotic nuclei of a Time Lord that gives them the molecular stability to travel through time. If given time travel, the Sontarans will be unstoppable. The Sixth Doctor decides to put himself into a telepathic trance to try and determine where his past incarnation is being held. He awakens having heard the sound of the Santa Maria, the largest of the 25 bells at the Great Cathedral of Seville.
In the cellar of the hacienda, Dastari and Chessene set up equipment, keeping the Second Doctor drugged and passive. Dastari questions why they have come to Earth, and Chessene explains that it is conveniently situated for an attack Stike wishes to make on the Madillon Cluster against the Rutan Host, and that Shockeye also wanted to taste the flesh of humans. Dastari heaps scorn on Shockeye's primitive urges, and urges Chessene to remember that she is beyond those, now. The TARDIS materialises on the grounds near the hacienda, and Oscar approaches it as the TARDIS crew emerge, thinking it is a real police box and that the Doctor and his companions are plain-clothes police officers. Taking advantage of the mistake, the Doctor asks that Oscar lead him to the hacienda.
Dastari reveals his plan to dissect the Second Doctor's cell structure to isolate his symbiotic nuclei and give them to Chessene. The Second Doctor calls him mad, and protests that her barbaric Androgum nature, coupled with the ability to time travel, will mean that there will be no limit to her evil. The Sixth Doctor asks Peri to create a distraction at the front door of the hacienda while he and Jamie make their way into the cellar via a passage in the nearby ice house. Peri calls out, interrupting Dastari's operation. She poses as a lost American student, but Chessene is suspicious, having read thoughts of the Doctor in her mind. Chessene gets Shockeye to bring the Second Doctor, strapped into a wheelchair, through the hall, to see if Peri reacts. She does not, as she has never seen the Second Doctor before. Peri makes her excuses and leaves, but Shockeye chases her anyway, eager for a meal.
Meanwhile, the Sixth Doctor and Jamie are in the cellar, where the Doctor examines the Kartz-Reimer module, a prototype time machine modelled on Time Lord technology. He explains to Jamie that once the briode nebuliser of the module is primed with his symbiotic nuclei — the Rassilon Imprimatur — it will be safe for anyone to use. Unfortunately, the Sontarans have heard him. Outside, Shockeye also catches up to Peri.
Shockeye knocks Peri out and brings her back to the hacienda kitchen. In the cellar, Stike threatens to kill Jamie unless the Sixth Doctor gets into the module and primes it with his symbiotic print, and the Doctor does so. Stike is about to execute Jamie anyway, but Jamie stabs Stike's leg with a concealed knife, and the Doctor and he run off upstairs, where they find the Second Doctor. Before they can release the Second Doctor and escape the hacienda, however, Shockeye shows up with the unconscious Peri. The Second Doctor feigns unconsciousness while the others hide.
While the Sixth Doctor and Jamie watch from their hiding place, they hear Chessene voice her concern that now that a second Time Lord is involved, the other Time Lords will be arriving as well. However, she has a contingency plan. She asks Dastari to implant the Second Doctor with some of Shockeye's genetic material, turning the Doctor into an Androgum and under her thrall, following which they will eliminate the Sontarans. However, Dastari and Chessene are unaware that the module is now primed, and that, outside, Stike is preparing to leave in it once Sontaran High Command has been notified and leave no one alive when he does so. Stike orders Varl to set the Sontaran battlecraft's self-destruct mechanism.
Interrupting Shockeye as he is about to slaughter Peri, Chessene gets him to bring the Second Doctor to the cellar. Once there, she stuns Shockeye so that Dastari can remove his genetic material. The Sixth Doctor revives Peri in the kitchen and ushers her and Jamie away. The Sixth Doctor tells them that what he revealed about the Imprimatur in the cellar was not strictly true — he had heard Stike approaching and the speech was for the Sontaran's benefit. The machine worked for the Doctor, but will not for them because the Doctor has taken the briode nebuliser.
Dastari has implanted the Second Doctor with a 50 percent Androgum inheritance, and when Shockeye wakes in a rage, he finds a kindred spirit in the transformed Doctor. They decide to go into the town to sample the local cuisine. In the meantime, Dastari lures the Sontarans into the cellar, where Chessene attacks them with two canisters of coronic acid. Varl is killed, but Stike, though wounded, manages to escape. He tries to use the module, but without the nebuliser, it severely burns him instead. Stike staggers towards his battlecraft, forgetting about the self-destruct. The ship explodes, taking him with it.
The Sixth Doctor, Peri and Jamie follow the Second Doctor and Shockeye into Seville, hoping to cure him before the change becomes complete and affects the Sixth Doctor as well. Dastari and Chessene are also seeking the two of them, knowing that unless the Second Doctor undergoes a second, stabilizing operation, he will eventually reject the Androgum transfusion. The Second Doctor and Shockeye go to Oscar's restaurant, ordering gargantuan amounts of food. When Oscar demands that they pay, Shockeye fatally stabs Oscar, just as the Sixth Doctor and the others arrive. Shockeye leaves the Second Doctor behind, who slowly reverts back to normal. As all of them leave the restaurant and the distraught Anita, however, Chessene and Dastari appear, taking them back to the hacienda at gunpoint.
Chessene and Dastari find the nebuliser on the module missing, and the Sixth Doctor tells them how he primed the machine for Stike. To test the truth of the Doctor's claim, they replace the nebuliser and send Peri on a trip with the module, and she survives. Chessene gives permission for Shockeye to eat Jamie, and the Androgum takes him up to the kitchen. Left alone for the moment, the Sixth Doctor smugly confirms the Second's suspicions — the nebuliser is sabotaged, with a thin interface layer so it would only work once for Peri. Flipping the table over on which the key to their chains rests, the Doctors retrieve the key. The Sixth Doctor frees himself first, and runs up to save Jamie. He encounters Shockeye in the kitchen, and the Androgum wounds him with a knife. Shockeye pursues him through the grounds, but the Sixth Doctor finds Oscar's pack and his cyanide killing jar. The Doctor ambushes Shockeye, covering his head with Oscar's butterfly net and pressing the cyanide-soaked cotton wool to his face, killing him.
The sight of the Time Lord's blood on the ground is too much for Chessene, who falls to her knees and starts licking it, to Dastari's disgust. He realizes that no matter how augmented she may be, Chessene will always be an Androgum, and decides to free the Second Doctor and his companions. When Chessene sees this, she shoots and kills Dastari. She tries to shoot the Second Doctor and Peri as well, but Jamie throws a knife at her wrist, making her drop the gun. Chessene goes into the module, hoping to escape, but the module explodes, molecularly disintegrating her and turning her back into a common Androgum in death.
The Second Doctor uses a Stattenheim remote control — which the Sixth Doctor covets — to summon his TARDIS. He and Jamie say their goodbyes and leave. As the Sixth Doctor and Peri make their way back to their own TARDIS, the Doctor tells her that from now on, it will be a healthy vegetarian diet for both of them.
Category:Information -- posted at: 1:25pm UTC