Doctor Who: The Sontaran Stratagem


On present-day Earth, ATMOS is the answer to carbon emissions, a module that makes your car emission free, and comes with free satnav. But when over fifty people die simultaneously whilst driving their ATMOS-installed cars, UNIT member Martha Jones decides to call in some extra help- namely the Doctor and his new assistant Donna Noble. Will the Doctor be able to deduce the alien enemy behind ATMOS before it’s too late?

Alien and Tech Guide

  • Sontarans: Short ‘potato headed’ warrior aliens who have run into the Doctor in his previous lives. They are a clone race, bred in squadrons and always outfitted with weapons and battle armour with just one weakness- a vulnerable vent at the back that forces them to face the enemy head on. As well as themselves, they are also able to clone humans and transfer memories from the original being, generate a field that expands copper bullets (preventing gunfire) and jams radio communication, teleport, control humans via hypnosis and design ATMOS, a system whose hidden functions include the release of a mysterious gas.

Episode Thoughts

Mixed feelings here- I mean it’s pretty much the same story as any of the bad guy aliens trying to take over the Earth from the shadows, and there were a few too many clichés (cocky guards walk right into alien base, Martha is back but she has a generic off-screen fiancé, aliens hate the Doctor and have an inexplicable weakness, sonic screwdriver can break things with ease). That being said, there was some good dialogue- I love the lonely genius side of the Doctor’s personality, and how easily he can outclass anyone who thinks they’re clever. His exchange with Donna was worthy too- she’s shaping up to be far better companion than I would have ever expected. I just hope that Grandpa Wilf can survive being trapped in his car.

Nitpickers’ Corner

  • If you think about it, all these plans that were set in motion months ago must have been going on simultaneously- so whilst ATMOS was being installed in all cars, you also had the Master carrying out his machinations, not to mention Adipose Industries setting themselves up. It’s a wonder all these aliens don’t bump into each other…
  • Going back to last week’s show for a moment, I just want to say that it cheapened it a little to have an Ood saying “Doh!”- the show doesn’t need gratuitous pop culture references to be successful, so leave them out.

2 thoughts on “Doctor Who: The Sontaran Stratagem

  1. I’m very surprised not to see “Why didn’t anyone think about breaking the glass in the car windows to get the old boy out?” in the nitpicks. They may all have Atmos units hardwired in, but I don’t really see the aliens giving all these mass produced cars shatter-proof glass in every window.

    The Sontaran attitude was pretty amusing, I thought.

    >> It’s a wonder all these aliens don’t bump into each other

    That’s the last three episodes 😉 Also featuring dimension hopping Rose, Martha, and all those missing bees.

    I’m quite happy to see that so far we’ve avoided the 3 minute endings that plagued last season. Instead we seem to be going for some sort of best special effects award.

  2. *slaps head* I knew I forgot something- I said right after the episode “why didn’t they try to smash the glass?”. Deadlock or not, surely the glass couldn’t be magically reinforced.

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