Doctor Who The Sontaran Stratagem S04E04 (BBC)

Doctor Who is a long-running, award-winning British science fiction television programme produced by the BBC. The programme depicts the adventures of a mysterious alien time-traveller known as “the Doctor” who travels in his space and time-ship, the TARDIS, which appears from the exterior to be a blue police phone box. With his companions, he explores time and space, solving problems and righting wrongs.

The show’s lead character is currently portrayed by David Tennant. A Christmas special co-starring Kylie Minogue aired in December 2007, and the fourth series started on 5 April 2008. For that series, Catherine Tate will reprise her role of Donna Noble, from the 2006 Christmas special, as the Doctor’s latest companion. Midway through the series, Freema Agyeman will also return to her role of Martha Jones, following a multi-episode guest appearance in the Doctor Who spin-off series, Torchwood. John Barrowman will continue his role as Captain Jack Harkness, and Billie Piper will return as Rose Tyler for three episodes. Elisabeth Sladen is also set to return as Sarah Jane Smith in a cameo role.

After a 2008 Christmas special and three further specials starring David Tennant, scheduled to air in 2009, Doctor Who is planned to return in 2010 for a fifth full length series.

From the Doctor Who entry at Wikipedia.

The Doctor is a long lived alien from the planet Gallifrey. He’s a Time Lord and travels through time thanks to his aging time capsule the Tardis. David Tennant is the tenth Doctor. My favorite has always been Tom Baker as the fourth Doctor. The Doctor periodically regenerates. When he does so, he changes outward appearance which let the producers change actors easily. All Time Lords regenerate 13 times. The Doctor’s nemesis is the Master, a renegade Time Lord who found a way around this limit. Other enemies includethe Black Guardian, the Daleks and the Cybermen.

The Doctor and Donna Noble are called back to Earth by Martha Jones who’s uncovered some strange alien skulduggery. At least, that is what she suspects. The Doctor is happy to see Martha Jones once again. She’s engaged to another doctor and works for UNIT.

It’s strange to see the Doctor back at UNIT. He worked there during the early years, in the 70s and 80. I fondly remember that time with Tom Baker playing the Doctor.

It turns out that the Sontarans are involved and that they are planing to take over Earth. The Doctor uncovers their plot too late to stop them as they start their planetary war with an unprepared Earth. Martha takes the time to warn Donna about her family, to make sure they understand about the Doctor. She didn’t and it got her family into trouble. Big trouble. Martha also had an overbearing controlling mother. Donna has got a similar mom.

Rose Tyler was actually seen at the end of the first episode of this season. Rose was the new Doctor’s first companion back in 2005. She stayed for two seasons before being sucked into another universe.

There, she finds herself trapped on the parallel Earth albeit reunited with Jackie, Mickey and the alternate Pete Tyler. Later, the Doctor manages to project his image through the last crack between the universes, sharing a tearful farewell with her. He informs Rose that she is presumed dead in the aftermath of the invasion, thus verifying Rose’s soliloquy at the start of the episode “This is the story of how I died”. Rose in turn mentions working with that parallel Earth’s (non secret) version of the Torchwood Institute due to her experience with aliens. Finally, Rose tells him she loves him, even though they denied it many times during the course of their time together. The Doctor begins to reply, getting as far as “If it’s my last chance to say it…Rose Tyler–” before the connection fails.

Rose is back for three episodes this season.

It’s incredible how entertaining these new Doctor Who episodes. Torchwood isn’t anywhere near as entertaining. David Tennant really knows how to portray his character well. I don’t know yet what exactly happened to the Time Lords on Gallifrey, I’m only at Season 22 of the Doctor Who serial. In that time, Gallifrey was still present. I don’t really want to find out beforehand, but I expect that it has something to do with a Timewar and that Gallifrey was destroyed. The Doctor is the last of the Time Lords, but what does that actually mean for a species able to travel in time? Nothing really. They could have blinked out of existence moments before Armageddon.

Warning: Spoilers ahead.

* * * * *

At the Rattigan academy, they throw someone out. She says something about Atmos being dangerous. She wants to go to UNIT headquarters. Her name is Jo Nakashima. She’s a freelance journalist. The boy in charge recommends that she be terminated. He’s talking to aliens.

Atmos is some kind of navigation system. It takes over the car and kills Jo.

In the Tardis, Donna is piloting. The Doctor gets a call. It’s Martha Jones. She needs him back on Earth.

He arrives back on Earth. Martha is engaged to Tom Milligan, another doctor. A lot of UNIT soldiers converge on the Atmos facility. Martha is giving the orders. He meets Kernel Mace. He’s read all of the files on him. The Doctor hasn’t resigned his post.

Yesterday, 52 people died in Atmos equipped cars at the same moment. They were poisoned. Atmos nullifies noxious emissions and comes with a sat nav. There are over 800 million cars on Earth. Controlling them would be an asset to any alien invasion force.

Two strangely robotic workers are guarding an entrance. The Sontaran is waiting for them. The UNIT soldiers find something. They request backup. They find some strange machinery. A humanoid creature is in some kind of green bath. It attacks the soldiers. It goes back into the bath. One of the soldiers surmises that it’s an embryo. Something is growing a body. A Sontaran approaches. It disables them. It’s General Stahl from the 10th Sontaran battlefleet.

The Doctor is examining the Atmos equipment. Donna finds a strange empty file. It’s to do with the sick days. No one has taken any sick days in this factory.

Luke Rattigan is the one who came up with Atmos, he’s a child genius.

Martha warns Donna about the Doctor. Her family were harmed. Donna needs to be careful with him. He’s like fire. Stand too close to him, and you’re likely to get burned.

The Sontaran sends out his reconditioned soldiers. He uses a transmat beam to get back to somewhere.

The Doctor wants to pay a visit to Luke at the Rattigan Academy. The Kernel sends a soldier with a jeep with him. Donna tells the Doctor that she’s not coming with him. She’s going home. The Doctor thought that she was leaving for good. She’s just dropping by to see her family. He makes this big speech.

Martha is examining the workers. They work 24 hours a day. Martha finds something strange. She thinks of hypnosis. She’s about to warn the Kernel, but the conditioned soldiers get her first. They need her level 1 clearance.

On the way home, Donna reminisces of all of what she’s seen. She meets her granddad. She tells him about the Doctor. He tells her not to tell anything to her mother.

The soldiers lead Martha back to the Sontaran hiding place.

It turns out that all government vehicles have Atmos included. Ross tells the Doctor that the Rattigan Academy is a bit like the Hitler Youth. Luke is an American. He’s a spoilt little boy. The Doctor spots a transmat beam. He calls it a teleport pod. He transports to the Sontaran HQ. A Sontaran comes through. The Doctor disables the transport pod. It’s General Stahl. The Doctor uses a tennis ball and a racket to take out the Sontaran and escape. The Sontaran repairs the pod and goes back to his HQ. 400 million cars have been converted.

Martha meets Commander Scor. He is growing a duplicate of her.

Luke is on the Sontaran ship. He looks onto Earth. It’s almost like a scene from Star Wars, since we can hear a respirator in the background. It sounds like Darth Vader.

Luke reveals that the Doctor was with UNIT. Stahl knows him well. He’s an enemy of the Sontarans. He led the fight in the last great timewar. The Sontarans weren’t allowed to participate. Luke says that the UNIT jeep is equipped with Atmos. They try and kill the Doctor. The Doctor is able to understand Atmos’ weakness. It does the opposite of what its owner wants. The jeep was going into the river. He orders Atmos to drive into the water. The car stops before.

The Doctor has met Donna’s granddad before at Christmas Eve. The Doctor goes to see Donna. He is trying to take off the Atmos. Donna’s mom has met the Doctor as well at Donna’s wedding.

Martha’s clone as been grown. It takes her place.

The Doctor activates the converter. The Sontarans are alerted. They start their little planetary war. The converter releases some form of gas. The Sontarans activate all of the 400 million cars and deadlock them.

* * * * *

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Author: range

I'm mathematician/IT strategist/blogger from Canada living in Taipei.

3 thoughts on “Doctor Who The Sontaran Stratagem S04E04 (BBC)”

  1. Re Episode; ‘The Sontaran Stratagem’ I cannot believe that the BBC got away with several references to ‘Jeeps’ during this episode. I mean to say, since when was a ‘Land Rover’ a ‘Jeep’? and as far as I am aware the generic term has always been “4X4” or “SUV” but if I had written the script for this episode it would certainly have been “Land Rover” because thats what the Doctor & Donna got into! so much for flying the flag for a British icon like ‘Land Rover’ . . . .

    Yours dismayed.

  2. I did notice that… That was a bit strange. I guess they were trying to refer to jeeps as in the 4×4, not Jeep the American car manufacturer. I guess they didn’t want to endorse Land Rover.

    The title of this episode is really old school, I love it.

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