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Doctor Who - The Sontaran Experiment

episode 77

UK 1975
produced by
Philip Hinchcliff for BBC
directed by Rodney Bennet
starring Tom Baker, Elisabeth Sladen, Ian Marter, Kevin Lindsay, Donald Douglas, Terry Walsh, Peter Walshe, Glyn Jones, Peter Ruthrford, Brian Ellis
written by Bob Baker, Dave Martin, music by Dudley Simpson, script editor: Robert Holmes

TV-series
Doctor Who, Doctor Who (Tom Baker), Doctor Who (classic series), Sontarans, Sarah Jane Smith

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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A direct sequel to The Ark in Space: Doctor Who (Tom Baker), Sarah Jane (Elisabeth Sladen) and Harry (Ian Marter) are teleported down to earth - earth in the far future that is, an uninhibited but fertile planet.

Before they know it though, our three heroes are seperated, the Doctor is taken captive by some human astronauts, Sarah is saved by another astronaut (Peter Walshe) from a big robot, and Harry falls into a hole in the ground.

Eventually it turns out that a Sontaran (Kevin Lindsey) has lured the astronauts to the otherwise empty earth to conduct experiments on them concerning their resistance to various forms of violence and fear, but by now he has also caught Sarah Jane and makes her the subject of his cruel studies as well. In the end it's up to the Doctor to go against the Sontaran in hand-on-hand combat and distract him while Harry sabotages his energy unit, so when the (weakened) Sontaran goes back to his ship to restore his energy levels, he is instead sucked dry of energy and therefore shrivels to death ... and earth is (once again) saved !

 

One of the shortest episodes of the series (clocking in at just under 50 minutes), this episode seems to be lacking something, not only in length but also in depth. The supporting characters remain amazingly flat, up to a point where the human traitor redeems himself in the finale by giving his life to save the Doctor - and one doesn't even care (as a matter of fact, wouldn't Sarah Jane have commented on it, nobody would have ever noticed). Plus, the Doctor going against an alien one-on-one - that just doesn't work int he context of the series. On the plus side though, the episode was shot entirely outdoors in Dartmoor, and the scenery hits exactly the right tone with the story. And Tom Baker, as always, is at least fun to watch ...

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

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Tales to Chill
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a collection of short stories and mini-plays
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from the post-apocalyptic
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tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
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Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD