Doctor Who - The Sontaran Experiment
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
Doctor Who, Doctor Who (Tom Baker), Doctor Who (classic series), Sontarans, Sarah Jane Smith
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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
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 ...