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Doctor Who - The Sontaran Strategem / Doctor Who - The Poison Sky

episode 4.4, 4.5

UK 2008
produced by
Susie Liggat, Phil Collinson (executive), Russell T.Davies (executive), Julie Gardner (executive) for BBC Wales/BBC
directed by Douglas Mackinnon
starring David Tennant, Catherine Tate, Freema Agyeman, Bernard Cribbins, Jacqueline King, Ryan Sampson, Christopher Ryan, Clive Standen, Dan Starkey, Rupert Holliday-Evans, Eleanor Matsuura, Clive Standen, Wesley Theobald, Christian Cooke, Radoslaw Kaim, Meryl Fernandes, Leeshon Alexander, Biddy Hodson, Kirsty Wark, Lachele Carl
written by Helen Raynor, Sontarans created by Robert Holmes, music by Murray Gold

tv-series
Doctor Who, Doctor Who (David Tennant), Doctor Who (new series), Sontarans, Donna Noble, Martha Jones

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Since having parted ways with Doctor Who (David Tennant) at the end of season 3 of the series, Martha Jones (Freema Agyeman) has joined forces with UNIT, thew department of the UNO dealing with  ... well, with anything sci-fi. Now she summons the Doctor back to earth, where a certain gadget that makes cars emmission-free, ATMOS, starts to kill people. While UNIT soon has the ATMOS-factory under control (or so they think), the Doctor pays a visit to ATMOS-inventor, boy genius Luke Rattigan (Ryan Sampson) - and soon realizes that he actually serves a higher power, the Sontarans, an alien race of warriors who like nothing better than to conquer. However, it's not like the Sontarans to kill people using gas, they prefer the open battle. And now they seem to want to gas planet earth?

It takes the Doctor and his companions Martha and Donna (Catherine Tate) quite a while to figure out that the Sontarans actually want to use earth as their breeding ground, to have more soldiers in the Sontaran-Rutan war that seems to go on simply forever - but while the Doctor tries everything in his power to save the world, where the Sontaran gas is already spreading, the enemy is actually within, because the Martha with him is actually an evil clone of the real Martha. Ultimately though, the Doctor manages to use even her (and her Sontaran knowledge) to his and the earth's advantage as he burns up the gas in the atmosphere, then plans to blow up the Sontaran battleship looming over earth from within, even if it costs his own life - when boy genius Rattigan, who has since seen the error of his ways, replaces the Doctor to die a hero's death and be redeemed.

 

Mediocre science fiction adventure that once again makes use of the aliens use fashionable gadgets against humankind-formula that has been featured a few times too often in the new series of Doctor Who without ever exploiting its inherent satirical possibilities. In all, the episode isn't all bad, but it's too fast-paced and action oriented to let its story really develop to the fullest, and features a few too many tearjerking elements and soap opera-style subplots (about Martha, about Donna's family) to really function as a pure actioner. There were much worse episodes of the series though.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

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