Doctor Who: BBC Sontarans Comp Video Incomplete & A Bit Too Modern

There's a new Doctor Who compilation video on the BBC's official Doctor Who YouTube channel. This time it's the Sontarans' turn, since this Sunday's episode of Doctor Who: Flux features their return as Villains of the Week. Oddly, the compilation video is rather incomplete. The Sontarans are an alien race of warmongering clone armies. This means they're all pretty much the same: they're brutal, brutish, vicious soldiers who live only for war and conquest. To die in battle is their idea of glory. It's in their genes and conditioning.

Doctor Who: BBC Releases Incomplete Sontarans Compilation Video
Look! A Sontaran from "Doctor Who"! Courtesy of BBC

They've been a recurring villain on Doctor Who since one popped up for the first time in the 3rd Doctor (Jon Pertwee) era with Jon Pertwee in "The Time Warrior". A single Sontaran showed up again in the 4th Doctor (Tom Baker) era in "The Sontaran Experiment" doing bad things to human astronauts. At the time, the show didn't have a budget for extras or crowd scenes. The next time they appeared was a few years later in "The Invasion of Time" where a whole battlefleet of them showed up to conquer the Doctor's homeworld Gallifrey, but you only saw maybe 6 of them at most. They never showed up in the 5th Doctor (Peter Davison) era, but one did in the 6th Doctor (Colin Baker) era in "The Two Doctors". That was the final appearance they made in the old show.

Now, you wouldn't know that if you watched the compilation video. Whoever was in charge of putting it together was weirdly negligent in hardly showing any segments from the old show at all other than bits from "The Sontaran Experiment". The rest of the clips were from the modern era of the Doctor Who run by Russell T. Davies and Steven Moffat. Davies gave the Sontarans their most epic story so far: a 2-parter that showed them plotting to destroy the Earth's atmosphere before they took it over. Davies' spinoff The Sara Jane Smith Adventures featured a surviving Sontaran from that battle facing Sara Jane and the kids, and still got his ass handed to him. Despite having a Sontaran army in the background during "The Pandorica Opens", Moffat only used one Sontaran during his run, a rehabilitated soldier-turned-nurse named Commander Strax who became a comedy figure and recurring sidekick of Victorian detective and exiled Silurian warrior Madame Vastra (Neve Macintosh). Strax played with impeccable comic timing by Dan Starkey.

Doctor Who: BBC Releases Incomplete Sontarans Compilation Video
Sontaran classic design graphic for "Doctor Who", BBC

The Sontarans were never as prolific in their appearance on the show as the Daleks and the Cybermen, but still have fans. Chris Chibnall wants to restore their menace as an army in "The War of the Sontarans", even ordering a new variation on their design to make them look more classically menacing, though they still look like turds with faces. At least we got to see dying Sontaran in the clip from "The Sontaran Experiment" where his head deflates like a punctured basketball.

Doctor Who: Flux, "War of the Sontarans" premieres on Sunday and will be streaming on BBC America and BBC iPlayer.

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About Adi Tantimedh

Adi Tantimedh is a filmmaker, screenwriter and novelist. He wrote radio plays for the BBC Radio, “JLA: Age of Wonder” for DC Comics, “Blackshirt” for Moonstone Books, and “La Muse” for Big Head Press. Most recently, he wrote “Her Nightly Embrace”, “Her Beautiful Monster” and “Her Fugitive Heart”, a trilogy of novels featuring a British-Indian private eye published by Atria Books, a division Simon & Schuster.
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