The Sontarans reviewed

doctor-who-the-sontaransThe third season of Doctor Who: Early Adventures ends with The Sontarans. Simon Guerrier wrote this First Doctor story with companions Steven Taylor and Sara Kingdom. It’s action packed and rather clever. You want more? Carry on reading…

The story

First let’s check Simon’s summary on the Big Finish product page:

The TARDIS arrives on a moon-sized asteroid orbiting two gas giants. With an amazing view, it’s a chance for the Doctor, Steven and Sara to unwind after their recent adventures.

But they quickly find themselves in the midst of battle – on one side: a familiar group of space-suited soldiers – members of the Space Security Service. On the other: strange, squat aliens in body armour.

Surviving the initial hostilities, the Doctor and his friends discover that the SSS squad is on a terrifying mission. With many lives at stake, they have to venture deep inside the asteroid in search of a hideous weapon. But who can they trust in the battle against these Sontarans?

A great setting, Sara Kingdom, Space Security Service and the Sontarans. Each of the four parts has its own feel as we explore the asteroid in the company of a small cadre of human soldiers as they meet and fight some Sontarans (Dan Starkey and John Banks). Simon has worked in plenty of twists and really brought the Sara Kingdom period to life. There is a lot of action, as befits a war story, though perhaps the Doctor is more action hero than normal — you decide.

The storytelling

Plenty to say here. Simon introduces the Doctor to the Sontarans and their war in a clever reverse (listen and find out), and this allows the ground to be set for future TV encounters. These are true old-school Sontarans, brutal and with their own will delineated moral code.

Peter Purves shines (as ever) as Steven, but with Jean Marsh back as Sara Kingdom we are spoiled, and Simon’s vision of this period of the show is vibrant and well realised.

A nod to both Ken Bentley and Toby Hrycek-Robinson for the soundscape design and the latter for his music, with shades of Forbidden Planet and plenty of dramatic foreboding.

I thoroughly enjoyed this story – do let me know what you thought!

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