September 27, 2023

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Doctor Who “The Sontaran Experiment Part 2”

The Fourth Doctor. "The Sontaran Experiment," Final Episode.

There’s a fight scene in this episode between the Doctor and a Sontaran.  However, stunt doubles played out the fight.  Why?  Well, Tom Baker broke his collarbone.  As for actor Kevin Lindsay, who up until this episode was all the Sontarans, he was having heart problems in the heavy suit he had to wear and couldn’t move very well.  The man who had invented the proper way to pronounce “Sontarans” was in really bad shape.  Sadly, he died not long after filming this serial.

So, on that depressing note, how did this serial go?

Well, the robot caught Sarah Jane and Astronaut Roth.  Sarah Jane at first can’t believe it’s someone she has seen before.  Except, you know, she hadn’t seen this one before.  They’re clones.  This Sontaran is Strye.  He’s conducting experiments on humans to see if they can stand up to a Sontaran invasion.  And since he’s already worked on Roth, Roth can die.

The Doctor sees some of this, but the astronauts also recapture him.  Then the robot captures them, so the Doctor can slip away.  As for Harry, he bumbles around until he finds yet another astronaut who is dying of thirst.  Despite his best efforts, that guy dies too.  Harry later finds Sarah Jane chained to a rock, but he can’t get past an invisible forcefield.  That or he’s a really good mime.  Harry goes off to get more help.  Or maybe clobber Strye himself.

Styre is having his own issues.  His superior, also played by Lindsay, wants results, dammit.  The invasion can’t happen until Styre sends his results.  Because Sontarans are sticklers for that sort of thing.  Besides, Sarah Jane is totally failing the fear experiment.

Until the Doctor comes along.  He managed to knock out the robot easily with the sonic screwdriver.  Sure, Styre knocked the Doctor out too, but it was a kill shot, and Harry found the Doctor feeling fine later.  Apparently, grabbing some metal stuff from the space ark proved smarter than he thought.

And yes, one of the astronauts did betray the others in an effort to keep them alive longer or something.  And no, Styre doesn’t respect a traitor for any reason.  Too bad the other two guys are trying to keep him alive during a “torso crushing test”.

But then the Doctor has a plan.  He challenges Styre to one-on-one combat.  No Sontaran will say no to that, leading to a fight where the traitor guy intervenes to save the Doctor and dies in the process.  Of course, the Doctor didn’t have to win.  He just sent Harry on ahead to stick something on Styre’s ship.  And when Styre gets away, his own ship sucks the life out of him because that was what Harry put in there.

Did Harry know that?  Nope.  Doesn’t that bother him?  Also nope.

And since the Sontarans didn’t get Styre’s results, well, the Doctor can bluff a bit and they’ll go away.  Problem solved!

Well, that was that.  Some transmat comedy and the Doctor and his companions move on.  Who’s up next?

Oooh, Daleks!