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Shakedown: Return of the Sontarans was an independently produced spin-off from Doctor Who featuring the Sontarans and the Rutans, which directly tied into a Virgin New Adventures novel published at the time. Produced by Dreamwatch Media and released by Reeltime Pictures it featured (like many spin-offs of the era) several Doctor Who actors and also former Blake's 7 actor Jan Chappell in feature roles. It is also notable for the altered appearance of the Sontarans; this was due to licensing arrangements meaning they had to be redesigned for the production.


The solar yacht Tiger Moth has a stowaway on board!

On the run from its mortal enemy, the Sontarans, it will do anything to survive...

Unfortunately, the Sontarans will do anything to destroy it...

Captain Lisa Deranne and her crew of rich misfits must band together or die as the clone warriors move in for the kill!


to be added


Zorelle, Kurt, Nikos, Mari & Captain Deranne



Story notes[]

Dedication to memory of Robert Holmes and Kevin Lindsay.

  • Although the longstanding war between the Sontarans and the Rutan Host was frequently mentioned in Doctor Who, this video marks the only occasion in which the two opposing species appear on-screen together.
  • Mark Ayres, who had previously worked on Doctor Who as a composer, was co-producer and post-production sound designer.[1]
  • The shoot and production of this story took four months to complete a final product.[1]
  • At the end of the credits there is a dedication to the memory of Robert Holmes, who created the Sontarans; and Kevin Lindsay, who played the first three Sontarans: Linx, Styre and the Marshal.
  • A behind the scenes making of documentary (The Making of Shakedown Return of the Sontarans) was included on the VHS release of the story.
  • As of December 2021, the story has yet to receive a DVD release.
  • Kurt makes a reference to 'The Dentist.' This was an alternative way to make reference to the Doctor without explicitly referring to him by name.


to be added

Filming locations[]

Location work was shot entirely on location aboard the Second World War-era Royal Navy light cruiser HMS Belfast, permanently moored at Symon's Wharf on the River Thames since 1971.

Model shots were shot at Pinewood Studios.

Production errors[]

to be added


  • PROSE: Shakedown contains the 'full version' of this story. This video element takes up the 'middle' of the novel.

DVD, video, and other releases[]

to be added

External links[]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Mark Ayres - Shakedown: Return of the Sontarans accessed 10th November 2010