The Last Sontaran was the first story of the second series of The Sarah Jane Adventures. In it, Maria Jackson left the regular cast, along with her father Alan, who received a job offer in America. He left the decision of moving away up to Maria, who supported him to take the new job. Notably, it acted as a sequel to the Doctor Who episode, The Poison Sky, dealing with the consequences of the Tenth Doctor's battle with the Tenth Sontaran Battle Fleet.
This episode featured the last appearance of Chrissie Jackson, who would become directly involved in the alien dealings of Sarah's life. Now that her family was leaving for America, she stopped paying visits to Bannerman Road and went back to her life with Ivan. Although Sarah, her friends, and the other Jacksons had been trying to uphold the secret, she finally learned the truth for herself and promised to keep it guarded.
Reports of strange lights around the Tycho Project's radio telescope lead Sarah, Luke, Clyde and Maria into a terrifying forest encounter. Sarah comes face-to-face with her oldest enemy. Meanwhile, Maria wrestles with a huge decision when her dad is offered a new job in America.
Sarah and Maria discuss the experiences they have shared since Maria's arrival in Bannerman Road. They watch the night sky as they look forward to many more discoveries.
In rural Goblin's Copse, at a radio telescope used in the Tycho Project's search for alien life, Lucy Skinner and her astronomer dad, Professor Nicholas Skinner, also watch the night sky. They spot strange lights floating about. Professor Skinner investigates, but goes missing. Lucy investigates, and is promptly captured.
The next day, Luke and Clyde play a strategy game with Mr Smith to learn about battle strategies. Sarah interrupts. She had heard reports of the strange lights the previous night. Despite Mr Smith's assurances that strange lights rarely herald alien activity, she pursues the story.
Maria and Alan have received an important letter, but have found that the implications are far larger than they imagined and will cause an imminent major change in their lives. Alan tells Maria the decision is not just his to make.
Sarah, Clyde, Luke and Maria head to the countryside to investigate. They arrive at Goblin's Copse and discuss the size of space. They are watched by something. Inside, the team finds Lucy, who tells them that her dad is still missing. Luke and Clyde look outside for the professor after Sarah warns them to stay away from the woods. As the boys search the woods, the creature watching them becomes invisible.
While Lucy sleeps, Sarah decides to ask Maria what is troubling her after noticing some unusual behaviour, and Maria reveals that Alan has been offered a job in America, at the head office of his firm. Maria is ambivalent about the news; she is happy for her dad but sad that she must leave her friends behind. Sarah closes herself off from Maria, telling her she's happy for her, but is clearly upset.
At his house, Alan discusses the job with Chrissie and how it will change Maria's life more than his.
In the woods, Clyde and Luke hear a noise. A Sontaran, armed with a gun, reveals himself and chases them. The boys lose him, but come across a cloaked object.
When Lucy wakes up, Sarah persuades her to recall the events of the previous night. Professor Skinner appears, though he seems strangely detached and unemotional. He orders Sarah and Maria to leave immediately, which they do. Lucy makes him some coffee and he approaches her strangely.
Luke calls Sarah and when she and Maria arrive, he and Clyde show them the object. When the cloaking field is disabled, Sarah Jane immediately recognises the Sontaran ship. Its Sontaran occupant, Commander Kaagh, appears behind them, armed.
Maria tricks Kaagh and the group escape, splitting up, with Kaagh chasing them. Sarah Jane and Clyde attempt to reason with Professor Skinner. They find his mind is controlled by the Sontaran. Outside the observatory, Luke and Maria crawl into a vent that leads into the building.
Maria and Luke watch from the vent while Kaagh and Sarah talk. He says he was badly wounded when the Tenth Doctor defeated the Sontaran army. As the only survivor of the botched invasion, he has vowed revenge on Earth for his peoples' humiliation. He reveals his plan to use the Tycho radio telescope to take control of Earth's satellites, and steer them to crash into nuclear stockpiles on Earth, triggering nuclear annihilation.
Clyde protests, so Kaagh says he will experiment on him. Sarah steps in front of Clyde, defying Kaagh. He pulls out his gun and shoots her.
Kaagh shoots Sarah. She sprawls unconscious on the floor. He boasts to Clyde she will be taken to Sontar as a prize and he will be hailed as a hero instead of a laughingstock. Perhaps he will be given a more honourable epithet, like "Kaagh the Avenger".
Luke and Maria, hidden in a nearby vent, watch the scene unfold. They catch Clyde's attention and motion for him to join them.
Sarah awakens to find she is in a store room with Lucy Skinner. Kaagh has taken her sonic lipstick. Undeterred, Lucy and she start to build a device to jam the satellite. Aware that Kaagh will detect it, they plan to escape when he comes to investigate.
Luke, Maria and Clyde provoke Kaagh into chasing them through the observatory's corridors and service tunnels. The teens escape into the forest and block Kaagh's exit. They run to his shuttle, where Luke uses the chemicals stored there to synthesise a knockout gas to incapacitate the Sontaran. He sets off the intruder alarm. Knowing it will bring Kaagh, Clyde goes to distract him. As Luke works, Maria tells him about the upcoming move which leaves him upset, but Maria reminds him it won't matter if Kaagh succeeds.
Sarah activates her new invention; just as she expected, Skinner comes to find it. Sarah and Lucy sneak out, locking Skinner in the room, and try to figure out how to disarm the satellites. They let Clyde in by the same door Luke, Maria and Clyde escaped through earlier, just in time to save him from Kaagh, whom they lock out. Kaagh enters through the main door, breaks down the door to the room Skinner was locked in and rages at him.
Maria, uncertain Luke will synthesise the gas in time, decides to ask Mr Smith for more information on defeating Sontarans. As Mr Smith is still in Ealing, she calls her dad and asks him to contact the computer. Alan does so, unaware he has been followed into Sarah's attic by his ex-wife, Chrissie. She demands to know what is going on; Alan quickly brings her up to speed on Sarah Jane's alien hunting and Maria's role as her assistant. Chrissie realises he is telling the truth because his lip twitches when he is lying. Maria's parents, fearful for her safety, decide to join their daughter at Goblin's Copse.
Sarah, Maria, Clyde, Luke and Lucy all meet up. Sarah takes Luke and Lucy with her to try to deactivate the transmitter, while Maria and Clyde search for the switch that will move the transmitter away from the satellites. However, Kaagh and Skinner get there first and capture them.
Luke tries to break into the observatory's main computers, succeeding when he realises that Sontarans, who have three fingers on each hand, use base six mathematics. Kaagh appears and reveals Lucy is a sleeper agent. He activates the mind-control chip implanted in her. He orders her to re-activate the transmitter. He threatened Maria's life if Sarah tries to stop him. All appears lost, but fate plays an unexpected hand. Chrissie, having been watching from the shadows, bellows "Try my size fives, Humpty", and swings her high-heeled shoe into his probic vent, knocking him unconscious but electrocuting Chrissie as a side effect. The transmitter is deactivated, this time for good.
Kaagh is escorted back to his ship and ordered to return to Sontar, which he is only too glad to do; he is humiliated that he was defeated by "half-forms" (children) and a woman. Sarah is relieved, even if she is not entirely convinced that the Sontaran is gone for good.
Six weeks later, Maria and Alan say their goodbyes to Sarah, Luke and Clyde as they leave for their new life in America. As father and daughter pull away, Chrissie whispers to Sarah Jane that she was not entirely ignorant of her daughter's alien-hunting hobby. The group smiles and waves good-bye to Maria and Alan as they wave back, watching their cab leave Bannerman Road and send the Jacksons on their journey to America.
Later that night, Sarah, Luke, and Clyde are looking out at the stars through one of her telescopes. Luke and Clyde tell Sarah Jane they will miss Maria, but Sarah gives them a piece of advice:
I learned a long time ago that if you're missing somebody, just... look up at the night sky. Whoever it is, wherever they are, chances are they're looking at the stars just like you. Sometimes, for all its size, the universe isn't such a big place after all.
The trio turn their attention skyward, hoping the best for their friend.
- Sarah Jane Smith - Elisabeth Sladen
- Maria Jackson - Yasmin Paige
- Luke Smith - Tommy Knight
- Clyde - Daniel Anthony
- Voice of Mr Smith - Alexander Armstrong
- Alan Jackson - Joseph Millson
- Chrissie Jackson - Juliet Cowan
- Professor Nicholas Skinner - Ronan Vibert
- Lucy Skinner - Clare Thomas
- Kaagh - Anthony O'Donnell
Created by Russell T Davies
|Executive Producers Russell T Davies and Julie Gardner|
|Series Producer Matthew Bouch|
|General production staff|
Camera and lighting department
|Make-up and prosthetics
General post-production staff
Special and visual effects
|Not every person who worked on this adventure was credited. The absence of a credit for a position doesn't necessarily mean the job wasn't required. The information above is based solely on observations of the actual end credits of the episodes as broadcast, and does not relay information from IMDB or other sources.|
- The Tycho Project is located near Goblin's Copse and watches Rigel Beta Five.
- The Hall of the Fallen and the Brave is a structure on the Sontaran homeworld of Sontar.
- Sontar is located at the Metasaran Galaxy.
- Maria and Alan move to Washington, DC.
- Sarah says she will phone UNIT to deal with the Sontaran.
- Commander Kaagh is a member of the Special Assault Squad and the Tenth Sontaran Battle Fleet.
- Archer & Lewis sell 36 Bannerman Road.
- Chrissie apparently wears size 5 shoes from Jimmy Choo and jams the heel of one stiletto down Kaagh's probic vent. She gets shocked with a heavy dosage of electricity when she rams the metal tip of her shoe heel down Kaagh's probic vent.
- Kaagh uses a Sontaran arm control to activate his perception camouflage matrix.
- Neural control implants can be used to control human minds.
- Luke creates a knock out gas, by mixing Korazic acid, Lyzirium phosphate and Dylixium chloride, which he puts into a Sontaran gas canister.
- Sarah Jane has futuristic controllers, a MITRE headset, a Bubble Shock! bottle, a Sontaran blaster, entanglement shells and a portable scanner inside her attic.
Cultural references to the real world
- Chrissie calls Kaagh "Humpty".
- Sarah mentions the Mary Celeste.
- Clyde and Luke are doing a history project for school about Napoleon and the Battle of Waterloo.
- Clyde mentions The Land That Time Forgot.
- Lucy Skinner listens to indie music. She likes the bands: Women of War, Rain Green, Giddy Nuisance and The Motorboats.
- Chrissie refers to Sarah Jane as "Calamity Jane" and "Mary Jane".
- Skinner mentions ball lightning to explain the sighting of Sontaran drones.
- This is Maria Jackson's last story as a main character. Actress Yasmin Paige was in her GCSE year and chose to concentrate on her studies. She made a guest appearance in part 2 of The Mark of the Berserker and Maria is referenced either visually (through photos, art and flashbacks) or in dialogue in all other Season 2 stories.
- Although this story clearly takes place after the Sontaran Stratagem/Poison Sky story, it is unclear whether it takes place after the events of TV: The Stolen Earth/Journey's End, which aired before it. The episode contains dialogue references to alien life being widely known on Earth. The reference to Maria in The Stolen Earth would suggest it took place before Maria and her father moved to America.
- This story marks the final appearance of Chrissie Jackson on the series. Her appearance and attire has changed considerably from what she looked like in series one. Her hair is now longer, curly, and a shade of auburn rather than dark red, and she is wearing a fur-lined coat with pink stiletto heels.
- Part 1 - 0.7 million (BBC 1)
- Part 2 - 477,000 (CBBC channel)
- 0.6 million (BBC 1)
- In series one, Alan Jackson's house was filmed in a real house on a normal suburban street instead of in a studio. From the second series, the house was set in a studio and was redecorated by the production crew.
- About thirteen minutes into part two, a shot of the countdown is shown as a video playing in VLC Media Player.
- The Tycho Project is mentioned in PROSE: Beautiful Chaos.
- Sarah refers to her two earlier encounters with Sontarans: one a long time ago (TV: The Time Warrior) and one in the future. (TV: The Sontaran Experiment) She tells Kaagh that the Sontaran empire will still exist thousands of years in the future and will still be at war with the Rutan Host.
- Kaagh is a survivor of the Sontaran invasion. He was on his way to Earth when the spaceship was destroyed by the Tenth Doctor and the resulting explosion from the spaceship jettisoned his ship into Earth. (TV: The Sontaran Stratagem/The Poison Sky)
- As Chrissie breaks into Sarah's house she notes, "Some people never learn." She earlier broke into Sarah's house through the same window. (TV: Eye of the Gorgon)
- Clyde initially remarks that Kaagh looks like a spud. This is part of an ongoing joke comparing the appearance of Sontarans to potatoes. (TV: Eye of the Gorgon, et. al.)
- The events of stories in Series 1 are referred to. Maria mentions the Bane, (TV: Invasion of the Bane) the Slitheen, (TV: Revenge of the Slitheen) Kudlak, (TV: Warriors of Kudlak) the Graske and the Trickster, (TV: Whatever Happened to Sarah Jane?) while Alan refers to the moon coming towards Earth. (TV: The Lost Boy)
- On entering the empty observatory Sarah likens it to the Mary Celeste, the ship famous for being found deserted. The reason for the Mary Celeste's abandonment, in this universe, is due to Dalek activity. (TV: The Chase)
- Sarah's initial reaction to Maria's departure is uncannily similar to the Fourth Doctor's when Sarah herself threatened to leave in TV: The Hand of Fear. As in the other episode however, Sarah became far more sensitive later on.
- In the flashback scene of Kaagh's escape from the Sontaran's ship explosion, he has green blood. Sontarans were first shown to have green blood in TV: The Two Doctors.
- Luke Smith later had nightmares about his worst experiences, one of these dreams was about Maria leaving Ealing. (PROSE: The Nightmare Man)
Home video releases
- This story, along with the rest of Series 2, was released on DVD on 9th November 2009 (UK) and 10th November 2009 (North America).
- The Last Sontaran at Shannon Sullivan's A Brief History of Time (Travel)
- The Last Sontaran at The Locations Guide