The Sontarans was the fourth and final story of the third series of The Early Adventures, produced by Big Finish Productions. It was written by Simon Guerrier, narrated by Peter Purves and Jean Marsh and featured the First Doctor, Steven Taylor and Sara Kingdom.
This was part of the series of stories which take place between Episodes 7 and 8 of The Daleks' Master Plan, a narrative gap opened by The Mutation of Time and filled by The Little Drummer Boy, The Anachronauts, Home Truths, The Drowned World, The Guardian of the Solar System, and An Ordinary Life. While later stories would add to this series of adventures with the release of Men of War, The Sontarans is the final story to occur within this narrative gap from a chronological standpoint. The ending leads back into Episode 8 of The Daleks' Master Plan, "Volcano" with another time machine pursuing the TARDIS, while the Daleks make a cameo appearance, preparing to test the Time Destructor back on Kembel.
Publisher's summary Edit
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?
The Sontarans (1) Edit
The TARDIS lands on an asteroid whose soil is completely covered in flowers for miles. The Doctor, Steven, and Sara come out from the TARDIS and wonder at the view. Sara recognises the asteroid as part of the Sulgrave Asteroid Belt, an asteroid loop of eight circles going around two giant gas planets. Excited at the discovery, she runs away to climb a nearby ridge, to see if she can have a better look at the two planets.
As the Doctor and Steven comment on how much Sara has changed from when they first met her, seven men dressed in black uniform (which the Doctor and Steven recognise as Space Security Service, Sara's colleagues) surround them, and their leader, Captain Daphne Papas, orders them to be shot. The Doctor though points out to Papas that, if they do so, they won't be able to interrogate them, and the secret mission they are involved with (which the Doctor deduced by observing the way their behaviour) could be compromised. Papas agrees to spare their life for the moment, but as she is about to tell them about their mission, the group is attacked by a hostile alien force, which Steven recognises as Sontarans.
As a fight ensues between the agents and the Sontarans, Steven and the Doctor try to crawl away undetected. The pilot tells the Doctor about the Sontarans and their reputation of remorselessness and cruelty; upon knowing that, the Doctor comes back and offers help to Papas and their men, by taking them to the TARDIS. Papas orders two of her men, Corporal Gage and Ellis, to hide in a special tent while she and the others retreat to the TARDIS. When they reach the ship, though, they see the Sontarans preceded them and took it; the group tries to win it back but is eventually subdued. The Sontaran commander of the squad, Captain Stack, asks them if they are spies or military force; Papas answers negatively, and pretend they are survivors of a shipwreck. Stack does not believe her, but still considers them of no military value and therefore orders their immediate execution. But before he can manage that, Ellis, Gage and Sara attack and kill him and his men, releasing the prisoners.
The Descent (2) Edit
to be added
The Blind City (3) Edit
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The Rule of War (4) Edit
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- Steven/The Doctor/Narrator - Peter Purves
- Sara Kingdom - Jean Marsh
- Corporal Ellis/Slite/Shrok/Stack/Commander - Dan Starkey
- Captain Daphne Papas - Jemma Churchill
- Corporal Gage - John Banks
- Tinder/Human Soldier - Rosanna Miles
to be added
- A trailer for this story was released.
- The Guns of Navarone served as a "hook" for this story. (BFX: The Outliers)
- The simple title, The Sontarans, is in the style of others such as The Daleks, The Ice Warriors, The Dæmons and The Sea Devils, to give a few examples. Each story is named after the titular alien foe which made their debut appearance. Although the Sontarans did not debut in this story, the title serves to emulate other such stories by indicating the story to be the Doctor's first chronological encounter with them.
- The Dalek cameo makes this the fifth audio story to feature both the Daleks and the Sontarans, after The Five Companions, Starlight Robbery, Master of the Daleks and The Eternity Cage.
- Starlight Robbery is especially comparable, as it is also primarily a Sontaran story in which the Daleks show up at the end (though in a non-speaking capacity), setting up the events of Daleks Among Us.
- Steven mentions Natalie Lang. (AUDIO: The Anachronauts)
- Steven explains how he was a prisoner of the Mechonoids (TV: The Chase) after he was shot down by the Krayt. (PROSE: The Empire of Glass)
- The Sontarans also made cameo appearances in The Empire of Glass, although it was not made entirely clear whether the Doctor or Steven were aware of or encountered them.
- Sara recalls her time in 1950s London with Michael and Audrey Newman. (AUDIO: An Ordinary Life)
- The Sontarans come across the Daleks when cross referencing the Mechonoids. (TV: The Chase, COMIC: Eve of War, Impasse, The World That Waits, PROSE: War of the Daleks, Birth of a Legend)
- Later Doctors showed their familiarity with the Sontarans, Rutans and their war. (TV: The Time Warrior, The Two Doctors)
- While talking to the others about war, the First Doctor recalls his adventure to the year 100,000 BC. According to the Doctor, Ian Chesterton had stopped him from murdering a caveman that was slowing them down. (TV: An Unearthly Child) According to another source, it was in fact the Eighth Doctor who dissuaded him from doing so. (PROSE: The Eight Doctors)
- Several references are made to the Doctor's ongoing struggle against the Daleks: (TV: The Daleks' Master Plan)
- Sara tells Papas that in the future there will be peace "for a time." This period lasts from 3975 until 4000. (TV: "The Nightmare Begins")
- Upon being captured, the Doctor warns the SSS that, if they shoot them, they will not retrieve the stolen taranium core. (TV: "Day of Armageddon")
- The Doctor dares not let Steven or Sarah die as he has "lost too much already." (TV: "The Traitors")
- Steven and the Doctor recall Sara was trying to shoot them when they first met. (TV: "Counter Plot")
- While interrogated by Slite, Steven details his escape from the Daleks by running into the TARDIS while protected from Dalek fire by a force field. (TV: "Coronas of the Sun")
- An unidentified time machine, presumed to be a Dalek one, is detected by the TARDIS. Meanwhile, Dalek Supreme on Kembel is informed the Time Destructor is ready for testing. (TV: "Volcano")