Doctor Who in Review: Season Four, Episode #4 – Sontarans Strike Back!

Rick Marshall

Rick Marshall was Online Managing Editor for ComicMix before joining MTV's SplashPage. Previously, he was Online Content Manager for Wizard Entertainment. He has written for several daily newspapers, alternative weekly newspapers, trade magazines and online media, and was named "Writer of the Year" by the New York Press Association in 2005.

You may also like...

3 Responses

  1. Neil Ottenstein says:

    Over at the Fact File on the official BBC site discuss the UNIT name change and the time inconsistencies. One final interesting bit there is that the Atmos system was used earlier this season. A taxi in Partners in Crime episode had it.The commentary for the episode was the first one I was able to hear and they discussed the UNIT name business there. There was a good discussion of Freema going down into the gloop. I made some other notes and if I remember I'll write in later in the week with those.The next episode won't be until May 30th due to the Memorial Day weekend.

  2. Vinnie Bartilucci says:

    They were forced to bring back Bernard Cribbins because the man who played Donna's father took ill and was unable to return to play the role. They didn't feel right re-casting the role, and someone had the idea of bringing back Bernard as Donna's Grandfather. In the commentary tracks for the episodes, there has been a suggestion by the Who staff that the meeting between The Doctor and Wilf is more than coincedence. It may just be RTD stirring the pot, but it's certainly caused some talk on the boards.And as for recycling actors, Eye Myles first appeared in the episode "The Unquiet Dead" as a chambermaid who could communicate with The Gelth, and re-appeared a couple hundred years later in Torchwood playing a character with the same name, Gwen Cooper. Still no explanation for that one, but it's certainly a potential story.While we've seen the Sontarans several times now, we've only met their eternal foes the Rutans once, in the Baker stort "The Horror of Fang Rock".I think they did a wonderful job of creating a new cast of UNITeers. I wouldn't mind seeing them make another appearance in a later episode, or perhaps on Torchwood, since alledgedly Martha will be going back to join the show. They've really got across the point in the new series that UNIT is quite a capable organization, and not quite the helpless nancies they were made out to be in the old series. As for the characters themselves, I quite liked Colonel Mace – kind of anti-Brigadier in that he's honored to work with The Doctor, and the Brig was always infuriated by it. While they mentioned The Brig, I was surprised that Sgt. Benton wasn't mentioned; surely he'd risen up the ranks by now, no? John Levene is living in America now, and acting under the name John Anthony Blake. I for one would love to hear Benton is in charge of UNIT's USA operations.It was defintely implied that the UNIT adventures took place in the near future, which would have put it in the 80's. There was one prescient episode where The Brigadier was speaking with the PM of Britain. Years before Thatcher, he picks up the phone and says, "Yes Ma'am."A very subtle bit of design – the arch and circle motif of the Sontaran ship and their little fighters, as an extension of their own squat roundness.Guest star of the week – General Staal of the Tenth Sontaran Battle Fleet was played by Christopher Ryan, known to fans of 80's Britcoms as Mike Thecoolperson from The Young Ones, and later as Edina's first husband from Absolutely Fabulous. And here's something I'm amazed no one's mentioned re: Martha's actual position at UNIT. It seems obvious to me that she's Scientific Advisor, or more likely "Acting" Scientific Advisor, since I'm sure The Doctor still holds his old position in at least an emeritus status.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I liked this episode a lot. David Tennant, Catherine Tate and Freema Agyeman are all 3 terrific actors. When it was first announced that Catherine Tate would star as the Doctor's main campanion, I was a little hesitant and I didn't like the idea too much. However, she has proved me wrong by playing the character of Donna Noble beautifully. Well done to all three, and of course to the hardworking Doctor Who crew in Cardiff. Thank you, BBC!