Doctor Who: Season 12, Episode 9

The Sontaran Experiment: Part One (22 Feb. 1975)

TV Episode  -   -  Adventure | Drama | Sci-Fi
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 200 users  
Reviews: 3 user | 3 critic

The Doctor, Sarah and Harry teleports to Earth to ensure the planet is safe for the survivors on-board Nerva Beacon to return to Earth and re-inhabit their world. Only to find a Sontaran ... See full summary »


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Title: The Sontaran Experiment: Part One (22 Feb 1975)

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Episode complete credited cast:
Ian Marter ...
Donald Douglas ...
Glyn Jones ...
Peter Walshe ...
Kevin Lindsay ...
Peter Rutherford ...
Terry Walsh ...


The Doctor, Sarah and Harry teleports to Earth to ensure the planet is safe for the survivors on-board Nerva Beacon to return to Earth and re-inhabit their world. Only to find a Sontaran named Styre has captured a group of humans and conducting experiments on them to discover the human body's weaknesses, as part of the Sontaran's goal for domination of the galaxy. Written by Daniel Williamson

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Release Date:

22 February 1975 (UK)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This two-part serial was released by the BBC on video cassette in the UK in October 1991 as part of a double video pack with the six-parter that followed it, Doctor Who: Genesis of the Daleks: Part One (1975). See more »


The Sontaran's hands show a glove with 5 fingers - Sontarans only have three fingers. See more »

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User Reviews

Sontarans look like Russett Mr. Potatoheads!
27 January 2008 | by (McDermott, Ohio) – See all my reviews

I'm reviewing both parts 1 and 2 here because that's the way it comes on the video.

This one is a really great episode, one of my personal favorites. Tom Baker plays Doctor Who and Sarah is his sidekick along with one other male sidekick, Ian Sullivan.

Doctor Who stops off on Earth (far in the Earth's future when it is no longer inhabited) to make repairs to some equipment that he has based there. Sarah and her friend come along for some R&R in the beautiful English countryside but they run into a "hole-trap" right away! Pretty soon some human astronaults show up and they are very suspicious of the TARDIS trio because some of their crew members have been killed.

The facts ultimately show that it is Field Major Styre, a Sontaran, along with his devilish mobile robot, who has been torturing and killing off the astronaults. Styre had lured them to Earth with a fake distress call and then destroyed their space ship after they had landed. He is conducting "experiments" on humans to detect all their mental and physical inferiorities, (e.g., by water deprivation, by mashing them, etc.), so that his tribe can invade the galaxy and exploit these weaknesses. His superiors are awaiting his final report prior to the invasion.

But Doctor Who has other plans for the Sontarans! The Sontaran, Styre, (as well as his look-alike superior), looks like a giant russett potato with arms and legs and dressed in a cool space suit, and is actually made up quite good. His robot is also a timeless work of tinsmithing art. The cinematography in this entry is spectacular and the action is constant.

If I have a singular critique of this one it's that it is one of the shorter Doctor Who episodes, having only two parts. Still, it's very worthwhile television. My highest recommendation.

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