Doctor Who: Season 4, Episode 4

The Sontaran Stratagem (16 May 2008)

TV Episode  -   -  Adventure | Drama | Family
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 1,779 users  
Reviews: 5 user | 6 critic

UNIT's newest recruit Martha Jones enlists The Doctor's help to investigate kid genius Luke Rattigan and his ATMOS system that is used in every car on Earth.



, (character: "The Sontarans")
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Title: The Sontaran Stratagem (16 May 2008)

The Sontaran Stratagem (16 May 2008) on IMDb 7.6/10

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Episode complete credited cast:
Rupert Holliday-Evans ...
Colonel Mace (as Rupert Holliday Evans)
Christopher Ryan ...
Wesley Theobald ...
Worker (as Rad Kaim)
Atmos Voice (voice) (as Elizabeth Ryder)


The Doctor gets a call from onetime traveling companion Martha Jones with a request that he return to Earth immediately. She and the military have taken over the ATMOS plant and she needs his help after 52 people around the world all died simultaneously. All had the ATMOS anti-pollution device fitted on their cars so the military has raided the factory believing it to be controlled by aliens. The Doctor learns that the Sontarans are planning to take over the Earth. They take Martha prisoner and she is cloned. Donna meanwhile misses her family and decides to pay them a visit. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

earth | car | sontaran | factory | alien | See more »

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Release Date:

16 May 2008 (USA)  »

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| (50 episodes)
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Did You Know?


The original 1963-1989 series presented conflicting evidence about when the stories featuring UNIT were meant to take place, and there has been much confusion and continuing fan debate on this subject. Although there is strong evidence that at least some of the production team intended for the UNIT stories to take place in the "near future" (in other words, the 1980s), this policy was not consistently applied and there is equally strong evidence to suggest the stories took place at the time of their broadcast (during the 1970s). The Doctor references this confusion when he says he is unsure if his time on the UNIT staff took place during the '70s or '80s. See more »


Guns are prevented from firing by a field that expands the bullets' copper jackets. This would not stop the firing pin from detonating the gunpowder. Yet several people pull the trigger on their weapons with no explosion. See more »


Commander Skorr: I see you face battle open-skin, Sir. Might I share that honor?
General Staal: You may.
Commander Skorr: Thank you.
[removes his helmet]
Luke Rattigan: [looking between Staal and Skorr; finally] How do you tell each other apart?
General Staal: [turns towards Luke; short pause] We say the same of humans.
See more »


Featured in Doctor Who Confidential: Lords and Masters (2009) See more »


Doctor Who Closing Credits
Written by Ron Grainer
Performed by BBC National Orchestra of Wales
See more »

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User Reviews

A strangely unsatisfying first parter
27 April 2008 | by (England) – See all my reviews

There's something missing from "The Sontaran Stratagem". While the use of sat-nav devices to evil effect is inspired and reminiscent of something like "Terror of the Autons", the episode somehow fails to inspire.

There's something very un-Sontaran about the whole affair. The menace here is Sontaran-lite, just as I was bitterly disappointed with the return of The Doctor's silver nemesis in Season 2. Perhaps it's me but while the make-up is wonderful (the early close-up of the Sontaran is excellent), the costume looks like something from a '90s Action Man.

Donna remains the strongest companion to-date, making Martha look rather lightweight in comparison.

7 out of 10. Only the first part of this double-header so things may improve but this is a very average tale so far. At the end of the day, Helen Raynor just doesn't deliver the quality of scripts that you expect from this series. It's missing fizz and pop and, overall, disappoints.

24 of 38 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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