With planet Earth choking under the poison sky, the Doctor must stop the Sontarans' threat to the planet.



, (character: "The Sontarans")

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Rupert Holliday-Evans ...
Meryl Fernandes ...
Female Student
Male Student


The Sontarans launch the attack with their poison gas slowly encircling the Earth. They've also taken the TARDIS to its headquarters but don't realize that Donna is inside. The Doctor realizes that the Sontarans have cloned Martha. He knows that fighting the Sontarans is of little use as they never surrender and are prepared to fight until they win. He decides to try and burn the poison gas that now encircles the Earth and with the help of the Sontarans teleportation system, send them a little surprise as well. At the end of it all, both Martha and Donna have to decide if they want to stay with the Doctor. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Parents Guide:



Release Date:

30 May 2008 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


(50 episodes)

Sound Mix:

(Dolby 5.1)
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Did You Know?


According to Russell T. Davies, the cameo by Rose was not in the original edit of the episode, but was added just before broadcast when Davies learned how successful her unbilled cameo in "Partners in Crime" was. See more »


At the beginning of the episode, Donna's mom smashes the front window of their car. However, car's windows are triplexes: 2 layers of glass, glued to a single layer of plastic, so they don't simply collapse, as shown. (The whole point is to prevent the crash and minimize injury from glass cuts.) See more »


Donna Noble: [on the Sontaran ship; talking softly] There's a door.
The Doctor: [talking just as soft] There should be a switch on the side.
Donna Noble: Yeah, there is. But it's a Sontaran switch; you need three fingers.
The Doctor: You've got three fingers.
Donna Noble: Oh, yeah.
[shapes her hand to form 3 fingers; places it in the switch; the door opens]
Donna Noble: I'm through.
The Doctor: Oh,
[talking right into the mouth piece]
The Doctor: you're brilliant you are.
See more »

Crazy Credits

SPOILER: Billie Piper receives screen credit as Rose Tyler, even though her appearance in the episode lasts less than one second. See more »


Featured in Doctor Who: Journey's End (2008) 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

It's the scale of it
3 May 2008 | by (prejudicemadeplausible.wordpress.com) – See all my reviews

"It's the scale of it". This quote from Wilf, who is fast becoming my favorite character of the new series who isn't an alien who hops around time and space in a police phone box, perfectly describes my problem with this episode and with much of the new series. Perhaps for lack of a budget, the classic episodes rarely if ever dared set up a catastrophe on this scale. I really hate the idea of humanity being threatened every couple of weeks while the Doctor saves them. It's better if he's stopping plans that are being laid early or something of the sort. It's like the Pertwee era on steroids or something. At least the aliens didn't hover over London with nobody noticing them again.

However, there was much to love in "The Poison Sky" with the Sontarans getting their butts kicked, more Wilf action (the only reason I'll be in favor of more Earth stories this season is seeing Bernard Cribbins in the role again), and some fine action scenes and special effects.

The best part of the episode though, was what some would term 'fanwank' and those were the references. They weren't too obvious, after all, why WOULDN'T the Doctor mention the Brigadier?! (Stranded in Peru? Could we be seeing the return of the Brigadier sometime?) The rest of the references were pretty funny too, in particular "Are you my mummy?" If you didn't laugh at that you're either not a fan or you just don't have a sense of humor.

I liked this episode quite a bit, and this story as a whole. It is definitely the weakest Sontaran story but the competition is strong so I'm not complaining. Good stuff, just wish we could have fewer stories where the entire universe is in peril (just Earth, eh? Still too big a scale).


15 of 29 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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