The BBC has finally revealed the first image of the new design Sontarans, set to make a return in Series 4 of Doctor Who.
It is 33 years since the Third Doctor first encountered a Sontaran in Season 11′s The Time Warrior, which also saw the first appearance of Sarah Jane. Indeed the recent Sarah Jane Adventures adventure Eye of the Gorgon made reference to the Sontarans…
The warriors will feature in an episode which will also mark the return of Freema Agyeman as Martha Jones.
She will run into the Doctor’s new companion – Donna Noble, played by Catherine Tate – for the first time.
“Martha Jones returns in a fantastic storyline and the fans will get to see her in a whole new light,” Agyeman promised.
Christopher Ryan, best known as Mike in 1980s TV sitcom The Young Ones, will play the head Sontaran, as reported in early October. Ryan previously appeared in Doctor Who as the Mentor Kiv in Mind Warp, 1986.
The Sontarans returned to face Tom Baker’s Fourth Doctor on a deserted planet Earth in The Sontaran Experiment, and again as they invaded the Time Lord’s home planet of Gallifrey in The Invasion of Time. The Sixth Doctor and Second Doctor teamed up to defeat the Sontaran’s aspirations for mastery of time in The Two Doctors – and they haven’t been seen in Doctor Who since.
However, as with many great Doctor Who monsters, they made a move into independent productions, in particular Shakedown (unseen parts of the tale were novelised as a Seventh Doctor adventure) by Terrance Dicks, one of the most popular Doctor Who spin off productions.
Robert Holmes was the writer behind the creation of the Sontarans, however, and just as with his creation the Autons, they’re set to return to Doctor Who over 30 years since their creation.
Other Series 4 news indicates that Peter Capaldi – most recently seen as a fierce spin doctor in political satire The Thick of It – and Phil Davis (who has been in so much stuff and is a very successful character actor, although not a great leading man) are both set to contribute, as will Felicity Kendal, Sarah Lancashire and Tim McInnerny, best known as Percy in the first two series of Blackadder and Captain Darling in the fourth as well as appearing in Notting Hill, 101 Dalmations and Spooks.
EDIT: There are images of the new Sontaran at the Official Doctor Who site