By the time The Sontaran Stratagem and The Poison Sky came around I was losing patience with new Doctor Who. David Tennant had become a more shouty Doctor than Colin Baker’s ever was and the return of Donna Noble was the worst decision that RTD had made so far, in my opinion.
To make things worse the production team decided that the Sontarans should be “funny”, which was, in an ironic way supposed to make us fear them even more, instead it made me recoil in horror that the series was totally losing it and for the first time ever I actually stopped watching. Even if they did bring back Martha.
Your Figurine – Nasty, brutish and short! Well that does sum them up and hints at the humorous element the Sontaran return had. Played by Christopher Ryan, General Staal’s design was very good and I liked they way the team made each Sontaran as close to resembling each other as possible. The short look at previous encounters with Sontarans is well worth looking at though a bit of a missed opportunity as Shakedown and Mindgame aren’t mentioned.
A Moment In Time – The Poison Sky was a real low point in the Tenth Doctor’s reign. It had so much going for it; the return of Martha Jones, U.N.I.T. is re-introduced and there was something creepy in the basement of a factory but it lacked the drama and seriousness needed for a Sontaran adventure. The humour element stifled the drama and it left me totally cold. This piece does big up the story a it too much though the guide to the new U.N.I.T. family is a nice touch.
50 Years Of Doctor Who – We’re still in 1966 and a time of change for the TV series. William Hartnell’s departure was announced and Patrick Troughton’s appointment I confirmed as well as a new radio series starring cinematic Doctor Peter Cushing is proposed. This was also the year the first regeneration sequence occurred and the Cybermen appeared. Elsewhere Star Trek started in America (wonder what happened to that show?), the gritty TV drama Cathy Come Home aired and Walt Disney died of lung cancer.
Doctor Who Universe – “Terrible Transformations” looks at mutants in Doctor Who and how, more recently CGI has helped realise these monsters. Though some classic designs such as The Fendahleen, Mawdryn and giant maggots are mentioned, this section relies heavily on the new series. Maybe a follow up separating both runs would help uncover more.
Myths And Mysteries – More unanswered questions are put to the clever bods at the magazine and this time its all about this episode including, “Why does the Doctor treat U.N.I.T. so badly”, and “Why doesn’t the Cordolaine Signal cause explosive misfires?”
Who People – This is a quick look at Billie Piper’s part in the resurrection of the series. I’d forgotten how far ahead her casting was announced and the hysteria that came with it. Piper was a revelation, a ballsy companion that was perfect for Eccleston’s Doctor and love interest for Tennant’s.
Though I didn’t like the way the Sontarans were written for their design was very impressive, especially the make up and this figurine captures the facial expression perfectly. The texture of the costume looks spot on with the colouring adding just the right amount of detail.
Next issue is the Tenth Doctor but will it be as well-designed as the Sontaran?