Doctor Who: The Sontaran Experiment (Story #77)

4.5 Overall Score
Story: 4/10
Acting: 6/10
Visuals: 5/10

The Sontaran part of the story

Not enough content for the story


I like balls!

The Doctor (Tom Baker), Sarah Jane (Elisabeth Sladen), and Harry Sullivan (Ian Marter) travel to Earth from the Nerva Space Station and find astronauts being menaced by an alien force.  When a Sontaran named Styre is revealed to be on the planet, the Doctor must find a way to stop Styre’s experiment on the astronauts and head off a potential invasion.

Doctor Who:  The Sontaran Experiment aired during the twelfth season of Doctor Who.  It was only a two part series broadcast on February 22, 1975 and March 1, 1975.  It followed Doctor Who:  The Ark in Space and was collected in The Tom Baker Years collection as Story #77.

This is a short, short series.  The reason is that The Sontaran Experiment was initially meant to be part of Doctor Who:  The Ark in Space as a six part series.  Allegedly due to budget cutbacks, it was forced to shrink the budget of The Ark in Space and The Sontaran Experiment was allowed to have on location shots as a result.  To save money, the Sontaran was the enemy again since they already had the costume (which also sets up the great idea all Sontarans are identical and they see differences as disgusting).


You are trapped in my rope snare thing…how do you like that?!

The story for this one is also pretty weak.  The dramatic “fall down the crevasse” scenes for two characters is really pushing it.  The robot also doesn’t work and seems unnecessary.  There is some fun at the end once the Sontaran becomes involved, but the almost the whole first segment of the story is not very interesting.  When you only have two segments and the first segment is weak, you’re in trouble.  I kept expecting more from this story and it never happened.

I like the Sontarans and was pretty disappointed in Doctor Who: The Sontaran Experiment.  With so many Doctor Who choices for viewers, this isn’t one that is going to win over viewers.  I do like that it really flows with Doctor Who:  The Ark in Space and the events at the end of the episode also affect the next Doctor Who story (which is much better) Doctor Who:  Genesis of the Daleks.

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Preceded By:

Doctor Who:  The Ark in Space (Story #76)

Followed By:

Doctor Who:  Genesis of the Daleks (Story #78)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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