Doctor Who Reviews: The Sontaran Experiment
I have previously complained that 6 parters generally don’t work in Doctor Who. The Sontaran Experiment is on the other end of the spectrum. It’s a two parter in Tom Baker’s first season as the Doctor.
And while modern Who has shown that it’s more than able to cram a lot of plot and action into a 45 – 50 minute show, Classic Who has a much more sedate pace. So when it comes to plot, this one is pretty minimal.
Basically a Sontaran is conducting experiments on a group of humans. And the Doctor stops him. The end. Well… in between he and his companions make a habit of falling down things.
There’s really nothing in the way of sub-plots or character development for anyone here. None of the human crew really stand out at all much.
Even the Sontarans don’t get explored. In fact they’re basically just presented as aliens we should already know about (because they’ve appeared once before.)
On a more positive note, the fact this was shot entirely on location is refreshing and the Sontaran makeup is very sophisticated for it’s time including even a moving mouth.
I also like the general portrayal of Sontarans here much more than I do in nuWho. Yes they’re still rather stupid and easily tricked but they do seem legitimately dangerous rather than just a punchline.
All in all though this one is eminently missable and one of the weaker stories in this particular season.