Doctor Who (2005– )
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The Sontaran Stratagem 

UNIT's newest recruit Martha Jones enlists The Doctor's help to investigate kid genius Luke Rattigan and his ATMOS system that is used in every car on Earth.


Douglas Mackinnon


Helen Raynor, Robert Holmes (character: "The Sontarans")




Episode complete credited cast:
David Tennant ... The Doctor
Catherine Tate ... Donna Noble
Freema Agyeman ... Martha Jones
Bernard Cribbins ... Wilfred Mott
Jacqueline King ... Sylvia Noble
Ryan Sampson ... Luke Rattigan
Rupert Holliday-Evans ... Colonel Mace (as Rupert Holliday Evans)
Christopher Ryan ... General Staal
Dan Starkey ... Commander Skorr
Eleanor Matsuura ... Jo Nakashima
Clive Standen ... Private Harris
Wesley Theobald ... Private Gray
Christian Cooke ... Ross Jenkins
Radoslaw Kaim ... Worker (as Rad Kaim)
Elizabeth Rider ... Atmos Voice (voice) (as Elizabeth Ryder)


The Doctor gets a call from onetime traveling companion Martha Jones with a request that he return to Earth immediately. She and the military have taken over the ATMOS plant and she needs his help after 52 people around the world all died simultaneously. All had the ATMOS anti-pollution device fitted on their cars so the military has raided the factory believing it to be controlled by aliens. The Doctor learns that the Sontarans are planning to take over the Earth. They take Martha prisoner and she is cloned. Donna meanwhile misses her family and decides to pay them a visit. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


TV-PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »


Release Date:

16 May 2008 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

BBC Wales See more »
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Technical Specs


| (50 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital (Dolby 5.1)
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Did You Know?


This episode takes place in 2009. See more »


When Donna returns home there are no cars visible as she spots Wilfred but when she runs towards him she passes a car on the left side of the street. See more »


Luke Rattigan: [talking to unidentified being over a comms channel] Her name is Jo Nakashima. Freelance journalist. Clever by the sound of it; not as clever as me, but that goes without saying. I... recommend... termination.
General Staal: Remember your status boy. We do not take orders from humans.
Luke Rattigan: I said: recommend.
General Staal: Then your advice shows military wisdom. She will be terminated.
Luke Rattigan: [short breathy laugh] Cool!
See more »


Featured in Doctor Who Confidential: Sontar-Ha! (2008) See more »


Doctor Who Closing Credits
Written by Ron Grainer
Performed by BBC National Orchestra of Wales
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User Reviews

Surprisingly good opening part to the Sontarans' return
26 April 2008 | by ametaphysicalsharkSee all my reviews

I was among those not impressed with Helen Raynor's Dalek two-parter from Series 3, but "The Sontraran Stratagem", the opening part to her two-part story which sees the return of classic Doctor Who villains the Sontarans, is surprisingly effective and exciting.

The episode has a nice humorous tinge to its opening scenes and it is absolutely brilliant to see the Doctor's interaction with UNIT once again. The Sontarans themselves also look quite good and their storyline is handled reasonably well.

The trailer for next week's episode left me cold and a tad bit concerned rather than excited, with another really outlandish Earth invasion sort of thing apparently slated to happen. During Pertwee's era of Earth-bound stories at least everything happened under wraps. However, considering how surprised I was with this episode, next week's could be impressive as well.

I very much enjoyed Bernard Cribbins' character again. I think I like Donna's family more than Rose's or Martha's family, although I honestly could do without Sylvia Noble (Donna's mother's) cartoonish 'comic relief', which contrasted badly with the well-delivered and occasionally clever one-liners Raynor came up with.

I doubt this story will end up not being my least favorite Sontaran story, but it's already looking like it'll finish a not so distant loser, and considering the competition from classics like "The Time Warrior" and "The Sontaran Experiment", it's not really much of an insult.

7/10 for this first part, and what a cliffhanger (I sure do miss those).

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