The Last Sontaran

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07 – The Last Sontaran
The Sarah Jane Adventures story
Directed by Joss Agnew
Written by Phil Ford
Script editor Gary Russell
Produced by Nikki Smith
Executive producer(s) Russell T Davies
Julie Gardner
Production code 2.1 and 2.2
Series Series 2
Length 2 episodes, 25 minutes each
Originally broadcast 29 September 2008
← Preceded by Followed by →
The Lost Boy The Day of the Clown
List of The Sarah Jane Adventures serials

The Last Sontaran is the first story of Series 2 of The Sarah Jane Adventures and is a continuation of events from Doctor Who two-part story "The Sontaran Strategem" and "The Poison Sky"[citation needed]. The two-part story, The Last Sontaran, was broadcast on 29 September 2008; "Part One" as part of the CBBC slot on BBC One at 4.35 p.m.; "Part Two" on the CBBC Channel at 5.15 p.m.. This serial marks the departure of Maria Jackson[citation needed].


Part One[edit]

Alan Jackson (Joseph Millson) is offered a job in Washington, D.C. in the United States of America, but seeks daughter Maria's (Yasmin Paige) and ex-wife Chrissie's (Juliet Cowan) approval before he relocates himself and Maria there.

After strange lights are sighted around the Tycho Radio Tower, Sarah Jane Smith (Elisabeth Sladen), Luke Smith (Tommy Knight), Clyde Langer (Daniel Anthony) and Maria investigate. As shown in the picture, they discover Sontaran Commander Kaagh (Anthony O'Donnell), the only survivor of the Tenth Sontaran Battle Fleet which was otherwise seen to be destroyed in Doctor Who episode "The Poison Sky".[1] Kaagh plans to avenge his fleet by bringing Earth's satellites down on nuclear power plants across the world thereby wiping out all of humanity with the resultant explosions.[2]

Part Two[edit]

Failing to overpower Kaagh as he implements his plan, Sarah Jane, Luke, Clyde and Maria are saved by the arrival of Alan and Chrissie, the latter discovering the truth about Sarah Jane's alien investigations. Chrissie knocks Kaagh unconscious by jamming the high-heel of her shoe into the probic vent on the back of his neck, but an electrical charge also knocks her out and Alan and Maria think they can pass the day's events off to her as a dream. Luke is able to deactivate the computer Kaagh has rigged to ground the satellites and with his ship's weapons deactivated, Kaagh is sent back to his home planet, Sontar.

Six weeks later, Alan and Maria leave for America. Chrissie reveals to Sarah Jane that she remembers everything about the Sontaran incident.[3]


Outside references[edit]

Clyde and Luke refer to the Battle of Waterloo and the Battle of Hoth, the latter seen in The Empire Strikes Back (1980).[2][15] Sarah Jane likens the empty observatory to deserted ship the Mary Celeste.[2] Clyde likens Kaagh to Conan the Barbarian,[2] calls him "Bilbo" and accuses him of having a "little man complex".[3] When Sarah Jane asks Mr Smith if he has acquired a sense of humor since his reboot, he replies, "I will run a diagnostics check immediately" whilst playing the sound effect associated with the Book from the television adaptation of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.[citation needed][2] Chrissie refers to Sarah Jane as "Mary Jane" and "Calamity Jane".[3] When Alan tries to convince Chrissie that Maria is playing an alternate reality game, Chrissie compares it to the time they spent "looking for a golden rabbit" when they were dating, referring to Kit Williams' Masquerade.[3]



Speaking to Doctor Who Magazine, writer Phil Ford claims "we haven't seen a Sontaran like this before" and states the character "was just fantastic to write for". Ford thinks Kaagh is "the best Sontaran that we've ever seen in the Doctor Who world" and describes Anthony O'Donnell's performance as "fantastic...[making] an amazing Sontaran".[16] The Jacksons were written out as regulars in The Sarah Jane Adventures because Yasmin Paige left the series in order to focus on her GCSEs.[17]

Broadcast and reception[edit]


"Part One" was first broadcast on BBC One at 4.35 p.m. on Monday 29 September 2008[18][19] and was repeated on the CBBC Channel at 5.00 p.m. on Saturday 4 October 2008.[18] "Part Two" was first broadcast on the CBBC Channel at 5.15 p.m. on Monday 29 September 2008 and was repeated on BBC One at 4.35 p.m. on Monday 6 October 2008.[19][20] Both episodes were made available for 21 days after first broadcast on the BBC iPlayer.[21]

Overnight ratings for "Part One" of The Last Sontaran indicate that 0.7 million people (0.3 million above the average 0.4 million viewers for that time slot) watched the episode on BBC One on Monday 29 September 2008, earning it a 6.3 per cent share of the television audience. The Appreciation Index for the episode was 84 - the joint highest figure on BBC One on Monday 29 September 2008.[22]

Critical reception[edit]

Ben Rawson-Jones, Cult Editor for Digital Spy, praises The Last Sontaran for its "emotional content", but notes that "Part Two" "disappoints in the action stakes" following "Part One".[23] He argues that the title The Last Sontaran nullifies any potential suspense prior to the revelation of the Sontaran as the force behind the mysterious lights, but praises O'Donnell's performance as Kaagh as being largely responsible for making the Sontaran plot a success.[24] He views Sarah Jane's reaction to Maria's news that she is leaving as "a fascinating departure from her usual maternal role to the children" and suggests this is a result of Sarah Jane having been abandoned by the Fourth Doctor at the end of Doctor Who serial The Hand of Fear.[24][25] He claims Part Two has "[p]lenty of tension-free chase sequences function[ing] as meaningless padding and lessen[ing] the threat posed by Commander Kaagh", attributing the lack of tension to "inadequate direction."[23] He brands Clyde and Luke as "dependable as ever"[24] and the Jacksons as "endearing", the latter compensating "for [Part Two's] action failings" with Maria and Alan's departure being "well handled" and "touching" and Chrissie being "a revelation...[as] her seemingly vacuous nature has been replaced by an air of mystery."[23] Although Rawson-Jones notes "the subplot featuring the Sontaran-controlled Professor stalking his own daughter Lucy is rather disturbing for a CBBC show that airs at 4.35pm",[24] he describes the adventure as "[f]ittingly...death-free and surprisingly heartwarming."[23] However, he laments "that this wonderful show is not being shown in a timeslot when the whole family could sit down to enjoy it together."[24]

Writing for, Patrick Holm describes "Part One" as "Overall, a good start"[26] but that "Some odd gaps in logic and excess runarounds make...["Part Two"] not as effective as it could have been."[27] Holm expresses surprise at the lack of references to the "literally world-shaking events" of Doctor Who episode "Journey's End" which precedes this story chronologically and which saw a Dalek invasion of Earth and Sarah Jane, Luke and Mr Smith helping to defeat them and return Earth to its rightful place in space.[28] However, he states Ford's script for "Part One" is "enjoyable" and praises its mixing of "old and new Who mythologies" with its many "other references back to the parent series [Doctor Who]". He also praises Ford for "giving the Sontarans a few new tricks" and notes that the effects in "Part One" indicate that the budget for The Sarah Jane Adventures has been increased. Whilst praising Knight and Langer for being "much more fluid in their movements", Holm does not share Rawson-Jones's appreciation for the emotional scenes in "Part One" regarding Maria's departure and claims they lack "the resonance you might expect."[26] Holm does state, however, that "[t]he scenes regarding Maria’s departure are handled better...[in "Part Two"], even if some of the closing scene platitudes are a little vomit-inducing." He cites as examples of weaknesses in "Part Two"; the ease with which Kaagh is fooled by the children; and the incredible luck Clyde has when Sarah Jane and Luke happen to be on the other side of a locked door in order to let him in thus saving him from Kaagh. He is also critical of the reuse of the threat of "something being brought crashing down to overused plot last season" and observes that an "end of season rematch with Kaarg is unsubtly telegraphed". However, he does states that "[t]here are some good moments [in "Part Two"], particularly as Chrissie Jackson gets more character development in one 30-second scene than she had in most of [Series One]".[27]

Holm likens Sarah Jane's gang to Mystery, Inc. from Scooby-Doo and sees Kaagh as "a character somewhere between the sadistic Styre from The Sontaran Experiment and General Staal in "The Sonataran Stratagem"."[9][10][26] Both Rawson-Jones and Holm view Kaagh's cloaking abilities as a "homage" to "'80s action classic" Predator (1987).[24][26][29]


The Last Sontaran
Author Phil Ford
Series The Sarah Jane Adventures #7
Published 6 November 2008
Penguin Books
Pages 128
ISBN 1405905093
Preceded by The Lost Boy
Followed by The Day of the Clown

This was the seventh of eleven Sarah Jane Adventures serials to be adapted as a novel. Written by Phil Ford, the book was first published in Paperback on 6 November 2008.[30]


  1. ^ a b c d Writer Helen Raynor, Director Douglas Mackinnon, Producer Susie Liggat (2008-05-03). "The Poison Sky". Doctor Who. BBC. BBC One. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Writer Phil Ford, Director Joss Agnew, Producer Nikki Smith (2008-09-29). "Part One". The Last Sontaran. The Sarah Jane Adventures. BBC. BBC One. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Writer Phil Ford, Director Joss Agnew, Producer Nikki Smith (2008-09-29). "Part Two". The Last Sontaran. The Sarah Jane Adventures. Cardiff. BBC. CBBC Channel. 
  4. ^ a b Writers Gareth Roberts, Russell T Davies, Director Colin Teague, Producer Susie Liggat (2007-01-01). "Invasion of the Bane". The Sarah Jane Adventures. Cardiff. BBC. BBC One. 
  5. ^ Writer Gareth Roberts, Director Alice Troughton, Producer Matthew Bouch (2007-09-24). Revenge of the Slitheen. The Sarah Jane Adventures. Cardiff. BBC. BBC One, CBBC Channel. 
  6. ^ a b c Writer Phil Ford, Director Charles Martin, Producer Matthew Bouch (12–19 November 2007). The Lost Boy. The Sarah Jane Adventures. Cardiff. BBC. CBBC Channel. 
  7. ^ a b c Writer Phil Ford, Director Alice Troughton, Producer Matthew Bouch (1–8 October 2007). Eye of the Gorgon. The Sarah Jane Adventures. Cardiff. BBC. CBBC Channel. 
  8. ^ a b Writer Gareth Roberts, Director Graeme Harper, Producer Matthew Bouch (29 October – 5 November 2007). Whatever Happened to Sarah Jane?. The Sarah Jane Adventures. Cardiff. BBC. CBBC Channel. 
  9. ^ a b c Writer Helen Raynor, Director Douglas Mackinnon, Producer Susie Liggat (2008-04-26). "The Sontaran Stratagem". Doctor Who. Cardiff. BBC. BBC One. 
  10. ^ a b c Writers Bob Baker, Dave Martin, Director Rodney Bennett, Producer Philip Hinchcliffe (22 February – 1 March 1975). The Sontaran Experiment. Doctor Who. London. BBC. BBC1. 
  11. ^ Writer Robert Holmes, Director Peter Moffatt, Producer John Nathan-Turner (16 February – 2 March 1985). The Two Doctors. Doctor Who. London. BBC. BBC1. 
  12. ^ Writer Robert Holmes, Director Alan Bromly, Producer Barry Letts (15 December 1973 – 5 January 1974). The Time Warrior. Doctor Who. London. BBC. BBC One. 
  13. ^ Writer Phil Gladwin, Director Charles Martin, Producer Matthew Bouch (15–22 October 2007). Warriors of Kudlak. The Sarah Jane Adventures. Cardiff. BBC. CBBC Channel. 
  14. ^ "Alien Objects". BBC. 2008-10-06. Retrieved 2008-10-07. 
  15. ^ Writers Leigh Brackett, Lawrence Kasdan (screenplay), George Lucas (story), Director Irvin Kershner, Producers Gary Kurtz, George Lucas, Rick McCallum (Special Edition) (1980-05-21). The Empire Strikes Back. 
  16. ^ Rawson-Jones, Ben (2008-09-30). "'Sarah Jane' writer hails "best" Sontaran". Digital Spy. Retrieved 2008-10-01. 
  17. ^ Berriman, Ian (2008-08-29). "New Rani interviewed!". SFX. Retrieved 2008-09-04. 
  18. ^ a b "The Last Sontaran - Part 1". BBC. 2008-09-29. Retrieved 2008-09-29. 
  19. ^ a b "The Sarah Jane Adventures series two: Broadcast details". BBC. 2008-09-09. Retrieved 2008-10-06. 
  20. ^ "The Last Sontaran - Part 2". BBC. 2008-09-29. Retrieved 2008-09-29. 
  21. ^ "The Sarah Jane Adventures". BBC. 2008-10-06. Retrieved 2008-10-06. 
  22. ^ "The Last Sontaran Part One - Overnight Ratings". The Doctor Who News Page. 2008-09-30. Archived from the original on 2008-07-13. Retrieved 2008-10-07. 
  23. ^ a b c d Rawson-Jones, Ben (2008-09-29). "'Sarah Jane': The Lost Sontaran - Part Two". Digital Spy. Retrieved 2008-09-29. 
  24. ^ a b c d e f Rawson-Jones, Ben (2008-09-29). "'Sarah Jane': The Lost Sontaran - Part One". Digital Spy. Retrieved 2008-09-29. 
  25. ^ Writers Bob Baker, Dave Martin, Director Lennie Mayne, Producer Philip Hinchcliffe (1976-10-23). "Part Four". The Hand of Fear. Doctor Who. London. BBC. BBC1. 
  26. ^ a b c d Holm, Patrick (2008-09-30). "The Sarah Jane Adventures: The Last Sontaran Part 1 (series 2, episode 1)". Retrieved 2010-07-05. 
  27. ^ a b Holm, Patrick (2008-09-30). "The Sarah Jane Adventures: The Last Sontaran Part 2 (series 2, episode 2)". Retrieved 2010-05-17. 
  28. ^ Writer Russell T Davies, Director Graeme Harper, Producer Phil Collinson (2008-07-05). "Journey's End". Doctor Who. Cardiff. BBC. BBC One. 
  29. ^ Writers Jim Thomas, John Thomas, Director John McTiernan, Producers Joel Silver, Lawrence Gordon, John Davis (1987-06-12). Predator. 
  30. ^ "The Last Sontaran ("Sarah Jane Adventures 7") [Paperback]". Retrieved 17 December 2011. 

External links[edit]