15 December 1973
Nicholas Courtney (Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart), Kevin Lindsay (Linx), Donald Pelmear (Professor Rubeish), David Daker (Irongron), John J. Carney (Bloodaxe), June Brown (Eleanor), Alan Rowe (Edward of Wessex), Jeremy Bulloch (Hal), Sheila Fay (Meg), Gordon Pitt (Eric), Steve Brunswick (Sentry) 
|Written by||Robert Holmes|
|Directed by||Alan Bromly|
|Produced by||Barry Letts|
A spacecraft crashes near the castle of a robber baron in the Middle Ages, and the Sontaran Warrior within needs help with its repair. Unable to obtain the technical expertise he requires, he ventures forward in time to the 20th century and begins kidnapping scientists.
This attracts the attention of UNIT and the Doctor, who follows the trail back through time, unknowingly taking a young stowaway with him…
- This episode marks a number of firsts: the first appearance of both Sarah Jane Smith and the Sontarans; the first mention of the name Gallifrey, in reference to the Doctor’s home planet; and the first appearance of several actors who would later reappear in other stories, including Kevin Lindsay and David Daker. It also marks the first appearance of a new opening credits sequence and a new diamond-shaped logo.
- Sarah Jane states her age as 23. Given later statements in the spin-off The Sarah Jane Adventures, Sarah Jane was born in 1951, thereby retroactively suggesting that this story is set near the time of original transmission.
- In the Target novelization of The Time Warrior, a prologue written by Robert Holmes, contains 10 pages involving Lynx at war with a group of Rutan Fighters. Pages 9 & 16 gives the full name of the Sontaran, Jingo Linx. The Sontaran home planet is named Sontara on pages 10, 11, 15 & 16. It also suggests that The Earth had never been surveyed, which would eventually happen in the following Sontaran story The Sontaran Experiment.
- The Sontarans would reappear in the Fourth Doctor serials The Sontaran Experiment and The Invasion of Time, as well as the Sixth Doctor serial The Two Doctors (the Third Doctor’s familiarity with the race would resolve with his second incarnation’s encounter with them in that serial), and the Tenth Doctor story “The Sontaran Strategem”/”The Poison Sky”. They have also appeared in several episodes of The Sarah Jane Adventures; a Jim’ll Fix It special, A Fix with Sontarans; and spin-off videos, Shakedown: Return of the Sontarans, Do You Have A License To Save This Planet?, and Mindgame.
- The events of this episode and The Sontaran Experiment are referenced in The Sarah Jane Adventures serial, Eye of the Gorgon and more explicitly in the Fifth Doctor audio story Castle of Fear.
Working titles for this story included The Time Fugitive and The Time Survivor.
- The original outline for the serial was humorously submitted to the production office in the form of a “Field report from Sontaran Field Marshal Hol Mes, to Terran Cedicks”.
- Location shooting of both Wessex Castle and Irongron’s castle was done at Peckforton Castle, in Cheshire, utilising different views.
- This story introduces a new opening sequence that includes a slit-scan “time tunnel” effect. It also introduces a new, diamond-shaped logo which, like the time tunnel sequence, remains in use until 1980. Beginning with this story, individual episodes are listed as Part One, Two etc. This replaces the previous system of calling them Episode One, Two, etc., as established in 1966 with The Savages. Individual episodes are called Parts until the series end in 1989, apart from 1979’s Destiny of the Daleks, which listed them as Episodes.
- Reissued with Bred for War but no changes to cover or special features.
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