The Sontaran Experiment


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The Sontaran Experiment

Serial Code


First Transmitted

22 February 1975

Final Ratings







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Regular Cast

Tom Baker (Doctor Who), Elisabeth Sladen (Sarah Jane Smith), Ian Marter (Harry Sullivan)

Guest Cast

Donald Douglas (Vural), Glyn Jones (Krans), Peter Walshe (Erak), Kevin Lindsay (Styre / Styre and The Marshal)*, Peter Rutherford (Roth), Terry Walsh (Zake) [1], Brian Ellis (Prisoner) [2].


Written by Bob Baker And Dave Martin
Directed by Rodney Bennett
Produced by Philip Hinchcliffe


Earth 10, 000 years hence and life has been extinguished – or has it? The Doctor, Sarah Jane and Harry find themselves in the Piccadilly Circus of the future where the mysterious alien in the rocks rules. Then The Doctor bumps into an old enemy… and finds himself part of a lethal experiment…


  • Working titles for this story included The Destructors.
  • Although the serial was the third to feature Baker, it was actually the second shot, hence the out-of-sequence production code.
  • This was only the second serial in the history of Doctor Who (the first being 1970’s Spearhead from Space) to be shot entirely on location, in this case on Dartmoor.
  • However, unlike Spearhead from Space and the location material for other serials, the production was mounted entirely on videotape using an Outside Broadcast unit, rather than on film as was more usual for the time.
  • During shooting, lead actor Tom Baker broke his collarbone. However, because part of his costume was a large scarf, he could conceal the neck brace he had to wear following the injury. For action scenes, he was doubled by regular stunt performer Terry Walsh, shot from several face-concealing angles.
  • This was the first two-part serial to be broadcast since 1965’s The Rescue and the last until 1982’s Black Orchid.
  • This was the first story to contain no interior scenes.
    Glyn Jones, who played the astronaut Krans, wrote the First Doctor serial The Space Museum.
  • Kevin Lindsay makes his last Doctor Who appearances, playing Styre and the Sontaran Marshal. He died not long afterwards as a result of a long-standing heart condition.
  • All the Galsec astronauts have what sound like South African accents, implying a regional accent that these colonies have developed.
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