Unnatural Born Killers

Goofs: The Sontarans are depicted here as being over six feet tall, which is rather inconsistent with their television appearances, even The Two Doctors.

Continuity: Kroton has been on the planet long enough to have made friends. It is implied [and confirmed in The Company of Thieves] that he has had some upgrades since his last appearance; he can recharge using solar energy and is faster and more athletic than he appeared to be in the past. He can't remember his life before he became a Cyberman, or his real name, but he has brief flashes of imagery from the past, including a woman's face. He has become something of a champion of the underdog, defending the helpless against oppressors like the Sontarans, partly because he knows he's been responsible for slaughter as a Cyberman in the past. He has information about the Sontarans in his data logs and is capable of reprogramming their ship's main computer core to cause the ship to self-destruct.

The Sontarans use a tank for land warfare. They arrive on the planet in a warship, prompting Kroton to hypothesize that they are planning to colonize it. The full scale Sontaran invasion force remains sleeping naked in tanks until the soldiers are needed. Sontaran warships transmit a constant bio-energy feed to their ground troops; they vomit slime and collapse and die when the feed is stopped.

The planet is unnamed, but has humanoid inhabitants [according to writer/artist Adrian Salmon's commentary on the strip in the reprint volume The Glorious Dead, they are called Glyphs, since they are visually based on Egyptian hieroglyphs].

Links: Kroton last appeared in Ship of Fools some nineteen years earlier. This strip serves to reintroduce in readiness for his next appearance in The Company of Thieves. The Sontarans appeared on television in The Time Warrior, The Sontaran Experiment, The Invasion of Time, and The Two Doctors. They've appeared in numerous books and comic strips since, and first appeared in Marvel's Doctor Who comic strip in the back-up strip The Final Quest.

Location: An unnamed planet, date unknown [some time after Ship of Fools].

The Bottom Line: Kroton returns after nearly two decades, safe in the affectionate hands of Cyberman fan Adrian Salmon, who manages to make him visually more impressive whilst remaining true to the work of original Kroton artist Steve Dillon. According to Salmon's commentary (see above), he's based here on Marvel's Luke Cage: Power Man, which works extremely well and sets things up for developments in the main Doctor Who strip, which at the time of this strip was mysteriously interrupted. All would become clear. This is the first strip which Salmon writes in addition to illustrating, and because he knows what he wants to draw, the result is fast-paced, dynamic, and hugely entertaining; it turns out that his Sontarans are just as striking as his Cybermen.

Discontinuity Guide by Paul Clarke

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