The Sontaran Stratagem
Roots: There are references to Guantanamo Bay, Humpty Dumpty, Michael Palin, and the Hitler Youth.
Goofs: If Jo Nakashima knows ATMOS is dangerous why does she have one in her car? And how is ATMOS able to override the car's steering wheel, gearstick, ignition, and locks when there is no reason for it to be connected to any of these systems?
Martha says that the ATMOS victims were poisoned and then immediately says there were no toxins in their system. So how does she know it was poison?
Sontarans are a clone species who don't have sexes and don't appear to have children. So why does Staal talk about toy soldiers being the playthings of children and deride “womenfolk”?
How does the Doctor know that the Sontarans are stopping bullets? And on that point, the method described would likely cause the guns to explode, rather than just jam.
Why do UNIT (A UN agency) have to follow the rules for government vehicles?
Why do the Sontarans need to hypnotise the workforce? And how does this prevent them from taking sick days and allow them to work 24 hours a day without dropping dead?
Why does the ATMOS device in the UNIT Jeep do the opposite of the Doctor's instructions, rather than ignoring them as it claimed it was programmed to do?
How did Wilf have Spanish Flu? That's the name for the flu pandemic of 1918-19, not the name of an identifiable disease.
Donna and a UNIT soldier both say that the ATMOS gas is in every single car on the planet, when it's been firmly established that it's only in half of them.
Technobabble: Cordolaine signal.
Dialogue Triumphs: Rattigan: How... do you tell each other apart?
Staal: We say the same of humans.
Continuity: The Doctor is teaching Donna to fly the TARDIS. He is technically still on UNIT staff.
Martha is engaged to Tom Milligan a paediatric doctor. UNIT rushed through the completion of her training due to her field experience. She has security clearance level one.
Sylvia has a new mortgage. Wilf (named here for the first time) missed Donna's wedding (The Runaway Bride) because of Spanish flu. When Donna was little her family called her “the little general” because of her bossiness. At one point she used to go through a different boy every week. One of them wore nail varnish and later started living in Kilburn with a man.
The Sontarans weren't allowed to be part of the Time War. They have a battle cry of Sontar-ha, which they combine with a fist-pumping motion. They have the technology to prevent bullets from firing and to block radio signals.
UNIT have been renamed the Unified Intelligence Taskforce for some reason. There's a UNIT file for Sontarans [Probably from Sarah and Harry reporting back about The Time Warrior and The Sontaran Experiment.]
ATMOS stands for ATMospheric Omission System. It eliminates CO2 emissions, provides sat-nav, and gies £20 in shopping vouchers if you introduce a friend. It has been installed in 400 million cars worldwide (approximately 50% of all cars). It is also a secret delivery system for a dangerous gas, hidden in a dimensional pocket. Its molecular conversion technology is centuries too advanced for the time period.
The Doctor plans to take Donna to the Fifteenth Broken Moon of the Medusa Cascade, the Lightning Skies of Cotter Palluni's World, and the Diamond Coral Reefs of Kataa Flo Ko.
Rattigan is a child genius who became a millionaire by inventing the Fountain Six search engine, and has founded the Rattigan Academy – where handpicked young geniuses from around the world work on advanced technology. Their projects include single molecule fabrics,gravity simulators, terraforming technology, biospheres, and nano-tech steel construction.
Links: There are several references to Martha's departure (Last of the Time Lords). The Doctor's comment about Donna and Martha possibly fighting is a callback to School Reunion. UNIT are still using the greyhound and trap callsigns (see many Pertwee stories) and the Tower of London headquarters (The Christmas Invasion). Donna gets flashbacks to Partners in Crime, The Fires of Pompeii, and Planet of the Ood). Wilf mentions Voyage of the Damned, Sylvia mentions The Runaway Bride.
Staal mention of the Doctor being an historic enemy of the Sontarans in multiple incarnations. This must be referring to The Invasion of Time, The Two Doctors, or unrecorded adventures.
Extras: This episode had an episode of Doctor Who: Confidential.
Location: London, 2009.
The Bottom Line: 'Sontarans. But there's got to be more to it.' A solid start to the two-parter. It's nice to see the TV series finally do a Sontaran story that features an entire Sontaran army.