[Doctor Who] S04E04: The Sontaran Stratagem and S04E05: The Poison Sky

IMDb link: The Sontaran Stratagem

IMDb link: The Poison Sky

Watch Date: 2019-05-12

Watched on: Amazon India Prime Video

Notes:

  • These episodes made me think that the Sontarans were new monsters created for NuWho; and not brought forward from ClassicWho like the Daleks and the Cybermen. I don’t know if that makes them well written, or if the episode just hit origin story tropes that I’m now primed for. But anyhow.
  • So… the story is kind of nonsense. Lots of Macguffin and technobabble. But the premise is interesting as hell – not just in its own right, but because it seems like 2018 anxieties, addressed in 2008. That’s some prescience.
  • Rattigan seems very Elon Musk / Mark Zuckerberg stereotype. Who even was hitting those stereotypes in 2008? Zuckerberg wasn’t yet that famous (or considered that inhuman); and Page and Brin were also off their initial hype.
  • But more than that, villainous autonomous cars is something we worry about now, not 2008.
  • The difference, I suppose, is that these episodes seemed like they were written by somebody who didn’t like cars; or at least, that’s the impression I got from the bit at the end which is talking about people going back to walking and cycling. Whereas nowadays the anti-autonomous car move is being led by these petrolhead geniuses who are “No, we will drive ourselves and much better than any algorithm.” If those guys had been writing this, I suppose we would have seen it end with not triumphant bicycling, but triumphant classic or vintage car driving.
  • The Doctor’s “I knew you were a clone all along because you smelled different!”. Clever twist or desperate deus ex machina when the writers couldn’t come up with actual behavioural reasons? Discuss, 10 marks.
  • What a pleasure to see Martha again.
  • Spent the two parter confused about where Donna’s grandfather had been in the series before. [Answer: a minor role in Voyage of the Damned.] Went to check a wiki, and then got spoiled for later on. So it goes.
  • Still in two minds about this episode, but I enjoyed it.

 

 

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