A Life Of Fiction CXVI

For those of you new to this WordPress site, this site is about me and my writing – and a little about my role-playing, as well. It gives readers a chance to sample my work before purchasing it on the Kindle store; and gives me the chance to say a little about the genesis of each novel, or about the process of writing in general.

 

The reduction of the Sontarans: I don’t normally talk about Doctor Who, as that is not really what this blog is about, and there are fanatical Whovians who are far more knowledgeable than I on the subject. However, just as a change of pace, for this post I think that I will discuss the matter of the reduction of the Sontarans. Normal service will be resumed on the next post, when I will return to trying to explain how I go about my writing.

For those who don’t know the Sontarans are one of the alien races of Doctor Who. I think that they first appeared in the 1970s. I know that the Pertwee Doctor faced them, although I am not enough of a Whovian to know whether he was the first Doctor to face them or not: I have seen only very few of the Patrick Troughton stories, and only a couple of the first Doctor.

The Sontarans are a warrior race (please, any Whovians out there, if I get any details wrong, leave me a message and I will correct any errata on this post – I am writing all this from memory). They are stocky, coming from a world with much higher gravity than Earth. They do not really have a neck. They are bald. They wear silver-grey armour. They can all be knocked out by hitting a spot on the back of their heads (which means that they must face their enemies). They have been fighting a galactic war with their enemies for millennia. Oh, and they are all clones.

The Sontarans were never the most fearsome of Doctor Who’s enemies. The ones which I was always mot scared of, as a hiding-behind-the-sofa kid, were the Daleks, utterly ruthless in their neo-Nazism. But the Sontarans were an effective enemy for the Doctor. You couldn’t have the Daleks every week, after all.

Like many of the old monsters from pre-relaunch Doctor Who the Sontarans were re-introduced into the new adventures of the Doctor (I’m still waiting for the Krynoid, a monster I found really scary). The first story featuring them was not bad. But the Sontarans looked a little bit diminished, if you don’t mind me using that word. They looked a lot shorter than before.

Perhaps the reasoning was that, if the Sontarans came from a high gravity home world, that they should be shorter than humans. But a short enemy is hardly ever as scary as a tall one. Also, shouldn’t they be the same height as the Sontarans of the past, if they are all clones? Or has something gone wrong with the cloning procedure? I think that we ought to know.

The Sontarans, also, are now in danger of becoming almost a figure of fun, due to the belittling of the companion of the Silurian, Victorian adventuress, Madame Vastra (I think that is her name). That Sontaran – I can’t recall his name, and don’t feel like digging the DVD out, at the moment – has even been reduced to being a nurse, at one stage. I’m not sure whether it is in the best interests of the show to reduce one of the Doctor’s former foes to comic material. I want the Sontarans to be tall, evil, and a threat.

Anyway, that is enough of a rant for the moment. Back to gas-lamp fantasy next post; back to my writing.

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