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The Last Sontaran (TV story)

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The Last Sontaran
KaaghScreams
Novelised as: The Last Sontaran
Main character(s): Sarah Jane, Maria, Luke, Clyde, Mr Smith
Featuring: Alan, Chrissie
Main enemy: Commander Kaagh, Nicholas Skinner
Main setting: Goblin's Copse, Buckinghamshire, 2009, Ealing, London, 2009
Key crew
Writer: Phil Ford
Director: Joss Agnew
Producer: Nikki Smith
Release details
Story number: 7
Season/series: 2
Premiere broadcast: 29 September-6 October 2008
Format: 2x30 minute episodes
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The Last Sontaran was the first story of the second series of The Sarah Jane Adventures. In it, Maria Jackson left the regular cast, along with her father Alan, who received a job offer in America. He left the decision of moving away up to Maria, who supported him to take the new job. Notably, it acted as a sequel to the Doctor Who episode, The Poison Sky, dealing with the consequences of the Tenth Doctor's battle with the Tenth Sontaran Battle Fleet.

This episode featured the last appearance of Chrissie Jackson, who would become directly involved in the alien dealings of Sarah Jane's life. Now that her family was leaving for America, she stopped paying visits to Bannerman Road and went back to her life with Ivan. Although Sarah Jane, her friends, and the other Jacksons had been trying to uphold the secret, she finally learned the truth for herself and promised to keep it guarded.

Synopsis

Reports of strange lights around the Tycho Project's radio telescope lead Sarah Jane, Luke, Clyde and Maria into a terrifying forest encounter. Sarah Jane comes face-to-face with her oldest enemy. Meanwhile, Maria wrestles with a huge decision when her dad is offered a new job in America.

Plot

Part 1

Sarah Jane and Maria discuss the experiences they have shared since Maria's arrival in Bannerman Road. They watch the night sky as they look forward to many more discoveries.

In rural Goblin's Copse, at a radio telescope used in the Tycho Project's search for alien life, Lucy Skinner and her astronomer dad, Professor Nicholas Skinner, also watch the night sky. They spot strange lights floating about. Professor Skinner investigates, but goes missing. Lucy investigates, and is promptly captured.

The next day, Luke and Clyde play a strategy game with Mr Smith to learn about battle strategies. Sarah Jane interrupts. She had heard reports of the strange lights the previous night. Despite Mr Smith's assurances that strange lights rarely herald alien activity, she pursues the story.

Maria and Alan have received an important letter, but have found that the implications are far larger than they imagined and will cause an imminent major change in their lives. Alan tells Maria the decision is not just his to make.

Sarah Jane, Clyde, Luke and Maria head to the countryside to investigate. They arrive at Goblin's Copse and discuss the size of space. They are watched by something. Inside, the team finds Lucy, who tells them that her dad is still missing. Luke and Clyde look outside for the professor after Sarah warns them to stay away from the woods. As the boys search the woods, the creature watching them becomes invisible.

While Lucy sleeps, Sarah Jane decides to ask Maria what is troubling her after noticing some unusual behaviour, and Maria reveals that Alan has been offered a job in America, at the head office of his firm. Maria is ambivalent about the news; she is happy for her dad but sad that she must leave her friends behind. Sarah Jane closes herself off from Maria, telling her she's happy for her, but is clearly upset.

At his house, Alan discusses the job with Chrissie and how it will change Maria's life more than his.

In the woods, Clyde and Luke hear a noise. A Sontaran, armed with a gun, reveals himself and chases them. The boys lose him, but come across a cloaked object.

Kaagh chasing luke and clyde

Kaagh chasing Luke and Clyde

When Lucy wakes up, Sarah Jane persuades her to recall the events of the previous night. Professor Skinner appears, though he seems strangely detached and unemotional. He orders Sarah Jane and Maria to leave immediately, which they do. Lucy makes him some coffee and he approaches her strangely.

Luke calls Sarah Jane and when she and Maria arrive, he and Clyde show them the object. When the cloaking field is disabled, Sarah Jane immediately recognises the Sontaran ship. Its Sontaran occupant, Commander Kaagh, appears behind them, armed.

Maria tricks Kaagh and the group escape, splitting up, with Kaagh chasing them. Sarah Jane and Clyde attempt to reason with Professor Skinner. They find his mind is controlled by the Sontaran. Outside the observatory, Luke and Maria crawl into a vent that leads into the building.

Maria and Luke watch from the vent while Kaagh and Sarah Jane talk. He says he was badly wounded when the Tenth Doctor defeated the Sontaran army. As the only survivor of the botched invasion, he has vowed revenge on Earth for his peoples' humiliation. He reveals his plan to use the Tycho radio telescope to take control of Earth's satellites, and steer them to crash into nuclear stockpiles on Earth, triggering nuclear annihilation.

Clyde protests, so Kaagh says he will experiment on him. Sarah Jane steps in front of Clyde, defying Kaagh. He pulls out his gun and shoots her.

Part 2

Kaagh shoots Sarah Jane. She sprawls unconscious on the floor. He boasts to Clyde she will be taken to Sontar as a prize and he will be hailed as a hero instead of a laughingstock. Perhaps he will be given a more honourable epithet, like "Kaagh the Avenger".

Luke and Maria, hidden in a nearby vent, watch the scene unfold. They catch Clyde's attention and motion for him to join them.

Sarah Jane awakens to find she is in a store room with Lucy Skinner. Kaagh has taken her sonic lipstick. Undeterred, Lucy and she start to build a device to jam the satellite. Aware that Kaagh will detect it, they plan to escape when he comes to investigate.

Luke, Maria and Clyde provoke Kaagh into chasing them through the observatory's corridors and service tunnels. The teens escape into the forest and block Kaagh's exit. They run to his shuttle, where Luke uses the chemicals stored there to synthesise a knockout gas to incapacitate the Sontaran. He sets off the intruder alarm. Knowing it will bring Kaagh, Clyde goes to distract him. As Luke works, Maria tells him about the upcoming move which leaves him upset, but Maria reminds him it won't matter if Kaagh succeeds.

21 (2)

Maria tells Luke she's moving to America.

Sarah Jane activates her new invention; just as she expected, Skinner comes to find it. Sarah Jane and Lucy sneak out, locking Skinner in the room, and try to figure out how to disarm the satellites. They let Clyde in by the same door Luke, Maria and Clyde escaped through earlier, just in time to save him from Kaagh, whom they lock out. Kaagh enters through the main door, breaks down the door to the room Skinner was locked in and rages at him.

Maria, uncertain Luke will synthesise the gas in time, decides to ask Mr Smith for more information on defeating Sontarans. As Mr Smith is still in Ealing, she calls her dad and asks him to contact the computer. Alan does so, unaware he has been followed into Sarah Jane's attic by his ex-wife, Chrissie. She demands to know what is going on; Alan quickly brings her up to speed on Sarah Jane's alien hunting and Maria's role as her assistant. Chrissie realises he is telling the truth because his lip twitches when he is lying. Maria's parents, fearful for her safety, decide to join their daughter at Goblin's Copse.

Sarah Jane, Maria, Clyde, Luke and Lucy all meet up. Sarah Jane takes Luke and Lucy with her to try to deactivate the transmitter, while Maria and Clyde search for the switch that will move the transmitter away from the satellites. However, Kaagh and Skinner get there first and capture them.

Luke tries to break into the observatory's main computers, succeeding when he realises that Sontarans, who have three fingers on each hand, use base six mathematics. Kaagh appears and reveals Lucy is a sleeper agent. He activates the mind-control chip implanted in her. He orders her to re-activate the transmitter. He threatened Maria's life if Sarah Jane tries to stop him. All appears lost — until Chrissie bursts into the observatory and attacks Kaagh's probic vent with her high-heeled shoe, incapacitating him more effectively than Luke's knockout gas did. The transmitter is deactivated, this time for good.

ChrissieTellsTheTruthToSJS

Chrissie tells Sarah Jane that she remembers everything

Kaagh is escorted back to his ship and ordered to return to Sontar, which he is only too glad to do; he is humiliated that he was defeated by "half-forms" (children) and a woman. Sarah Jane is relieved, even if she is not entirely convinced that the Sontaran is gone for good.

Six weeks later, Maria and Alan say their goodbyes to Sarah Jane, Luke and Clyde as they leave for their new life in America. As father and daughter pull away, Chrissie whispers to Sarah Jane that she was not entirely ignorant of her daughter's alien-hunting hobby. The group smiles and waves good-bye to Maria and Alan as they wave back, watching their cab leave Bannerman Road and send the Jacksons on their journey to America.

Later that night, Sarah Jane, Luke, and Clyde are looking out at the stars through one of her telescopes. Luke and Clyde tell Sarah Jane they will miss Maria, but Sarah Jane gives them a piece of advice:

I learned a long time ago that if you're missing somebody, just... look up at the night sky. Whoever it is, wherever they are, chances are they're looking at the stars just like you. Sometimes, for all its size, the universe isn't such a big place after all.Sarah Jane Smith [src]

The trio turn their attention skyward, hoping the best for their friend.

Cast

Crew

General production staff

Script department

Camera and lighting department

Art department

Costume department

Make-up and prosthetics

Movement

General post-production staff

Special and visual effects

Sound







Not every person who worked on this adventure was credited. The absence of a credit for a position doesn't necessarily mean the job wasn't required. The information above is based solely on observations of the actual end credits of the episodes as broadcast, and does not relay information from IMDB or other sources.


References

  • Clyde refers to the Battle of Hoth from Star Wars and that his teacher thinks it isn't "historically accurate".
  • Sarah Jane says she will phone UNIT to deal with the Sontaran.
  • Chrissie refers to Sarah Jane as "Calamity Jane".
  • When Sarah Jane asks Mr Smith if he has developed a sense of humour, he produces the sound effect used in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy when somebody accesses an entry in the eponymous book.
  • Clyde calls Kaagh "Bilbo", referring to Bilbo Baggins, the main character in J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit.
  • The Vorcasian Hordes are native to Meta Vorca Six.
  • After Alan explains Mr Smith's presence as a role-playing game with elements in real life, Chrissie likens it to a "treasure hunt" from when they were dating, in which they would go "plodding across fields looking for a golden rabbit," a prize buried somewhere in England by illustrator and jeweller Kit Williams and hidden in clues in the 1979 picture book Masquerade.
  • Chrissie apparently wears size 5 shoes, as she exclaims, "Try my size fives, Humpty!" at Kaagh before jamming the heel of one stiletto down his probic vent. * Chrissie's remark "Try my size fives, Humpty!" is a crack at Kaagh's rounded head and small height. This refers to the childrens' nursery rhyme Humpty Dumpty. Humpty Dumpty is often depicted with an egg-shaped body and short in stature.
  • Chrisse gets shocked with a heavy dosage of electricity when she rams the metal tip of her shoe heel down Kaagh's probic vent, suggesting Sontaran probic vents contain some form of electrical energies directed through them.

Story notes

  • This is Maria Jackson's last story as a main character. Actress Yasmin Paige was in her GCSE year and chose to concentrate on her studies. She made a guest appearance in part 2 of The Mark of the Berserker and Maria is referenced either visually (through photos, art and flashbacks) or in dialogue in all other Season 2 stories.
  • Although this story clearly takes place after the Sontaran Stratagem/Poison Sky story, it is unclear whether it takes place after the events of TV: The Stolen Earth/Journey's End, which aired before it. The episode contains dialogue references to alien life being widely known on Earth. The reference to Maria in The Stolen Earth would suggest it took place before Maria and her father moved to America.
  • This story marks the final appearance of Chrissie Jackson on the series. Her appearance and attire has changed considerably from what she looked like in series one. Her hair is now longer, curly, and a shade of auburn rather than dark red, and she is wearing a fur-lined coat with pink stiletto heels.

Ratings

  • Part 1 - 0.7 million (BBC 1)
  • Part 2 - 477,000 (CBBC channel)
    • 0.6 million (BBC 1)

Filming locations

  • In series one, Alan Jackson's house was filmed in a real house on a normal suburban street instead of in a studio. From the second series, the house was set in a studio and was redecorated by the production crew.

Production errors

  • About thirteen minutes into part two, a shot of the countdown is shown as a video playing in VLC Media Play.

Continuity

If you'd like to talk about narrative problems with this story — like plot holes and things that seem to contradict other stories — please go to this episode's discontinuity discussion.

Home video releases

  • This story, along with the rest of Series 2, was released on DVD on 9th November 2009 (UK) and 10th November 2009 (North America).

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