Posted by: Nick Walters | May 4, 2008

A Message for Sontaran High Command

Dear Sontaran High Command,
My commisserations for your recent defeat on Earth. Let me assure you that General Staal died an honourable death – moreover, he was a great dancer, too.
I must, however, and not wishing to speak ill of the honourable dead, beg humbly to point out a flaw or two in General Staal’s “Stratagem.”
His basic plan is sound – to make a planet into a clone factory by converting its atmosphere into sustenance for said clones, in order to raise a mighty Sontaran army to defeat the Rutan threat once and for all.
Indeed, applied correctly, such a plan would have been a trumphant, glorious success. Sontar-ha!
Now, however, we come to the flaws.
1. Picking the planet Earth. Not only is it strategically unimportant, as noted by Sontaran officer Jingo Linx, but it is rather smaller than other planets in the same system. Saturn, for example, is a great deal larger than Earth, and converting its atmosphere into clone food would enable Staal to raise the mightiest Sontaran force ever known. Sontar-ha-ha! Also, Earth is also the favourite planet of, protected by, and visited rather a lot by that well-known enemy of Sontar, the Time Lord known as the Doctor. Sontar-ooer.
2.Utilsing the ATMOS Device “Stratagem”. Correct me if I am wrong, but General Staal planned on using a boy genius as a front for a miraculous new “ATMOS” filter system fitted to every vehicle on the planet, which, when activated, would release the gas into the atmosphere, thus converting it into clone food. Also, this device would, for some reason, include a satellite navigation feature which could be over-ridden to trap or kill the occupants of the vehicles. Excuse me for my bluntness, but “Stratagem” isn’t the word that leaps to mind when considering such a high-risk, convoluted approach. “Balls-Up” would be the more apposite epithet. Why General Staal used this “Stratagem” instead of, oh I don’t know, exploding some big bombs inside Earth’s atmosphere thus converting it and achieving the aims of the basic plan, is a complete mystery. Sontar-DUH.
3. General Staal really should consider not boasting about the probic vent weakness – that is asking for trouble. and, furthermore, invest in some “SafeSont” probic vent covers for himself and his troops.
One wonders, considering 1-3 above, if General Staal was not General Staal at all, but a Rutan spy, sent to infiltrate and cock up the Sontaran plan.
I would therefore urge Sontaran High Command to be on increased alertitude for similar impostors.
May I sign off by offering my services as a project manager for your next glorious campaign. I have many years’ experience in Earth’s Civil Service and I fantasise almost daily about the subjugation of the human race.
Honourable Regards,


  1. Greetings from Sontaran High Command. Sontar-ha!

    Many thanks for your communication. I’m afraid Admiral Sontar himself can’t enter into individual correspondence but he asked me to reply on his behalf.

    As you know, there are many commodities prized by the Sontaran strike force. Bravery. Nobility. Self-sacrifice. A natural sense of rhythm.

    But there is one other commodity we prize. ‘Original thinking’, or, as we like to call it, ‘thinking outside the battle pod’.

    We believe it is only through taking this approach that we will ultimately defeat the puny forces of the Rutan host. You will no doubt be aware that we have tried adopting recognised, traditional war tactics for the last fifty thousand years; an approach which has got us absolutely bloody nowhere.

    You will also remember our other, glorious attempts to surprise and outwit our puny enemies using ‘unconventional’ strategies. I draw you attention to our invasion of the planet Gallifrey where we outsourced ‘combat services’ to the Vardans. See also: the research conducted by Field Major Styre into the nature of the Terran race (a race we had already encountered on several occasions); our alliance with the psychopath ‘Blood-axe’; and our attempt to procure the ability to travel in time (an ability we already possessed) with the assistance of the Androgrums.

    I need not mention our attempt to destroy the Doctor using a Vitrox bomb which was thwarted by a young Terran known as Gar-eth, who later foiled an attempted invasion in 2001 (note: canonicity unverified).

    However despite these minor setbacks we in Sontaran high command remain convinced that the best way to defeat an enemy is by using a strategem that the enemy could not possibly predict. Or understand, for that matter. You must agree that our recent ATMOS stratagem fulfilled these objectives most admirably, even if the strategem itself proved ultimately unsuccessful.

    We appreciate your offer of assistance but we have reason to believe that Earth’s Civil Service are acting in league with the Rutan Host.

    Honourable regards,

    May you die gloriously in battle (and may that occasion arise with utmost rapidity)

    Sontar-ha! Sontar-ha!

    Jonat Hanmorris
    Assistant, Public Enquiries, Sontar High Command, Sontar

  2. People of Earth. Greetings. I am Field Marshal Spazz. Please permit this rebuttal to your critique of General Staal’s brilliant plan.
    1. You state that Earth is strategically unimportant and certainly in Linx’s judgement this was correct. But remember that he was speaking in the Earth period known as the Middle Ages. The 50,000 year war against the Rutans has seen the front line wax and wane across many volumes of space. 800 years later the Earth occupies a more vital place in the galaxy. Certainly by the 30th century the Sontaran G3 Military Assessment Survey deems it important enough to prepare an invasion fleet. However. Sontarans do not reveal their plans to the enemy, but perhaps…just perhaps…the Earth was chosen BECAUSE it is far from danger. Why build a vulnerable clone facility on the front line? And as for the Doctor – Sontarans do not avoid conflict with known enemies. Staal would have been delighted to have crossed swords with an old enemy of the Sontarans. Sontar-HA!
    2. Sontarans are technologically advanced, but only in the field of warmaking. All other industry has been neglected in order to advance weapon technologies. Cloning processes HAVE been advanced, since the production of warriors is vital to the war effort, but only advanced so far. Staal recognised that he would need to recruit other technologies in order to achieve his end. Hence, Luke. It’s not an original idea – remember the Cybermen’s gambit with Tobias Vaughan – but it could have been made to work. Sontar-HA!!
    3. Sontarans revel in the fact that they have a weakness. Why?Because it is a weakness so perfect – so lyrical – that they use it to their advantage. Sontarans must always face their enemies. It has become a creed for them. In WW2 the Russian military police followed behind the advancing Russian army, ready to machine-gun any of their own soldiers who retreated from the enemy. Hence – there can be no retreat.

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