“The First Sontarans” is a Doctor Who audio play from Big Finish Productions and is part of the Lost Stories range. This particular piece is written by Andrew Smith and stars Colin Baker and Nicola Bryant. Dan Starkey, John Banks, Lizzie Roper, and Anthony Howell are included in the guest cast.
The Doctor and Peri begin this adventure on the moon in 1872 where a misplaced signaling device sends them to Earth to investigate. It doesn’t take too long before the Doctor learns that there is quite of collection of aliens gathered on Earth at this time. The Sontarans and the Rutans are finally together in the same story, which rarely occurs in the series. The Sontarans and Rutans have been engaged in ferocious war for an absurdly long time. The listeners are then introduced to the Caveetch, another race with a more profound connection to the Sontarans.
I am not a fan who necessarily needs origin stories, but I enjoyed hearing how the overly militaristic potato heads were brought into the universe. It’s a somewhat familiar story in that they turned on those who created them had an unstoppable force on their doorstop. It was fun to realize that fans never really saw the Rutans and the Sontarans fight each other before this release. They appeared separately in the television series and spoke trash about each other.
In spite of how the plot may sound, or maybe how I describe it, this is actually a very enjoyable episode. There are some action sequences that are sometimes hard to follow, but it still holds up quite well in spite of that.
The chemistry between Bryant and Baker is quite good here. They almost always do well together, but the banter between them was especially entertaining. It was banter without the typical bickering that went on between the two of them in the television series.
Starkey and Banks usually serve as the voices of the Sontarans, and they did well in this episode as expected.
The guest cast also performed well. There was quite a bit of personal and emotional levels touched on here among the characters that were performed quite well.
This is one of those stories that demonstrates how much better the Sixth Doctor is showcased than on the original television series.