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Reviews for Heroes of Sontar

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Funny Ha Ha

By:Matthew David Rabjohns, Bridgend, United Kingdom
Date:Monday 30 May 2011
Rating:   10

They come along very rarely. Stories that are funny, but still with so much action and drama to balance. This story is one of the funniest in a long while. The humour is just right, and never even approaching over the top. The characters of all the four main stars are spot on, and the Sontarans are all very interesting indeed. Alan Barnes has done it big time with this brilliant four parter. Starts the season very very strongly indeed.

Flaws, Fun and Fungus

By:Clive T Wright, St Lawrence, United Kingdom
Date:Tuesday 14 June 2011
Rating:   9

Heroes of Sontar, plays up to the classic image of the english army of days gone by. Lots of mad old generals, die hard troops, a little WWI and Blackadder humour thrown in for fun.

Overall a great story, funny, enjoyable, a real feast for the ears.

Simply Brilliant

By:Quanna Moulmans, Brussels, Belgium
Date:Tuesday 30 August 2011
Rating:   10

Heroes of Sontar is fantastic. It's the perfect mix between comedy and drama. The story is great, fast paced and action packed. I was never a great fan of the Sontarans, but the ones in this particular story had my attention within seconds, especially the one who lost his tongue. He has to be my favourite Sontaran ever.

As for the TARDIS team, they were all given the chance to take central stage. The dialogue between Tegan and Turlough is fun in the beginning, but does get a bit repetitive in the end. Snappy comment from Tegan, snappy comment back from Turlough. And so on. That scene between Tegan and Nyssa however, was brilliantly done and really emotional. The Doctor was great, but then he is the Doctor.

A brilliant story performed by a brilliant cast. Well worth a listen!

We Are Amused

By:David Layton, Los Angeles, United States
Date:Friday 23 August 2013
Rating:   7

"Heroes of Sontar" is the Doctor Who take on Dad's Army, with a bunch of hapless Sontarans as the fighting fools. To the extent that this is the principal idea of the story, it works quite well. The Doctor and crew arrive on a planet of peace and love only to find that everyone is dead and the only things left are the ruins and some pinkish (or was it orange?) moss covering it all. Then, the Sontarans arrive, whose mission, unknown to them, is simply to die and thus break a "curse" that has led to multiple Sontaran defeats. Of course, nothing is quite as simple as that.

The whole is indeed quite amusing. There are many good lines, and Peter Davison has excellent comic timing. Because this one is played for laughs much of the time, the companions get simplified into their respective types. Turlough is ever so cowardly, Nyssa ever so helpless, and Tegan ever so bossy. In fact, the most amusing moments come from Tegan, either through sarcastic putdowns of Sontarans or bossing around Sontarans.

Like other Alan Barnes scripts, this story's detriments mainly come from stretching a premise too far and not having a clear and plausible rationale for the events. In typical Barnes fashion, there is much about beings melding with each other; the moss is melding into Nyssa and the phantom swordsmen are a gestalt entity who become powerful by absorbing other beings and merging together. These same sorts of ideas are central to "The Next Life," another Barnes script. Frankly, the swordsmen do not make much sense as a concept. What they are, what they do, and why they do it remain rather hazy. If they want to grow stronger by absorbing Sontarans, they seem to be going about it in an overly complicated manner with low chance of success.

So, high marks for comedy; just passing marks on rationality.

There's just nothing to love about this

By:Jared Star, Portsmouth, United States
Date:Wednesday 27 October 2021
Rating:   1

If there is one thing to learn from this story, it’s that Big Finish doesn’t understand the Sontarans.

This threatening, war-like race is entirely incompetent in this story and every single one of the characters here is an idiot! They are played for laughs during the entire audio and I hate seeing my absolute favorite DW enemies turned into the laughing stock that Alan Barnes clearly thinks they are. From cringe jokes like the Sontarans being sexist and somehow having genders themselves (even though they should have no concept of genders), to a Sontaran who had his tongue cut out during his time as a prisoner being used as a comedy bit because he can’t speak anymore and just makes weird noises now. It’s just sad really.

The Sontarans just don’t feel like Sontarans. They feel more like those quirky guards in “Paradise Towers” that are sticklers for rules to a fault. As emphasized by the gag where the Sontarans cannot shoot the Doctor unless three Sontarans are present. Nothing cool about Sontaran society is explored, even though the beginning is set on Sontar. I loved the idea of the Sontarans with more scars being the more respected ones, but Barnes managed to make even that concept a joke!

I haven’t even mentioned the rest of the audio yet which is also pretty poor. The admittedly kinda creepy side-villains and the super important elements of the Sontaran curse aren’t even introduced until we’re well over the halfway point of the story. Yet, somehow, this episode is also VERY padded for runtime, so Barnes can just write in as many jokes about the Sontarans as he can. Over 40% of the episode could be cut out entirely and you wouldn’t miss much.

Even the main cast couldn’t save this episode. Nyssa is just bland and has nothing to do. Tegan is particularly loud, stupid, and annoying in this one, and everyone seems to have it out for Turlough for some reason. I don’t even like Turlough, but even I started saying “Get off his back! You are treating him with more spite than the Sontarans in front of you!” Every bit of dialogue surrounding Turlough, whether it’d be his friends talking about him behind his back, or talking right to his face, was just a slight at him as a person.

Honestly, there is just nothing to love about this episode.

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