|'The Last Sontaran'
by Phil Ford
Having rendered Sarah unconscious with a blast from his gun, Commander Kaagh instructs Professor Skinner to lock up his prisoner. The Sontaran is about to begin his experiments on Clyde when Maria and Luke push open the cover to the ventilation shaft in which they are hiding, allowing the boy to break free of the surprised Sontaran and make his escape. The enraged alien sets off in pursuit, chasing the trio through the maze of tunnels below the base; just as Kaagh finally closes in on his prey, Maria, Clyde and Luke slip through a door leading outside, barricading it shut behind them. Sarah comes to and finds herself locked in a storeroom with Lucy; the resourceful journalist immediately comes up with a plan to disrupt Kaagh’s signal to the radio telescope by building a device from spare parts. Back at Bannerman Road, Alan tells his ex-wife Chrissie about his opportunity to move to America, although he is still unsure whether to move to Washington as he only wants what is best for Maria. Receiving an urgent phone call from Maria asking him to access Mr Smith, Alan promptly fobs off Chrissie and then sets off for Number 13, where he grabs Sarah’s spare key from its hiding place and then rushes up to the attic – unaware that his annoying ex-wife has doubled back and is now following him via an open window. Answering Alan’s summons, Mr Smith imparts valuable information on the Sontarans, including their weak spot, a probic vent on the back of their necks. At that moment Chrissie barges in and demands an explanation; hastily improvising, Alan tells his irritating ex-wife that he and Maria are engaged in a role-playing treasure hunt; although she refuses to believe Alan’s story, Chrissie does believe that their daughter is in trouble, and together they drive off in the direction of Goblin’s Copse. Formulating a plan, Maria leads Luke and Clyde back to Kaagh’s ship, where she asks Luke to use the Sontaran’s laboratory to concoct a knockout gas. Unfortunately, the trio’s break-in triggers an alarm on Kaagh’s wrist control; determined to prevent any disruption to his plans to become ‘Kaagh the Avenger’, the Sontaran sets off for his vessel, leaving Professor Skinner to his work hacking into the satellites’ control systems. While Luke prepares the knockout gas, Maria reveals her potential move to America; Luke is upset, not wanting to his friend to leave him. Seeing Kaagh approaching, Clyde draws the Sontaran away from his friends by leading the alien into the woods. Having completed her work on her lash-up, Sarah activates her jamming device; investigating the source of the interference, Professor Skinner checks the storeroom where Sarah and Lucy are imprisoned, allowing the two girls to slip past him and lock him in. Arriving at the radar base with Kaagh hot on his heels, Clyde is saved by Sarah and Lucy, who seal the door to the building behind him, preventing the Sontaran from gaining entry. With just twenty minutes until the satellites reach alignment, Sarah instructs Lucy to stop the computer program; learning that the system is encrypted, Sarah and Clyde leave Lucy to her work while they look for a way to sabotage the radar dish. Having gained entry to the base, Kaagh breaks down the storeroom door and vents his anger at the professor. Drawing up alongside Sarah’s car, Alan and Chrissie decide to search the forest for Maria and her friends. Luke finishes making the gas, and sets off for the base with Maria; on the way they are attacked by Kaagh’s glowing drones, but saved by the timely arrival of Clyde and Sarah. Destroying the alien machines with a blast from her trusty sonic lipstick, Sarah despatches Clyde and Maria to locate the dish’s control system, while she takes Luke to the control room to help Lucy with deactivating the computer program – they have just fifteen minutes to go… Professor Skinner captures Clyde, just as Maria finally locates the transponder; however, as the young girl reaches for the equipment she is confronted by Kaagh, who has anticipated her plan; gloating triumphantly, the Sontaran activates the dish, which begins aligning to the correct position for the broadcast of its deadly signal. As the countdown reaches four minutes, Luke gets a flash of inspiration: the three-fingered Sontarans use base six, a revelation that allows him to crack the encryption code and disable the signal – stopping it with just three minutes and thirty-three seconds to go. However, Luke, Sarah and Lucy’s joy is short-lived, as Kaagh and the professor arrive in the control room along with their captives, Clyde and Maria. Having predicted his foes’ every move, the ingenious Kaagh activates his ‘Plan B’ by pressing a control on his wrist device, triggering an implant on the neck of his sleeper agent: Lucy; transformed into the Sontaran’s instrument of destruction, Lucy steps forward and starts to upload a backup of the activation programme from her mobile phone. Sarah and Maria are appalled at Kaagh’s imminent act of mass murder, but the Sontaran merely laughs in triumph – until Chrissie bursts in with Alan and whacks the alien in the back of the neck with the heel of her stiletto shoe; as Chrissie is thrown backwards by the resultant electrical discharge, the Sontaran drops unconscious to the floor. Sarah takes the opportunity to whip out her sonic lipstick, halting the upload of the deadly computer programme and destroying the neural implants controlling Lucy and the Professor. Using Luke’s knockout gas, Maria ensures her mother remains unconscious long enough to get her home. Some time later, Sarah and the gang lead a bound Commander Kaagh back to his ship, while the Professor keeps watch with the alien’s own gun. Having disabled the Sontaran ship’s weaponry, Sarah sends the furious Kaagh back home, and as she and her friends look on from a safe distance the disgraced alien boards his ship and blasts off into the sky. Later on, Chrissie comes to on the floor of Alan and Maria’s house and learns that she tripped on her shoe and banged her head; smiling at her mother’s talk of a strange dream, Maria tells her father that moving to America will be the right decision for their future…
Six weeks later: Mr Smith informs Sarah that there is no sign of any Sontaran energy signatures – it looks like the aliens are not returning to wreak their revenge. When Maria arrives in the attic to say her goodbyes, Sarah promises to visit her in America; she also apologies for handling Maria’s news badly earlier, explaining that she was upset at losing the daughter she always wanted. Heading outside, Sarah watches as Alan and Maria pack their car and bid farewell to Clyde and Luke. Chrissie is also there, and she confides to Sarah that she remembers everything, but is keeping quiet for the sake of Alan and her daughter. Later that night, Sarah, Luke and Clyde gaze up at the stars and reflect on how they will miss one of their best friends…
Elisabeth Sladen (Sarah Jane Smith), Yasmin Page (Maria Jackson), Thomas Knight (Luke Smith), Daniel Anthony (Clyde Langer), Joseph Millson (Alan Jackson), Juliet Cowan (Chrissie Jackson), Alexander Armstrong (Mr Smith [Voice]), Ronan Vibert (Professor Nicholas Skinner), Clare Thomas (Lucy Skinner), Anthony O’Donnell (Commander Kaagh)
Directed by Joss Agnew
Produced by Matthew Bouch
Executive Producers Russell T Davies and Julie Gardner
A BBC Wales production
29th September 2008 @ 5.15pm
6th October 2008 @ 4.35pm on BBC 1
*Featuring Sarah Jane Smith, Maria, Luke, Clyde and Mr Smith
*Transmission for this episode was delayed by four minutes as the previous programme was overrunning
*This story acts as a sequel to the 'Doctor Who' two-parter, 'The Sontaran Stratagem' and 'The Poison Sky'