Doctor Who – Sontaran Stories In Order Of Release


Conceived by writer and story editor Robert Holmes, the warrior race known as The Sontarans first appeared in the 1973 Doctor Who serial The Time Warrior. 

This race of humanoids, characterised by their stocky build, distinctive dome-shaped heads, and 3-fingered hands, have proven their might time and again against the Doctor. But despite their smug exterior, with the belief that they are pretty much invincible, the good Time Lord has managed to get the better of them thanks to the weak spot that exists at the back of their heavily-set necks. 

In this list, we include the Doctor Who stories in which the Sontarans have played a major part. We haven’t included the episodes featuring Strax, who effectively became another companion to the Doctor, and we haven’t featured cameo appearances in Doctor Who or storylines within The Sarah Jane Adventures in which they appeared.

Do you have a favourite Doctor Who story featuring the Sontarans? Let us know in the comments below.

The Time Warrior

UK Broadcast Date: 15 December 1973

The Doctor: Jon Pertwee

Companions: Sarah-Jane


When scientists start to go missing in the 20th century, the Doctor is called in by the Brigadier to investigate. His investigations lead him to deduce that they are being kidnapped through time, and he sets off in pursuit, unknowingly kidnapping journalist Sarah Jane Smith in the process.

Arriving in the middle ages, the Doctor and Sarah find themselves caught up in the machinations of the robber baron Irongron and his “star warrior”. The alien, a Sontaran named Linx, is arming him with modern weapons in return for helping him repair his damaged ship, and it’s up to the Doctor and Sarah to stop him from ruining the Earth’s timeline. (source)

The Sontaran Experiment

UK Broadcast Date: 22 February 1975

The Doctor: Tom Baker

Companions: Sarah-Jane, Harry


Arriving on a seemingly deserted Earth, the Doctor, Sarah and Harry soon discover a crew of shipwrecked astronauts from a distant Earth colony. Lured there by a fake distress call, the astronauts are being experimented on by the deadly Sontarans in preparation of a full-scale invasion of the planet. Can the Doctor defeat Sontaran Field-Major Styre and save the world? (source)

The Invasion of Time

UK Broadcast Date: 4 February 1978

The Doctor: Tom Baker

Companions: Leela, K-9


The Doctor returns to Gallifrey, claims his rights and is crowned President. It soon turns out that he has led a group of aliens called Vardans to the planet to eradicate them completely. After they are destroyed, the Sontarans take their opportunity and follow them in their invasion until they are destroyed by the Doctor. (source)

The Two Doctors

UK Broadcast Date: 16 February 1985

The Doctor: Colin Baker, Patrick Troughton

Companions: Peri, Jamie


The Doctor has teamed up with himself before to save lives. This time, he must save his past self in order to ensure his own existence in his present. What could Chessene and dim-witted lackey Shockeye have planned with the Sontarans? Only one thing is known for sure: time will tell. (source)

The Sontaran Stratagem/The Poison Sky

UK Broadcast Date: 26 April 2008/ 3 May 2008

The Doctor: David Tennant

Companions: Donna, Martha


Episode 1

Fifty-two people across the world in eleven different time zones die at the exact same time. The only connection: they all have ATMOS installed in their vehicles. Martha Jones, now a UNIT medic, summons the Tenth Doctor back to modern-day Earth to help figure out why, but an old enemy lies in wait… (source)

Episode 2

As the poisonous gas from the Tenth Sontaran Battle Fleet’s ATMOS continues to thicken throughout the world, purging humanity one country after the next, a clone of Martha Jones works in the shadows to support them. Will the Tenth Doctor learn about Martha’s replacement? And can he figure out what the gas is made of, and destroy it before the entire planet chokes to death? More importantly, can the Doctor stop UNIT from starting an interplanetary war with the deadly Sontarans? It’s all down to Donna Noble and child genius Luke Rattigan to fix things before it’s too late. (source)

The Halloween Apocalypse

UK Broadcast Date: 31 October 2021

The Doctor: Jodie Whittaker

Companions: Yasmin, Dan


Halloween, 2021. A storm approaches. Something tears through space and time, undoing everything it touches. Who is the man who escapes his shackles? What about Dan has got his captor’s attention? Why have the Angels come? And what will remain of the Earth when this night is done? (source)

War of the Sontarans

UK Broadcast Date: 7 November 2021

The Doctor: Jodie Whittaker

Companions: Yasmin, Dan


Thrown back into the Crimean War, the Doctor finds the Light Division are about to enter senseless battle with… an army of Sontarans?

Yaz and Dan are pulled away from her, and each find their task will be restoring Time. The Sontarans are ready for eternal conquest, and in the Temple of Atropos, the enemy has arrived to take it all. (source)

Survivors of the Flux

UK Broadcast Date: 28 November 2021

The Doctor: Jodie Whittaker

Companions: Yasmin, Dan


For Yaz, Dan, and Jericho, life in the early 20th century is holding more adventure and danger than they could have ever imagined. For Bel, her mission to find her husband has taken a drastic wrong turn. For Vinder, the wrath of the Ravagers awaits. For the Grand Serpent, UNIT is his for the taking. And for the Doctor, nothing may ever be the same again… (source)

The Vanquishers

UK Broadcast Date: 5 December 2021

The Doctor: Jodie Whittaker

Companions: Yasmin, Dan


Split across three realities, the Thirteenth Doctor has more than one problem to solve. The Division’s base, way out in the Void, has been taken. Some unlikely allies have joined together, hoping to find victory in Earth’s final hour. The Grand Serpent has been making plans, and the Doctor’s oldest enemies hold the key to the Doctor’s past, poised on handing her their final retribution.

Tunnels beneath the Earth lead to all kinds of places in space and time. As the final Flux event approaches, which door leads to victory? Last call before the end. It’s time for contact. (source)

Which is your favourite Sontaran story? Let us know in the comments below.


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