When is the Doctor?
War is the only thing that matters to the Sontarans. It is the driving force of their culture and the focus of all their activities. This wasn’t always the case but since the beginning of their millenia-old conflict with the Rutan Host the only things Sontarans care about are war and victory. The gravity on Sontar is very strong, which causes the Sontarans to be short and stocky, around 1.5 metres tall. Some Sontarans, notably those in the Scientific Core stand taller. They have immense physical strength and can lift two or three times the weight of an average human.
They have dome-shaped heads, with tough, wrinkly brown skin. They wear battle scars with pride, as proof of their duty to Sontar. In an attempt to build their numbers quickly, the race defied nature in the early centuries of the war and developed cloning technologies. The art galleries of Sontar were torn down and replaced with cloning facilities, all in the aid of the great Sontaran Military. At one time, it was said that a million Sontarans were born at every hatching.
Sontarans do not eat or rest in the way many races of the universe do, rather they ‘recharge’ through the use of a probic vent in the back of their neck. The vent has to be left uncovered, making it a weak point on the Sontaran body. A sharp point, such as an arrow, or a pen, jabbed into the vent will cause the Sontaran great pain. Similarly, a hard blow to the outside of the vent will stun them enough to make a quick getaway. Sontarans, however, do not see the vent as a weakness, as it forces them to always enter battle face-to-face with the enemy. They are also susceptible to coronic acid, which eats away at their skin, causing them to melt.
Sontaran technology has varied wildly over the course of the war. As they face victories or defeats, so their technology becomes more or less advanced. At times, they have possessed great battle fleets, consisting of ten million ships. Most Sontaran fleets contain a central battle ship, where the Generals can amass their armies, survey plans and prepare for the attack. These ships hold millions of Sontaran warriors and thousands of individual scout ships. Large enough to hold just a single Sontaran at the controls, the spherical scout ships spin as they are piloted through space. Containing everything a Sontaran officer needs to collect information about a planet or species, they are used to find out about the planets in their path, looking for resources to build weapons or lesser races to use as cannon fodder.
Sontarans used teleportation at one stage in the war, although the technology seems to have slipped out of use later. Teleportation can only take place where a receiver node is present, limiting the technology, but it is still useful for short trips between battle ships. They have experimented with invisibility technology throughout the war, to varying levels of success. Around 50,000 years into the war, they developed fairly successful cloaking devices for their ships and also on personal armour.
The weapons used by the Sontaran military also vary greatly throughout the course of the war, ranging from small pistols to laser guns and big, bulky weapons. Generals of the Military carry batons, which can shoot a deadly beam of energy to either stun or kill an opponent. Sontarans often use a Cordeline signal to assist them in war, which causes the copper in ballistic projectiles to expand in the barrel of the gun, blocking it and rendering the weapon useless.
As the years have gone by, the war with the Rutans has passed into legend. Still raging across time and space, none can recall what started the fighting, just that either side is truly devoted to winning the fight. The Sontaran military is split into many different sectors, each devoted to a different element of the war. Battle Fleets, Research Scouts, and Scientific Divisions all work independently for the greater good of the war. Some Sontarans lack the desire to fight that characterises the species and these are sent to work on other projects, such as mining for resources, or building ships and weapons. It is the duty of every Sontaran to benefit the war, weather they agree or not.
At first, the war was contained in the small space between the worlds of its two opponents but it soon spread and stories of it reached all civilized worlds. The planet Earth has been of importance in the war on several occasions. The first Sontaran presence on the planet was in the Middle Ages of Earth’s history, during which time they didn’t consider it to be of strategic importance. All this was to change, however, in the following millennia. In the early 21st century, the Tenth Sontaran Battle Fleet attempted to convert the Earth into a clone world to breed more soldiers. Following their defeat, some Sontaran teleportation technology remained behind on the planet, and was converted for use by UNIT personnel in New York. Still in its early stages, ‘Project Indigo’ continues to undergo refinement.
A lone Sontaran from the Tenth Battle Fleet escaped the destruction of their ship and crashlanded on Earth, in the village of Goblin’s Cops. Once there, he set about trying to destroy the Earth as revenge for the destruction of his fleet. Thankfully, Sarah Jane Smith was on hand to stop him.
The Earth did not become of importance again until long after the Human Race had fled to other worlds. Following a set of Solar Flares that bombarded the Earth from around the year 5000, a Sontaran scout was sent to the planet to carry out experiments on its inhabitants.
Finding the Earth deserted in the year 16,000, he lured a passing ship in to crash and disabled all teleportation off the planet. Experiments were carried out on the human survivors of the crash, to find their physical strength and resistance to fear, starvation and dehydration. The Sontaran War Council was furious at being denied entry to the Time War, which had started between the Time Lords and the Daleks. Locked out of the war, it became invisible to the Sontaran Race, who were considered no more than brutes. The War Council set about devising their own plan: if they could not join the already waging Time War, then they would start one of their own.
The first attempt by the Sontarans to steal timetravel technology came in the form of the Kartz-Reimer module, which was being developed by two human beings aboard a research station in the late 49th century. Allying themselves with people aboard the facility, they launched their attack, unaware that the Time Lords were one step ahead, and had sent the Doctor to stop the experiments before the Sontarans could get to them. It took two incarnations of the Doctor but, between them, they defeated the Sontarans in Seville, Spain, in the 1980s.
It was after this that the Sontaran race fell quiet. The war with the Rutans still raged across the galaxies but the Sontarans seemed to have lost interest and began loosing the fight. In reality, they were simply planning their biggest and most daring feat ever – the invasion of Gallifrey. Using a ‘lesser’ race, and the Doctor himself, they forced their way onto Gallifrey, planning to steal the secrets of the Eye of Harmony – the heart of the Time Lord civilisation and the core of their power. The Sontarans planned to destroy the Eye and bring chaos to the Universe by unleashing the raw power of the Vortex upon it.
The Doctor ultimately defeated them with the use of a de-mat gun, which wiped the Sontarans on Gallifrey out of time itself. The Time Lords closely monitored any time travel technology that did make it into the war with the Rutans and events were locked as they happened, to prevent the Sontaran race from altering history and causing havoc with the Universe. Following the Gallifrey incident – the greatest defeat in Sontaran history, they returned to their war with the Rutans. But they were significantly run down and had to rely on centuries-old technology.