Roots: In-flight safety announcements ("All communication devices should be switched off"). Is Gamorrean wine a nod to Return of the Jedi? Will mentions Robin Hood. "Interstellar Express"? That'll do nicely!" is a parody of Seventies American Express advertisements. Bonaparte's (or was it the Doctor's?) quote "An army marches on its stomach - or in this case, its collective vats." British Telecom's nineties TV ads ("It's good to talk") The game 'Furious Avians' is presumably an analogue of Angry Birds. Weapons of Mass Destruction are mentioned.
Double Entendres: "Aww, look at you - poking and prodding away..."
"I need you to keep doing what we're doing, especially if we're going to beat the Sontarans to The Chase"
Continuity: The Sontaran Imperial war fleet is now active across a thousand star systems and its clone banks are at capacity. Sontaran armour is impervious to Phinarian disruptors. The Sontaran 620th attack fleet is active in the Doghead nebula. Sontar has brood worlds. A Sontaran saying goes: "The greater the odds, the greater the glory" There is an Imperial newsreel. The Sontarans' Venorian gambit involved using space debris to disguise gravity pods (their ships) and expose enemy weaknesses. Grag diamonds are twice-compacted gemstones set atop the standard of the first Sontaran legion. A 'grag diamond shot' is one which eliminates both an old and new enemy in one blow. Every Sontaran ship holds grag diamonds "somewhere", according to Garundel. Sontaran meson rifles fetch an awful lot on the black market. Klein is released as a prisoner of war under the 78th amendment of the third-party code ("under terms of negotiation") Under the fifteenth treaty noncombatants are exempt from martial jurisdiction.
Tablash have tentacles and may be Rutan allies. Finarians have multiple heads and possibly multiple limbs as well. Firanians allied with the Rutans on Boribor. The Velosians are on the ninth Rutan moon, currently battling Jellax. The Supreme royal house of Krellor comprises of the Kraken Mother and her offspring, a vicious bunch of lizards, according to garundel, and ravagers of the world of the Zivredniks. The Krellorans, led by Krakenmother Banarra, wiped out the Warlords of Zubrednik. Zubrednik is a rim-world with human-like population and a human heritage. Krellor knew the Bandrils
Psionic beam helmets fire pure thought energy into the vitals of one's enemy
Ziv's auntie is on Gadalaxis Major. Gadalaxian champagne. She has hair, blue skin and antennae. Ziv talks about the "Twelve Systems"
The third planet of the Urodel system is home to Garundel, along with his sixty siblings. His pod has a hyperstar core and warp shielding. Garundel is paid by the Kletsch. Garundel's hand will regenerate in one month. Garundel's jacket comes from Sirius V
Sirius IX is an A-rated exchange world. There is a Galactic Credit Bank and an Interstellar Express credit card.
Will has met twenty-three unique alien species in his line of work, remarks how many species are humanoid in appearance or physiognomy and wonders if there might be a biological template. Will has got the hang of the TARDIS databank.
Klein knows little of Sontarans.
Links: Black and White (Garundel asks the Doctor what happened to "the nurse with the funny voice" and "the sisters with guns."), Timelash (Bandrils were invited to attend Garundel's auction.), The Ark (Security pantry) The Doctor consults his Space Time telegraph. Ziv's "bang bang" and the Doctor ruing not checking the TARDIS scanner before leaving the Ship both point to the TV Movie.
Location: Q987 planetoid, Mutter's Spiral
The Bottom Line: "Some you win, some you lose. There's always another sucker."
McCoy's Doctor makes some poor decisions in this, killing Ziv and Sten by underestimating Garundel, and he seems to deliberate over whether to ask Will aboard the TARDIS. On the other hand, this is a good story for Will, as he's given both an admirer (poor Ziv) and proves himself quite useful in the end. As for the Sontarans - better by far than Heroes of Sontar, but still not a personal best in Big Finish terms.
THE SONTARAN-RUTAN WAR
The first blows of the millennia-ranging war between the Sonaran Empire and the Rutan Host appear to have been struck by the metamorphs from Ruta 3. Fifty thousand years before the present (by the Doctor's reckoning in The Poison Sky) the Rutans invaded the home worlds of the human-like Kaveetch, inhabitants of the planet Sontar. When stalemate was reached in battle, the Kaveetch proposed the creation of a dedicated clone army of 'Sontarans' to turn the battle in their favour. Once this was achieved, however, the clones turned on their creators, whom they deemed inefficient and inferior, and a danger for their knowledge of Sontaran secrets. The Kaveetch and their history were all but erased from Sontaran lore and history.
The Sontarans continued their war with the Rutans for centuries, with the main theatre of battle presumably being the Milky Way Galaxy, and over time Earth entered the fringes of this conflict. In 102 AD the Sontarans were part of an alliance dedicated to imprisoning the Doctor in the Pandorica under Stonehege (The Pandorica Opens), while by the turn of the thirteenth century both Rutans (Castle of Fear) and Sontarans (The Time Warrior) had attempted beachheads on Earth as part of the war.
By the early 20th century it was believed the Sontaran Empire had the upper hand, and the Rutan Host was driven to the edges of the galaxy, once more luring a Rutan scout to Earth (The Horror of Fang Rock). Later, a crashed Sontaran ship was believed to have caused the great eruption at Tunguska (Tales from the Vault). Fighting a rear-guard action with the Rutans in the Madillon Cluster (The Five Companions, Heroes of Sontar) brought Sontarans to Earth in an attempt to purloin Time Lord technology to effect better time travel (The Two Doctors); around twenty-five years later in the twenty-first century the Sontarans were officially losing the war, and once more approached Earth via the Tenth Sontaran Battle Fleet, this time to turn the planet into a cloning world (The Sontaran Stratagem/The Poison Sky)
Stories from Earth's far future reveal that the Sontaran-Rutan war continues for many millennia - ten thousand years into the future the Sontaran Grand Strategic Council send Stike to Earth as an advanced scout to mount a raid on the galaxy (The Sontaran Experiment - suggesting the clone race expanded its war footing beyond Mutter's Spiral), and, allied with the Vardans, the Sontarans attempted to mount an invasion of Gallifrey Itself (The Invasion of Time). Indeed, it appears the Sontarans outlasted the Time Lords themselves for a time, surviving the Time War by virtue of not being 'allowed' to take part in it. Perhaps their battle with the Rutans is destined to be the longest-lived feud known to the universe?