Unpopular Opinion: Strax
Guest contributor Jeevan Sidhu thinks it’s time to retire Strax.
From “We stare into the face of death!” to “May I take your coat?”
Sontarans are in many fan’s opinion, some of the best antagonists in the Whoniverse, second only to the Daleks and Cybermen. Their appearances in The Time Warrior, The Sontaran Experiment, The Invasion of Time, The Two Doctors and even (though many will disagree with me) The Sontaran Stratagem/The Poison Sky, were brilliant. A proper enemy for the Doctor and his companions, however, the last 41 years of Sontaran history were completely destroyed by one simple five-letter word…
I know, I know, but before you all bombard me with hate comments, just hear me out. My main issue with Strax is the reason many people love him: it’s that he’s funny. I’m not going to deny the fact that Strax is a funny character. He can be hilarious, I’m not going to forget the memory worm scene for a while, but it’s becoming too much now.
In my mind, having a funny Sontaran is just as bad as having a funny Dalek. However, if it were a Dalek that was with Jenny and Vastra, there would be uproar! Daleks are iconic for being the most fearsome enemies, creatures born to hate. But that’s how I feel about the Sontarans. Born and bred for war, they long for death, and then all of a sudden, one of them was a comic relief butler!
I wasn’t particularly happy with Strax but then, to my absolute horror, on Christmas Day while I was watching The Time of the Doctor, I saw the Sontarans. My heart had broken. The Sontarans were added as comic relief again for a dark episode. I was frustrated with having one funny Sontaran, and now it seemed as though the entire species had simply turned into a humorous one that no longer posed any threat to the Doctor. I understand that many young children watch Doctor Who, like I did when I was younger, but can we please not just change once scary, angry aliens into a laughing stock?
This article is in no way me having a go at Dan Starkey. I personally think he is a fantastic actor, in fact, I voted for him in DWTV’s 2013 Best Supporting Male award. I just think that the writers ought to show that Sontarans should be in the show to scare, not to make audiences laugh.
I’m not saying get rid of Sontarans, but maybe it’s time to have a proper Sontaran story? We haven’t had one in nearly 6 years. Perhaps it’s time to bow Strax out, perhaps there could be an episode where the Sontarans appear and Strax goes with them at the end?
I have no issues with Vastra, as I’ve personally always seen the Silurians as victims is some ways. I just have a problem with Strax. Well, that’s what I think anyway.
Thanks for reading and let me know your thoughts on Strax in the comments.