Leather jacketed baked potatoes with a general disposition to violence and long-lasting warfare, often quoted as being short, stocky and unbelievably powerful due to the extreme gravitational pressure on their home world: Sontar. Their chief impulse is to die with honour in battle, and therefore frequently try to construct reasons to fight anything that steps in their way.
These warriors are a neat little combination of the genetic integrity of a GM tomato and the tactical awareness of a lemming, and their frequent wars often resulted in huge losses to their number. Their solution was simply to clone waves upon waves of warriors to battle their perpetual enemies, the Rutans (incidentally, large green light-up jellyfish).
Over the course of the Doctor’s many travels, the Sontarans have cropped up a number of times – usually on earth, which they seem to view as a marvellous little maternity ward for their baby Maris Pipers.
Their first appearance being memorable because the Sontaran causing havoc in late-medieval England wasn’t beaten by the Doctor at all, but by a quick-witted archer who managed to hit the one point of weakness on the Sontaran body: the probic vent (a small aperture at the back of the “neck”).
Since then, they have been discovered performing nasty experiments on humans (imagine Mr Potato Head swapping your limbs around), using a group of Vardans as a smokescreen for their attempted invasion of Gallifrey, a brief but baffling visit to a Spanish villa (with a captive Second Doctor and a small troupe of savage Androgums) and most recently when Mike from the Young Ones improbably joined forces with an obnoxious teenage genius to gas the world using sat-navs.
One lone Sontaran was discovered trying to destroy some nuclear power stations and was sent packing by Sarah Jane Smith and her school-age friends using some high heels and a little persuasion. She probably used her lipstick. I mean, why not?
First appearance: The Time Warrior (1973/4)
Most baffling appearance: The Two Doctors (1985)
Known weaknesses: Probic Vent in the back of their “neck”. Also known to get nervous at the sight of coleslaw or butter. In fact, any popular jacket potato dressing.