The Sontarans are back! If there are Sontarans then there must be Dan Starkey. You may have spotted him in ‘The Halloween Apocalypse‘ as Kragar. The cast list for the next episode ‘War of the Sontarans‘ also lists Dan Starkey as Svild. Sounds like another Sontaran to me…
In the same way that the original Sontaran actor Kevin Lindsey played Linx and then Styre in two separate stories, so has Dan Starkey returned to play different Sontarans. During ‘The Sontaran Stratagem/The Poison Sky‘ Starkey played Commander Skorr the Bloodbringer and Skree, an operations officer aboard General Staal’s ship. Another Sontaran was required for a brief scene in ‘The End of Time‘ with Starkey donning the Sontaran armour once again. Starkey would however return to play another Sontaran who would prove to be a much loved character; Strax.
First introduced in ‘A Good Man Goes to War’, Strax would go onto reappear in ‘The Snowmen‘, ‘The Crimson Horror‘, ‘The Name of the Doctor‘ and ‘Deep Breath‘ plus the minisode ‘The Great Detective’. He was a popular creation, with a lot of fun and witty lines of dialogue plus elements of physical comedy. Few could forget him throwing Clara The Times and knocking her to the ground! Strax would also present a series of Field Reports released online and also cinema introductions for ‘The Day of the Doctor‘ parodied during lockdown in ‘Strax Saves the Day‘.
Such was Dan Starkey‘s ability and performance skills in the role of Strax he even attended an event at the Doctor Who Experience in full costume and character. Starkey also covered the role of Skarr and another Sontaran when required for ‘The Time of the Doctor‘. Despite all these Sontaran appearances, Starkey has appeared on screen in Doctor Who without being buried in a mask, playing the role of Ian the elf in ‘Last Christmas‘.
Big Finish and beyond
Dan Starkey has also been equally prolific with Doctor Who away from the television screens. Big Finish have fully utilised his voice acting skills. He has appeared in everything from the Doctor Who main range, to Blake’s 7 and The Avengers. Of course he has also reprised the role of Strax on audio in a spinoff series following The Paternoster Gang. Recently, Starkey played the role of a different Sontaran, Major Kreg, in a Torchwood: The Great Sontaran War. Away from the microphone Starkey has also written for Big Finish, for instance Terror of the Sontarans alongside John Dorney.
Away from Doctor Who, Dan Starkey has also had individual appearances in programmes including Casualty, Eastenders and Brassic. He has also enjoyed recurring roles in Class Dismissed and Wizards vs Aliens. Within the Doctor Who universe Starkey also played the Skullion Plark in the final Sarah Jane Adventures episode to be broadcast ‘The Man Who Never Was‘. However, Doctor Who and the Sontarans remains a calling card for Dan Starkey and this week he will return with another Sontaran; Svlid.