Doctor Who: The Strax Mini-Episodes - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

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Doctor Who: The Strax Mini-Episodes

Moo meets Strax on the field of battle for the glory of the Sontaran Empire!

Strax, the Sontaran Commander who was forced to serve as a nurse to restore the honour of his clone batch, fought and died at the Battle of Demons Run to repay the Doctor, to whom he owed a debt for saving his life. Played to perfection by Dan Starkey (who had portrayed a number of different Sontaran characters), Strax was later resurrected by Vastra and Jenny Flint and lived in Victorian London with them, acting as their butler. He is sometimes a polarising figure among fans, maybe due to his aggressive demeanor and often being being played for laughs. Just take a look at this...

Those who love Strax welcome any additional moments with him, and fortunately the above is not the only time he’s had an entire short video dedicated to him. Join me as I take a look at his many mini-episodes. We begin with the two prequels to 2012’s Christmas special The Snowmen…

The Great Detective
There’s a lot to like here. Some criticised The Snowmen for glossing over the Doctor’s grief about the Ponds’ death and resolving that subplot too soon but here we get a look in to see it in action. Matt Smith is great in it and sells the darker side to his Doctor fantastically but we’re here to see Strax. Although there’s not a lot from him, he leaves his mark by declaring war on the Moon – If only he’d been successful we’d have been spared the episode a few years later when it hatched! We can see Strax here, in what we must recall is his first appearance since his debut, carve out his polarising niche as The Comedy Sontaran.

Vastra Investigates: A Christmas Prequel
Again he’s barely in it but Strax marks out his part better than the whole. When The Snowmen followed this it included a sort-of explanation for Strax's resurrection, partially explaining his character development. As the Doctor tells Clara’s Victorian Splinter…
“Another friend of mine brought him back. I'm not sure all his brains made the return trip!”
Steven Moffat had a more in-depth answer. Skip ahead to March 2013 when we were treated to…

The Battle of Demons Run: 2 Days Later
This is Strax at his best: A Sontaran who’s died in battle and has met with the least terrible fate a Sonatarn can ever hope to have. Look at the way he denies his recovery until he’s promised a life of various high adrenaline adventures. For anyone who dislikes Strax for “making a mockery of Sontarans” this is for you. Here he is doing exactly what Sontarans do best: going into potentially life-threatening situations with a smile on his face!

Does anyone else think Moffat wrote this with a possible Paternoster Gang spin-off in mind? Big Finish obviously did!

Of course in all his various exploits in Victorian London Strax has stayed in contact with his Sonatarn associates. That’s right, it’s time to take a look at…

Strax’s Field Reports
There are no fewer than nine of these and they all take the same format: Strax stands in the 11th Doctor’s second TARDIS Console Room and sends a message to Sontar about the Doctor. These were released throughout 2013 in the run up to the 50th anniversary extravaganza and the Christmas special. Strax focuses on the Doctor’s encounter with the Great Intelligence on Trenzalore, the reveal of the War Doctor, his being airlifted to Trafalgar Square by UNIT, the Zygons’ invasion of 2013 from the past and the Doctor’s thirteenth regeneration to name but a few. Naturally his signature style of childish comedy is present in all of them.

The first Field Report is above, I'll let you pick and chose any of the others. Brace yourself, we’re going in!...
The field reports were not the only time Strax showed up for the 50th anniversary. You know how tedious it can be sitting through those endless messages before a film in the cinema? You know the ones, turn off your phone, don’t record the movie, don’t sit to close to the screen, don’t talk over it… thankfully there was a time when Strax turned this on its head!

The Day of the Doctor Cinema Introduction
Strax is tasked by the Doctor to remind cinemagoers of basic cinema etiquette – What was the Doctor thinking entrusting that to him?! The instructions are all there: don’t talk, don’t record the film, etc, etc, etc but Strax makes hearing them entertaining. I didn’t see this at the time (I watched The Day of the Doctor at home with my family) but I can only imagine how much the audiences loved this. Especially the bit with the screaming popcorn!

Then there’s a second scene with Smith and Tennant taking the mick out of each other, which I imagine went down well. I know we’re here to talk about Strax but if we let that go and enjoy ourselves with the antics of Ten and Eleven I doubt anyone will complain.

Well that’s amost it as far as the Strax minisode back-catalogue is concerned. But anymore time with Strax would be welcome, especially if he were to make a come back into the main show but I'd still take another minisode or two if you're reading Mr Moffat? To play us out though, here's one more moment for the glory of Sontaran empire…

Song-taran Carols
Ladies and gentlemen, please put your hands together for: STRAX!!!

When he's not obsessing about Doctor Who whilst having I Am The Doctor play in his head, Moo can usually be found reading up on the latest in Quantum Physics. As you do when you're a physicist.

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