We haven’t yet got to my review of Horror of Fang Rock, but when we do I will enthuse, if not at length, then certainly with great enthusiasm about the villain of the piece – Reuben the Rhutan. Now perhaps it was the mischevious smirk on Terrance Dicks’ face when he explained in the DVD commentary that he hadn’t a clue what to call the alien he’d created for the story, and arbitrarily decided to make the enemy the oft-mentioned arch-enemy of the Sontaran empire – but since then I’ve been rather taken with the Rhutans, and saddened we’ve never had the chance to see them face off against the Sontarans properly!
Like the Zygons, the Rhutans are able to change their form, although from Horror of Fang Rock it appears that their capacity is rather different to Zygon technology, relying upon a thorough forensic examination of the person they plan to impersonate. I therefore think that a much more entertaining story would be a lone Rhutan looking to instigate a war between humanity and Sontar by impersonating a human agent – believable, a wonderful nod to the history of the programme, and giving us the opportunity to see what happens when humanity gets caught in the middle of an instellar war.
One story is too few (and I could even say the same for Terrance Dicks’ other once-used creation, the Raston Warrior Robot) – I think many classic series fans would enjoy a face-off between the Sontarans and the Rhutans!