Whatever Happened to…

The Sarah Jane Adventure: Whatever Happened to Sarah Jane Smith? Episode One

The episode started of normally with Maria, Luke, Clyde, Sarah and Maria’s dad at the park watching Clyde teach Luke how to skateboard, and then Maria’s dad having a go and totally embarrassing his daughter and her friends. Now Maria’s dad probably isn’t much older than I am, so if I had a teenage daughter would I be that embarrassing? Very probably. Never mind I am digressing.
What would the world be like without Sarah Jane Smith? That was the premise behind this story. What if no one had even heard of her? What would the world be like?

This premise was fine but there were some questions that were not answered in this first part such as what about all of the things that Sarah had stopped happening on the Earth during her time with the Doctor? Did any of these things happen?
I suppose this means that K9 & Company never happened, which cannot be a bad thing and there is also all of the adventures they have had in this series such as the Slitheen and the Gorgon and Kudlak, none of these seem to have happened apart from in Maria’s head.

Not even Maria’s dad knew who Sarah Jane was, or Clyde who just thought that she fancied him. There was no sign of Luke either, which is not necessarily a bad thing, as for the majority of this episode Maria was allowed to take centre stage as she was the only person who remembered Sarah Jane.

Everyone else seemed to be convinced that this Andrea who was living in Sarah Jane’s house had always been there and they even had photos to prove it. It was up to Maria to discover the truth and she was determined that she would prove that she was right and everyone else was wrong.

What I like about this episode is that we find out a lot more about Sarah’s past in these twenty five minutes than we ever did in her entire run of episodes in the original series and it is refreshing that the character had a past and it just made her character more rounded and believable than probably any other Doctor Who companion (even Ace) until Rose came along.

Yasmin Paige was particularly good in this episode, which has been Maria’s best episode to date, and you could feel the tension she felt when nobody believed her that there was a Sarah Jane Smith as was Jane Asher as Andrea, the Sarah Jane substitute for the episode, who has a secret to hide.

This has been the strongest episode of the series to date and I am looking forward to seeing the conclusion of the tale. Will Maria be able to convince people that there was a Sarah Jane?; Who, or what is, Andrea? And will the Earth be destroyed by the approaching meteorite?

Originally posted on Nov 27, 2007

Whatever Happened to Sarah Jane Smith episode Two

In this episode we discover a lot more about what the hell is going on in this episode about who Andrea actually is and why the Graske is running around taking people away.

Previously we discover that Andrea is actually an old school friend of Sarah Jane’s who had actually died over forty years ago in an accident when they were school girls and were wandering around a disused pier but that she had in her frightened state, about to plunge to her death, was able to save her life but only if Sarah died instead.

Of course she had been tricked by the mysterious Trickster (quite a frightening character for a children’s programme), who just wanted Sarah Jane out of the way because of the meteorite, which was about to hit the Earth that Sarah discovered in the previous episode and which Mr Smith was going to move out of the Earth’s orbit, leaving the Earth a sitting duck which he would then be able to come back to, simply because he likes causing chaos and that is what he does.

This is quite a dark plotline compared to the other episode’s, as if Sarah Jane doesn’t get back then the Earth has, to put it mildly, had it. Blimey!

Even Maria gets taken by the Graske at the close of the last episode and ends up back in 1963 and meets up with a young Sarah Jane Smith and Andrea so it is left up to Maria’s dad Alan who is suddenly the only person who knows who Maria to help save the day.

Andrea meanwhile starts to remember what had happened and what she did and it is her self-sacrifice is what saves the day she takes back the offer to survive in place of Sarah and asks one simple thing of Sarah that she remembered her, which is all that anyone can ever hope to be in the long run

That’s a bit deep for a children’s programme isn’t it? Perhaps it isn’t and that is just me thinking that it is a bit too deep for children’s telly. I mean not all childrens television should be like the Chuckle Brothers which is about as deep as a stonebaked pizza!.
And at the last minute as the meteorite starts to enter the Earth’s atmosphere Mr Smith makes an appearance and saves the day. Hooray!

I thoroughly enjoyed this story and it is a great shame that there is only two more episodes to go before the end of the second series. Please make a second series BBC Wales?

This is about the best thing on television at the moment, even if it isn’t aimed at a thirty something bloke like myself, and fully deserves another run.

Originally posted on Nov 27, 2007

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