Sarah Jane Adventures : Enemy of the Bane
In this story The Sarah Jane Adventures have come full circle with a sequel to the very first adventure where Sarah Jane rescues Luke from the clutches of the evil Bane who had created him in the first place.
Returning from that story is the wonderful Samantha Bond who plays Mrs Wormwood with her tongue firmly in her cheek and managing to not be overly hammy which is not that easy when you get a plum role as a villain in a show like this, particularly the adult actors who, more often than not, do tend to ham up for all they are worth.
We also get a returning character in the shape of Kaagh from The Last Sontaran, whom I did say that I wouldn’t be surprised if this wasn’t the last time we saw him, but didn’t expect it to be so soon. Then there is the appearance of Nicholas Courtney as Brigadier Sir Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart who has a lovely little role in this story which is much better than his last appearance in the television series proper back in 1989.
I think him appearing in this series works much better than it would if he appeared in the parent series and I think that if he were ever to reappear again he should do it in this series. The Brigadier is still married in this story but his wife does not appear so we can assume that he is still married to Doris. I also think that he may have moved house since the events of Battlefield, probably after he was knighted, as he is now Brigadier Sir Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart, which was mentioned in the parent series during the Sontaran two-parter of the fourth series. That is also referenced with the apparently pointless jaunt to Peru that he was on when those events took place.
The Bane Kindreth are an interesting alien race, even if their actual form does look rather silly, but in the context of a children’s programme exceptable, you really couldn’t imagine them appearing in the parent show. The plot is pretty much a standard revenge plot with Mrs Wormwood and Kagh working together to enslave the human race with each of them planning to deceive the other one at some point.
Once again Clyde is rather sidelined as Rani takes centre stage along with Sarah Jane. Having said that I do think that the character of Clyde does in fact work better as the comic relief in the episodes as he, more often than not, does get the best lines of all the younger characters such as the line when the Bane break through the doors of Sarah’s house from which the title of this review comes.
One thing that I did notice in this story was that it was the first time where Maria is not really mentioned at all. She is referred to, but not by name, and this is a surefire sign that Rani is now truly settled into her role as the replacement for the character of Maria and it looks like she is going to be around for a lot more episodes and will soon have done more episodes that Maria did and truly be replaced in the hearts and minds of the children who watch the show and relate to the young leads.
If the series had ended with this story it wouldn’t have been a bad way to end the series with the events of the very first episode finally addressed and the notion that the characters would have carried on regardless. Luckily for us, this was not the last episode of the series, and the show will soon return with a third series (broadcast later on today in fact) and possibly even a fourth and a fifth series (here’s hoping).