The Trouble With Lisa

Sarah Jane Adventures: Mona Lisas Revenge

In this episode a famous painting comes to life and causes havoc in the art gallery it was hanging in. Of course while this was happening Luke, Clyde and Rani were attending an exhibition of a painting of Clyde’s in the same gallery, and as a treat they were given a glimpse of the Mona Lisa. However when they got there in its place was a picture of the curator’s assistant, and not the lady without the eyebrows who never smiled.

Now Luke and Sarah Jane were not talking as Luke has seemingly become a typical teenager and Sarah Jane is his mother, and therefore someone who sticks their oars in when they are not needed. This is the first time that we have seen  Luke act like a normal teenager in this episode and it just doesn’t really work for me, he will never, ever be a normal teenager, no matter how hard Sarah Jane tries, he will always be that little bit different and there is nothing wrong with being a bit different.

This story also referenced the theft of the cup of Athelstan at Easter which was nice little tie in to Planet of the Dead and which will also mean that that particular gallery will never again be entrusted with anything even remotely valuable. I liked the idea that a painting can come to life but it also is quite a macabre thought that someone can be sentient trapped in a painting for ever more but be aware that they are trapped in a painting and unable to move.

That isn’t a particularly nice thought, and you can understand why the Mona Lisa was sick of being trapped in the confines of a frame, and wanted out. Suranne Jones played the Mona Lisa as a rather mouthy Mancunian. She was a lot of fun in the role and it was explained that the expression of the Mona Lisa’s face was in fact wind and that was why she didn’t smile. The lack of eyebrows was not explained but I don’t suppose that this would be a major point of interest.

I know that this point seemed to cause an awful lot of consternation on the Gallifrey Base forum but they all seemed to forget that in the third series episode The Shakespeare Code Shakespeare himself had a Manchester accent when he really should have had a broad Black Country accent. It didn’t seem to bother them then but it did seem to bother them in this case. I am sure that the kids the show is aimed at will not really care if she talks with a Mancunian accent either, I know I don’t even though I have just spent a whole paragraph talking about it. I have to try and pad out the review somehow don’t I?

The final denoument of the whole story was signposted in the very first scene, but I was still surprised when what happened happened. It was a very convenient ending, but at least it had not just come out of nowhere, and was there for the viewers to work out in plain sight from the very beginning.

Not the best of the series but an enjoyable hour of television, which is all we can expect of it in the end.

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