Sarah Jane Adventures: The Gift
We have reached the end of another series of The Sarah Jane Adventures and it only seems like five minutes since this series started! The basic gist of this episode is to never look a gift horse in the mouth as it may very well bite you on the arse.
In this case it was a gift given by the Blathereen (cousins of the Slitheen who have been a thorn in the side of Sarah Jane Smith since the very first series). A gift of Rakweed, a staple food on Raxicoricofallapatorius, which in the end did turn out to be too good to be true, but was simply irresistible when offered to them as it potentially offered a chance to feed everyone on the planet, from one plant.
Who wouldn’t take something like this, if offered? I know I probably would. Sarah Jane lowered her guard at that point as she would normally be the first person to think that there was something fishy going on but perhaps she has softened a bit since she became a mother, and if she has, is this a good thing? I don’t think that Sarah will ever be completely swayed by this sort of offer in the future especially after the way this one panned out. The plant even managed to get past Mr Smith’s scan at first which must show a degree of intelligence on the part of the Rakweed itself, rather than just being a rather tasty (well to the Blathereen at least) food stuff.
At first the Blathereen looked rather unthreatening but as always this was also an act that they turned out to be an offshoot of the family Slitheen and not the peaceful Blathereen as they claimed to be. The voices of the Blathereen were provided by Simon Callow and Miriam Margulies who were hamming it up left right and centre in these roles and obviously having a whale of a time playing the characters.
Once again Luke was out of action for most of the second episode of this story after coming into contact with the spores of the Rakweed leaving Rani and Clyde to take centre stage along with K9 to save the planet from the machinations of the Slitheen-Blathereen who are just as bad as their Slitheen cousins, but a little bit more cunning and conniving.
Luckily Clyde had took K9 to school with him to help him pass a test that he was never going to pass on his own. In the end it was a good thing that he did, as a K9 being stuck in Sarah Jane’s attic wouldn’t have been much help at all, and the planet may very well have been covered in Rakweed. Now this isn’t to say that cheating on tests is a good thing, which I am sure the BBC would never, ever condone.
The episode was written by Rupert Laight a newcomer to television, as far as I am aware, but who has written for Big Finish most notably in their very own Sarah Jane Smith series which is far, far removed from this series, and never added much to the character of Sarah Jane from her appearances in Doctor Who, unlike this series which has added to many layers to the character that we all love and have know for more than thirty years.