Review: The Sarah Jane Adventures 2×4

Clowning about

The Sarah Jane Adventures

Once more unto the jump, dear friends. Or else our US brethren will be inadvertently spoiled.

So we can only from last week’s ep, with our heroes surrounded by clowns and unable to escape from clown central. Oh wait though, a mobile phone can stop the evil critters and away they go. How convenient.

The rest of the episode is then an introduction for new girl Rani to the Sarah Jane gang’s treasure trove and a working out of how to stop the Pied Piper from stealing loads of kids.

The resolution was a tiny bit pat and kids’ TV – aha, let us laugh in the face of fear because fear cannot stand up to laughter – but acceptable enough, although having the kids sort of dancing around Bradley Walsh’s Piper was a bit tat. Yet there were a few scary moments, including a flashback to Sarah Jane’s childhood and Bradley losing his face.

The usual kudos to Lis Sladen for her work, even when she is lumbered with having to cry at a childhood memory of a clown; newcomer Rani’s proving okay, but still not up there with Maria in the feisty lead stakes. We also get Floella Benjamin, who’s clearly been supping at the same fountain of eternal youth that Lis Sladen’s been knocking back from for all these years.

A little bit of a continuity overload this week, BTW: the clowns from The Celestial Toymaker on Sarah Jane’s laptop, a back reference to The Pharos Institute and Nathan the brat from last series, and talk of Sarah Jane’s Aunt Lavinia (K9 and Company). And there’ll be more to come.

Not bad. Not the best SJA there’s ever been, but a lot more satisfying than The Last Sontaran. Next week, we get Russ Abbott as an astrologer with special powers. Goody.

  • I saw both parts last week, so I’m one part of your American contingent who can make the jump!
    My friends and I came away with an appreciation for Bradley Walsh, having never seen him in anything else before this. Now we’re hoping (even moreso) that BBC-A will be picking up your version of ‘Law & Order’ so we can see him in action.
    I think Odd Bob could come back, over in the mothership series – I’d like to see the Doctor take him on in America back in the 30/40s…

  • Normally, his performances are ‘larger’, whereas he was quite restrained here. Could go either way on L&O, particularly when he’s playing off Jamie Bamber.

  • I actually nearly caught this last night, but then got sidetracked in spaghetti bolognaise, and I know realise my husband was watching the teaser for next week as he mentioned Russ Abbott. Just thought I’d mention you are doing a fine job of reviewing these Rob, for those of us wot can’t watch. Maybe next week, as it’s half term I can justify sitting down with the little darlings for some bonding time…

  • I actually nearly caught this last night, but then got sidetracked in spaghetti bolognaise, and I know realise my husband was watching the teaser for next week as he mentioned Russ Abbott. Just thought I’d mention you are doing a fine job of reviewing these Rob, for those of us wot can’t watch. Maybe next week, as it’s half term I can justify sitting down with the little darlings for some bonding time…

  • I actually nearly caught this last night, but then got sidetracked in spaghetti bolognaise, and I know realise my husband was watching the teaser for next week as he mentioned Russ Abbott. Just thought I’d mention you are doing a fine job of reviewing these Rob, for those of us wot can’t watch. Maybe next week, as it’s half term I can justify sitting down with the little darlings for some bonding time…

  • Doh. I know. I should have said now…

  • Doh. I know. I should have said now…

  • Doh. I know. I should have said now…

  • You asked for it, you get it. I aim to be a responsive blogger.