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.