Review: The Sarah Jane Adventures 2×9

Are you my mummy?

The Temptation of Sarah Jane

It’s not just Father’s Day, it’s father and mother’s day over on The Sarah Jane Adventures. Let’s talk about it after the jump.

Wibbly wobbly and slightly suspect looking time fissure turns up on Team Sarah Jane’s doorstep (more or less). Out pops a 1950s schoolboy, and Sarah Jane takes him back to his own time and place – which it turns out is actually the village in which Sarah Jane was born and just a month before her parents die.

After various musings on whether it’s a cracking plan or not to go and tamper with your own past, Sarah Jane goes back again with Luke in tow. She meets her parents and decides, brilliantly enough, to tamper with the car her parents were in when they crashed to stop it working – thus preventing their death. SJ thinks that she can go into the future again, find out if bad things happen and if they do, return and repair the car if necessary.

But oh no! It’s the Trickster behind it all and little schoolboy is really the stumpy old Graske and it’s all been a trap to allow the Trickster to take over the world. Because, oh no again, the present is in fact a complete wasteland, with only Clyde and Rani knowing the truth because they have that magic box from last year.

Is it any good?
Well, you’d have to had to have been a complete spaz not to see what was going to happen, not just because there were glaring hints all over the place but because this is basically the Ecclescake
Doctor Who episode Father’s Day in disguise.

Still, despite that, it’s a reasonably emotive piece so far, with Lis Sladen going massively OTT with her emoting to prove it. It’s interesting to see Sarah Jane’s pre-Doctor past expanded on and all the 50s stuff is well handled. Luke feels a little out of character with his constant needling of Sarah Jane to go back and look round the 50s again, but hey ho, let’s roll with it.

The Trickster’s still as creepy as the Graske isn’t, although both are trying to defeat Sladen in the Brian Blessed re-enactment society stakes and it’s a close run competition. Clyde and (the) Rani have little to do but explain back-plot to each other and have odd bedroom visits, but who cares – they’ve had stories already this year.

Continuity lovers could have a slight feast on the references to Aunt Lavinia (K9 and Company), the Trickster and co, the Doctor, “fixed points”, etc, and the “Blinovitch Limitation Effect” (Day of the Daleks, Invasion of the Dinosaurs, Mawdryn Undead) also gets cited, but not by name, as the reason why Sarah Jane can’t touch her infant self in the past.

Not yet as good as Father’s Day, even though the Trickster and co are better baddies than the Reapers, but let’s see what episode two brings.


  • Rob Buckley

    I’m Rob Buckley, a journalist who writes for UK media magazines that most people have never heard of although you might have heard me on the podcast Lockdown Land or Radio 5 Live’s Saturday Edition or Afternoon Edition. I’ve edited Dreamwatch, Sprocket and Cambridge Film Festival Daily; been technical editor for TV producers magazine Televisual; reviewed films for the short-lived newspaper Cambridge Insider; written features for the even shorter-lived newspaper Soho Independent; and was regularly sarcastic about television on the blink-and-you-missed-it “web site for urban hedonists” The Tribe. Since going freelance, I've contributed to the likes of Broadcast, Total Content + Media, Action TV, Off The Telly, Action Network, TV Scoop and The Custard TV.

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