Review: The Sarah Jane Adventures 2×11

Five rounds rapid

The Brigadier, Sarah Jane and (the) Rani

Oh look, it’s team OAP, ready to save the world and be easily duped. Doh!

Plot
(The) Rani’s mum is working late because Sarah Jane’s old enemy, Mrs Wormwood of the Bane, who created Luke, wants a rush order of flowers. Except she really just wants to kidnap (the) Rani’s mum and leave a clue for Sarah Jane as to her whereabouts. When Sarah Jane tracks her down, she’s being hunted by the Bane and wants Team Sarah Jane’s help to track down an ancient artefact that the other Bane – who now want to eat her for her failures – are chasing after. This will give them power over the entire galaxy and Wormwood doesn’t want that to happen.

The problem is that the secret artefact is really in UNIT’s vault of alien stuff that We don’t need to know about, the Dark Archives (somewhere on a Slough trading estate, apparently), protected by maximum security (or at least some CCTV cameras and a swipe card), so Sarah Jane needs the help of an old friend to break in to get it. Together with the Brigadier – for it is he – she and (the) Rani manage to steal the artefact.

But back at home, the Bane are trying to break into Sarah Jane’s house, where Clyde and Luke are hiding. Fortunately, junior Team Sarah Jane are saved by Mrs Wormwood… and that pesky Sontaran we met at the start of the series, who together are really after the artefact for their own purposes.

Was it any good?
Erm, not especially. At first sight, it seems quite fun, but it doesn’t take much thinking to realise it’s all a bit dopey, really. Why spend so long kidnapping (the) Rani’s mum and getting her to make some bouquets of flowers, when Mrs W could have just drugged her and taken her out the back days previously? Why does Sarah Jane so readily trust Mrs Wormwood, even if she does save her from the other Bane? Why is UNIT security so arse (Okay, don’t answer that one)? Why is the Sontaran working with Mrs Wormwood, rather than the other Sontarans? Why do Clyde and Luke just get to sit around yapping to each other for most of the episode?

And so on.

It’s really just an excuse to have a Journey’s End reunion of old friends and old enemies. The highpoint of the episode is of course the return of old Who stalwart The Brigadier, last spotted (or should that be future-spotted?) having to endure Battlefield, a Sylvester McCoy story. Suffice it to say, The Sarah Jane Adventures is a step up from that.

But he’s not used very well at all. He’s just a bloke Sarah Jane knows who used to work for UNIT. Yes, he can mention Zygons and Daleks, but there’s nothing really Brigadierish about him here and there’s no time for Sarah Jane and the Brig to reminisce about – or even mention – the Doctor before the plot moves them along to that Slough trading estate. He might as well be the sonic lipstick for all his worth at the moment.

On the whole, far more about spectacle than coherent logic or depth. But it’s a Who finale, so that’s pretty much par for the course these days. Let’s see how it all ends up next week.

  • I watched both parts last night with my bit torrent rebel alliance friends. All of your niggling points came up as well, although the one we had fun with was Miss Wormwood running in spiked heels. (And geeks that we are, we found a splainin to cover that.)
    But still, putting on that helmet of yours and then trying to watch it as if I was part of the target audience, it made for a fun first half. At least the arrival of Karg (?) – the Sontaran at any rate – caught me by surprise.
    I guess I’m willing to accept any attempt to bring back Courtney as the Brigadier, with the caveat that we all have our off-days…..
    There was one other O’Bservation, but I’ll save that, since it was from the second half…..

  • MediumRob

    It’s a helm, not a helmet – a very important distinction – but it’s been retired since it wasn’t a good predictor. Thanks for saving the spoiler til next week!
    As for the high heels (presumably only generated as a hologram, rather than because all the tentacles have high heels on them), I did see a race with a bunch of Australian women all wearing stilettos. They did very well.

  • Well, we went with the hologram splainin as well. In “reality”, she was running on all her tentacles. Still, it was a funny image. Since it was just a hologram, she should have sailed along down the corridor better.
    Yeah… helmet might not have the appropriate connotations….. LOL

  • MediumRob

    “Since it was just a hologram, she should have sailed along down the corridor better.”
    I’m guessing the hologram simulates a certain degree of natural movement to match what the Bane is doing. Otherwise it would be a right obvious giveaway.
    But it’s just kids’ TV! We’ll be working out the physics of the Bionic Woman next if we’re not careful.

  • Um…. did that. Years ago. Actually thinking of using bionics to splain away Christian Kane’s character on ‘Leverage’…. ::hangs head sheepishly::