Aliens Of London

Doctor WhoThe Doctor brings Rose back to Earth, promising that as far as anyone there is concerned, she’s only been gone for 12 hours. As it turns out, though, the Doctor’s control of the TARDIS is somewhat erratic – Rose has, in fact, been gone for 12 months, making her mother’s life a living hell and making her boyfriend Mickey a murder suspect. Just as things seem to calm down after her arrival, an alien spaceship plummets through the skies over London, crashing right through Big Ben and coming to rest in the Thames. The Doctor seems optimistic at first that perhaps this is humanity’s first contact with aliens, but his curiosity takes him to a hospital near the crash site, where the body of the ship’s pilot is being kept. He quickly discovers that all is not as it seems, and that aliens have, in fact, been on Earth for some time, but even the Doctor doesn’t suspect how deeply they’ve entrenched themselves into society until the Slitheen reveal themselves.

Order the DVDDownload this episodewritten by Russell T. Davies
directed by Keith Boak
music by Murray Gold

Guest Cast: Camille Coduri (Jackie Tyler), Corey Doabe (Spray Painter), Ceris Jones (Policeman), Jack Barlton (Reporter), Lachele Carl (Reporter), Fiesta Mei Ling (Ru), Basil Chung (Bau), Matt Baker (himself), Andrew Marr (himself), Rupert Vansittart (General Asquith), David Verrey (Joseph Green), Navin Chowdhry (Indra Ganesh), Penelope Wilton (Harriet Jones), Annette Badland (Margaret Blaine), Naoko Mori (Doctor Sato), Eric Potts (Oliver Charles), Noel Clarke (Mickey Smith), Jimmy Vee (Alien), Steve Spiers (Strickland), Elizabeth Fost (Slitheen), Paul Kasey (Slitheen), Alan Ruscoe (Slitheen)

Reviews by Philip R. Frey & Earl Green
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World War Three

Doctor WhoThe Doctor escapes the Slitheen, but of all the experts on alien life forms called to 10 Downing Street, only he survives. Rose and Harriet Jones, an MP who was among the first to witness the aliens’ true nature and survive, also barely escape the Slitheen, while Rose’s connection to the Doctor even makes her mother and Mickey targets for Slitheen elimination. Unable to escape 10 Downing Street, the Doctor, Rose and Harriet manage to fight their way to the most secure room in the building and lock the Slitheen out – but that also means that help can’t reach them. And when Mickey and Rose’s mother manage to kill their own Slitheen pursuer with advice phoned in by the Doctor, humankind’s first contact situation may become its last.

Order the DVDDownload this episodewritten by Russell T. Davies
directed by Keith Boak
music by Murray Gold

Guest Cast: David Verrey (Joseph Green), Camille Coduri (Jackie Tyler), Penelope Wilton (Harriet Jones), Noel Clarke (Mickey Smith), Rupert Vansittart (General Asquith), Morgan Hopkins (Sergeant Price), Andrew Marr (himself), Annette Badland (Margaret Blaine), Steve Spiers (Strickland), Jack Tarlton (Reporter), Lachele Carl (Reporter), Corey Doabe (Spray Painter), Elizabeth Fost (Slitheen), Paul Kasey (Slitheen), Alan Ruscoe (Slitheen)

Reviews by Philip R. Frey & Earl Green
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Boom Town

Doctor WhoThe Doctor parks the TARDIS in Cardiff, Wales, to recharge the ship via the residual energy remaining from the death of the Gelth. They meet up with Mickey, but the reunion is interrupted when the Doctor learns that Margaret Blaine, the Slitheen in human disguise who survived the attack on 10 Downing Street, is also in Cardiff – as its mayor. Margaret has apparently convinced her constituents to let her build a massive nuclear reactor in the heart of Cardiff. The Doctor, Rose, Jack and Mickey try to corner Margaret at her office, but Mickey accidentally lets her escape until the Doctor thwarts her attempts to teleport herself to safety. After discovering that the reactor project is simply a cover story for a device that will help Margaret escape the solar system (at the cost of destroying Earth), the Doctor plans to return her to her home planet as soon as the TARDIS is ready to travel again, even if it means that she’ll face the death penalty for crimes she committed there.

Order the DVDDownload this episodewritten by Russell T. Davies
directed by Joe Ahearne
music by Murray Gold

Guest Cast: William Cleaver (Mr. Thomas), Annette Badland (Margaret), John Barrowman (Captain Jack), Noel Clarke (Mickey), Mali Harries (Cathy), Aled Pedrick (Idris Hopper), Alan Ruscoe (Slitheen)

Reviews by Philip R. Frey & Earl Green
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Revenge Of The Slitheen – Part 1

The Sarah Jane AdventuresWhen the school year begins anew, Maria Jackson returns to class with Luke, the alien boy adopted by Sarah Jane, and their new friend Clyde. But something’s just not right at their school – a foul smell pervades the entire campus, lunch is moldy, and the flatulent faculty simply tell the offended students to “pick out the bad bits”. Worse yet, Clyde quickly discovers that bringing a packed lunch simply isn’t an option. When Luke demonstrates an aptitude for science, his science teacher begins to pick his brain for solutions to a massive electrical system that, while it’s well beyond current human technology, has a fatal flaw. Sarah begins to investigate the company that constructed the school’s new technology center, and sends Maria and Luke to look it over for themselves – where they find a plot to destroy the Earth.

Season 1 Regular Cast: Elisabeth Sladen (Sarah Jane Smith), Yasmin Paige (Maria Jackson), Tommy Knight (Luke), Daniel Anthony (Clyde)

Get the DVDDownload this episodewritten by Gareth Roberts
directed by Alice Troughton
music by Sam Watts / title music by Murray Gold

Guest Cast: Joseph Millson (Alan Jackson), Juliet Cowan (Chrissie Jackson), Alexander Armstrong (Mr. Smith), Martyn Ellis (Blakeman), Ian Midlane (Jeffrey), Pamela Merrick (Wendy), Imogen Bain (Janine), Anton Thompson McCormick (Carl), Jimmy Vee (Carl Slitheen), Paul Kasey (Jeffrey / Blakeman / Janine Slitheen)

Notes: Alice Troughton, who is still no relation to second Doctor Patrick Troughton, is the first director to helm episodes of the new Doctor Who as well as Torchwood and the Sarah Jane Adventures. Although Mr. Smith is an otherworldly computer, it appears to rely on completely earthly power sources. Lachelle Carl has played an American newscaster on numerous occasions in Doctor Who, including – ironically – Aliens Of London, the first appearance of the Slitheen. The character of Kelsey, from Invasion Of The Bane, was replaced in the weekly series by Clyde.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Revenge Of The Slitheen – Part 2

The Sarah Jane AdventuresAfter extricating herself from the Slitheen trap, Sarah rescues the children – and is appalled to find that Clyde has learned of the Slitheen’s presence and her own brand of special investigations. With the help of her computer, Mr. Smith, Sarah finds out more about the Slitheen and their plan to bring Earth to its knees. But when Luke sees the blueprint for a worldwide Slitheen power network, he realizes that his exceptional work on a science assignment has put the human race in jeopardy. The Slitheen put their plan into motion, plunging much of the world into darkness, and even independently-powered devices like cars and Sarah’s sonic lipstick won’t work. Armed with determination and no small amount of vinegar, Sarah and her friends take off at a run to save the world.

Get the DVDDownload this episodewritten by Gareth Roberts
directed by Alice Troughton
music by Sam Watts / title music by Murray Gold

Guest Cast: Joseph Millson (Alan Jackson), Juliet Cowan (Chrissie Jackson), Alexander Armstrong (Mr. Smith), Martyn Ellis (Blakeman), Ian Midlane (Jeffrey), Pamela Merrick (Wendy), Imogen Bain (Janine), Anton Thompson McCormick (Carl), Lachelle Carl (American Newsreader), Jimmy Vee (Carl Slitheen), Paul Kasey (Jeffrey / Blakeman / Janine Slitheen)

Notes: The Judoon (Doctor Who: Smith And Jones) are mentioned as pursuing the remaining members of the family Slitheen. Sarah apparently tips off UNIT to the need for a cleanup operation at the school.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Lost Boy – Part 1

The Sarah Jane AdventuresWhen Luke’s face appears on a TV newscast about a grief-stricken couple’s search for their missing son, Sarah and Luke’s friends are shocked. Maria’s mother tips the police off about having seen Luke at Sarah’s house, and they descend upon the house to recover Luke and place Sarah under arrest. After a little bit of intervention from UNIT, Sarah is released with no charges filed, but everyone is suspicious of Luke’s “real family” – especially Luke, who finds himself now virtually a prisoner in their home. But when Clyde, believing he has solid proof that Luke is not in the hands of his real parents, calls on Sarah’s computer, Mr. Smith, he discovers that there’s more wrong than anyone realized.

Get the DVDDownload this episodewritten by Phil Ford
directed by Charles Martin
music by Sam Watts / title music by Murray Gold

Guest Cast: Joseph Millson (Alan Jackson), Juliet Cowan (Chrissie Jackson), Alexander Armstrong (Mr. Smith), Jay Simpson (Jay), Holly Atkins (Heidi), Ryan Watson (Nathan Goss), Floella Benjamin (Professor Rivers), Julian Dutton (Chief Inspector), Paul Kasey (Jay Slitheen), Jimmy Vee (Nathan Slitheen), Ruari Mears (Heidi Slitheen)

Notes: The Pharos Institute is apparently the same group that built the enormous receiving antenna from which the fourth Doctor fell shortly before his regeneration in the 1981 Doctor Who episode Logopolis; it is noted in dialogue that the Institute has existed for over 20 years.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Lost Boy – Part 2

The Sarah Jane AdventuresWith Luke’s family revealed to be Slitheen, and Mr. Smith having turned against Sarah, it doesn’t seem that things can get much worse. Luke escapes his captors and goes to Sarah’s house, but Mr. Smith is waiting to spring a trap. Harnessing Luke’s latent potential for telekinesis, Mr. Smith forces the moon out of its orbit and toward Earth. With Mr. Smith out of commission, Sarah has to rely on Maria’s dad for his computer smarts…but can his skills shut down a computer that’s not of this Earth? And can Clyde help him from the other side of the screen?

Get the DVDDownload this episodewritten by Phil Ford
directed by Charles Martin
music by Sam Watts / title music by Murray Gold

Guest Cast: Joseph Millson (Alan Jackson), Juliet Cowan (Chrissie Jackson), Alexander Armstrong (Mr. Smith), Jay Simpson (Jay), Holly Atkins (Heidi), Ryan Watson (Nathan Goss), Floella Benjamin (Professor Rivers), Julian Dutton (Chief Inspector), Paul Kasey (Jay Slitheen), Jimmy Vee (Nathan Slitheen), Ruari Mears (Heidi Slitheen), Jason Mohammad (Newsreader), John Leeson (voice of K-9)

Notes: Despite statements from the BBC that K-9 would not appear in The Sarah Jane Adventures beyond Invasion Of The Bane, he appears here, voiced as always by John Leeson.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

(Red Nose Day Special 2009)

The Sarah Jane AdventuresA fairly routine day for Sarah and the kids is turned upside-down with the sudden arrival of a dapper little man claiming to be a representative of the Galactic Alliance. Sarah is skeptical but at least offers him some hospitality – at least until the first signs that the man is not who he says he is. When K-9 appears to warn of the man’s true identity, the trap is sprung – and it appears that the intruder is pursuing his prey with a dogged determination.

Get the DVDwritten by Gareth Roberts & Clayton Hickman
directed by
music by Sam Watts / title music by Murray Gold

Cast: Elisabeth Sladen (Sarah Jane Smith), Ronnie Corbett (Ronnie), Tommy Knight (Luke), Daniel Anthony (Clyde), Anjli Mohindra (Rani), John Leeson (voice of K-9), Jimmy Vee (Ronnie Slitheen)

Notes: Comedian Ronnie Corbett is best known as half of The Two Ronnies, a beloved comedy duo whose television specials were a high point of the BBC’s schedule between 1971 and 1987; Corbett starred with the late Ronnie Barker throughout the show’s run, and The Two Ronnies is even referenced as a gag in this short special. The Comic Relief “Red Nose Day” telethon and the Doctor Who universe have had one other collision, in 1999 with the broadcast of the two-part Doctor Who spoof The Curse Of Fatal Death, starring Rowan Atkinson (and a number of others) as the Doctor, and written by future Doctor Who showrunner Steven Moffat. While writer Gareth Roberts has penned several adventures for Sarah Jane and Doctor Who, this is his first televised collaboration with Doctor Who Magazine editor-in-chief Clayton Hickman; the two wrote two comedy-themed Doctor Who audio adventures for Big Finish, The One Doctor and Bang-Bang-a-Boom! Hickman may be best known to fandom as the cover artist in residence for most of 2|entertain’s Doctor Who classic series DVD releases in the UK; he served in that capacity for the early years of Big Finish as well.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Gift – Part 1

The Sarah Jane AdventuresSarah and her friends engage in one of their least favorite pastimes: tracking down a nest of Slitheen bent on destroying the world. Just as it looks as though the Slitheen have the advantage, two more Slitheen-like creatures appear, neutralizing both the Slitheen and their world-destroying equipment. The newcomers introduce themselves as members of the Blathereen family, and claim to be devoted to law and order – by way of bringing the last remaining members of the Slitheen family to justice. The Blathereen apologize for the Slitheen’s behavior over the years and offers a gift to humanity as an apology, a vegetable which they say will eliminate famine on Earth. Sarah asks for time to study the gift before distributing it to the rest of the Earth… but the gift has its own timetable for spreading across the planet, with or without human assistance.

Get the DVDDownload this episodewritten by Rupert Laight
directed by Alice Troughton
music by Sam Watts / title music by Murray Gold

Guest Cast: Alexander Armstrong (Mr. Smith), John Leeson (voice of K-9), Miriam Margolyes (voice of Leef Blathereen), Simon Callow (voice of Tree Blathereen), Paul Kasey (Leef Blathereen), Ruari Mears (Tree Blathereen), Calvin Dean (Chris), Jimmy Vee (Chris Slitheen), Edward Judge (Dave), Sarah Paul (Miss Jerome)

Notes: Actor Simon Callow had previously played Charles Dickens in The Unquiet Dead, the third episode of the new Doctor Who series in 2005, and had been rumored as a contender for the role of the Doctor himself. Miriam Margolyes made multiple appearances in Blackadder. The Blathereen do have a point: the Slitheen have a lot to answer for: they crop up persistently in the Doctor Who episodes Aliens Of London, World War Three and Bad Wolf, and they’ve kept Sarah Jane & company busy in Revenge Of The Slitheen and The Lost Boy. The real reason the Slitheen keep popping up: the partly-animatronic Slitheen costumes are still among the most expensive investments made in the new Doctor Who series (and its subsequent spinoffs).

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Gift – Part 2

The Sarah Jane AdventuresThe Blathereen’s “gift” is spreading itself throughout London and, within days, will overrun the entire Earth. Clyde and Rani are lucky – when the plant spreads through their school, they have K-9 on hand to help (but only because Clyde has brought K-9 along to help him cheat on a test). Luke is not so lucky, but even with the prospect of him dying from his infection, Sarah decides to confront the Blathereen, and this time she’s going in guns blazing.

Get the DVDDownload this episodewritten by Rupert Laight
directed by Alice Troughton
music by Sam Watts / title music by Murray Gold

Guest Cast: Alexander Armstrong (Mr. Smith), John Leeson (voice of K-9), Miriam Margolyes (voice of Leef Blathereen), Simon Callow (voice of Tree Blathereen), Paul Kasey (Leef Blathereen), Ruari Mears (Tree Blathereen), Sarah Paul (Miss Jerome), Nick Williams (Reporter)

Notes: The BBC news report lists Perivale (Ace’s old stomping grounds, as seen in the 1989 Doctor Who story Survival) and Chiswick (the site of Donna’s wedding in The Runaway Bride) among the sites infested with heavy concentrations of the Blathereen’s plant.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The End Of Time – Part 2

Doctor WhoThe Master has twisted the Immortality Gate into his own weapon, projecting himself as a template onto every human on Earth: every human on Earth is now the Master. The two aliens working undercover in Naismith’s operation are unaffected, and Wilfred is unaffected as well, stuck in the Master’s isolation booth. But the only other human not possessed by the Master is Donna Noble, whose adventures with the Doctor are flooding back into her mind. Wilfred urges her to run, but soon the amount of information crowding her human brain causes her to collapse. The Master interrogates the Doctor, demanding to know the whereabouts of the TARDIS, but this grueling interrogation is soon interrupted by the two aliens, who teleport themselves, the Doctor and Wilfred to their ship in orbit.

An alien artifact arrives on Earth, a piece of the extinct world of Gallifrey, and only then does the Master realize what the drumbeat in his head is: the rhythm of a Time Lord’s hearts. The Master uses this piece of Gallifrey to establish a link, and the entire planet of Gallifrey materializes close enough to Earth that tidal forces begin tearing the smaller planet apart. The Time Lords, desperate to escape their imminent doom in the Time War, have broken free by sending their distress signal – the drumbeat – back in time. They created the Master and made him a madman, all to compel him to provide an escape route for Gallifrey. The Lord President and members of the High Council of the Time Lords arrive on Earth, where the Master demands their obedience and just as quickly discovers that the Lord President is ready to eliminate him: the Master has served his purpose where the Time Lords are concerned. The Doctor cuts Gallifrey’s link to Earth as the Master and the Time Lord President do battle; the planet of the Time Lords disappears again, taking the Master with it.

But it is only after the crisis is averted that the Doctor realizes that the prophecy of his own death has nothing to do with the Time Lords or the Master.

Order the DVDDownload this episodewritten by Russell T. Davies
directed by Euros Lyn
music by Murray Gold

Cast: David Tennant (The Doctor), John Simm (The Master), Bernard Cribbins (Wilfred Mott), Timothy Dalton (Lord President), Catherine Tate (Donna Noble), Jacqueline King (Sylvia Noble), Billie Piper (Rose Tyler), Camille Coduri (Jackie Tyler), John Barrowman (Captain Jack Harkness), Freema Agyeman (Martha Smith-Jones), Noel Clarke (Mickey Smith), Elisabeth Sladen (Sarah Jane Smith), Jessica Hynes (Verity Newman), June Whitfield (Minnie Hooper), Claire Bloom (The Woman), Thomas Knight (Luke Smith), Russell Tovey (Midshipman Frame), David Harewood (Joshua Naismith), Tracy Ifeachor (Abigail Naismith), Lawry Lewin (Rossiter), Sinead Keenan (Addams), Joe Dixon (The Chancellor), Julie LeGrand (The Partisan), Brid Brennan (The Visionary), Karl Collins (Shaun Temple), Krystal Archer (Nerys), Lachele Carl (Trinity Wells), Paul Kasey (Ood Sigma), Ruari Mears (Elder Ood), Silas Carson (voice of Ood Sigma), Nicholas Briggs (voice of Judoon), Dan Starkey (Sontaran), Matt Smith (The Doctor)

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The Nightmare Man – Part 1

The Sarah Jane AdventuresEncouraged by one of his teachers to take his A-levels early, Luke not only succeeds with flying colors, but is accepted in Oxford at what seems like an alarmingly young age (not taking into account that he’s not entirely human). Suddenly, he’s only days away from moving away from home, but something else is scaring him: repeated visits from an entity that he’s sure is going to try to destroy the world. This man appears only in his nightmares and warns Luke that the boy’s nightmares are feeding the being power. And then one night, Luke discovers that he isn’t just dreaming these encounters: the Nightmare Man is real.

Season 4 Regular Cast: Elisabeth Sladen (Sarah Jane Smith), Tommy Knight (Luke Smith), Daniel Anthony (Clyde Langer), Anjli Mohindra (Rani Chandra), Alexander Armstrong (Mr. Smith)

Get the DVDDownload this episodewritten by Joseph Lidster
directed by Joss Agnew
music by Sam Watts / title music by Murray Gold

Guest Cast: Julian Bleach (The Nightmare Man), John Leeson (voice of K-9), Paul Kasey (Slitheen), Toby Longworth (voice of the Slitheen)

Notes: Actor Julian Bleach completes his trifecta of Doctor Who terror here, having appeared in Doctor Who as Davros in The Stolen Earth and Journeys’ End, and first appearing in Torchwood in From Out Of The Rain.

LogBook entry by Earl Green