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 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

The Nightmare Man – Part 2

The Sarah Jane AdventuresLuke is trapped in the clutches of the Nightmare Man, unable to wake up and unable to keep the being from also trapping Clyde and Rani in their nightmares. Sarah Jane discovers evidence that the Nightmare Man is real, and calls on all of her resources to help Luke and the others wake up. But when Luke, Rani and Clyde throw off the shackles of the Nightmare Man, he decides to stalk a victim whose nightmares must surely be even worse: Sarah Jane herself.

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), Doon Mackichan (Louise Marlowe), John Leeson (voice of K-9)

Notes: Luke and K-9 take their leave as series regulars in this episode, with K-9 going to look after Luke at Oxford in the story. Behind the scenes, K-9’s departure was probably necessitated by the fact that, since the last series of The Sarah Jane Adventures, the long-delayed, Australian-produced K-9 spinoff (also featuring the voice of John Leeson) had finally gotten off the ground after many false starts and pre-production roadblocks.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Vault Of Secrets – Part 1

The Sarah Jane AdventuresA young girl breaks into a high-tech complex disguised as a crumbling building in London, and is chased out of the building by three suited men with guns mounted on their decidedly artificial arms. When the girl is outside, she collapses in exhaustion – and notorious intergalactic criminal Androvax the Destroyer is revealed as having commandeered her body. He gives his pursuers the slip and flees.

Androvax next appears on Bannerman Road, where he takes over Rani’s body and asks Sarah Jane for help. The men pursuing him have locked Androvax’s entire civilization, the Veils, into a hyperdimensional vault, fearing that all of his people will be capable of the same crimes as Androvax himself. Since the android men in black are expecting Androvax, he needs Sarah’s help to free the Veils. But it’s only once Sarah, Clyde and Rani have been noticed by the men in black that it becomes apparent that Androvax isn’t telling them everything.

Get the DVDDownload this episodewritten by Phil Ford
directed by Joss Agnew
music by Sam Watts & Dan Watts / title music by Murray Gold

Guest Cast: Mina Anwar (Gita Chandra), Ace Bhatti (Haresh Chandra), Angus Wright (Mister Dread), Mark Goldthorp (Androvax), Cheryl Campbell (Ocean Waters), David Webber (Minty), Sophie Benjamin (Gill)

Notes: Androvax first appeared in the season 3 opener Prisoner Of The Judoon. Sarah gives MR. Smith the task of jamming transmission from NASA’s Mars Rover (presumably the Opportunity rover, since its identical twin, Spirit, has been marooned in Martian sand since April 2009); if Mr. Smith hadn’t accomplished this task, a large pyramid would’ve been visible in transmissions returned to Earth. Since Sarah says the pyramids was constructed by an ancient and “terrible” civilization, it’s presumably one of the Pyramids of Mars constructed by the Osirans, which Sarah herself visited with the fourth Doctor in the 1976 Doctor Who story of the same name. In this episode, Tommy Knight appears as Luke via webcam only.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Vault Of Secrets – Part 2

The Sarah Jane AdventuresAfter jumping from Clyde’s body to that of Rani’s mother, Androvax – now in possession of both of the keys to the vault imprisoning his people – has escaped from both the men in black and Sarah Jane. The men in black have no qualms about killing Rani’s mother to save the world from the Veils, but Rani certainly has a problem with it. And Sarah is now in the difficult position of having to entrust the entire future of the human race to suited androids who she isn’t entirely sure she trusts.

Get the DVDDownload this episodewritten by Phil Ford
directed by Joss Agnew
music by Sam Watts & Dan Watts / title music by Murray Gold

Guest Cast: Mina Anwar (Gita Chandra), Ace Bhatti (Haresh Chandra), Angus Wright (Mister Dread), Mark Goldthorp (Androvax), Cheryl Campbell (Ocean Waters), David Webber (Minty), Perry Blanks (Van Driver)

Notes: Clyde refers to Mulder & Scully, so apparently, as with Star Trek (see Doctor Who: The Empty Child), The X-Files is on the air in the Doctor Who universe. Tommy Knight is not credited in this episode, since Luke appears only in clips in the standard opening montage narrated by Clyde.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Death Of The Doctor – Part 1

The Sarah Jane AdventuresUNIT soldiers converge on Bannerman Road bearing bad news: an alien race called the Shansheeth is coming to Earth, with the body of the Doctor, who has recently died. Sarah immediately goes into denial, certain that the Doctor could never meet such a fate, but UNIT and the Shansheeth present a devastatingly convincing case. And more than most of his acquaintances, Sarah is aware that even seeing a body wouldn’t be proof, since she has no idea what the Doctor looks like now.

The Doctor’s memorial is set to be held at UNIT HQ, and Sarah is stunned to find few in attendance. One other former companion of the Doctor does show up, however: Jo Jones, formerly Jo Grant, who traveled with the third Doctor, attends with her grandson, Santiago. Her instincts are the same as Sarah’s: the Doctor can’t have died so easily. In the meantime, Clyde and Rani get to know Santiago, but Clyde is distracted by an unusual energy that keeps arcing across his hand – the same kind of energy that enveloped the TARDIS when he last saw the Doctor. The three then eavesdrop on a conversation among the Shansheeth, confirming what Sarah and Jo have already said: the Doctor is still alive… and, as usual, is in terrible trouble.

Get the DVDDownload this episodewritten by Russell T. Davies
directed by Ashley Way
music by Sam Watts & Dan Watts / title music by Murray Gold

Guest Cast: Matt Smith (The Doctor), Katy Manning (Jo Jones), Finn Jones (Santiago Jones), Laila Rouass (Colonel Karim), Jimmy Vee (Groske), Paul Kasey (Shansheeth), Ruari Mears (Shansheeth), Ben Ashley (Shansheeth), David Bradley (voice of Shansheeth Blue), Phillip Hurd-Wood (voice of the Groske), Jon Glover (additional Shansheeth voices)

Notes: Luke puts in another webcam appearance in this episode, which also marks writer Russell T. Davies’ return to the Doctor Who universe, for the first time since The End Of Time Part Two. Clips from that episode, The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith, Pyramids Of Mars (referenced twice in as many stories) and Death To The Daleks are shown as Sarah, Clyde and Rani remember the first and last times they met the Doctor; curiously, while Sarah recalls her encounters with the third, fourth and tenth Doctors, her brief meeting with the Doctor’s second and fifth incarnations (The Five Doctors) isn’t shown to be remembered (an omission which has occurred before, as Sarah seems to have forgotten that incident as far back as School Reunion). Jo mentions Metebelis III (The Green Death and Planet Of The Spiders), Peladon and Aggedor (The Curse of Peladon and The Monster of Peladon), and Karfel (Timelash – a sixth Doctor episode in which it is revealed that the third Doctor and Jo visited there before), while Sarah recalls a visit to Renaissance Italy (Masque Of Mandragora). Contrary to some print fiction published in the non-TV lean years of Doctor Who, Jo is still married to Cliff Jones, who is still an environmental activist. Though Jo has reappeared in many of the spinoff media (both print and audio), this is the character’s, and Katy Manning’s, first return to the role on TV. Russell T. Davies has said in interviews that, budget permitting, he would have brought back many more former comrades of the Doctor, such as the Brigadier and Romana. Though the music is credited to the usual SJA composing team of Sam and Dan Watts, Murray Gold‘s UNIT theme from Doctor Who accompanies the first appearance of the UNIT soldiers.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Death Of The Doctor – Part 2

The Sarah Jane AdventuresThe Doctor appears in the flesh – more or less – as the Shansheeth corner Sarah, Jo, Rani, Clyde and Santiago. The only problem is that the Doctor has to switch places with Clyde. This deposits Clyde in a treacherous alien landscape while the Doctor battles the Shansheeth and saves his former companions in person. The two switch places multiple times, with the Doctor finally taking Sarah and Jo to the alien planet with him, needing their help to prevent that planet’s destruction. But this leaves the younger adventurers trapped, at the mercy of the Shansheeth and UNIT Colonel Karim (who turns out to be in league with the Shansheeth). By the time the Doctor, Sarah and Jo return to Earth, there’s no time for reminiscing – Clyde, Rani and Santiago’s lives are at stake, and the Shansheeth have no problem threatening any of them to get what they really want: the key to the TARDIS.

Get the DVDDownload this episodewritten by Russell T. Davies
directed by Ashley Way
music by Sam Watts & Dan Watts / title music by Murray Gold

Guest Cast: Matt Smith (The Doctor), Katy Manning (Jo Jones), Finn Jones (Santiago Jones), Laila Rouass (Colonel Karim), Jimmy Vee (Groske), Paul Kasey (Shansheeth), Ruari Mears (Shansheeth), Ben Ashley (Shansheeth), David Bradley (voice of Shansheeth Blue), Phillip Hurd-Wood (voice of the Groske), Jon Glover (additional Shansheeth voices)

Notes: The Doctor mentions that Amy and Rory are traveling with him, placing Death Of The Doctor after The Big Bang (we don’t see Amy and Rory because they’re away from the TARDIS on their honeymoon). Jo says here that she hasn’t seen the Doctor since his departure in The Green Death, though the Doctor says that “the last time he was dying” he looked in on all of his former companions, not just the Russell T. Davies-era companions he was seen to visit in The End Of Time Part Two. In one scene given a great deal of scrutiny even before the episode aired, the Doctor tells Clyde he can regenerate “507 times,” though it’s entirely possible that he’s joking (or dodging the question of his own mortality). When Clyde asks if the Doctor is “always white,” the Doctor says he can “be anyone.” The end of the episode contains a huge laundry list of former TARDIS travelers and their current activities, some of which conflict with the various spinoff media:

  • Tegan Jovanka: still in Australia, “fighting for Aboriginal rights.” (Presumably in her spare time from being a high-powered businesswoman in Brisbane, as heard in The Gathering.)
  • Ben and Polly: running an orphanage in India.
  • Dr. Harry Sullivan: saved thousands of lives by creating new vaccines, presumably after his work with UNIT and (as mentioned in Mawdryn Undead) the Ministry of Defense. Sarah speaks of Harry in the past tense; actor Ian Marter, who played Harry, died in 1986.
  • “Dorothy Somebody” – presumably Ace (real name: Dorothy McShane) – has raised billions through her organization, A Charitable Earth (the initials work out to “ACE”). (This is the hardest to square with the spinoff media, almost all of which bend over backward to deposit Ace in late 19th century France, a fate first posited in the novelization of The Curse Of Fenric which, since it was written by Ian Briggs, who not only wrote the TV episodes but also created Ace, has to be given at least some consideration. The New Adventures novels Set Piece and Lungbarrow equip Ace with a time-traveling motorcycle, however, so Ace’s fate may be playing out in multiple time zones.)
  • Ian and Barbara – married and are both professors at Cambridge, and supposedly they’ve “never aged, not since the sixties.”

As most of these characters’ post-TARDIS lives have seldom been mentioned except in media such as the novels and audio plays, these explanations can be considered more or less official. It’s also worth noting that the script editor of The Sarah Jane Adventures, Gary Russell, has been heavily involved with all of the novel ranges to date as well as with Big Finish’s audio productions, so it’s likely that he advised writer Russell T. Davies on the destinies for these characters that various fan writers had charted down through the years.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Empty Planet – Part 1

The Sarah Jane AdventuresClyde and Rani wake up one morning to find that they’re apparently the only human beings left anywhere in the world. Even Sarah has vanished without a trace – even leaving her sonic lipstick – and Mr. Smith is completely inert. The power is still on, but mobile phone networks are down. Clyde wonders why cars and planes haven’t crashed everywhere they go. After nearly a day of searching, they find one other human teenager, a boy named Gavin, and more trouble than they can handle, in the form of two huge robots roaming the streets.

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

Guest Cast: Ace Bhatti (Haresh Chandra), Jocelyn Jee Esien (Carla Langer), Joe Mason (Gavin), Paul Kasey (Red Robot), Ruari Mears (Yellow Robot)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Empty Planet – Part 2

The Sarah Jane AdventuresGavin helps Rani out of a tight spot, cornered by a huge robot, but he balks when he hears Rani and Clyde planning to follow the robots back to their base instead of running for their lives. Clyde and Rani can only come up with one reason that they’ve been left alone on Earth – their “grounding” by the Judoon after their first run-in with Androvax – but that doesn’t apply to Gavin. The robots pursuing them turn out not to be deadly – and, as it happens, not even remotely interested in Clyde or Rani. Gavin is their target, and he’s the key to restoring life to Earth… and Rani and Clyde have sent him running for his own safety.

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

Guest Cast: Ace Bhatti (Haresh Chandra), Jocelyn Jee Esien (Carla Langer), Joe Mason (Gavin), Paul Kasey (Red Robot), Ruari Mears (Yellow Robot), Jon Glover (voice of the Robots)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Lost In Time – Part 1

The Sarah Jane AdventuresSummoned to a mysterious shop of curiosities, Sarah, Rani and Clyde are alarmed to discover that they’re been drafted into helping solve a mystery involving three artifacts made of an alien metal, scattered through Earth’s history. Without even being given a chance to refuse this assignment, the three are sent to different time periods – Clyde to war-torn England in 1941, Rani to the Tower of London in the last hours of the reign of the nine-day Queen, and Sarah to a house whose sole occupant is certain that the place is haunted. Each only has a limited amount of time to find the missing pieces, and each is in much more peril than they’re prepared for.

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

Guest Cast: Cyril Nri (The Shopkeeper), Amber Beattie (Queen Jane), Elizabeth Rider (Mistress Ellen), Fiona Hampton (Lady Matilda), Richard Wisker (George), Tom Wlaschiha (Koenig), Gwyneth Keyworth (Emily), Lucie Jones (Gemma), Morgan-Faith Hughes (Katy), Llewcus Oaten (Ben)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Lost In Time – Part 2

The Sarah Jane AdventuresThings aren’t go well in any of the points in Earth’s past where Sarah and her friends are looking for pieces of the alien relic. Even once she finds the dagger that is part of the relic, Rani becomes more involved in the fall of the Nine Day Queen, opting to stay in the past to protect her. In World War II, Clyde finds himself dealing with treachery on the home front as Germans attempt to gain a foothold on British soil. Their piece of the relic is in plain view, and under heavy guard. And the relic that Sarah is sent to find in the late 19th century is the key to a tragedy that binds past and future – and it’s a relic that she won’t succeed in bringing back to present-day Earth.

Get the DVDDownload this episodewritten by Rupert Laight
directed by Joss Agnew
music by Sam Watts & Dan Watts / title music by Murray Gold

Guest Cast: Cyril Nri (The Shopkeeper), Amber Beattie (Queen Jane), Elizabeth Rider (Mistress Ellen), Fiona Hampton (Lady Matilda), Richard Wisker (George), Tom Wlaschiha (Koenig), Catherine Bailey (Miss Wyckham), Gwyneth Keyworth (Emily), Rowena Cooper (Angela), Lucie Jones (Gemma), Morgan-Faith Hughes (Katy), Llewcus Oaten (Ben)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Goodbye, Sarah Jane Smith – Part 1

The Sarah Jane AdventuresSarah, Rani and Clyde rush to the landing site of a meteorist landing, intent on making sure that the space rock doesn’t spread any extraterrestrial germs into Earth’s ecosphere, only to find that someone else has beaten them to the punch. They’re surprised to see the same vehicle on Bannerman Road – the woman who neutralized the meteorite threat, Ruby White, has moved in a few doors down from Sarah Jane. Though she’s not terribly friendly at first, Ruby eventually reveals herself to be another defender of the Earth, with her own alien technology that alerts her to impending invasions of Earth. But Ruby seems to be more in top of things than Sarah is – in fact, Sarah seems to be losing her grip. She eventually concludes that the only responsible course of action is to step down, and hand off the job of protecting Earth to Ruby.

Get the DVDDownload this episodewritten by Clayton Hickman & Gareth Roberts
directed by Joss Agnew
music by Sam Watts / title music by Murray Gold

Guest Cast: Mina Anwar (Gita Chandra), Ace Bhatti (Haresh Chandra), Julie Graham (Ruby White), Eddie Marsan (Mr. White)

Notes: Sarah says that she was 23 years old at the time of the Doctor Who story The Time Warrior.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Goodbye, Sarah Jane Smith – Part 2

The Sarah Jane AdventuresWith Ruby’s true identity revealed, Sarah is trapped. Clyde and Rani aren’t convinced by the “message” Sarah leaves for them by way of Mr. Smith, however, and Ruby immediately sets about trying to turn the two against each other. But Ruby hasn’t counted on one thing – Luke returns from Cambridge, trying to find out why he can’t contact Sarah.

written by Clayton Hickman & Gareth Roberts
directed by Joss Agnew
music by Sam Watts / title music by Murray Gold

Get the DVDDownload this episodeGuest Cast: Mina Anwar (Gita Chandra), Ace Bhatti (Haresh Chandra), Julie Graham (Ruby White), Eddie Marsan (Mr. White), John Leeson (voice of K-9)

Notes: Luke makes his first appearance in person since part 2 of The Nightmare Man here, as does K-9.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Sky – Part 1

The Sarah Jane AdventuresSarah Jane watches a meteorite as it plunges to Earth, only it’s no meteorite: it’s a crashing space vehicle delivering a hunter called the Metalkind to Earth. Hours later, Sarah Jane is awakened by someone at the door, but when she opens the door there’s no one there – except for a baby left unattended. The infant obviously isn’t human, though: her cry blows every light bulb and power outlet along Bannerman Road.

At a nearby nuclear power station, another alien incursion takes place. The mysterious and powerful Miss Myers appears out of a ball of energy and “enlists” the plant’s worker to help her track down her child. The Metalkind is also seeking her child, for entirely different reasons. Sarah, Rani and Clyde are left holding the baby – which turns out to be a living weapon.

Get the DVDwritten by Phil Ford
directed by Ashley Way
music by Sam Watts & Dan Watts / title music by Murray Gold

Cast: Elisabeth Sladen (Sarah Jane Smith), Tommy Knight (Luke Smith), Daniel Anthony (Clyde Langer), Anjli Mohindra (Rani Chandra), Mina Anwar (Gita Chandra), Ace Bhatti (Haresh Chandra), Alexander Armstrong (Mr. Smith), Christine Stephen-Daly (Miss Myers), Gavin Brocker (Caleb), Paul Kasey (The Metalkind), Chloe Savage (baby Sky), Ella Savage (baby Sky), Amber Donaldson (baby Sky), Scarlet SkyDonaldson (baby Sky), Sinead Michael (Sky), Floella Benjamin (Professor Rivers), Peter-Hugo Daly (Hector), Will McLeod (voice of the Metalkind)

Notes This was the first Sarah Jane Adventures episode to air after the death of series star Elisabeth Sladen earlier in 2011. Of a planned six two-part stories, three were finished prior to production halting due to her illness.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Sky – Part 2

The Sarah Jane AdventuresIn a burst of alien energy, Sky suddenly grows from an infant to a girl in the early stages of adolescence. Miss Meyers orders Sky to destroy the Metalkind and fulfill her destiny as a genetically-engineered weapon, but Sarah puts a stop to those instructions and makes a quick escape with her friends. Miss Meyers rigs up her Metalkind captive to send a distress signal to others of his kind, drawing them to Earth. At Sarah’s home, Mr. Smith finds that Sky’s destructive abilities can’t be deactivated: if she ever encounters sufficient numbers of Metalkind, she’ll become a powerful living bomb who can’t be defused. Sarah desperately tries to convince Sky that it’s still her choice whether or not to use that power… but when the Metalkind start arriving, what chance will anyone on Earth have?

Get the DVDwritten by Phil Ford
directed by Ashley Way
music by Sam Watts & Dan Watts / title music by Murray Gold

Cast: Elisabeth Sladen (Sarah Jane Smith), Tommy Knight (Luke Smith), Daniel Anthony (Clyde Langer), Anjli Mohindra (Rani Chandra), Mina Anwar (Gita Chandra), Ace Bhatti (Haresh Chandra), Alexander Armstrong (Mr. Smith), Christine Stephen-Daly (Miss Myers), Gavin Brocker (Caleb), Paul Kasey (The Metalkind), Chloe Savage (baby Sky), Ella Savage (baby Sky), Amber Donaldson (baby Sky), Scarlet SkyDonaldson (baby Sky), Sinead Michael (Sky), Will McLeod (voice of the Metalkind), Cyril Nri (The Shopkeeper)

Notes: The Shopkeeper (and his parrot, or is that the other way around?) made his previous appearance in season 4’s Lost In Time two-parter. Although credited, Tommy Knight does not appear in this episode.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Curse Of Clyde Langer – Part 1

The Sarah Jane AdventuresClyde and Rani’s school day – and Sarah’s attempt to enroll Sky in their school – is brought to a standstill when fish begin raining from the sky. Mr. Smith suggests a connection between the unusual storm and a Mojave totem pole on display at a nearby museum – a totem whose discovery was also associated with raining fish. Clyde touches the totem pole and gets a splinter in his finger. The next day, his friends begin turning against him and telling him to get out of their sight – anyone exposed to the sight or sound of Clyde’s name suddenly hates him. Even his own mother kicks him out of his house. In the space of one day, Clyde has gone from alien hunter and budding artist to homeless.

Get the DVDwritten by Phil Ford
directed by Ashley Way
music by Sam Watts / title music by Murray Gold

Cast: Elisabeth Sladen (Sarah Jane Smith), Daniel Anthony (Clyde Langer), Anjli Mohindra (Rani Chandra), Sinead Michael (Sky), Ace Bhatti (Haresh Chandra), Alexander Armstrong (Mr. Smith), Lily Sarah Jane AdventuresLoveless (Ellie), Jocelyn Jee Esien (Carla Langer), Sara Houghton (Doctor Madigan), Elijah Baker (Steve Wallace), Anwar Lynch (Security Guard)

Notes: Clyde’s perusal of a book about the French Revolution is a gag that goes all the way back to the very first Doctor Who episode, in which the Doctor’s granddaughter Susan was seen reading a similar book. (In 1988’s 25th anniversary story Remembrance Of The Daleks, Ace was seen glancing at a similar book – possibly the same one, since both stories took place at Coal Hill School.)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Curse Of Clyde Langer – Part 2

The Sarah Jane AdventuresLed to shelter by a homeless girl, Clyde is a man without a home, a family, or friends. Determined to survive, he has to learn the ways of life on the streets fast. Sarah and Rani still can’t say his name without feeling a sudden, inexplicable rage, but Sky seems completely unaffected. Sky finally works up the courage to set Mr. Smith to the task of solving the curse, but he discovers that the “curse” is actually a cover for an alien being trying to gain a foothold on Earth. Thanks to the splinter that’s still in hs finger, Clyde holds the key to stopping this alien invasion… but how can anyone ask him for his help when they can’t bear to say his name?

Get the DVDwritten by Phil Ford
directed by Ashley Way
music by Sam Watts / title music by Murray Gold

Sarah Jane AdventuresCast: Elisabeth Sladen (Sarah Jane Smith), Daniel Anthony (Clyde Langer), Anjli Mohindra (Rani Chandra), Sinead Michael (Sky), Ace Bhatti (Haresh Chandra), Alexander Armstrong (Mr. Smith), Lily Loveless (Ellie), Jocelyn Jee Esien (Carla Langer), Sara Houghton (Doctor Madigan), Angela Pleasance (Mystic Mags), Ewart James Jones (Max)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Man Who Never Was – Part 1

The Sarah Jane AdventuresLuke is coming home from college, and it’ll be the first time he’s met Sky since Sarah adopted her. Sarah’s been invited to a sneak preview of the soon-to-be-launched SerfBoard personal computer, and takes Luke and Sky with her so they can get to know each other. But both of them notice something else: Serf “glitches,” a telltale sign of a hologram. Sarah manages to land an exclusive interview with Serf, and begins asking awkward questions, producing the expected result: whoever is controlling the hologram of Serf can’t keep up with the unusual line of questioning. But Serf isn’t the real threat, and he’s not in charge of Serf Systems. Who’s pulling the strings, and what secrets lie inside the SerfBoard that’ll soon be in the hands of millions?

Get the DVDwritten by Gareth Roberts
directed by Joss Agnew
music by Sam & Dan Watts

Cast: Elisabeth Sladen (Sarah Jane Smith), Tommy Knight (Luke Smith), Daniel Anthony (Clyde Langer), Anjli Mohindra (Rani Chandra), Sinead Michael (Sky), James Sarah Jane AdventuresDreyfus (Harrison), Mark Aiken (Serf), Edyta Budnik (Adriana), Peter Bowles (Lionel Carson), Dan Starkey (Plark), Alexander Armstrong (Mr. Smith)

Notes: While Serf’s name is a play on Vint Cerf, one of the computer scientists instrumental in the creation and development of the internet, the character of Serf seems to be largely based on Apple Computer co-founder Steve Jobs, who died mere days before this story’s premiere. (The iPad-like SerfBoard and its carefully orchestrated PR rollout are also storngly reminiscent of Jobs’ meticulously stage-managed 2010 introduction of the iPad, and the jab at Serf’s payment and treatment of its labor force is also clearly aimed at Apple.) Serf is played by Irish-born actor Mark Aiken, who’s been busy on both sides of the Atlantic, appearing in 24, Charmed, Alias, CSI and MI-5.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Man Who Never Was – Part 2

The Sarah Jane AdventuresThe real power behind Serf has been revealed: the hologram of the long-dead computer tycoon is being generated by enslaved aliens, at the behest of Serf’s former business partner. Desperate to keep the truth from getting out, he locks up Sarah, Sky and Luke, and threatens the alien minions trapped in the bowels of the Serf Systems building. After receiving a message from Luke, Clyde and Rani go undercover to get into Serf’s building to rescue Sarah and the others. Sarah finds that others have been detained in order to keep Serf’s illusion a secret, and helps to free them as well. But can the plot be exposed before Serf’s hypnotic hologram persuades the public to buy a SerfBoard for every home?

Get the DVDwritten by Gareth Roberts
directed by Joss Agnew
music by Sam & Dan Watts

Sarah Jane AdventuresCast: Elisabeth Sladen (Sarah Jane Smith), Tommy Knight (Luke Smith), Daniel Anthony (Clyde Langer), Anjli Mohindra (Rani Chandra), Sinead Michael (Sky), James Dreyfus (Harrison), Mark Aiken (Serf), Edyta Budnik (Adriana), Peter Bowles (Lionel Carson), Dan Starkey (Plark), Alexander Armstrong (Mr. Smith), Jason Mohammad (Newsreader)

Notes: The was the final episode of The Sarah Jane Adventures produced before production was halted due to Elisabeth Sladen’s health. She died on April 19th after a lengthy battle with cancer, and the three two-part stories already “in the can” for the fifth season were completed and aired in October of that year, Sarah Jane Adventureswrapping up the series. A special montage covering the entire series was added to the end of The Man Who Never Was. With no new season of Torchwood commissioned following Miracle Day, the end of The Sarah Jane Adventures also marks the end of Russell T. Davies’ involvement in the Doctor Who universe.

Guest star Dan Starkey is better known as the actor most frequently engaged to play Sontaran roles in both Sarah Jane Adventures and the new Doctor Who; he has also begun providing Sontaran voices for Big Finish Productions’ Doctor Who audio stories. Alexander Armstrong, the voice of Sarah’s sentient computer Mr. Smith, would go on to appear (in person for once!) in the 2011 Doctor Who Christmas special.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Dawn Of The Nekross – Part 1

Wizards vs. AliensA pair of wizards cast an incantation in a stone circle, apparently drawing the attention of an alien spacecraft. The Nekross have arrived on Earth to begin harvesting the power of magic, upon which their king and their entire species feeds. Since practitioners of magic on Earth tend to live in seclusion, keeping their powers secret, they’ll make easy prey.

When his class gets a welcome break from school to take a field trip to the stone circle, young wizard Tom Clarke – the latest in a long line of wizards, whose dad cautions him against misusing his powers – finds a magical artifact. His science geek classmate Benny is quick to dismiss the possibility that the item has magical properties, until he sees it glowing in Tom’s hand. The Nekross, aboard a spaceship hidden behind the far side of the moon, detect the surge of energy from the item (dropped by their last victims) and begin a search for Tom so they can drain him of his magic. Tom’s grandmother, Ursula, arrives to protect her grandson by using her own powers, but the two of them make an even more tempting treat for the aliens.

Order the serieswritten by Phil Ford
directed by Daniel O’Hara
music by Sam Watts

Wizards vs. AliensCast: Scott Haran (Tom Clarke), Percelle Ascott (Benny Sherwood), Gwendoline Christie (Lexi), Jefferson Hall (Varg), Brian Blessed (voice of the Nekross King), Annette Badland (Ursula Crowe), Michael Higgs (Michael Clarke), Tim Rose (Nekross King puppeteer), Manpreet Bambra (Katie Lord), Connor Scarlett (Quinn Christopher), Paul Hunter (Robert France), Harry Lawtey (young Mark), Brian Miller (old Mark), Sara Stewart (Miss Webster)

Notes: Created by Russell T. Davies to fill the time slot and resources previously allocated to The Sarah Jane Adventures (whose run ended abruptly upon the death of its star, Elisabeth Sladen, in 2011), Wizards vs. Aliens is not a Doctor Who spinoff. Most of the behind-the-scenes personnel from SJA continue to work on this show, and a few familiar faces can be found in front of the camera as well. Annette Badland portrayed Blon Slitheen in the first season of Davies’ Doctor Who revival, while actor Brian Miller is the widower of Elisabeth Sladen and appeared in Doctor Who and SJA numerous times. Brian Blessed also appeared in Doctor Who (in one of the series’ most controversial segments, parts 5-8 of The Trial Of A Time Lord), but is thankfully better known for appearances in Blackadder, Flash Gordon, and as the voice of Boss Nass, the Gungan leader in Star Wars Episode I.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Dawn Of The Nekross – Part 2

Wizards vs. AliensWith their three spells for the day exhausted, Tom and his grandmother are powerless to stop the magic-harvesting Nekross. Tom manages to teleport himself back to Earth, whereupon he has to rock Benny’s entire belief in the way things work to the core and explain that both magic and evil aliens from space are real. Benny offers to help, but Tom realizes that the only real help for him lies in his grandmother’s hidden crawlspace, where all of her magic books and artifacts are kept. This space also contains the imp Randal Moon, who immediately offers his help in retrieving Tom’s grandmother from the Nekross; Tom’s dad, who isn’t a magic user, finds himself swept into space along with Moon. Magic is useless against the Nekross – they’re immune to it, and thrive off of the energy created by its use – but the non-magic-users help to prove that Nekross technology is susceptible to old-fashioned brute force and escape with all of the wizards that the Nekross have captured. With the knowledge that his friend is in danger, Benny offers to help Tom with scientific know-how the next time the Nekross appear.

Order the serieswritten by Phil Ford
directed by Daniel O’Hara
music by Sam Watts

Wizards vs. AliensCast: Scott Haran (Tom Clarke), Percelle Ascott (Benny Sherwood), Annette Badland (Ursula Crowe), Michael Higgs (Michael Clarke), Jefferson Hall (Varg), Gwendoline Christie (Lexi), Brian Blessed (voice of the Nekross King), Tim Rose (Nekross King puppeteer), Dan Starkey (Randal Moon), Paul Hunter (Robert France), Brian Miller (old Mark)

Notes: Dan Starkey has played numerous Sontaran characters on Doctor Who, most notably the moon-hating Strax; he was also the leader of the enslaved aliens in the Sarah Jane Adventures story that became that series’ finale.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Grazlax Attacks – Part 1

Wizards vs. AliensStill hiding on the far side of the moon in their massive warship, the Zarantulus, the Nekross have a problem: their king demands a fresh infusion of the magical energy from wizards, but at least a few of Earth’s wizards are now aware of the Nekross’ existence and are fighting back. Tom, Ursula and Randal Moon cast a shrouding spell to conceal Earth’s magic from the Nekross. Tom breathes a sigh of relief: he can go back to being a normal teenager, starting with teaming up with Benny on schoolwork (a bit less stressful than teaming up to fight an alien invasion). The response from the aliens is to send another alien species to do their dirty work. The vicious, seemingly unstoppable Grazlax homes in on Tom, and follows him straight to Benny’s house.

Order the serieswritten by Phil Ford
directed by Daniel O’Hara
music by Sam Watts

Wizards vs. AliensCast: Scott Haran (Tom Clarke), Percelle Ascott (Benny Sherwood), Annette Badland (Ursula Crowe), Jefferson Hall (Varg), Gwendoline Christie (Lexi), Brian Blessed (voice of the Nekross King), Tim Rose (Nekross King puppeteer), Dan Starkey (Randal Moon), Manpreet Bambra (Katie Lord), Connor Scarlett (Quinn Christopher), Don Gilet (Richard Sherwood), Nina Sosanya (Tricia Sherwood), Dave Chapman (Grazlax), Robert Tygner (Grazlax)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Grazlax Attacks – Part 2

Wizards vs. AliensTrapped in Benny’s house with the Grazlax, Tom discovers only too late that trying to ward the alien creature off with a hair dryer simply allows it to reproduce. Once the creature finds the ecologically friendly boiler Benny’s dad has built in the basement, it starts to reproduce almost at will, each “generation” creating three new Grazlax from the remains of a single Grazlax. The boy discover that high-pitched sound has an effect on their pursuers, and in space, the Nekross discovers that the Grazlax may be too powerful for even their technology to control.

Order the serieswritten by Phil Ford
directed by Daniel O’Hara
music by Sam Watts

Wizards vs. AliensCast: Scott Haran (Tom Clarke), Percelle Ascott (Benny Sherwood), Annette Badland (Ursula Crowe), Jefferson Hall (Varg), Gwendoline Christie (Lexi), Brian Blessed (voice of the Nekross King), Tim Rose (Nekross King puppeteer), Dan Starkey (Randal Moon), Manpreet Bambra (Katie Lord), Dave Chapman (Grazlax), Robert Tygner (Grazlax)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Rebel Magic – Part 1

Wizards vs. AliensVarg and Lexi accost a teenage wizard named Jackson Hawke and try to abduct him to drain his magic. He quickly shows that he has no intention of becoming their latest victim – and has the magic to back it up despite his modest age – by banishing them to the Egyptian desert with a single spell.

Tom is having problems at school – his grades are falling because he had been using magic to complete his homework, magic which he now feels he has to reserve for Nekross-related emergencies. Naturally, Tom’s dad has a thing or two to say about this revelation, and even at school, Tom is finding himself ostracized from his old crowd because of his recent tendency to spend his time with Benny. Tom narrowly escapes being mugged when Jackson Hawke steps in, and Tom is immediately fascinated by the older boy’s magical prowess, though he quickly learns that Jackson uses magic to avoid school, to avoid work, to avoid paying for anything – and he’s ready to teach Tom how to use his magic the same way.

Order the serieswritten by Joseph Lidster
directed by Griff Rowland
music by Sam Watts

Wizards vs. AliensCast: Scott Haran (Tom Clarke), Percelle Ascott (Benny Sherwood), Annette Badland (Ursula Crowe), Michael Higgs (Michael Clarke), Jefferson Hall (Varg), Gwendoline Christie (Lexi), Brian Blessed (voice of the Nekross King), Tim Rose (Nekross King puppeteer), Connor Scarlett (Quinn Christopher), Andy Rush (Jackson Hawke), Joshua Herdman (Steve), Claire Cage (Julia Hawke), Holli Dempsey (Meena)

Notes: The Nekross King devoured his own brother to ascend to the throne; it’s apparently not uncommon for sibling rivalries to be resolving in this manner on their planet.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Rebel Magic – Part 2

Wizards vs. AliensTom and Jackson Hawke return to Jackson’s house, finding that Benny followed Tom there – and so did the Nekross hunter Varg, who is holding Benny at gunpoint. Jackson urges Tom to use a darker magical force to banish Varg, and then Jackson himself uses the same kind of magic to erase Benny’s memory and send him on his way. The two young wizards plan to wait until sunrise for their magic to recharge, and then launch their own offensive against the Nekross aboard the Zarantulus. Benny, thinking that it’s that morning, goes to Tom’s house, where Ursula recognizes the spell that he’s been placed under and reverses it, learning of Jackson’s use of grim magic. At sunrise, the two wizards attack the Nekross ship with a spell, drawing the aliens’ attention enough to earn an invitation to deep space. Jackson plans to use grim magic to eliminate the Nekross forever – even if his continued use of it burns out his own mind.

Order the serieswritten by Joseph Lidster
directed by Griff Rowland
music by Sam Watts

Wizards vs. AliensCast: Scott Haran (Tom Clarke), Percelle Ascott (Benny Sherwood), Annette Badland (Ursula Crowe), Michael Higgs (Michael Clarke), Jefferson Hall (Varg), Gwendoline Christie (Lexi), Brian Blessed (voice of the Nekross King), Tim Rose (Nekross King puppeteer), Dan Starkey (Randal Moon), Andy Rush (Jackson Hawke), Claire Cage (Julia Hawke)

Notes: On the surface, it would appear that the concept of grim magic is interchangeable with the more familiar concept of “black magic”, though the latter term was probably omitted to avoid offending anyone (particularly those who are likely to protest any mention of magic in children’s entertainment to begin with).

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Friend Or Foe – Part 1

Wizards vs. AliensAt the bidding of the King, Lexi devises an impressive disguise allowing her to pass for a human – so well, in fact, that her brother thinks an unauthorized human has boarded the Zarantulus. She plans to use this disguise to capture Tom, unaware that she’s competing with someone to control his power: a secret organization of Earth is trying to prove the existence of wizards, and has spotted Tom using his powers on London’s ubiquitous closed circuit TV cameras. Men in black capture Tom and the disguised Lexi, shove them into black vans, and take off…and before the day is out, the human race is aware of the Nekross as well. Now Benny and Varg have to join forces to find them.

Order the serieswritten by Clayton Hickman
directed by Griff Rowland
music by Sam Watts

Wizards vs. AliensCast: Scott Haran (Tom Clarke), Percelle Ascott (Benny Sherwood), Annette Badland (Ursula Crowe), Michael Higgs (Michael Clarke), Jefferson Hall (Varg), Gwendoline Christie (Lexi), Brian Blessed (voice of the Nekross King), Tim Rose (Nekross King puppeteer), Dan Starkey (Randal Moon), Manpreet Bambra (Katie Lord), Connor Scarlett (Quinn Christopher), Ruthie Henshall (Stephanie Gaunt), Chuk Iwuji (Adams), James Barriscale (Mr. Fisher)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Friend Or Foe – Part 2

Wizards vs. AliensMs. Gaunt’s shadowy organization isn’t part of the government; she’s trying to harness magic to help her commit crimes. When she discovers that Lexi is an alien with technology beyond the human race, it’s all the better – and she begins interrogating Lexi, something to which even Tom takes offense. Varg, looking for his sister, reluctantly turns to Benny and to Tom’s grandmother for help, though Varg’s definition of “help” is “submitting to an excruciatingly painful brain scan”. With Ms. Gaunt trying to enslave them both, wizards and aliens form an unlikely alliance to defeat her.

Order the serieswritten by Clayton Hickman
directed by Griff Rowland
music by Sam Watts

Wizards vs. AliensCast: Scott Haran (Tom Clarke), Percelle Ascott (Benny Sherwood), Annette Badland (Ursula Crowe), Michael Higgs (Michael Clarke), Jefferson Hall (Varg), Gwendoline Christie (Lexi), Brian Blessed (voice of the Nekross King), Tim Rose (Nekross King puppeteer), Dan Starkey (Randal Moon), Ruthie Henshall (Stephanie Gaunt), Chuk Iwuji (Adams)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Fall Of The Nekross – Part 1

Wizards vs. AliensTired of living under constant Nekross threat, Ursula casts an obscure spell to repel the Zarantulus using Earth’s own gravity…but it barely causes the ship to budge. Benny suggests fighting Nekross science with perfectly ordinary Earth computer science: he hacks into a global distributed computing network intended for educational purposes, and uses it to transmit an Earthly computer virus to the Nekross. Barely spaceworthy, the Zarantulus withdraws to conduct extensive repairs. They contact Benny, demanding merciful treatment instead of ann attack that leaves their ship unable to sustain life. But Ursula, having praised Benny for fending off the Nekross without bloodshed, decides this is no time for mercy.

Order the serieswritten by Gareth Roberts
directed by Joss Agnew
music by Sam Watts

Wizards vs. AliensCast: Scott Haran (Tom Clarke), Percelle Ascott (Benny Sherwood), Annette Badland (Ursula Crowe), Michael Higgs (Michael Clarke), Jefferson Hall (Varg), Gwendoline Christie (Lexi), Brian Blessed (voice of the Nekross King), Tim Rose (Nekross King puppeteer), Dan Starkey (Randal Moon), Tom Bell (Jathro)

Notes: Apparently technomages – wizards who achieve their “magic” by using technology and science – exist in the Wizards vs. Aliens universe as well as the Babylon 5 universe. The Nekross really need to install McAffee or Avast or something, or at least learn some IT best practices while they’re observing Earth.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Fall Of The Nekross – Part 2

Wizards vs. AliensWith the Zarantulus mere hours away from falling apart in deep space, Benny is wracked with guilt over what he has done, and is shocked to find that the entire Crow family seems to be all in favor of killing the Nekross. But Tom, feeling equally guilty, rushes to help Benny find a way to deliver help to the Nekross, in the form of Benny himself. Tom plans to use a stone circle to magically “remember” how the Nekross’ teleport works, so Benny can eliminate the virus from their ship, but for the use of such powerful magic, the stones exact a punishing price on whoever uses them.

Order the serieswritten by Gareth Roberts
directed by Joss Agnew
music by Sam Watts

Wizards vs. AliensCast: Scott Haran (Tom Clarke), Percelle Ascott (Benny Sherwood), Annette Badland (Ursula Crowe), Michael Higgs (Michael Clarke), Jefferson Hall (Varg), Gwendoline Christie (Lexi), Brian Blessed (voice of the Nekross King), Tim Rose (Nekross King puppeteer), Dan Starkey (Randal Moon), Tom Bell (Jathro), Gabriel Woolf (voice of the Stones)

Notes: Gabriel Woolf provided the voice of Sutekh in the classic 1976 Doctor Who story The Pyramids Of Mars, a role he has also reprised for Big Finish Productions.

LogBook entry by Earl Green