Saturday, 31 August 2013

The Sarah Jane Adventures 'Invasion of the Bane' Review

‘Invasion of the Bane’ is the first episode of the Doctor Who spin-off series The Sarah Jane Adventures.  Though not a pilot in the traditional sense but a special, it still serves as the first episode of what would become a five series show, and an introduction to a number of the main characters.

The episode focuses on thirteen year old Maria Jackson who has just moved into Bannerman Road, opposite Sarah Jane Smith.  The night after moving in to her new home Maria is awakened by a strange light coming from Sarah Jane’s garden and goes to investigate.  She discovers Sarah Jane and an alien known as a Star Poet conversing, before the alien leaves, returning to the stars above.

The following day one of Marias neighbours invites Maria to join her on a free trip to the Bubble Shock factory to see how the new drink craze is being produced.  Overhearing the two girls talking Sarah Jane decides to investigate Bubble Shock to discover just how it’s becoming so popular so fast.
Mrs Wormwood leads the Bane.
 Sarah Jane interviews the boss of Bubble Shock, Mrs Wormwood, and tries to find out why the drink has been approved so fast, especially as their secret ingredient ‘Bane’ resists any kind of analysis.  As she is leaving the facility Sarah Jane is attacked and almost killed by Wormwood’s assistant. 

In the panic that ensues Sarah Jane and Maria discover that the people behind Bubble Shock are in fact aliens that are planning to use the Bubble Shock for some unknown reason.  They also discover ‘the archetype’, a composite human created by the Bane that the two of them help to liberate. 

Knowing that the Bane are planning to use both the Bubble Shock and ‘the archetype’ Sarah Jane and Maria must find a way to stop them.
The squid like Bane hunt Sarah Jane and her companions.
‘The Invasion of the Bane’ serves as a great introduction for the series, showing Sarah Jane continuing on her fight against alien threats and the affect that it has had on her life.  At the start she is much colder and closed off then we have seen her in the past, initially reluctant to have Maria involved in what is happening trying to encourage her to forget what she has seen and return to a normal life.

By the end of the episode Sarah Jane has warmed considerably, accepting that both Maria and Luke, formerly the ‘archetype’ and now her adopted son, are now a part of something bigger and important to her.

The Bane themselves are a great creation, with top notch effects.  Despite being the first episode of a spin-off the aliens are just as amazing and beautiful as they would be in their parent show.  They are also something very un-human, with an almost squid like appearance, which gives us something new and interesting to look at.

Though the show was initially created for the child audience of Doctor Who, and at times it can be very childish, it also has a lot of heart, and Elizabeth Sladen brings such heart and wisdom to the series that it’s impossible not to fall in love with it.  A good introduction to what is a great series to come.  7/10


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