Thursday, 24 January 2013

The Sarah Jane Adventures 'Whatever Happened to Sarah Jane?' Review

The Trickster captures Sarah Jane.

The story begins with Sarah Jane giving Maria a puzzle box that was given to her by a passing alien seer that ells her to ‘remember’ and pass it along to the person she trusts the most.  A meteor is on a collision course for earth and Sarah Jane has set up, yet not activated, a force field through Mr Smith that will deflect the threat away.  With everything seemingly in hand Maria returns home for the night and falls asleep.

The next morning she wakes to find that no one has heard of either Sarah Jane or Luke Smith and that a woman named Andrea Yates is now living in Sarah Jane’s house.  Investigating into Andreas past Maria discovers that in 1964 a thirteen year-old Sarah Jane drowned after falling from a pier when she was playing there with her friend Andrea Yates. 

With no one else remembering that Sarah Jane existed and the meteor still on its way to earth Maria must find out how this change of history has happened and if possible find a way of reversing the effects and bringing Sarah Jane back before it’s too late.
Maria is surprised to find Andrea in Sarah Jane's place.
‘Whatever Happened to Sarah Jane?’ is the first episode where The Sarah Jane Adventures showed audiences that it could be more than just a kids version of Doctor Who.  The story is filled with grown up concepts and deals with life and death without shying away from the emotion that comes with it.  The scenes where Andrea realises that she must ‘kill’ herself in order to bring Sarah Jane back are amazingly well written and acted and tug at the heart.

This story marks the introduction of The Trickster, who would go on to appear in a number of other Sarah Jane stories and becomes something of her biggest foe over the course of the show.  The Trickster’s scary design along with the brilliant acting skills of Paul Marc Davis create a villain worthy of Sarah Jane, one that is a welcome addition to the Doctor Who universe.

Brilliantly acted by the main cast and with a great performance from Jane Asher as Andrea Yates this story marks a turning point in the show where it becomes more than kids fighting monsters and develops into a show that can have a very serious edge that doesn’t shy away from emotion or consequences.  7/10


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