13 December 2021: not really a review of Flux added.
Want us to let you know when we post a new review? Click here to join our mailing list.
THE SARAH JANE ADVENTURES
The Doctor Who spinoff series starring former companion Sarah Jane Smith. For books based on the series, click here.
Complete Series 1
UK: buy DVD at Amazon US: buy DVD at Amazon
The Invasion Of The Bane
Sarah Jane Smith is, was and ever will be our favourite companion, so of course we're watching this spinoff series. Hey, if we thought it was pointless watching a kids' series we'd never be Doctor Who fans in the first place. And while this is obviously aimed squarely at a younger age group than its fun-for-all-the-family Doctor Who parent, that didn't detract from our enjoyment at all. In short, we loved it.
Sarah Jane isn't the bubbly girl she used to be: she's older and she's colder. Yeah, well, waiting decades for a man to reappear, only to find when he does that he's traded you in for a newer model, will probably do that. Her initial chilliness makes her quite unsympathetic, a brave decision and one we applaud. Of course, part of the point is that she's thawed out a bit by the end, but still, she's nobody's best friend. She's a strong and brave woman who doesn't care what anybody thinks of her. We like that a lot.
Lis Sladen has lost none of the magic. She's still utterly Sarah Jane, and she's what makes the new series so compelling. But the rest works too: even if the aliens disguised as humans determined to take over the world is an old, old story, it's engagingly presented and never dull. Samantha Bond as the chief villain is a lesson in how to be superbly evil without going over the top (coughRacnosscough), but performances, other than the slightly too try-hard Kelsey, are strong throughout. As long as they resist the alien-invasion-of-the-week syndrome, this has the potential to be a very promising addition to the Doctor Who family.
Sarah Jane Adventures Series 2
UK: buy DVD at Amazon   US: buy DVD at Amazon
Sarah Jane Adventures Series 3