And now back to the autumn of 2010 and series four of the huggable The Sarah Jane Adventures. This was the series where the team mostly drops to a trio. Tommy Knight left the show and this is Luke’s final appearance as a member of the regular cast, although he shows up in a few more stories to come.
This story feels like a really strange one to launch the new series. It feels like the season cheapie, with almost no additional speaking parts or locations. The Nightmare Man is a being from another dimension who feeds on dream energy. It doesn’t feel like anything that original’s going on here, but it’s done with style and is sufficiently creepy. Our son demurred, saying it’s “more Halloweeny than creepy,” and assuring us that he would not be horrified by the Nightmare Man’s bad dreams. He’s just say “So what? Bored,” and wake up. Then again, this kid has probably had fewer bad dreams in nine years than anybody else in the world. He probably doesn’t understand why people are bothered by them.
The most interesting part of the story is the Nightmare Man himself. He’s played by Julian Bleach, the most recent actor to play Davros in Doctor Who, and he seems to have borrowed his body language from the Child Catcher in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. I thought it was quite a fun performance.
The story ends with Luke driving off to Oxford to start university with K9 in tow. I wonder how he’s going to explain the tin dog to his dorm’s resident assistant.