Regular readers of this blog know that I’m fascinated by stories that we didn’t get to see. So “Lost in Time” is a favorite with me because it introduces Cyril Nri as a mysterious shopkeeper who is forbidden to travel in time, but, with the assistance of a parrot called the Captain, can send other people to other times to do his work for him. And apart from a very brief appearance in the following season, that’s pretty much all we get.
There’s a delightful bit of extra-canon possibility. Neil Gaiman, who wrote the following season’s wonderful “The Doctor’s Wife” – the high point of series six and second favorite Smith story behind his debut for me – contributed a little text piece to the 2012 Christmas Brilliant Book called “Eleven Things You Probably Didn’t Know About the Corsair”, a character mentioned in that story, and Russell T. Davies suggested that the shopkeeper may have been one of the Corsair’s nine lives. One of the Corsair’s female incarnations (there were at least two) finally got a legit appearance in a comic published last year.
As for the actual adventure, it’s really entertaining and our son was practically hopping in place with excitement. Sarah Jane’s adventure with a young ghost hunter in the 1880s thrilled him most. When time seemed to run out and she hadn’t grabbed the macguffin to return to the present, his fists were clenched as tightly as any child’s fists can be.