The Sarah Jane Adventures 4.11-12 – Goodbye, Sarah Jane Smith (parts one and two)

Our son was really unhappy with this one for a while. Julie Graham, who I enjoyed very much in Acorn’s Queens of Mystery recently, plays Ruby White, who appears to be another amateur alien-fighter like Sarah Jane, but, to nobody’s surprise, is really another alien. The kid was not fooled for a second. We’re meant to dislike her from the outset before she turns heroic and the good guys welcome her, but the kid stayed unconvinced. He even came close to predicting the resolution. Ruby’s species have separate, second stomachs, and use them to feed on heightened emotions. Our son knew that had to be the way to stop her, but bet on them somehow boring the stomach into starvation rather than overloading it with too much fear. Always bet on overloading the enemy power source / supercomputer / second stomach.

So this is the big finale story, but it’s surprisingly low-key for a SJA finale, with no returning villains or Slitheen. Luke and K9 return for part two, but that’s it. It’s a low-budget battle of wits with few locations or speaking parts or even extras. The story was written by Gareth Roberts and his partner Clayton Hickman, and it’s full of good ideas and a good villain. It’s a shame that Elisabeth Sladen’s sad death meant that Ruby could never come back for a rematch. Julie Graham returned as a different character in series twelve of Doctor Who, and my fingers are crossed that we’ll get a second series of Queens of Mystery, because they sure did leave a lot of unresolved plot threads in that fine little show.

We’ll watch the fifth, final series of The Sarah Jane Adventures in December. Stay tuned!

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