Bringing back the much-loved companion who travelled with both Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker, The Sarah Jane Adventures capitalised on the journalist’s successful return in Season 2’s ‘School Reunion’ and launched Elisabeth Sladen as the star of her own series.
Made up of 25-minute episodes – all two-parters with a cliff-hanger in the middle – the show managed to recreate the feel of classic Doctor Who while at the same time keeping strong links with the modern incarnation of the parent show.
While we try to wait patiently for the TARDIS to return, here are six adventures with a high Doctor Who quotient…
‘Revenge of the Slitheen’ (2007)
Taking its cue from Christopher Eccleston’s 2005 adventures, ‘Revenge of the Slitheen’ saw the pesky and flatulent aliens involved in a plot to switch off the sun from behind the scenes at the local school.
As well as kicking off the first season, this tale introduced the more streetwise character of Clyde Langer into Sarah’s surrogate family as a pal for her adopted son Luke. The creatures from Raxacoricofallapatorius, with their money-grabbing schemes and unfortunate allergy to vinegar, would appear again in ‘The Lost Boy’ and ‘The Gift’.
‘The Last Sontaran’ (2008)
After being foiled by the Tenth Doctor and friends in 2008’s ‘The Poison Sky’, a lone survivor of the battle remained and came to menace the Bannerman Road gang.
While they endeavoured to foil Commander Kaagh’s schemes, crashing satellites on nuclear installations, a more domestic challenge was laid on for Alan Jackson; he had to cope with explaining Maria’s Earth defending exploits to his ex-wife.
‘Enemy of the Bane’ (2008)
Season 2’s finale brought back both Samantha Bond as the villainous Mrs Wormwood, Luke Smith’s creator, but also the lone Sontaran Commander Kaagh.
Its inclusion on this list though is primarily for the wonderful guest appearance of Nicholas Courtney in his final outing (cyber-resurrection notwithstanding) as the former Brigadier, now General Sir Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart!
‘Prisoner of the Judoon’ (2009)
Responding to the crash of an alien space pod, Sarah’s friends find themselves teamed up with a Judoon Captain on the trail of escaped prisoner Androvax the Veil.
With Sarah seemingly possessed, the young heroes had to both outwit the villain and stop the Judoon harming her.
As well as involving the Rhino headed Space Police, first seen in ‘Smith and Jones’, this story also throws links to the 2009 animated Tenth Doctor story ‘Dreamland’.
‘The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith’ (2009)
Featuring a terrific star turn from Nigel Havers, it seems that Sarah Jane might have finally found love.
Of course, it is all part of a plot by the villainous Trickster (in his third appearance) and her young associates are having none of it – but it takes a whole episode to build up to the tremendous moment when the Tenth Doctor arrives to stop the ceremony.
Filmed after the 2009 Specials, this story was David Tennant’s last occasion filming as the Tenth Doctor until he was lured back for the 50th Anniversary’.
‘The Death of the Doctor’ (2010)
Russell T Davies’ story brought Sarah Jane and friends to the Doctor’s funeral and face to face with another well-loved 1970’s era companion, Jo Jones (nee Grant).
Set on a secret UNIT base, there are Doctor Who references aplenty as the companion’s memories are mined and the gang is introduced to the Time Lord’s Eleventh incarnation.
Look out for name-checks because pretty much every one of the Doctor’s earth-bound companions who made it home gets a mention before the credits roll!
What’s your favourite The Sarah Jane Adventures story? Let us know below…