Doctor Who #807: The Last Sontaran Part 1

"Your veins run with starlight."
TECHNICAL SPECS: All stories between this one and Enemy of the Bane Part 2 are available on the Sarah Jane Adventures Season 2 DVD set. First aired Sep.29 2008.

IN THIS ONE... Maria will soon move to America. Her last adventure involves a Sontaran survivor from The Poison Sky.

REVIEW: Series 2 of Sarah Jane Adventures and it feels to soon to be shedding cast members, but that's what's about to happen. This is Yasmin Paige's last story, on account of her concentrating on finishing high school, and so Maria, her dad and mum, all need to be whisked off the program. That's too bad, because Maria is very much the heart of the show, and our identification figure. On a narrative level, we hear very early on that the Jacksons are due for a move to America, and it's a competition to see who's the most supportive, Maria or Alan. (Chrissie, of course, can be counted on to be selfish.) The tension then comes from when Maria will tell Sarah Jane, and once she does, unless Sarah is being mind-controlled or something, she immediately tries to hide her sadness with cold support. Her lack of emotional response harks back to the pilot before Maria thawed her out. New script editor Phil Ford also plays with the audience's expectations with the introduction of Lucy, a girl who might very well take Maria's place (and I'd have liked to see her proud scientist parents, each dismissive of the other's field of study, become regulars on the show), so either it's all a red herring and Maria will find a way to stay (perhaps as Sarah's ward) or Lucy will take her place in the gang. Surprisingly, neither happens. (But let's not get ahead of ourselves.)

The season opener doesn't just have this "big news", it's also got a great monster. Oh, not that Kaagh is this awesome Sontaran or anything (couldn't hit the broad side of a barn, presumably), but his species has a history with Sarah Jane Smith, which makes the ol' space spuds perfect for the show. They were the very first alien Sarah Jane ever met, after all, and the return engagement had her a captive put to the torture (what the Sontarans call experiments). So it's entirely appropriate for her to show fear when she finds the Sontaran craft, and it definitely means something to her when Kaagh threatens to experiment on Clyde. And hey, it's just a neat idea to use the events of The Poison Sky to get this particularly Sontaran involved, a kind of mini-crossover that deals with the consequences of the Doctor's actions even if he doesn't personally appear.

- A monster from Sarah's past and the imminent departure of one of the kids. A worthy opener, now let's see where it goes.


Craig Oxbrow said...

Sadly I knew Lucy wouldn't be joining because she was too busy being a teenage vampire in another CBBC show, Young Dracula.

Siskoid said...

Another way things look different on this side of the pond.


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