Doctor Who #899: The Man Who Never Was Part 2

"It's a family thing."
TECHNICAL SPECS: First aired Oct.18 2011.

IN THIS ONE... The team free the enslaved Skullions forced to drive the holographic Joseph Serf. It's the bittersweet last SJA episode.

REVIEW: So the twist is that while, yes, it's all a money scheme, the real villain is the man behind the man, Mr. Harrison, who has "spent billions to make billions" and gotten himself alien "light sculptors" on the black market. I have no idea if this is a sound business plan, but I would have been interested in seeing Sarah Jane take down this black market operation in the future. Harrison's a bad dude, a slave owner who resorts to torture to keep his property subjugated. It's a dark idea, but one Gareth Roberts balances with the twitching Mr. Serf and Clani posing as a married couple of journalists from a geriatric magazine. Remarkably - and this could have been difficult with four kids in the mix - the situation is resolved using plenty of team work. Everyone has a role to play, and surely that's part of SJA's overall message. Maybe I don't buy how easy it is for Luke and Sky to figure out and pilot the Serf hologram, but so long as we're having fun, it hardly matters.

One of the nice things about this episode is how irrepressible the kids are. There is no stopping them. Each in turn is told to stay put, but had they done that, things would have turned out very differently. It's a mark of how motivated they are that by the time Luke sends a Morse signal to Clyde and Rani, they're already well on their way to infiltrate Serf's big event. Nice to see some resolution on the Sky/Luke rivalry as well. The little girl DOES empathize with her older brother, and offers to give him his room back. So sweet. And Luke turns around and gives it right back, again really sweet. Good kids. I'll miss them.

This wasn't meant to be the last Sarah Jane Adventure, but since it was, the production tried to give it some closure using clips and voice-over elements from the past five seasons. This intimation that their adventures went on forever (supported by The Mad Woman in the Attic too) is a wonderful way to end the series. Bittersweet, but positive, and not unlike a similar addition to Doctor Who's Survival. Get your tissues out, you might need them.

REWATCHABILITY: Medium-High(ish)
- It's a fine story, and the characters are all well used, though there's some nonsense plotting and a villain you might consider over-the-top. The episode being SJA's last gives it a melancholy resonance, however, that gives it an emotional punch.


Craig Oxbrow said...

A nice end, if not as big as it might have been.

Still amazed by "grab his pen".

Siskoid said...

Oh? Why?

Craig Oxbrow said...

"Never been so glad to see a full stop."

It's a wee bit... suggestive.


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