The Day of the Clown
|08 – The Day of the Clown|
|The Sarah Jane Adventures story|
|Script editor||Gary Russell|
|Executive producer(s)||Russell T Davies
|Production code||2.3 and 2.4|
|Length||2 episodes, 25 minutes each|
|Originally broadcast||6 & 13 October 2008|
The Day of the Clown is the second story of Series 2 of The Sarah Jane Adventures The two-part serial was broadcast on 6 and 13 October 2008; "Part One" on the CBBC Channel at 5.15 p.m. on 6 October; "Part Two" on the CBBC Channel at 5.15 p.m. on 13 October. The Day of the Clown introduces main character Rani Chandra (Anjli Mohindra) and her parents, Haresh (Ace Bhatti) and Gita Chandra (Mina Anwar), and they would stay for the rest of the series.
Luke Smith (Tommy Knight) is struggling to adjust to life without Maria Jackson (Yasmin Paige), she having moved to Washington, D.C. with her father. Meanwhile, the Chandras move into the Jacksons' old house on Bannerman Road and Sarah Jane Smith (Elisabeth Sladen) starts an investigation into disappearing children in the area. Sarah Jane makes Luke and Clyde promise her that they will not reveal her alien investigating secrets to the newcomers to Bannerman Road.
Clyde Langer (Daniel Anthony) and Luke meet new girl Rani Chandra at school. After Clyde sees a clown in school prior to the sudden disappearance of a child, Rani reveals she is being stalked by a clown that no one else can see. With Clyde having got into trouble with the new Headteacher, Rani's father, Luke arranges to keep an eye on Rani in his place and goes round to her house to help her unpack. Sarah Jane and Clyde link the disappearances of the children to the Museum of the Circus, Clyde and two of the missing children having received tickets for it. Rani, who wants to become a journalist, begins her own investigation and makes the same connection to the Museum having found a ticket in a school book belonging to one of the missing children and having a ticket herself.
Sarah Jane and Clyde explore the Museum of the Circus and encounter Elijah Spellman (Bradley Walsh). Soon they are joined by Rani and Luke and Spellman sets his robotic clowns on the group. Sarah Jane halts the clowns with her sonic lipstick, and Luke theorises that Spellman is an alien. As Sarah Jane, Luke, Clyde and Rani attempt to escape the building, Spellman reveals himself to have been the legendary Pied Piper of Hamelin and now Odd Bob the Clown seeking to feed off their fear.
Sarah Jane and the rest escape through the back door. Then Sarah Jane tells Luke about why she's scared of clowns saying that a clown toy in her room apparently came to life when she was young. The next morning, Rani looks out of her bedroom window and sees Odd Bob's balloon in her garden. When she gets to the school she tells Luke and Clyde, then a load of balloons fall down from the sky, all the school children pick them up (apart from Luke, Clyde and Rani) and fall under the spell from Odd Bob, behaving much like the Pied Piper story. But Mr. Smith uses the cellular phone system to interfere with Odd Bob's control and the children are released. Then Odd Bob suddenly kidnaps Luke, and Sarah Jane must face her fears to save Luke. Then Clyde uses his funny jokes to dissipate their fear. Odd Bob requires fear to exist, and without it, he is forced to return to the meteorite he used to come to Earth. Sarah Jane puts the meteorite into a box from which nothing can escape, not even thoughts. In the end, Clyde says how the universe is always full of surprises after everyone gets invited to the Chandra's for dinner.
- The First Doctor, John and Gillian first meet the Pied Piper in the comic Challenge of the Piper. This is also the first story to ever feature the Pied Piper in any Doctor Who media.
- Chrissie Jackson is revealed to be getting married and her daughter, Maria, is expected to return for the wedding.
- Haresh Chandra replaces Mr Blakeman as Headteacher of Park Vale High School, Blakeman having seemingly disappeared during Revenge of the Slitheen.
- Clyde reminds Luke of the disappearing children and the alien Kudlak seen in Warriors of Kudlak.
- Sarah Jane refers to her Aunt Lavinia, who appeared in K-9 and Company and was first mentioned in The Time Warrior. We learn more about Sarah Jane's upbringing with her Aunt Lavinia.
- One of the clowns shown on Sarah Jane's laptop is a promotional photo of Carmen Silvera as Clara the Clown from the 1966 Doctor Who serial The Celestial Toymaker.
- Professor Rivers of the Pharos Institute previously appeared in The Lost Boy.
After Sarah Jane reveals her fear of clowns, Luke reveals that he knows Johnny Depp is also coulrophobic having read it in Heat. Spellman outlines the history of clowns citing Pharaohs' fools, harlequins, Native American clowns and Mediaeval court jesters, and numerous references are made to the legend of The Pied Piper of Hamelin.
Broadcast and reception
"Part One" was first broadcast on the CBBC Channel at 5.15 p.m. on Monday 6 October 2008 and was repeated as part of CBBC on BBC One at 4.35 p.m. on Monday 13 October 2008. It was made available for 14 days after first broadcast on the BBC iPlayer. "Part Two" was first broadcast on the CBBC Channel at 5.15 p.m. on Monday 13 October 2008 and was repeated on BBC One at 4.35 p.m. on Monday 20 October 2008.
Writing for Dreamwatch, Matt McAllister asserts that there may not be "quite enough here to sustain a double-episode worth" but observes that there are "memorable scenes, including an ingenious final showdown." He states that Walsh is "appropriately sinister...as Odd Bob the Clown" and describes Rani as "likeable", noting that having her father as the new Headteacher is "a nice little twist". McAllister thinks that the story "owes a big debt to Stephen King’s It" (1986) and that it has shades of Torchwood episode "From Out of the Rain" and Doctor Who serial The Greatest Show in the Galaxy. In conclusion, McAllister notes that "[t]his may not be earth-shattering kids’ TV, but it’s good creepy fun nonetheless."
|Series||The Sarah Jane Adventures|
|6 November 2008|
|Preceded by||The Last Sontaran|
|Followed by||The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith|
- "The Sarah Jane Adventures series two". BBC. 2008-09-09. Retrieved 2008-10-06.
- "Part 1". BBC. 2008-10-06. Retrieved 2008-10-06.
- "The Sarah Jane Adventures series two: Broadcast details". BBC. 2008-09-09. Retrieved 2008-10-06.
- "Part One". The Day of the Clown. The Sarah Jane Adventures. 2008-10-06. BBC. CBBC Channel.
- Revenge of the Slitheen. The Sarah Jane Adventures. 2007-09-24. BBC. BBC One, CBBC Channel.
- Warriors of Kudlak. The Sarah Jane Adventures. 2007-10-15–2007-10-22. BBC. CBBC Channel.
- "The Sarah Jane Adventures". BBC. 2008-10-06. Retrieved 2008-10-06.
- McAllister, Matt (2008-10-06). "The Sarah Jane Adventures: Day of the Clown Parts 1 and 2 (series 2, episodes 3 and 4)". Dreamwatch. Archived from the original on 20 November 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-07.
- "Day of the Clown ("Sarah Jane Adventures 8") [Paperback]". Retrieved 17 December 2011.
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: The Sarah Jane Adventures|
- The Day of the Clown on TARDIS Data Core, an external wiki
- The official BBC The Sarah Jane Adventures website
- Press Pack information regarding The Day of the Clown at the BBC Press Office website
- The Day of the Clown at Doctor Who: A Brief History of Time (Travel)
- The Day of the Clown at the Doctor Who Reference Guide
- "The Day of the Clown" at the Internet Movie Database