Lost in Time (The Sarah Jane Adventures)
|23 – Lost in Time|
|The Sarah Jane Adventures story|
|Directed by||Joss Agnew|
|Written by||Rupert Laight|
|Script editor||Gary Russell|
|Produced by||Brian Minchin
Phil Ford (co-producer)
|Executive producer(s)||Russell T Davies
|Production code||4.9 and 4.10|
|Length||2 episodes, 25 minutes each|
|Originally broadcast||8 & 9 November 2010|
Sarah Jane, Rani and Clyde are lured by a newspaper article to a shop where an alien has been sighted. When they arrive, they are met by the mysterious Shopkeeper and his parrot. The Shopkeeper says he needs their help to save the Earth. They must find three objects made of chronosteen, a metal forged in the Time Vortex that can reshape destiny, before it is too late. They can be found at key points of the Earth's history. The Shopkeeper is able to open a time window, into which Sarah Jane, Rani and Clyde are forced. They are transported in time to three different eras, and each must face danger alone.
Rani ends up in the Tower of London on 19 July 1553, to be a lady-in-waiting from the East to Lady Jane Grey, who is about to be usurped by Mary I. It is, Rani realises, the final day of her reign. Rani and Lady Jane easily become friends, but meanwhile Mary's army have reached London. Rani discovers a plot by Lady Matilda to kill Lady Jane that very night.
Clyde ends up in an English coastal village in Norfolk in 1941 during World War II. He meets George, an adolescent London evacuee, who has spotted three Waffen-SS soldiers on the beach. They are led by an SS-Obersturmfuhrer from the 1st SS Panzer Division 'Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler'. They are now the only people who can save Britain from an invasion. They hide in the church, but are found and held captive; Clyde is enraged by the Nazis' racist slur. The invaders have a strange metal hammer - the Führer believes it to be Thor's Hammer itself – and with the power from this, they can block radar systems and start the invasion of Britain.
Sarah Jane ends up in a house supposedly haunted by ghosts in 1889. She meets a girl, Emily Morris, who is looking for the ghosts having recently lost her mother. At eight o'clock the 'haunting' begins. They hear a woman talk and children playing with fire. Sarah soon determines that the 'ghosts' are not from the past, however, but the future – where a fire will start and kill the children. Sarah Jane and Emily must find a way to prevent this from happening. Back in the present day, though, the Shopkeeper notes that the sands of time in his hourglass are fast running out and the others will be trapped in the past forever.
Rani stops Lady Matilda from killing her with a dagger that is made of chronosteen. Matilda wanted to make Lady Jane a martyr to inspire the Protestants to rise up against Mary. Rani stays with Jane until the latter is taken to the keep. She promises Lady Jane that she will not be forgotten by history – or by her. Taking the dagger, Rani disappears through the time window. Jane believes that Rani to be an angel and, reasoning that angels speak only the truth, goes to her death confident that she will not die in vain and will be remembered. In 1943, Clyde and George run into George's schoolteacher, Miss Wyckham, who informs them that the Home Guard and the nearby village have been captured by more Nazis. She reveals a gun in her bike's basket and sneaks back to the church with them. She runs in and holds the Nazis at gunpoint, but reveals herself to be a Nazi double agent.
Clyde gives an impassioned speech against the Nazi philosophy and distracts the Wehrmacht with his mobile phone, claiming it to be a sophisticated bomb; George is able to use that moment to snatch Thor's Hammer. The pair lock themselves in a chamber below the bell tower, and repeatedly chime the bell to alert the townsfolk and Home Guard of the emergency. The Germans dash back to the beach, but are captured by the Home Guard. George asserts his duty and desire to join the military as soon as he is of age, dismissing Clyde's request that he wait until 1945; Clyde implores him to be careful before disappearing into the time window. We later learn that George went to the beach and posed armed for a photograph with the German troops whose capture he and Clyde had facilitated. Miss Wyckham is presumably executed given the penalty for treason in Britain in 1943.
Sarah Jane resets the clock to eight o'clock and the 'haunting' continues. This time, they see the future babysitter talking on an early mobile telephone. The children are locked in a room playing with a candle. Emily manages to call out to the children and they hear her; it is her fear from losing her mother that connects her with them. Emily uses this ability to turn the key in the lock and the children escape. Sarah Jane, now holding the Chronosteen key, starts disappearing through the time window, but Emily takes the key and won't let go. When Sarah Jane returns to the present, the time window has become critical and, without the key, the world will still be sucked into the Time Vortex. At this moment, though, a woman enters the shop with the key just in time. The time window closes. The Shopkeeper, without explanation of the whole affair, bids them farewell and disappears with the three items and his parrot, Captain, who is apparently the master of their operation!
The woman is Angela Price, a granddaughter of Emily. She has been told by Emily to come to the shop shown in the article on this exact day and give back the key. Sarah Jane takes Angela for a cuppa and a talk, and while walking out of the shop, Clyde compliments Rani's makeover into Tudor dress. Later, he looks up George online and finds that his friend went on to sign up to fight age 16, was decorated as a war hero and became a famous figure in the world of radar technology – recently decorated by the Queen at age 83. Meanwhile, Rani is similarly researching Lady Jane Grey and takes comfort from the doomed queen's letter to her sister affirming that she would go to her death with an unshakeable faith.
- The Shopkeeper seems to know all about Sarah Jane, Rani and Clyde's previous adventures, noting that they have all travelled in time before (while he is "forbidden" to do so). Sarah Jane travelled with The Doctor, of course, while Rani and Clyde slipped back into the past in The Eternity Trap and The Temptation of Sarah Jane Smith.
- According to Neil Gaiman, Russell T. Davies liked the idea that the Shopkeeper was actually the Time Lord known as The Corsair, who was mentioned in Gaiman's Doctor Who episode "The Doctor's Wife".
- Rani confides in the married teenage Queen Jane that she does have a male friend, building on the affection that has formed between her and Clyde through the episodes of the series.
- Rani is continually addressed as "Lady Rani" in the court of Queen Jane, being mistaken for a newly summoned lady-in-waiting. She was coincidentally created a lady at the end of the preceding episode, The Empty Planet, by an alien ruler known as Gavin.
- The Shopkeeper was due to return in the 5th series of The Sarah Jane Adventures, before Elisabeth Sladen's untimely death from cancer in 2011. He appeared briefly in the 5th series first episode part two (Sky) claiming to have left Sarah Jane's new child Sky on her doorstep as a baby.
- Angela Price was the real name of Mrs. Moore in the Doctor Who story Rise of the Cybermen/The Age of Steel
- Pixley, Andrew; Spilsbury, Tom (13 July 2011). "Credits". Doctor Who Magazine Special Edition: The Sarah Jane Companion, Volume Two (Special Edition #28): 114.
- "Press Office - Network TV Programme Information BBC Week 45 Monday 8 November 2010". BBC. Retrieved 17 February 2012.
- Gaiman, Neil. "Eleven Things You Probably Didn't Know About The Corsair".