The Day of the Clown

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08 – The Day of the Clown
The Sarah Jane Adventures story
Directed by Michael Kerrigan[1]
Written by Phil Ford[1]
Script editor Gary Russell
Produced by Matthew Bouch[2]
Executive producer(s) Russell T Davies
Julie Gardner
Production code 2.3 and 2.4
Series Series 2
Length 2 episodes, 25 minutes each
Originally broadcast 6 & 13 October 2008
← Preceded by Followed by →
The Last Sontaran Secrets of the Stars
List of The Sarah Jane Adventures serials

The Day of the Clown is the second story of Series 2 of The Sarah Jane Adventures[1] 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.[3] 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.


Part One[edit]

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.[4]

Part Two[edit]

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.


Outside references[edit]

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.[4]

Broadcast and reception[edit]


"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.[3] It was made available for 14 days after first broadcast on the BBC iPlayer.[7] "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.[3]

Critical reception[edit]

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 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."[8]


The Day of the Clown
Author Phil Ford
Series The Sarah Jane Adventures #8
Published 6 November 2008
Penguin Books
Pages 128
ISBN 1405905107
Preceded by The Last Sontaran
Followed by The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith

This was the eighth of eleven Sarah Jane Adventures serials to be adapted as a novel. Written by Phil Ford, the book was first published in Paperback on 6 November 2008.[9]


  1. ^ a b c "The Sarah Jane Adventures series two". BBC. 2008-09-09. Retrieved 2008-10-06. 
  2. ^ "Part 1". BBC. 2008-10-06. Retrieved 2008-10-06. 
  3. ^ a b c "The Sarah Jane Adventures series two: Broadcast details". BBC. 2008-09-09. Retrieved 2008-10-06. 
  4. ^ a b c Writer Phil Ford, Director Michael Kerrigan, Producer Matthew Bouch (2008-10-06). "Part One". The Day of the Clown. The Sarah Jane Adventures. Cardiff. BBC. CBBC Channel. 
  5. ^ Writer Gareth Roberts, Director Alice Troughton, Producer Matthew Bouch (2007-09-24). Revenge of the Slitheen. The Sarah Jane Adventures. Cardiff. BBC. BBC One, CBBC Channel. 
  6. ^ Writer Phil Gladwin, Director Charles Martin, Producer Matthew Bouch (15–22 October 2007). Warriors of Kudlak. The Sarah Jane Adventures. Cardiff. BBC. CBBC Channel. 
  7. ^ "The Sarah Jane Adventures". BBC. 2008-10-06. Retrieved 2008-10-06. 
  8. ^ 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. 
  9. ^ "Day of the Clown ("Sarah Jane Adventures 8") [Paperback]". Retrieved 17 December 2011. 

External links[edit]