Whatever Happened to Sarah Jane?
|05 – Whatever Happened to Sarah Jane?|
|The Sarah Jane Adventures story|
The Trickster meeting Sarah Jane Smith
|Script editor||Lindsey Alford|
|Executive producer(s)||Phil Collinson
Russell T Davies
|Production code||1.7 and 1.8|
|Length||2 episodes, 25 minutes each|
|Originally broadcast||29 October & 5 November 2007|
Whatever Happened to Sarah Jane? is the fifth story of the British science fiction television series The Sarah Jane Adventures. It forms the seventh and eighth episodes of the show's first series. The first episode was aired on the CBBC channel on 29 October 2007, and the second on 5 November.
Sarah Jane has received a puzzle box from a visiting alien seer along with the instruction to "remember", and passes these along to Maria Jackson as the person she most trusts. A meteor is on collision course with Earth, and Sarah Jane has set up, but not yet activated via Mr Smith, a force field to deflect it. However, the next morning Maria wakes to find that seemingly no one has heard of Sarah Jane or Luke Smith. Maria discovers that a woman called Andrea Yates has taken Sarah Jane's place.
Investigating, Maria finds a 1964 newspaper report stating that a thirteen-year-old Sarah Jane Smith drowned after falling from a pier, where she was playing with her friend Andrea Yates. As Maria watches, the names of the deceased and the survivor keep switching. When Maria confronts Andrea, the panic stricken woman rushes to her attic and finds a second puzzle box. She now remembers a mysterious hooded figure who appears and offers to make Maria disappear. After Andrea accepts, he dispatches a small alien, a Graske, who captures Maria just after Alan picks up the first puzzle box. When Alan comes round he discovers his ex-wife cannot remember their daughter. Meanwhile Maria escapes from the Graske and finds herself on a beach promenade near two girls. They introduce themselves as Andrea Yates and Sarah Jane Smith.
After failing to dissuade Andrea from taking Sarah Jane to the pier, Maria is recaptured and taken to join the adult Sarah Jane on a white misty plain, limbo. The mysterious figure explains he has removed Sarah Jane from Earth's timeline so the meteor will destroy it and create the chaos on which he feeds; the Doctor will be his next target.
Alan accompanies Chrissie to Andrea's birthday party. Remembering Maria's suspicions, he questions Andrea, who takes him to the attic and tearfully reveals the truth. When she fell off the pier and Sarah Jane was unable to save her, a voice offered to switch the girls' places, and she accepted. The figure appeared and gave her the puzzle box, then removed himself from Andrea's memory; Maria’s questions made Andrea remember. Alan is now chased into the street by the Graske but knocks it down and ties it up, then uses its device to bring back Maria.
They return to the attic, where Sarah Jane appears in the mirror and explains to Andrea that witnessing her death gave her the resolve to fight pointless deaths herself. When the figure reappears (called “the Trickster” by Alan), Andrea explains she has changed her mind about the deal and throws her puzzle box at the mirror, smashing both. Back in 1964 Andrea falls to her death. Sarah Jane and Luke reappear in the attic and activate Mr Smith. The party guests, including Clyde and Chrissie, have learned from television news about the incoming meteor, and are relieved to see it suddenly diverted from its fall. The episode ends with Alan demanding an explanation of his daughter’s involvement with aliens and supercomputers.
- The Graske also featured in the interactive episode of Doctor Who, "Attack of the Graske". Sarah states that there was Graske activity on Earth a couple of years ago, possibly referring to that episode.
- Sarah mentions previous times she saved the Earth and thwarted alien invasions, including the Bane ("Invasion of the Bane"), the Slitheen (Revenge of the Slitheen) and the Gorgons (Eye of the Gorgon). She also mentions that she helped defeat the Patriarchs of the Tin Vagabond. The Church of the Tin Vagabond was previously mentioned in the 2006 Doctor Who episode, "The Satan Pit".
- The Trickster threatens the Doctor when in limbo. This is the second time that the Doctor has been explicitly named in the series, the first being in Revenge of the Slitheen. The Trickster makes good on this threat in the Doctor Who episode "Turn Left", when a creature from "[his] brigade" assaults Donna Noble.
- Sarah Jane's address is identified as 13 Bannerman Road, as it is throughout the later series; it had been 21 Bannerman Road in the preceding two serials, yet the sign on the brick wall next to the Smiths' driveway still says 21.
- Clyde describes the meteor coming to Earth like something out of the film Armageddon.
- When questioned about Maria, Andrea mentions "Ave Maria" and Maria Callas.
- As in many previous Doctor Who episodes, BBC News 24 releases 'Breaking News' during the serial, although again without the BBC logo present.
- The fictional Triffids are mentioned.
- The song "(There's) Always Something There to Remind Me" is heard at Andrea's party.
- The Kinks song "You Really Got Me" is heard on a radio when Maria arrives in the 1960s.
- When Maria is on the Internet on her laptop, she goes on bebo.
- The title is a direct reference to the book and film What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?
- The puzzle box featured in the episodes bears a strong mechanical resemblance to the puzzle box from the Hellraiser film series.
- Jane Asher previously portrayed the Doctor's granddaughter Susan Foreman in the 1994 Radio 4 spoof Whatever Happened to Susan Foreman.
- Paul Marc Davis previously appeared as the Futurekind Chieftain in the Doctor Who 2007 episode "Utopia", and later as the Cowled Leader in the 2008 Torchwood episode "Exit Wounds".
The story received several positive reviews. Mark Wright, writing on The Stage's "TV Today" blog, stated that the series, while usually "wholly satisfying and entertaining", "achieves true greatness" with the first part of Whatever Happened to Sarah Jane? He called the episode "scary as hell ... but with that essential lightness of touch that has typified the show from the start". Alisdair Stuart praised the acting of Jane Asher, Joseph Millson and Yasmin Paige; he regarded Paige's prominence as compensating for her relative lack of screen time in Warriors of Kudlak. Stuart summed up Whatever Happened to Sarah Jane? as "the darkest, most ambitious and most effective Sarah Jane story to date" and "one of the best New Who stories to date".[unreliable source?] Andrea Mullaney in The Scotsman also commended the "young actors", while calling attention to a "gentle theme" in the story of "ageing and what we leave behind".
The second part of the story received the most viewers of any programme ever broadcast on the CBBC Channel.
|Whatever Happened to Sarah Jane?|
|Series||The Sarah Jane Adventures|
|Published||2008 (Penguin Books)|
|Preceded by||Warriors of Kudlak|
|Followed by||The Lost Boy|
This was the fifth of eleven Sarah Jane Adventures serials to be adapted as a novel. Written by Rupert Laight, the book was first published in Paperback on 6 November 2008.
- "BBC Program Information, week 45". BBC Press Office. Retrieved 10 November 2007.
- The Smiths' front door bears the number 21 in Eye of the Gorgon, and Sarah Jane's business card shows her address as 21 Bannerman Road in Warriors of the Kudlak.
- Mark Wright (5 November 2007). "Square Eyes 5–8 November". TV Today (The Stage). Retrieved 8 November 2007.[dead link]
- Alisdair Stuart (6 November 2007). "Review:The Sarah Jane Adventures-Whatever Happened to Sarah Jane?". Firefox News. Retrieved 8 November 2007.
- Andrea Mullaney (6 November 2007). "I'm not over-eager for the rise of the cybermen". The Scotsman. Retrieved 8 November 2007.
- The Doctor Who News Page
- "Sarah Jane Adventures: Whatever Happened to Sarah Jane? [Paperback]". Retrieved 17 December 2011.
- Whatever Happened to Sarah Jane? on TARDIS Data Core, an external wiki
- Sarah Jane Adventures homepage
- Whatever Happened to Sarah Jane? at the Doctor Who Reference Guide
- Whatever Happened to Sarah Jane? at Doctor Who: A Brief History of Time (Travel)
- "Whatever Happened to Sarah Jane?" at the Internet Movie Database