The Sarah Jane Adventures appreciation thread

Exactly this <3

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It continues to surprise and frustrate me in equal measure that fans throw ‘it’s a kids show’ at SJA, and even more so at Doctor Who they don’t like (witness some of the comments about Space Babies).

The wilful stubborness to refuse to accept what Doctor Who’s target audience has ALWAYS been as far as the production teams and actors have been concerned is so persistent I almost admire it.

It is okay to enjoy ‘a kid’s show’ people.

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Highly reccomend Rani Takes On The World and to a lesser extent Doctor Who Redacted for more SJA

Also Farewell Sarah Jane is just heartbreaking and should be required viewing for SJA fans

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and then rate it here:

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Redacted is also free!

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literally listened to the first series of redacted because i knew rani was in it. It was decent, been meaning to get round to series 2, if only for mr smith

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even the kiddier episodes are still really good, i mean maybe not in the way Whatever Happened to Sarah-Jane? is but still really good kids tv. I’m really find of stories about the Slitheen because they terrified me when I was small, so even though their less mature I can’t help but still love them to this day

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I don’t think SJA aired in Australia when I was a kid so it wasn’t until the 2020 lockdown that I finally got around to watching it, and oh my god I love it so goddamn much. For a “kids show” (hate it when people dismiss media with that) it was genuinely more entertaining, emotional, heartbreaking and nail biting more than a lot of shows “for adults” out there.

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I was in my thirties when I first watched The Sarah Jane Adventures . I do remember thinking the first season was definitively not targeted at my age group. :wink: ‘Mr. Smith, I need you!’ Ta-ta-ta-ta, TaTa (my memory might be slightly off, please excuse me if so :wink:).
I still liked it very much, but then again, I’ve always been able to enjoy good stories, and these were stories transcending any age group targeting. Later on, I remember the stories becoming more targeted towards older kids/teenagers. But that wasn’t the important thing - the stories got even better than before, and at times, I remember enjoying watching The Sarah Jane Adventures more than Doctor Who (I know, I know, sacrilege :wink:).
I think I will rewatch the series in the coming months. :slight_smile:

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I’m thinking I might start watching the Sarah Jane Adventures, been so many years since I saw it really so it would be nice to be mpre familiar with it again, and then I can start listening to Rani Takes On The World.

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Rani Takes on the World was genuinely so good, it’s a perfect continuation of the series and Anjli is just brilliant on audio

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I’ve re-watched Sesson 1.
The following is my opinion and only my opinion. I hope everyone had a better experience with the aspects I disliked and enjoyed the parts I liked just as much, if not more.

First off, Elisabeth Sladen as Sarah Jane Smith is just stellar. The absolute highlight is her interaction with the kids. So much subtlety, and it just felt real. The only real “lowlight” that stuck in my brain was in the pilot when she talks about being special because she never has a plan. As a child, I think I would have actually appreciated this very much. As an adult, I have to say: cringe. (<- This is one of the English words we’ve adopted in German; I hope it has the same meaning and isn’t just a linguistic false friend ;).)

The one thing that changed in my perception this time around is my impression of Yasmin Paige’s acting. I never quite noticed how good it was. Chapeau.

With that, here are some incomplete thoughts about the episodes of season 1

1.0 Invasion of the Bane

A middling episode without anything especially interesting for me. The most noticeable thing for me was Maria’s old school TV with an integrated DVD player. And mobiles that were nothing near smartphones yet. I did not remember that Clyde was not part of the pilot. His predecessor Kelsey was quite irritating, in my opinion. No fault of the actress, who played the character quite well. As the character was definitely getting on my nerves, I appreciated the change in the next episode to the way less obnoxious Clyde. Overall, it’s a solid start, though it’s far from hitting the high notes that later episodes achieve.

1.1 - 1.2 Revenge of the Slitheen

I quite enjoyed this episode. Clyde showed potential from the start. Watching the Slitheen was just a delight. :wink: I did notice Maria killing another being, and all that being played for laughs. But there was also Sarah Jane Smith, who set the joyous kids straight after they defeated (killed) the enemies. She made it clear that it was no laughing matter. I’d say that was more effective storytelling than simply not killing the enemy: they did what they had to do to survive. But it was not good; it was a tragedy, and Sarah Jane made that perfectly clear.

1.3 - 1.4 Eye of the Gorgon

I did not remember Yasmin Paige’s acting being so good. It was a strong episode for her character of Maria Jackson, who’s going through a lot of emotions after her mother decided to stay at her ex-husband’s home for a few days to teach her new partner a lesson. The main story about a Gorgon was solid story material. The character of Luke irritated me just as much as on my last watch of the episode: I do understand that he is in many ways naive, as he has only been alive for a couple of weeks (?) at that point in time. However, there is a difference between naivety and stupidity. And it’s so much more jarring because, in the same episode, he also shows how clever he is.

1.5 - 1.6 Warriors of Kudlak

Solid story. Very good depiction of Luke as a person with great knowledge and as a thinker able to harness this knowledge. At the same time, he is not quite able to “compute” the complexities and fuzziness of social interactions. Much better portrayal of this than in the last episode.
Also, a nice depiction of the camaraderie between him and Clyde.
Ah, and a rogue AI - a topic even back then.

1.7 - 1.8 Whatever happened to Sarah Jane?

In-universe, Maria gets her opportunity to shine, and Yasmin Paige seizes the opportunity to show what an excellent actress she is. Respect.
The story is clever, has some good emotional beats, and the acting of all involved is of a high level. Still, it is an episode I do not like very much. I guess seeing Maria isolated and all alone, disbelieved despite the fact that she’s the only one knowing the truth - that kind of story just rubs me the wrong way / engages my empathy circuits :wink: too much. So, I am able to recognize the quality of especially the first half of the double episode but am not able to enjoy it.

1.9 - 1.10 The Lost Boy

And here it is, the end of season 1, closing with what I consider a good episode that concludes the arc started in the pilot.
So Mr. Smith, just established as an intelligent albeit crystalline-based being, gets brainwashed to act as their slave in the future. I guess it’s better than destroying them, but still.
Chrissie is an interestingly unsympathetic character. Of course, someone had to call the police. Sarah Jane probably would have done it herself, but it was Chrissie who took the action. And it wasn’t just that; she seemed to revel in glee and wished Sarah Jane all the worst possible outcomes. At first glance, she appears to be a rather shallow character. Upon closer inspection, she might be quite complex (as we all are). To our knowledge, she initiated the divorce. She hasn’t, and likely never wanted, custody of her daughter. Yet, she seems to be always around, envious of Sarah Jane’s bond with her daughter, and apparently truly loves her daughter. Is she a complex character lacking the meta-cognition to understand her (as far as we know) self-inflicted problems, thus projecting them on others?
Well, I don’t want to write a treatise about Chrissie. Considering everything I wrote, it just would have been nice to give her the opportunity to grow after her unsympathetic behavior at the beginning of the episode, for example, by showing her making amends with Sarah Jane. The last scene with her merely standing happily with the others did not achieve that.
Theoretically, this episode should have been for Luke what the first half of the previous episode and “Eye of the Gorgon” were for Maria. I can’t find anything negative to say about the character’s behavior in the episode; it all seemed very fitting for Luke as we have come to know him over the last few episodes. I am sure Tommy Knight portrayed the character as intended. Yet, Clyde—in this episode more of a side character, even though he had one important thing to do—left a deeper impression on me than Luke. I don’t know…

Looking forward to season 2. :slight_smile:

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Great thoughts - but haven’t you missed a story? The Lost Boy (which wraps up some story elements from Revenge of the Slitheen).

I forgot to format the headline and have now corrected it.

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