The Sarah Jane Adventures episode 4: Eye of the Gorgon – Part One (1/10/2007)
‘Sometimes people have thought I’ve been mad, but I’ve seen things too.’ The focus shifts from the school to another institution, this time for the confinement of the senile rather than juveniles. Amusingly, it’s run by Graham Crowden’s daughter. One of the inmates is Bea Nelson-Stanley, now suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease but in her lucid moments able to remember a life spent travelling, battling Sontarans and Gorgons, and secreting powerful talismans.
This episode is going for spooky scares, with rumours of a ghostly nun haunting the corridors of the old folks’ home. The truth is even stranger: it seems the three mythical Gorgons were real creatures from another world. Through the centuries, two have died but one remains, and the nuns of the nearby abbey, who have been hiding the Gorgon, want to return it home. So they say, in any case. But there’s something very untrustworthy about Sister Helena – a nun who resorts to kidnap and murderous threats to get what she wants.
In between, Maria’s home life drama bubbles in the background as Chrissie temporarily moves back in with Alan after a spat with hunky Ivan, selfishly disrupting their lives. Sarah Jane acts as a sort of surrogate mother/older sister, offering Maria advice and a friendly ear when Chrissie is driving her nuts. It’s good to see Sarah Jane start to unwind, and to rediscover herself through the kids. This is charming, packed with great actors, some good lines (‘I’d shut up if I were you, or the Abbess might show you her idea of solving a problem like Maria’), and a brilliant cliffhanger of Alan turned to stone by the Gorgon’s gaze.
Next Time: Eye of the Gorgon – Part Two