‘It was scary and brilliant all at the same time.’ Essentially, this plays out like Doctor Who: Father’s Day, but it’s hard to see what other options there are. It’s unthinkable in The Sarah Jane Adventures that one of our heroes would try to convince Barbara and Eddie to sacrifice themselves. I suppose the Graske might have travelled back through the portal and done the deed, but that would have robbed Eddie and Barbara of their heroism (and been a bit bathetic). So, Barbara does a Pete Tyler, works out Sarah Jane’s her daughter, and does what is necessary to save a world already unravelling around an old religious site.
I like to think over in Pete’s World Barbara and Eddie survived, Sarah Jane grew up with her parents, and the three of them are still there, pootling about. Meanwhile, in our world, we’ve got the Bannerman Road Gang: Rani, again proving to be the heir to Sarah Jane doing anything she can to save her own mother from her fate in the apocalyptic wilderness. Clyde, being the sardonic hero. Luke, learning to appreciate his human life.
This is a lovely piece, finding space for some good jokes (sometimes a Police Box is just a Police Box) in between the tragedy. It looks great – the budget stretching to a decent post-apocalyptic wasteland, 1950s Britain and some fancy effects of the Trickster disapparating – and the performances are broadly great (a couple of the Foxgrove villagers are perhaps a bit more CBBC than others). Graeme Harper adds a hint of The Caves of Androzani’s roving camera to Sarah Jane’s final confrontation with the Trickster.
Next Time: Enemy of the Bane