‘Hello, Sir Alistair. It’s been a long time.’ Series Two has been consistently stronger than Series One, and the opening episode of the finale gives every impression of a show that’s found its own style and forged its own corner of the Doctor Who universe. It’s redundant to point out what a joy Nicholas Courtney’s return is, and how lovely that it should be in The Sarah Jane Adventures, reunited with Elisabeth Sladen for one last battle. It’s an even smarter move to do this in a story that also features Miss Wormwood and the Bane, and the Sontarans (or at least Kaagh), returning villains from the past of this show rather than its parent.
The plot exists mostly to bring all these elements into play. Miss Wormwood was always conniving, and though she does appear to be hunted by other Bane, her cagey approach and attempts to appeal to Luke’s connection to his original “mother” suggest that she has ulterior motives. But it’s enough to prompt Sarah Jane to seek the Brig’s help to gain access to UNIT’s Black Archive (which could double as the local Ikea) and steal a scroll that could help reunite the tyrant Emperor of the Galaxy’s mind and body.
This is pacy, while finding space for a couple of nice character moments: the Brig robustly defending the UNIT of his and Sarah Jane’s era; Miss Wormwood and Luke coming face to face again; Sarah Jane interviewing Haresh about Gita’s disappearance. But mostly, this is as action packed an epic as you could hope from a CBBC show with Sarah Jane evading UNIT soldiers to infiltrate the Black Archive, Bane squids attacking Bannerman Road, and Wormwood and Kaagh in league to gain galactic supremacy. What a set-up!
Next Time: Enemy of the Bane – Part Two