‘I am Sarah Jane. I’ve just been upgraded. And you will obey me.’ Third series, third opener that imports a monster from Doctor Who. This is a bit different because the Judoon (or at least this Judoon, Captain Tybo) isn’t the villain. He’s transporting the eponymous prisoner, Androvax, when his ship crash lands. The complication being Androvax is able to possess humans – giving Elisabeth Sladen the opportunity to play the baddie.
She looks like she’s loving it, playing the possessed Sarah with an evil glint in her eye and a permanent sneer as she strides into Bannerman Road and imperiously commands Mr Smith. Sladen has form as Sarah gone bad – it’s one of the best things about The Hand of Fear – and so it makes sense to give 21st Century kids the same opportunity to see her in action. Slightly more surprising is how snippy she is even before she’s taken over, still bristling when Gita doesn’t use her full name, curtly throwing Gita a brochure because she’s keen to get on an investigate the crashed ship.
That brochure connects to the other part of the plot – a nanotechnology factory that Sarah’s been investigating in her day job. I like that she’s still a journalist, aliens being an interesting side line, poking her nose in and causing trouble. I also like that the production team have realised what good value the Chandra family is, and are actively looking to get them involved in the stories.
Next Time: Prisoner of the Judoon – Part Two