‘I think we’ve got a few things to talk about when this is all finished, Sarah, my darling.’ For most of its run time I thought this was going to actually tackle the question of whether Sarah Jane or the Men in Black have the right to hide the truth. Rani certainly has conscience pangs, ‘we thought it was funny, pretending we didn’t know anything about aliens. It’s not much of a joke now’, and, to Mr Dread, ‘We didn’t ask you to come and brush all those alien ships under the carpet.’ But come the end it’s all resolved with a comedy mind wipe as Ocean and Minty sadly conclude the aliens always win. At least Sarah Jane looks briefly contrite.
Elsewhere this is much more of a straightforward sequel to Prisoner of the Judoon. We even get another pass of Sladen playing Androvax. In between, there are a couple of nice character moments: Clyde explaining his philosophy to Rani while holding her hand; Sarah Jane’s discussion with a dying Androvax, and Gita imagining the fame she’ll get for revealing all to Jeremy Paxman. The spaceship vault is impressive, and the Hands of Fear are suitably shuddery. What a shame it’s so cold outside the Vault that you can see Mr Dread’s android breath.
Next Time: Death of the Doctor