‘Score one up for the hangers-on.’ A surprisingly straightforward and sweet story from Roberts, a writer I associate more with witty black comedies than fairy tales. This includes some good word play (‘sun and air’), but the real pleasure is seeing Clyde and Rani work it out without the support of Sarah Jane and the computers (although there’s a great moment where Rani wields the sonic lipstick), and where Gavin, a boy convinced of his own ordinariness, becomes the most important person on the planet.
Along the way, this plays off the show’s continuity with Rani and Clyde escaping the warp-shunt by virtue of being grounded by the Judoon, and it starts to pay off the romance angle as they share a kiss and then, at the end, an implicit new understanding of what they mean to each other. It’s brisk, soulful and light, a good palette cleanser after the Matt Smith and Katy Manning two-parter. Lovely.
Next Time: Lost in Time