The Sarah Jane Adventures episode 51: The Curse of Clyde Langer – Part Two (11/10/2011)
‘The most alien world of all is right here. And no-one knows. Because they don’t want to.’ After bumping my gums about a perceived infantilisation of the show in Sky, I’m eating my words. This is as pointed as anything in Series Four, with a clear message about attitudes towards the homeless and an ending that shrugs off the Native American curse plot to focus on the fate of Ellie. It’s downbeat, suggesting that Sarah Jane’s magic computer and sonic lipstick aren’t enough to fix all injustices or social problems. And, although it’s pitched as a second chance for Ellie, I’m not sure how much Phil Ford intended the idea of a young woman being taken by a mystery man in a lorry to be a comforting fate.
This is a great story for Clyde, who comes to some important realisations – like his charisma isn’t enough to get him out of every scrape – and who won’t be dismissing other ‘scroungers’ quite so brusquely in the future. To my surprise, it’s also a good second showing for Sky, whose dogged persistence in the face of Sarah Jane and Rani’s hatred for Clyde gives her a chance to show some mettle rather than asking naïve questions. This is Ford’s best script for the series, and one of the best stories overall.
Next Time: The Man Who Never Was