this week, but in the unlikely event that my TV reviews are your weekly highlight, luckily The Sarah Jane Adventures
is now broadcast on Thursdays and Fridays, meaning the first two-part story is already finished.
"Prisoner of the Judoon" was a decent start to the third series, without being a classic. The first part took a little while to get going but got into its swing about ten minutes from the end once Androvax has posessed Sarah Jane. Bad points included this shaky start; the continuation of the problem from Series 2 where Clyde is relegated to doing nothing other than wisecracks (and the several times he kept yapping at Luke when the latter was trying to think of a solution got very
annoying;) and although I like the idea of getting Haresh and Gita more involved, the execution ended up feeling clunky.
There was lots of good stuff though, and as with the Slitheen we have another alien introduced in Doctor Who
that seems to work better in the spinoff: Getting to know Tybo worked especially well in Phil Ford's idea of having the Judoon be law-enforcers to the point of interpreting all laws literally, with a couple of funny scenes, especially when Tybo insists they pay and display at the car park before saving the world. Gita's one-liners could make her irritating but somehow Mina Anwar's performance makes it work. The cliffhanger of Mr Smith about to self-destruct worked well, as did the resolution of Luke using logic to stop him. Androvax (played by Avenue Q
's Trekkie Monster, Mark Goldthorp) was a mixed bag - the reptilian head prosthetic was well-done, the costume on the other hand made him look like he was about to break into a chorus of "Greased Lightning." The lizard tongue coming out of Lis Sladen's mouth was ace though, and the Veil's copper spaceship looked gorgeous. Not one of the more original storylines this series sometimes gives us (the preview makes it look like we're in for one of those next week though) but an OK series opener.