With livejournal misbehaving again (three hours’ projected downtime? hmmm it’s been a bit more than that so far) let’s get a quick word in while it works about the “Sky” two-parter, the first in the final series of The Sarah Jane Adventures
The first new episodes to be broadcast since Lis Sladen’s death, I found them a lot of fun but hard not to judge in terms of that sad news. Especially since the whole purpose of the story was to set up a new not-quite-human foster child for Sarah Jane, Luke having gone to university (/Tommy Knight having become unavailable) and Daniel Anthony and Anjli Mohindra no longer passing as easily for schoolkids. So the younger viewers needed someone their age to identify with for forthcoming series which were not to be. Basically the episode’s entire raison d’être makes it hard to ignore the fact that as well as alien fleshkind, Sladen was also battling terminal cancer during filming. And yet rather fittingly, the long-running joke about Sladen having a portrait hidden in the attic holds as true as ever – it’s hard to believe that at this point she was weeks away from having to call off filming due to illness. This aside, the episode is a fun series premiere, with my favourite line being the one about the alien (from the Planet Australia, by the sounds of it,) Miss Myers and her name: “Miss Myers? That’s not a very alien name.” “It’s spelt differently.” As for Sky herself, it’s tricky to tell how child actors will get on, but I do like the idea of SJS’s new adopted daughter having hard-to-control power over electricity, which means Mr Smith is a bit scared of her. And as for Baroness Benjamin, her thespian stylings remain as, er, unique as ever, but I still get excited every time her character recurs.