So that's it, "The Man Who Never Was" marks the untimely end of The Sarah Jane Adventures
Obviously the producers only had three of the planned six stories to choose from but the order they ended up in seems right to me, with a big fun romp meaning Lis Sladen's death didn't throw a shadow over the whole two-parter; plus it was appropriate to have Luke back, shame Maria and Fit Dad couldn't have made a quick appearance. (And at least K9 got a mention, although I like that in the end it was Mr Smith who used K9's dog whistle to help save the day.) Plus having both her adopted kids at home meant Sarah Jane could call out "Luke! Sky!" Can I assume that, had the show run another five years and Sinead Michael also had to toddle off to do her exams, Phil Ford and Gareth Roberts were planning to have Sarah Jane adopt an alien boy called Walker? And if not, why not?
Anyway although it's a load of funny running around, the odd subversive moment creeps into the episode as well: Despite the presence of some aliens, the actual villain turns out to be capitalism, or at the very least greed in the form of guest star James Dreyfus; and the kids watching get an allegory for modern-day slavery. Not knowing that he too would have shuffled off by the time the episode aired, the setup is a pretty obvious dig at Steve Jobs and the hype surrounding every Apple release. Then there's Peter Bowles, flirting with Sarah Jane because flirting is what Peter Bowles is for. And in the Morse code scene, we even get a knob gag. So basically a fitting end, tailed with a little tribute clip and that final caption that'll have got everyone sobbing. (I was fine if they'd left it at "And the story goes on..." it was the "...forever" that was the real punch in the gut for some reason.)