A series tragically cut short, the final run of The Sarah Jane Adventures
is inevitably tinged with a sense of sadness. But it’s also a fitting testament to the late, great Elisabeth Sladen. Only six episodes of series five of the show had been made by the time Sladen passed away, and inevitably, that leaves work unfinished here. But the trio of two-episode stories are in keeping with the strength of the show from its four series beforehand. In fact, in the case of The Curse Of Clyde Langer
, it features one of the very best The Sarah Jane Adventures
stories full stop.
It’s not a perfect final series, with the not-entirely-popular inclusion of the character of Sky being a problem. But even in its weakest moments, there’s plenty to keep you interested, not least watching the superb Sladen at work.
The Blu-ray set is a lovely tribute to her and the show, too. The sharp presentation of the episodes is perhaps a given, but the highlight of the extras package is Goodbye Bannerman Road – Remembering Elisabeth Sladen. This is a lovely, fitting tribute to Sladen, with the added weight of contributions from the many people who worked with her, Matt Smith included.
There’ll always be a sense of unfinished business to The Sarah Jane Adventures, by the very nature of the sad way that it all came to an end. But it’ll always remain a smart, confident and terrific show, and this final series is a fitting showcase of why. Goodbye, Sarah Jane Smith. You’re very much missed. --Jon Foster