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The Sarah Jane Adventures - Series 5 [DVD]
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Investigative journalist Sarah Jane Smith and her young sidekicks are back in the final ever episodes of The Sarah Jane Adventures.
The gang soon find themselves up to their necks in alien trouble: discovering an explosive foundling baby; getting drawn into the middle of a war between Fleshkind and Metalkind; being divided by a curse delivered through an ancient totem-pole; coming face-to-face with alien light sculptors, the one-eyed Scullion – and Rani and Clyde getting married – just to save the world…
This DVD features the following two-part stories:
The Curse of Clyde Langer
The Man Who Never Was
Goodbye Bannerman Road – Remembering Elisabeth Sladen
A tribute to Elisabeth Sladen with contributions from those who worked closely with her, including the Eleventh Doctor, Matt Smith.
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 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
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Sky introduces a new character, an alien child named sky, who Sarah Jane adopts. She is used to bring back the child factor, as the original children are grown up by now, and it is a children's program. The episode sky is quite childish, but otherwise good, and I was a little concerned that it would go back to the childish show it was in series 2.
Episode 2 is the curse of Clyde Langer. This is the most emotional and grown up episode of the entire series, and it is sad and lets us see the best side of Clyde, the man he has become that is usually hidden by the cocky cheeky boy. Clyde, a character we have come to love and care for since pretty much the beginning, has been cursed so whenever anyone hears or says or even thinks his name, they see him as the worst person on the world and shun him like he is a monster. Sarah Jane, rani and even his mum shun him in an emotional opening episode. In part 2, we see Clyde getting by as homeless person and falling in love, we see him managing at rock bottom. The ending is a little bit simple, but managed brilliantly, and the story as a whole is possibly the best Sarah Jane episode ever.
The final episode is the man that never was. This is a pretty good episode, but the worst of the 3. It is full of funny scenes, but the plotline is not great, the motive behind the villain's actions is one we have seen dozens of times before over the 3 whoniverse series', and it is a very childish episode. But on the upside, we see Luke and sky meeting in the flesh, and the dynamic between them is a good one. They ended it with a montage of clips and the same speech Sarah Jane says at the end of series one, and end it with the brilliant line "And the story goes on... forever." I feel this was the best way to end the series.
As a whole the series is the best series to reach out to such a range of people, and if this is where the series was heading, I wish there would have been more
A newcomer is Sky, so named because she descended from it - she quickly morphing from a baby to a teenager, programmed bomb capabilities a complication. A gruesome totem pole renders Clyde an outsider in the most disturbing episodes. A revolutionary computer launch scam is excitingly and amusingly exoceted.
Yes, parts are uneven but it seems out of place here to dwell on weaknesses. Overall the signs are that Season 5 would have ranked amongst the best.
The bonus is a moving tribute to Elisabeth Sladen, whose death so shocked - reminders of past Doctors she teamed with, current Doctor Matt Smith striving to control emotion as he praises. He points out how rare it is for one who inspired such affection amongst current young to have achieved the same loyalty from their parents, perhaps grandparents, when they were young too. Those who played Rani and Clyde share memories of the colleague always so full of fun and warmth.
An essential addition to the collection of Elisabeth Sladen's great legion of fans.
This series is of course sadly short due to Lis Sladen's untimely passing. But at least we did get some more stories after series 4 and there is a fitting ending to the final episode which is a nice tribute to Ms Sladen.
The 3 stories each have some nice moments and it would have been so nice to have seen more. However, in this final series, I do feel that there was a slight backward step with the character of Sky. As mentioned, upto now the series has not been aimed at just kids. This has been largely due to the three-dimensional and interesting characters. We have seen the kids grow and mature and how their view of the world has changed due to their adventures with Sarah. Unfortunately Sky is more one-dimensional and comes over as very childish. Also the actress portraying her is very inexperienced and the result is very school-play. This jars with the good acting of the others and tends to give it a slight amateur feel which it never had before.
Still it would have been great to see more and am so sad to see it go. Congrats to all involved at producing such great material and especially to the wonderful Elisabeth Sladen. She will be in our hearts forever!
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