Tuesday, 22 June 2010

The Sarah Janes Adventures S1 and S2: DVD Review

The Sarah Janes Adventures S1 and S2: DVD Review

The Sarah Jane Adventures - Series One and Two
Released by BBC and Roadshow Entertainment
Rating: PG

Much loved former 70s Dr Who companion Sarah Jane Smith (played with chutzpah by Elisabeth Sladen) gets her own spin off series aimed at the younger end of the Who spectrum.
Writer Russell T Davies always said Dr Who was aimed at all ages; whereas spin offs Torchwood was for the older end and Sarah Jane adventures was for the younger generation.
Each series features twelve episodes broken down into six stories (except the first series which includes the pilot Invasion of the Bane) and sees Sarah Jane and her team of teen youngsters Luke, Clyde and Maria dealing with the threat of Slitheen, Sontarans and new recurring enemy The Trickster. The second series has Maria leave and the gang gets a replacement in the form of new girl Rani.
It's easy to write off the Sarah Jane Adventures as a childish fantasy spin off - but thanks to some smart writing, there's plenty to admire here. Writers have taken the everyday and put a slightly nightmarish tinge on it - for example one adventure sees the gang menaced by a clown scary enough to rival Stephen King's IT. But there's also an adult vein to the writing as Sarah Jane faces her own past and the chance to right some wrongs - the Temptation of Sarah Jane Smith (series 2) and Whatever Happened to Sarah Jane? (Series 1) show some of the best and most mature writing in children's TV these days.
Extras: A clutch of special features on both sets - including interviews with Elisabeth Sladen, trailers, behind the scenes visits and many others make these sets good fun.

Rating: 7/10

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