THE SARAH JANE ADVENTURES
(2007-2011)

Elisabeth Sladen ("Sarah Jane Smith"), Tommy Knight ("Luke Smith"), Daniel Anthony ("Clyde Langer"), Yasmin Paige ("Maria Jackson", Series 1-2), Anjli Mohindra ("Rani Chandra", Series 2-5), Sinead Michael  ("Sky Smith", Series 5).

With:  Joseph Millson ("Alan Jackson", Series 1-2)
, Juliet Cowan ("Chrissie Jackson", Series 1-2),  Ace Bhatti ("Haresh Chandra", Series 2-5),  Mina Anwar ("Gita Chandra", Series 2-5), Gary Beadle ("Paul Langer", Series 2), Jocelyn Jee Esien ("Carla Langer", Series 2, 4-5)

And Alexander Armstrong (voice of Mr. Smith), John Leeson (voice of K9)

     In 2007, Elisabeth Sladen, famed for her role as Sarah Jane Smith in the classic Doctor Who series, guest-starred in the Modern Series episode "School Reunion". Her appearance as Sarah Jane Smith, along with the famous robot dog K9, made it clear to anybody who hadn't figured it out already that the New series and the Classic series were all part of the same show. That the episode itself was one of the best of the season was a plus, with the entire cast at their best and a superb villainous turn by Anthony Stewert Head.

     Pleased with the episode, show runner Russell T Davies created The Sarah Jane Adventures, a spinoff series made for younger viewers which once again featured Lis Sladen as Sarah Jane Smith. The series took place just after Smith met The Doctor again in "School Reunion", an event which reinvigorated her spirit of adventure. Although she tried to keep her life as an alien tracker a secret, it wasn't long before she had a posse of young followers, starting with Maria Jackson (played by Yasmin Paige), a new girl in the neighborhood who soon became Sarah Jane's most trusted friend, and Clyde Langer (played by Daniel Anthony), a local schoolmate who befriended Maria. In the trio's first adventure together, Sarah Jane and her young friends saved a young boy genius created in a lab, whom Sarah Jane christened "Luke" and adopted as her own son.

     Also part of the team is Mr. Smith, a supercomputer built into Sarah Jane's attic. Go up to the attic, say "Mr. Smith, I need you!" and suddenly ridiculous fanfare would play as Mr. Smith - really just a huge screen - pops out of the wall.

Above: Yasmin Paige as Maria, Tommy Knight as Luke, Daniel Anthony as Clyde and Anjli Mohindra as Rani.

     Early in the In the second series, Maria left for the U.S. with her father, who had taken a job in Washington D.C. Taking her place in the series was new neighborhood gal Rani Chandra (played by Anjli Mohindra), who quickly fit in Luke and Clyde.

     The stories in the series were fairly simple and moved quickly, as each week the Smith gang battled some new alien intent on destroying the Earth. Often, the villains were leftovers from Doctor Who stories, such as The Slitheen, the Judoon and a lone Sontaran. Of course, there were also new villains, such as the creepy Trickster, who, living up to his name, tricks people into doing things they would normally not do.

     There were also several special guest stars in the series. In 2008's "Enemy of the Bain", Nicholas Courtey reprised his role as The Brigadier one last time. In 2009's "The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith", David Tennant appeared for the last time in his reign as The Doctor before turning over the Doctor role to Matt Smith. 2010's "The Death of the Doctor" featured not only Matt Smith as The Doctor but also Katy Manning as Jo Grant (now Jones), former companion to Jon Pertwee's Third Doctor. Bradley Walsh, who years later would become a companion to Jody Whittaker's Doctor, played a villain in 2008's "Day of the Clown". And if you're a fan of K9, he occasionally pops up too.

     For five years Russell T Davies and company rolled out new seasons of the show, with fun stories like "The Empty Planet" in which Clyde and Rani find themselves as the last two people on Earth (and wouldn't you know it, they are starting to have feelings for each other!) and the outstanding "Lost in Time", which had Sarah Jane, Clyde and Rani all sent back into different times to find artifacts that would save the world from total destruction. There were three distinct stories intercut as Sarah Jane tracked down ghosts in the the early 1900's, Clyde battled Nazi's in 1941, and Rani became a lady's maid to Lady Jane Grey, the so-called "Nine Day Queen of England". Completely with a Steven Moffat-style ending, "Lost in Time" was arguably the best episode of the entire series.

     In April of 2011, Elisabeth Sladen died of pancreatic cancer. In the fall of the same year, the final three Sarah Jane stories aired. Fittingly, they were all enjoyable. But that was it for the series. With Sladen gone, the show was over.


What's in a Name?: If you sit through the entire Russell T Davies era of Doctor Who, you will notice he liked the names Smith and Jones. Not counting, of course, Sarah Jane Smith from the classic series, or the Doctor's occastional alias John Smith, both of which came from the original series, you will find Harriet Jones, Martha Jones (and the whole Jones family), Mickey Smith, Ianto Jones (Torchwood) and Mr. Smith (computer on The Sarah Jane Adventures). Even Jo Grant's name was changed to Jo Jones in the Sarah Jane story "Death of the Doctor", due to Grant being married.




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""13 Bannerman Road is where Sarah Jane Smith lives. and it's home
to things way beyond your imagination.
There's an extra-terrestial supercomputer in the wall,
a genetically-engineered boy genius in the attic,
a schoolgirl investigator across the road,
and a whole universe of adventures right here on the doorstep." "
- Clyde Langer