Friday, April 11, 2008

Sarah Jane comes to SciFi

Tonight is the debut of The Sarah Jane Adventures on SciFi. What SciFi won't tell you is that it is a show made for younger viewers to watch and that is not a bad thing in this case.

The show is somewhat simpler in plot and lighter in tone than the current Doctor Who but actually has a lot in common with Classic Who. Tonight is the one hour (90 minutes with commercials) debut story which sets up the series, although one of the kids (the mostly annoying friend) does not return for the series. Next week starts the airing of the regular episodes, which are half hour episodes that are essentially two parts of an hour long story.

They may rely a bit too much on the Slitheen for villians (but they appear to be popular with kids in the UK) but the stories overall hold up pretty well and are certainly worth catching regardless of if you have a kid to watch them with.

The neatest thing about all of this is that it has given Elisabeth Sladen a chance to continue the character of Sarah Jane Smith, who was brought back in the School Reunion episode of the new Doctor Who series. The year before all that happened, Elisabeth was a guest at Gallifrey One, a month before the new series debuted and one of the questions asked her was if she thought that they might want to bring back any companions from the original series. She didn't think they had any thoughts in that area, but sounded like she'd consider it if she was asked. This was before the show had aired and became a big hit in the UK. In any case, Elisabeth has always been a fan favorite and I think it is great that she's been able to revisit her character 35+ years down the road.

The first series did well for Children's BBC and a second series is in the works. There are also rumours that we may see Sarah Jane turn up in the new season of Doctor Who. If you believe all of the rumours (and some of the revealed appearances), it sounds like everyone that's been a part of the new series will be back this season. Stay tuned. Next week The Doctor is back on SciFi!
As an addendum, my email to Matt Roush about Sarah Jane made the Ask Matt column today. And to boot he put in some snark about Flash Gordon!

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