Prisoner of the Judoon: Part 2

Sarah Jane Adventures

What Happened Next?

In the new, series three style of the Sarah Jane Adventures, part two of the stories are being shown a mere 24 hours after part one so, after sneaking out of work a smidge early, I arrived home yesterday to catch the start of part two of Prisoner of the Judoon in all its high definition glory. Anyone who didn’t think the cliffhanger would be resolved with just one second left on the digital countdown has obviously never watched any television before but the production team did manage to make the first 60 seconds really exciting. After that, the action in this second part was pretty much all set in the nano technology factory. Gita and Haresh were there on behalf of their Bloomin’ Lovely business, the possessed Sarah Jane/Adrovax were there to rebuild a spaceship using nanobots in order to escape, and the three youngsters along with their new Judoon friend, Captain Tybo, were there to stop the prisoner escaping.

What ensued was a fun, runabout tale full of comic touches. Rani’s Mum and Dad had their first encounter with aliens as they ran in to a Judoon Platoon. I think the jury is still out as to whether Gita and Haresh should take up so much of the screen time given that their role in this tale seemed completely superfluous to the plot. I understand that their presence, in the same way as the Tylers, the Joneses, and the Nobles in Doctor Who, adds a little something to the character of Rani and grounds her in the reality of a so-called “normal life”, but I can’t help but think that they might be a little unnecessary here. I still love Mina Anwar though, from her time on the much under-rated The Thin Blue Line, so I shouldn’t complain too much.

The special effects in the show continue to be very special indeed as the folk at The Mill continue to test their mettle with this High Definition format. Although it was a bid odd that you could actually see the nanobots so clearly, their black sandy appearance was very effective and the shot of the departing spaceship was really well done.  Speaking of the spaceship, there was a nice little crossover mention about Roswell and Dreamland, the latter being the name of the new animated Doctor Who serial coming this month to BBCi. In recent issues of Doctor Who Magazine, Russell T Davies has mentioned the three projects he has been working on with David Tennant to soften the blow of the gap year. “Project 1” was the forthcoming appearance of the Doctor himself in SJA, “Project 2” was the Dreamland project, and “Project 3” is, as yet, unknown but is tantalising fandom.

Having said alll that, the most memorable part of Prisoner of the Judoon is going to be the relish with which Elizabeth Sladen threw herself in to the role of the Androvax possessed Sarah Jane. She struck exactly the right balance between outright nastiness and a little bit of panto. A really solid start to the series and I can’t wait for the haunted house tale next week.

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