The Sarah Jane Adventures: Prisoner Of The Judoon Part One review

Doctor Who spin-off The Sarah Jane Adventures returns with a solid opening to its third series...

Sarah Jane Smith returns to our screens and this time she’s sticking her huge lizard-like tongue out to all and sundry, but more of that later. For the uninitiated, The Sarah Jane Adventures is the teatime spin-off from Doctor Who that has been impressing no end for the past two years with its fantastic stories and delightful cast. But now it’s that ‘tricky’ third series…

Prisoner Of The Judoon kicks off with another introduction to the show as SJS tells us about her gang and her life – a tad unnecessary and slightly awkward (not to mention cheesy) to be honest. But once the tale gets into gear, it’s all tops therein.

And how better to get into gear than with a Judoon crashing into the Earth (with some heavy nods to the opening titles of 60s Doctor Who) followed by an alien pursuit with a rather unsavoury chap with a penchant for stepping into the females of our species. Step up Elisabeth Sladen with a cracking performance, jerking around and genuinely being a bit nasty though slightly sexy it has to be said. (She certainly got my ‘central processor fully functioning’!) The actress clearly revelled in her duplicitous role after so many years playing the ever so lurvely, goody two shoes Sarah Jane.

Elsewhere, Daniel Anthony (Clyde) is proving to be a gag-smith of the very top order and it’s great to see Phil Ford (the writer of this story) giving the character so many laughs. The chuckles come thick and fast when he teams up with the main Judoon of the piece, Captain Tybo – they’re the original odd couple! The horn-nosed one provides stop-the-disc hilarity when he ends up driving a police car – genius. There’s much more of his hilarious antics but I shan’t spoil them for you.

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Prisoner Of The Judoon opens up the third series with some style, though it does feel very familiar; the formula of the previous openers continues and why not? An old alien, a new enemy and a chase around a housing estate with the gang bristling with confidence (even brushing UNIT aside) referencing Star Wars, The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, Day Of The Triffids, E.T. and 24 – what’s not to like?

Now, how about that spin-off, Tybo and Clyde?