The Sarah Jane Adventures, Series 5 (CBBC, 2011) An emotional half-season, cut short by the loss of Elisabeth Sladen. While the first story carries on the usual SF adventuring, all three instalments—and in particular the second (‘The Curse of Clyde Langer’)—show the programme willing to explore darker territory.
The Sarah Jane Adventures, Series 4 (BBC, 2010) Series Four side-lines Luke but keeps up an imaginative procession of Earth-threatening plot lines and (visually resplendent) villains. Daniel Anthony (Clyde) and Anjli Mohindra (Rani) take centre stage with sufficient aplomb to give hope for the show’s continuation beyond Elisabeth Sladen’s passing.
The Sarah Jane Adventures, Series 1 (CBBH, 2007) A cleverly conceived Doctor Who spinoff, aimed at a younger audience but with sufficiently well-executed SF (both serious and Slitheen-level over-the-top) to keep adults interested. While Elisabeth Sladen is top-billed, her teen co-stars prove equally capable. The half-hour two-parters format works nicely.
The Sarah Jane Adventures: Deadly Download by Jason Arnopp; audiobook read by Elisabeth Sladen (AudioGO, 2010) Cyber safety gets the alien treatment as the internet paves the way for mind control (through curiously unnecessary hardware reassembly). Elisabeth Sladen again reads with distinction but this audio adventure still comes across as a rather lightweight observance of the show’s formula.
Doctor Who…at the BBC: a Legend Reborn presented by Elisabeth Sladen (BBC, 2010) A somewhat artificial look back at the successful revival of Doctor Who under Russell T Davies, featuring previously aired interviews and radio appearances (many with an exuberant David Tennant). Elisabeth Sladen’s contribution is sadly limited to reading linking material from a script.
The Sarah Jane Adventures: Wraith World by Cavan Scott & Mark Wright; audiobook read by Elisabeth Sladen (AudioGO, 2010) Elisabeth Sladen does her best, and the premise of ‘fiction writing reality’ is one young adults will enjoy, but it’s difficult to take seriously a worm-horde-wielding villain who considerately puts his attacks on hold whenever the protagonists want to talk things…
The Sarah Jane Adventures: The Glittering Storm by Stephen Cole (BBC, 2007); audiobook read by Elisabeth Sladen Elisabeth Sladen doesn’t so much read as act, her performance as Sarah Jane elevating this otherwise somewhat middling story of alien imperilment. Whatever the gold is being used for this time, however squidgy and one-dimensional the adversary, Sladen remains the consummate companion-turned-lead. …
Doctor Who: The Ghosts of N-Space by Barry Letts (BBC Radio, 1996) Unfortunately the gratified nostalgia of having a new Third Doctor adventure after twenty-one years, even with strong performances by Jon Pertwee and Elisabeth Sladen, could not make up for the manifest shortcomings (namely, dire minor characters and plot) of this audio adventure.