K-9 and Company: A Girl’s Best Friend by Terence Dudley; dir. John Black (BBC, 1981) A bizarrely misjudged attempt at a Doctor Who spin-off. Elisabeth Sladen and Ian Sears do well but the opening credits scream allegiance to Metal Mickey and this synth-schlock carries over into the incidental music, flambéing all menace from the Devil’s End plot.
The Sarah Jane Adventures, Series 3 (BBC, 2009) Series Three maintains a good mix of serious and silly SF, shifting the focus slightly away from Sarah Jane and towards her young companions. The stories are imaginative but at their weakest where mainstream Doctor Who elements (K9, the Tenth Doctor) feature.
The Sarah Jane Adventures, Series 2 (CBBH, 2008) With the arrival of Anjli Mohindra as Rani, the Sarah Jane Adventures survives its first major cast change and goes from strength to strength as a Doctor Who surrogate. By series two the programme has gained sufficient confidence to utilise recurring adversaries.
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. …