Whatever Happened to Sarah Jane?

Whatever Happened to Sarah Jane?

serial_name=Whatever Happened to Sarah Jane?
caption=Maria meets Sarah Jane in 1964.

*Elisabeth SladenSarah Jane Smith
*Yasmin PaigeMaria Jackson
*Tommy KnightLuke Smith
*Daniel AnthonyClyde Langer
*Alexander ArmstrongMr Smith
*Joseph Millson – Alan Jackson
*Juliet Cowan – Chrissie Jackson
*Jane Asher – Andrea Yates
*Jimmy Vee – The Graske
*Paul Marc Davis – The Trickster
*Jessica Ashworth – Young Sarah Jane Smith
*Francesca Miller – Young Andrea Yates
writer=Gareth Roberts
director= Graeme Harper
script_editor=Lindsey Alford
producer=Matthew Bouch
executive_producer=Phil Collinson Russell T Davies Julie Gardner
series=Series 1
length=2 episodes, 25 mins each
date=29 October & 5 November 2007
preceding="Warriors of Kudlak"
following="The Lost Boy"

"Whatever Happened to Sarah Jane?" is the fifth story of the British science fiction television series "The Sarah Jane Adventures". It forms the seventh and eighth episodes of the show's first series. The first episode was aired on the CBBC channel on 29 October 2007, and the second on 5 November.


Maria Jackson wakes up one morning to find that seemingly no one has heard of Sarah Jane or Luke Smith. Maria discovers that a woman called Andrea Yates has taken Sarah Jane's place.cite web | title = BBC Program Information, week 45 | url = http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/proginfo/tv/wk45/mon.shtml#mon_sja | publisher = BBC Press Office | accessdate = 2007-11-10]


Part 1

Sarah Jane tells Maria and Luke about a meteorite on course with Earth but reassures them that Mr Smith will be able to deflect it the following day. Sarah Jane gives Maria an alien puzzle box to cheer her up; she falls asleep that night holding it, as a mysterious cloaked figure approaches Sarah Jane's house. The next day, Maria finds that Sarah Jane, Luke and Mr. Smith have all disappeared, and she alone remembers them. A woman named Andrea Yates is living in Sarah Jane's house.

Investigating, Maria finds a 1964 newspaper report stating that a thirteen-year-old Sarah Jane Smith drowned after falling from a pier, where she was playing with her friend Andrea Yates. As Maria watches, the names of the deceased and the survivor keep switching. When Maria confronts Andrea, the panic stricken woman rushes to her attic and finds a second puzzle box. The cloaked figure appears and offers to make Maria disappear. After Andrea accepts, he dispatches a Graske, who captures Maria just after Alan picks up the first puzzle box. When Alan comes round he discovers his ex-wife cannot remember their daughter. Meanwhile Maria escapes from the Graske and finds herself on a beach promenade near two girls. They introduce themselves as Andrea Yates and Sarah Jane Smith.

Part 2

After failing to dissuade Andrea from taking Sarah Jane to the pier, Maria is recaptured and taken to join Sarah Jane on a white misty plain, limbo. The mysterious figure explains he has removed Sarah Jane from Earth's timeline so the meteorite will destroy it and create the chaos on which he feeds; the Doctor will be his next target.

Alan accompanies Chrissie to Andrea's birthday party. Remembering Maria's suspicions, he questions Andrea, who takes him to the attic and tearfully reveals the truth. When she fell off the pier and Sarah Jane was unable to save her, a voice offered to switch the girls' places, and she accepted. The figure appeared and gave her the puzzle box, then removed himself from Andrea's memory; Maria’s questions made Andrea remember. Alan is now chased into the street by the Graske but knocks it down and ties it up, then uses its device to bring back Maria.

They return to the attic, where Sarah Jane appears in the mirror and explains to Andrea that witnessing her death gave her the resolve to fight pointless deaths herself. When the figure reappears (called “the Trickster” by Alan), Andrea explains she has changed her mind about the deal and throws her puzzle box at the mirror, smashing both. Back in 1964 Andrea falls to her death, while Sarah and Luke reappear in the attic and activate Mr Smith. The party guests, including Clyde and Chrissie, have learnt from television news about the incoming meteorite, and are relieved to see it suddenly diverted from its fall. The episode ends with Alan demanding an explanation of his daughter’s involvement with aliens and supercomputers.


*For the dating of this serial, see the Chronology.
* The Graske featured in this episode, hired (or possibly enslaved) to kidnap Maria. They also featured in the interactive episode of "Doctor Who", "Attack of the Graske". Sarah states that there was Graske activity on Earth a couple of years ago, possibly referring to that episode.
* Sarah mentions previous times she saved the Earth and thwarted alien invasions, including the Bane ("Invasion of the Bane"), the Slitheen ("Revenge of the Slitheen") and the Gorgons ("Eye of the Gorgon"). She also mentions that she helped defeat the Patriachs of the Tin Vagabond. The Church of the Tin Vagabond was previously mentioned in the 2006 "Doctor Who" episode, "The Satan Pit".
* Sarah Jane has to move a book about UNIT to get to the puzzle box.
* The Trickster threatens the Doctor when in limbo. This is the second time that the Doctor has been explicitly named in the series, the first being in "Revenge of the Slitheen". The Trickster makes good on this threat in the "Doctor Who" episode "Turn Left", when a creature from " [his] brigade" assaults Donna Noble.
* The Trickster's line, "Waking or sleeping, ..." is similar to comments from the Black Guardian in "Mawdryn Undead".

Outside references

*Clyde describes the meteor coming to earth like something out of the 1998 film "Armageddon".
*Sarah Jane says when they are not in time they are in limbo; this is a Roman Catholic idea meaning 'the edge of hell'.
*When questioned about Maria, Andrea mentions "Ave Maria" and Maria Callas.
*As in many previous "Doctor Who" episodes, BBC News 24 releases 'Breaking News' during the serial, although again without the BBC logo present.
*The fictional plants species Triffid is mentioned.
*The popular song "(There's) Always Something There to Remind Me" is heard at Andrea's party.
*The Kinks song "You Really Got Me" is heard on a radio when Maria arrives in the 1960s.
*When Maria is on the internet on her laptop, she goes on bebo

Cast notes

* Jane Asher previously portrayed the Doctor's granddaughter Susan Foreman in the 1994 Radio 4 spoof "Whatever Happened to Susan Foreman".
*Paul Marc Davis previously appeared as the Futurekind Chieftain in the "Doctor Who" 2007 episode "Utopia", and later as the Cowled Leader in the 2008 "Torchwood" episode "Exit Wounds".


A novelisation will be released in 2008.


The story received several positive reviews. Mark Wright, writing on "The Stage"'s "TV Today" blog, stated that the series, while usually "wholly satisfying and entertaining", "achieves true greatness" with the first part of "Whatever Happened to Sarah Jane?" He called the episode "scary as hell ... but with that essential lightness of touch that has typified the show from the start". [cite news | author = Mark Wright | title = Square Eyes 5-8 November | url = http://www.thestage.co.uk/tvtoday/2007/11/square_eyes_58_november.php | work = TV Today | publisher = "The Stage" | date = 5 November 2007 | accessdate=2007-11-08] Alisdair Stuart praised the acting of Jane Asher, Joseph Millson and Yasmin Paige; he regarded Paige's prominence as compensating for her relative lack of screen time in "Warriors of Kudlak". Stuart summed up "Whatever Happened to Sarah Jane?" as "the darkest, most ambitious and most effective Sarah Jane story to date" and "one of the best New Who stories to date". [cite news | author = Alisdair Stuart | title = Review:The Sarah Jane Adventures-Whatever Happened to Sarah Jane? | url = http://firefox.org/news/articles/843/1/ReviewThe-Sarah-Jane-Adventures-Whatever-Happened-to-Sarah-Jane/Page1.html | work = Firefox News | date = 6 November 2007 | accessdate=2007-11-08] Andrea Mullaney in "The Scotsman" also commended the "young actors", while calling attention to a "gentle theme" in the story of "ageing and what we leave behind". [cite news | author = Andrea Mullaney | title = I'm not over-eager for the rise of the cybermen | url = http://living.scotsman.com/index.cfm?id=1761272007 | work = The Scotsman | date = 6 November 2007 | accessdate=2007-11-08]

The second part of the story received the most viewers of any programme ever broadcast on the CBBC Channel. [ [http://gallifreyone.com/news.php#newsitemEEAVZVZFVprZXLJjIv The Doctor Who News Page ] ]


External links

* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/sja/ Sarah Jane Adventures homepage]
*Doctor Who RG | id=sja_05 | title=Whatever Happened to Sarah Jane?
*brief| tsja=yes |id=2007hi |title=Whatever Happened to Sarah Jane?

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