Goodbye, Sarah Jane Smith was the sixth and final serial of series 4 of The Sarah Jane Adventures. It was written by Clayton Hickman and Gareth Roberts, directed by Joss Agnew and featured Elisabeth Sladen as Sarah Jane Smith, Tommy Knight as Luke Smith, Daniel Anthony as Clyde Langer, Anjli Mohindra as Rani Chandra, Alexander Armstrong as Mr Smith and John Leeson as K9.
In a sad case of irony, due to the title and plot, it is the final story of the programme to be broadcast during the life of its star, Elisabeth Sladen. The story introduced a pair of foil characters to Sarah and Mr Smith, Ruby White and Mr White, and dealt with Sarah's quiet fear of growing too old and ill to continue protecting the Earth, becoming purposeless. It also revealed how deeply Luke's departure to Oxford had affected her.
It was the last story in any media to feature K9 Mark IV. The character would continue to make appearances in invalid material, such as a featurette detailing the statistical history of Doctor Who around the time of its fiftieth anniversary.
Sarah has begun developing a form of dementia, and she realises that her ability to defend the Earth is diminishing. She must now hand over the task to surer hands. A seemingly suitable replacement, Ruby White, has arrived on Bannerman Road, but can she be trusted?
A meteor hurtles towards Earth. Mr Smith redirects it to a safer crash site and says it will contain germ pathogens. The gang hurry to neutralise the germs. The meteorite reads all clear. Then a strange woman appears, claiming to be saving the world. She drives off in a red sports car and Clyde points out that she is doing the same thing as Sarah. Sarah does not look pleased.
They find the woman has just moved in across the street and go to find out who she is. She behaves coldly towards them, telling them to get out of her house. Her name is Ruby White and she sees them as amateurs. She moved to Ealing because of all the alien activity — Trueman, the Bubble Shock! factory, rhinos driving police cars and alien plant life. Sarah decides to stay away from Ruby, but keep her eyes open.
The next day, Gita waves to Sarah on her way home. Sarah says she has to make Luke's tea and then realises he is at university. Clyde and Rani go to check that she is alright. She calls Luke, just two hours after she last spoke to him. She can't remember K9's name. Rani suggests she take a holiday and visit Luke. Mr Smith gives a red alert. A fleet of Dark Horde warriors are heading for Earth. They trace the scan beam and lock onto the attic to neutralise enemy technology. Mr Smith diverts the teleport to an uninhabited area. Sarah gives Clyde a gun and says they must protect the Earth by any means.
An advance party of three warriors lands on Earth. Sarah plans to use a device to overload their sensors. She asks Clyde for the sonic lipstick, but he said she told him to bring the gun (which isn't even charged). Sarah has made a big mistake. Then Ruby arrives and tosses spheres to Rani and Clyde. She uses an artificial intelligence to convince the Dark Horde that they are faced by a stronger version of themselves. Their logical reaction is to flee. Clyde suggests calling the AI "Mr White".
They take Ruby back to the attic, where Mr White gets along well with Mr Smith. Sarah says she'd be glad to have an adult friend. Whilst explaining to Ruby how she became involved with aliens, Sarah forgets the Doctor's name for a moment, something she can't believe she did. She orders Mr Smith to medi-scan her. He tells her there is evidence of brain tissue deterioration. Sarah takes this to mean she is too old to continue defending the Earth. Ruby makes friends with Clyde and Rani, who are eager to show off their knowledge of aliens. Sarah feels very left out.
Sarah asks Ruby to take over the duty of protecting the Earth, offering her the house, Mr Smith and Clyde and Rani. Ruby agrees. Sarah goes to leave, not even bothering to tell Luke she is going. She orders Mr Smith to wipe her voice from the command program so she can no longer give him orders. She realises something is wrong and begs Ruby to help her. Instead, Ruby teleports her to a "secret cellar" which houses her stomach. She reveals she is the one making Sarah ill, draining her life force. She is a Qetesh, whose race devours peoples' thrills and emotions. She targeted Sarah, who has the most exciting life on Earth. Mr White is making a farewell message for Clyde and Rani so they will believe Sarah has gone because "she" will tell them. Ruby's stomach drains Sarah directly as Ruby gloats about how she will feast on the Earth...
Ruby explains that rather than stop aliens, she will help them and feed on the excitement and terror that humanity will feel. Back in the attic, Clyde and Rani watch Mr White's faked video of Sarah. Clyde can't believe Sarah has simply gone. He blames Rani for putting the idea of a "holiday" in her head. Mr Smith starts acting strangely. He tries to warn Clyde — "Beware Ruby". Ruby shuts down Mr Smith and teleports Clyde to her spaceship. It was her prison, until she reprogrammed its game console (Mr White). Ruby leaves Clyde in the prison to suffocate.
Rani tries to call Clyde and hears a knock at the door. She opens it to find Luke. K9, who is back in Oxford, tracks Clyde's phone to space. Rani goes to place the phone near Mr White so K9 can reset him and free Mr Smith from his influence, as well as rescue Clyde. Clyde leaves a message on his phone for the others to find, then collapses. Rani distracts Ruby, who is not convinced, but luckily K9 resets Mr White in time. K9 rescues Clyde and the restored Mr Smith imprisons Ruby in a containment vortex, but she escapes. Clyde and Rani go to rescue Sarah. Ruby corners them in the cellar and threatens to devour them completely.
Luke arrives and gives Ruby a warning to leave Earth. When she refuses, Mr White sends a hologram so everyone on Earth sees a meteor hurtling straight for them. Ruby cannot handle the sudden inrush of emotions and thrills from six billion people. The stomach swells, then shrinks and releases all the energy it took from Sarah back into her. Sarah sends Ruby back to her prison ship, where Ruby swears to get revenge on her. Sarah thanks her team for saving her, knowing she could count on them while Mr Smith and K9 finally seem to have put aside their animosity after working together to defeat Ruby. Luke takes them all out for a treat and Sarah says that although the universe is full of amazing things, they have stiff competition on Earth.
- Sarah Jane Smith - Elisabeth Sladen
- Luke Smith - Thomas Knight
- Clyde Langer - Daniel Anthony
- Rani Chandra - Anjli Mohindra
- Mr Smith - Alexander Armstrong
- K9 Mark IV - John Leeson
- Gita Chandra - Mina Anwar
- Haresh Chandra - Ace Bhatti
- Ruby White - Julie Graham
- Voice of Mr White - Eddie Marsan
Created by Russell T Davies
|Executive Producers Russell T Davies and Nikki Wilson|
|General production staff|
Camera and lighting department
|Make-up and prosthetics
Special and visual effects
|Not every person who worked on this adventure was credited. The absence of a credit for a position doesn't necessarily mean the job wasn't required. The information above is based solely on observations of the actual end credits of the episodes as broadcast, and does not relay information from IMDB or other sources.|
- Ruby lives on 46 Old Forest Road.
- The Dark Horde conqueres the Kravasta colonies.
- Ruby mentions Finland.
Cultural references from the real world
- Rani teases Clyde when she says she'll get her hair "done like Lady Gaga, all skewiff, then dye it streaked."
Races and species
- Ruby is a Qetesh.
- Ruby mentions she has a bio damper.
- Sarah owns a scanning blind, two thermo-clamps and one bio-coolant
- When Ruby tells Clyde that Mr White is a games console, Clyde responds, "Mr White is a Playstation?"
- Mr Smith tries to use his containment vortex on Ruby.
- This is the only story featuring Sarah Jane Smith's name in the title that does not feature the Trickster as the main antagonist.
- Shortly after this story was broadcast, Elisabeth Sladen's health began to deteriorate, eerily similar to her character's plight in this episode.
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In Part 2 at around the 24:45 mark, you can see the CGI crosses on Mr Smith used to overlay his GUI.
- Clyde is again splattered with alien slime. (TV: Revenge of the Slitheen, Enemy of the Bane, The Gift, The Nightmare Man)
- Ruby White refers to Martin Trueman, (TV: Secrets of the Stars) the Bubble Shock! factory, (TV: Invasion of the Bane) "rhinos in a police car" (TV: Prisoner of the Judoon) and alien plant life. (TV: The Gift)
- Luke is driving the Volkswagen Beetle which he was given by Sarah. (TV: The Nightmare Man)
- Sarah says she was twenty-three when she first met the Third Doctor. Her apparent decision to retire is triggered, in part, when she is unable to remember the Doctor's name. (TV: The Time Warrior)
- Upon establishing the link with Mr Smith, both he and K9 say, "Contact". When meeting his first and second incarnations, the Third Doctor said this word to establish a psychic link with his younger selves. (TV: The Three Doctors)
- Ruby has a stolen bio damper bracelet. Others have had bio damper technology. (TV: The Runaway Bride, Secrets of the Stars, The Empty Planet)
- K9 calls Mr Smith "Inferior Smith" when he notices Mr White got the better of him. This is the last jab K9 makes in their long-standing rivalry before the end of the series. (TV: The Mad Woman in the Attic onward) Mr Smith makes one more jab. (TV: The Man Who Never Was) However, while the two have a rivalry still, they seem to be on better terms after K9 saves Mr Smith from Mr White as Mr Smith calls K9 by name rather than "the dog" and admits he isn't so bad, saying he's "met worse." K9 returns the sentiment.
Home video releases
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- Goodbye, Sarah Jane Smith at Shannon Sullivan's A Brief History of Time (Travel)
- Goodbye, Sarah Jane Smith at The Locations Guide