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Invasion of the Bane (TV story)

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Invasion of the Bane
MariaAndSarahTentativeIOTB
Novelised as: Invasion of the Bane
Main character(s): Sarah Jane, Luke, Maria, Kelsey
Featuring: Mr Smith, Alan, Chrissie, K9
Main enemy: Bane, Mrs Wormwood, Bane Mother
Main setting: Ealing, 2008
Key crew
Writer: Gareth Roberts and Russell T Davies
Director: Colin Teague
Producer: Susie Liggat
Release details
Story number: 1
Season/series: 1
Premiere broadcast: 1 January 2007
Premiere network: BBC One
Format: 1x60 minute episode
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Invasion of the Bane was the first episode of The Sarah Jane Adventures, but it was not a pilot of any kind, since the whole of series 1 was commissioned simultaneously. (DWMSE 23) Indeed, the BBC One continuity announcement immediately following transmission proclaimed, "That was a taster for a brand new series that comes to CBBC later this year." Even so, it is frequently called "the pilot" in the fan community, and even occasionally by Doctor Who Magazine. The production team also occasionally think of it as something "other" than series 1, since it comprised a production block of its own, several months prior to principal photography on the rest of the series. (DWMSE 23)

The episode re-introduced Sarah Jane Smith, then-familiar to BBC Wales audiences after her appearance on Doctor Who a few months earlier in School Reunion. Simultaneously, it wrote out K9 Mark IV, whom audiences would have expected to see with Sarah Jane because of his appearance in the precedent Doctor Who story. Bob Baker, co-creator and owner of the concept of K9, was interested in getting K9 a show of his own, and so didn't want to dilute enthusiasm for the character by allowing his heavy use in The Sarah Jane Adventures.

Free from the somewhat artificial friendship with K9 that had been lumbered on her thanks to 1981's A Girl's Best Friend, Sarah Jane was now able to build a new cast of supporting, and mostly human, characters. Chief amongst these was Maria Jackson, who played a teenaged girl from across the road, who effectively became Sarah's chief "companion". Her divorced parents, Alan and Chrissie Jackson, were also introduced, as was the more mysterious "Luke Smith", a boy who had been "born" at the apparent age of a teenager, and whom Sarah Jane was more-or-less forced to adopt in order to keep his super-human qualities hidden from prying eyes. Also original to this story was Mr Smith, a super-computer installed in Sarah Jane's attic. The main villain, the Bane, were also original to this series, although their shape-shifting qualities allowed for easy comparison to the Zygons.

From a production point of view, this was the second time a spin-off starring Elisabeth Sladen had been produced, the first being A Girl's Best Friend in 1981. It was the first time that two writers were credited on an episode of any DWU television story since Pip and Jane Baker's Time and the Rani. Davies would go on to share another credit with Roberts on Planet of the Dead and with Phil Ford on The Waters of Mars.

The story had a unique runtime, being an hour long. For the rest of the series, each story was comprised of two 25-minute episodes.

Synopsis

Investigative journalist Sarah Jane Smith teams up with her new, thirteen-year-old neighbour, Maria Jackson, to face the scheming Mrs Wormwood, the head of a company producing a popular and addictive soft drink called "Bubble Shock!"

Plot

Maria Jackson and her father, Alan, are moving into a house opposite Sarah Jane Smith on Bannerman Road. As her father sorts boxes, Maria watches a television commercial for the popular new soft drink called "Bubble Shock!", which contains Bane. Maria's mother, Chrissie, helps out and pesters her former husband for money before leaving. That night Maria is awakened by a bright light. She follows it to Sarah Jane's house and finds a glowing alien. As it disappears into the night sky, a terrified Maria runs home and locks the front door.

The next morning a local girl, Kelsey Hooper, arrives to welcome the new family. She offers to take Maria into town. When Maria says she has no money, Kelsey tells her about the free Bubble Shock! bus. It takes visitors for a guided tour of the Bubble Shock! factory. Mr. Jackson tries to introduce himself to Sarah Jane, but she overhears the girls' plans and gives chase in her car.

MariaCheeky

Maria Jackson has just moved in.

On the bus, Maria questions Kelsey about the secret ingredient in Bubble Shock! known only as Bane. Kelsey echoes the claims made by the television adverts that Bane is organic and that makes it good. Maria is not convinced enough to drink any of it. Kelsey informs her she must be part of the official 2% of the population that doesn't like the drink. After the bus reaches the factory, all the guests go through a security scanner and have to turn off their mobile phones. Unknown to them, the scanner collects their DNA. A boy, the Archetype, lies in a medical chamber with a breathing mask over his mouth. A worker informs his supervisor, Mrs Wormwood, that the DNA of the children has been transmitted. Mrs Wormwood is delighted and believes "mother" will be equally pleased.

The guests are led by PR agent Davey, who offers everyone numerous free samples of the drink whilst dully providing a pre-written PR statement on the virtues of the drink. He notices Maria has not taken a sample and insists she does. She says that she doesn't care for it, and is in the 2% of the population who feel likewise. Davey cryptically replies that the factory is working on a way to make sure 100% of the population will consume the drink.

Sarah Jane is sneaking around the factory when she notices a door. Using her sonic lipstick, she opens it, before being captured by guards who take her to Mrs Wormwood's office. Sarah comments that Wormwood was described in the Bible as a star that would fall to Earth and taint the world's water supply. Wormwood recognises Sarah Jane's name from e-mails and phone calls the company received, all of which went unanswered. She agrees to grant Sarah Jane an interview.

SJSWormwoodOffice

Sarah Jane confronts Ms Wormwood in her office.

Sarah Jane asks how they obtained a license to make food and drink in two weeks. Mrs Wormwood replies that they are only satisfying the Western world's need for food. Sarah Jane presses her on the nature of the mysterious Bane ingredient. Every test she has had run on the drink has failed to reveal anything — almost as if the drink had a form of intelligence and was hiding its contents. Mrs Wormwood insists that she drink some Bubble Shock! Sarah Jane refuses and suggests that Wormwood comes from space. Mrs Wormwood mocks such an idea as crazy talk and has her secretary Lesley escort Sarah Jane out of the factory. Once in the lift, Wormwood orders her secretary to kill Sarah Jane, but she foils the attack and escapes further into the factory.

Kelsey tries to phone her friend Suki and wanders into a restricted area. Her mobile phone disturbs an unknown beast and sets off an emergency alarm, causing the factory to be evacuated. Davey finds her huddled in a corner, screaming for someone to get "that thing" away from her. Davey angrily responds that the creature is not "a thing", Kelsey is; the creature is his mother. Mrs Wormwood dispatches guards to locate and kill Sarah Jane. She demands the alarms be switched off for the Bane Mother's sake. Maria tries to find Kelsey but she sets off the alarm again and prompts a system overload that allows the Archetype to escape. Mrs Wormwood and Davey lead teams in an attempt to find the source of the alarm.

Soon, Maria bumps into the Archetype. She tries to introduce herself, while the Archetype just repeats what she says back to her. They hide in a cubicle in the women's toilets and are soon joined by Sarah Jane, with both parties surprised to see one another. Just outside, Davey reports they have searched everywhere and have found no sign of the intruders. Mrs Wormwood asks him if he has checked inside the women's toilets. Somewhat shocked, he replies that his training on human culture had stated it was strictly forbidden for males to enter. Frustrated at his stupidity, Wormwood storms into the toilets and slams open all the cubicles but finds no one there. Davey points out the window has been opened, and Wormwood realises Sarah Jane and the children have escaped. Outside they flee to Sarah Jane's car. Maria protests that they left Kelsey behind.

Sarah Jane uses her sonic lipstick to get out of the factory grounds. In Mrs Wormwood's office, Kelsey rants about the treatment she has received. Unable to make sense of her tirade, Wormwood decides to change into her natural form in order to scan the girl's mind. She deactivates her image translator, causing Kelsey to scream. Some time later, Kelsey lies unconscious in the office. Davey notes Wormwood held back, to which she replies that children have parents who would cause them trouble by asking questions. She attempts to make sense of Kelsey's thoughts and finds most of them to be no use, focusing on boys and pop culture. She eventually discovers Kelsey knows of Sarah Jane and lives on the same street. She dispatches Davey to take Kelsey home with his true objective being to kill Sarah Jane and retrieve the Archetype.

Imagetranslator2

Davey changes from human to Bane.

Upon arriving back at Bannerman Road, Sarah Jane tells Maria to go home and not get involved. Maria replies that it is too late for that and reveals she saw the alien from the previous night, which shocks Sarah Jane. However, Sarah puts her foot down and tells Maria her life is dangerous; she does not want anyone else getting hurt for the decisions she has made. A furious Maria runs home and her father attempts to comfort her. Sarah Jane questions the Archetype on his origins. She finds that despite his appearance he lacks a navel or any common-sense knowledge. Most surprisingly, Sarah Jane's alien watch reveals him to be only hours old. When she asks him who he is he only replies, "I am everyone". A male voice calls out to Sarah Jane. The Archetype asks what it is but Sarah Jane quickly responds that it is nothing and that he is not allowed to go upstairs.

Soon after, Davey's car pulls up on the street. Kelsey attempts to flirt with him, but he just tells her to get out. Kelsey enters the Jacksons' house and a relieved Maria asks her what happened. Kelsey remembers nothing, instead believing Maria abandoned her for no reason and that she had to get a lift home from Davey. Realising this means he is on their street, an alarmed Maria runs to Sarah Jane's house to warn her. Sarah Jane initially mistakes her intent and shuts the door on her but quickly opens it when Kelsey screams — Davey has revealed his true Bane form and is crawling along the side of the house. Sarah Jane quickly rushes both girls inside, but Davey easily knocks the front door off its hinges and chases them up the stairs.

Bane Mother

The Bane Mother reveals herself.

Sarah Jane tells the children to wait as she dashes into a room she declares off limits and returns with a mysterious spray with which she attacks Davey. Kelsey slips away into the mysterious room and loudly declares her amazement. Sarah Jane and the others follow, revealing a room filled with mementos of past adventures and also a talking computer, Mr Smith. Sarah Jane explains that years ago she met a man unlike any other, who took her on adventures in time and space and was then "back to a normal life of electric bills, burst pipes, bus tickets and rain". K9 is introduced to Maria, the Archetype and Kelsey, and Sarah reveals that he is closing off a black hole that is threatening Earth and has been in there for "a year and a half now, plugging the distortion".

SJSLukeMariaCelebrateIOTB

Sarah Jane and her newly acquired gang celebrate their victory

Sarah uses Mr Smith to patch into the Bubble Shock! factory communication systems and offers Wormwood an ultimatum should the Bane not leave Earth. Wormwood ignores them and mind controls all the Bubble Shock! drinkers, including Alan and Kelsey. Sarah is able to stop Kelsey, but all the other drinkers begin marching, chanting, "Drink it". Harried by mind-controlled Bubble Shock! drinkers, the group heads to the factory.

After gaining access to the factory grounds, the group finds themselves trapped between the Bubble Shock! mob at the factory gates and a deadlock sealed door to the factory itself. Having cast about for a solution, Sarah Jane drives through the factory wall in the Bubble Shock! bus. The surprise entrance doesn't phase Mrs Wormwood. She appears rather pleased that Sarah Jane has delivered herself to their doorstep, and brought the Archetype along as a bonus. Revealing that the Archetype was created to deal with the "2%", Wormwood declares he is no longer needed as plans have been sped up and disables the Archetype by manipulating her ring.

Cornered and about to be eaten by the Bane Mother, Maria uses her cellphone to try to hold off the Bane. Mrs Wormwood reveals that Maria's cellphone is too small, she only made the Bane Mother angry. The Bane Mother descends but the Archetype uses the memory capacity of 10,000 humans that the Bane gave him, programming the transmitter device, given to Sarah Jane by the Star Poet, with the Bane frequency to destroy the monstrous Bane Mother; subsequently the Bubble Shock! factory is destroyed, but Wormwood appears to escape, swearing revenge.

TheJacksonThree

The not-so-happy Jackson family

Back home, the gang try to think up a name for the Archetype and decide on Luke (after Sarah considers Harry and Alistair after Harry Sullivan and Brigadier Sir Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart). Sarah has her computer print up adoption papers for Luke. That night, the trio sit together in Sarah Jane's garden, looking up at the stars.

Cast

Crew

General production staff

Script department

Camera and lighting department

Art department

Costume department

Make-up and prosthetics

Movement

General post-production staff

Special and visual effects

Sound







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.
          

Gerry Dawson's role as Store person credited as "Store man".  Tim Hodges' role as Assistant editor credited as "Editor's assistant".


References

Individuals

Locations

Real world

  • Mrs Wormwood mentions the soap opera Hollyoaks, after mistaking it for 'The Holy Oak'.

Books

  • Sarah Jane has a book by H. G. Wells in her attic.
  • A printout that Sarah Jane has upstairs shows part of the cover of the Whitley Strieber book Communion.

Races and species

Technology

  • Sarah Jane mentions that there are secret organisations dedicated to finding aliens, but they tend to go in with "guns blazing" - a reference to Torchwood and UNIT.
  • The Bane used a device called an "image translator".

Story notes

  • This is the only Sarah Jane Adventure episode that does not feature Clyde Langer.
  • This was the only sixty-minute episode to be produced of The Sarah Jane Adventures; regular series episodes were twenty-five minutes in length, although on some occasions two-parters have been put together as an hour-long omnibus edition for repeat airings.
  • This is also the only Sarah Jane adventures episode which is not a two parter.
  • This was the only episode of the Doctor Who franchise for which Russell T Davies shared co-writing credit until the 2009 Specials.
  • This episode is set at least eighteen months after School Reunion, based on Sarah Jane saying that K9 has "been in there for a year and a half".
  • Porsha Lawrence-Mavour's Kelsey Hooper makes her one and only appearance in this story. Her spot in Sarah Jane's "gang" was later occupied by Clyde Langer. No reason for this switch was ever officially given by the production team.
  • This episode first aired on the same day as End of Days, the last episode of Torchwood series 1.

Unproduced script ideas

DWMSE 23 gave readers an insight into some of the abandoned script ideas for Invasion of the Bane and The Sarah Jane Adventures in general. Some ideas were:

Ratings

  • 2.9 million viewers

Filming locations

  • Aberdare Skate Park, Aberdare, Cardiff
  • Cogan Leisure Centre, Penarth
  • Penarth Pier, Penarth
  • Clinton Road, Penarth
  • Plassey Street, Penarth
  • Glebe Street, Penarth
  • Windsor Road, Penarth
  • Black Horse Ltd (Cardiff), Cardiff
  • Elinia House, Ely Fields, Cardiff
  • Trident Park (Old NEG Factory), (formerly Nippon Electric Glass UK), Cardiff Bay
  • College Green, London

Continuity

If you'd like to talk about narrative problems with this story — like plot holes and things that seem to contradict other stories — please go to this episode's discontinuity discussion.
  • In Sarah's attic there is a picture of herself twenty-five years younger with K9 Mark III, and a portrait of Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart circa the early 1970s (From publicity photos for TV: A Girl's Best Friend and Doctor Who)
  • Sarah mentions travelling with the Doctor (TV: The Time Warrior through The Hand of Fear) and then meeting the Tenth Doctor again years later (TV: School Reunion).
  • It is suggested here that Sarah's renewed interest in helping, or combating, alien life was sparked by her recent adventure with the Doctor. The episode also re-establishes, in dialogue, Sarah Jane's choice of lifestyle after leaving the Doctor years earlier.
  • Wormwood notes the presence of residual artron energy around Sarah Jane that indicates she travelled through the space-time vortex, although a long time ago. Those who travel with the Doctor in the TARDIS are physically altered by the experience, picking up background radiation. The last time Sarah Jane was seen travelling through time and space via the TARDIS was at the end of TV: The Five Doctors, before that in TV: The Hand of Fear.
  • Sarah Jane has a sonic lipstick which appears to function in much the same way as the Doctor's sonic screwdriver. At one point Sarah invokes the Doctor's name when using the device, suggesting he had something to do with creating it, a fact confirmed not on screen but on the show's website. [source needed]
  • Sarah mentions that the lipstick doesn't work against deadlock-sealed doors - also a weakness of the sonic screwdriver. (TV: School Reunion, et. al.)

Home video releases

  • Invasion of the Bane was released by itself on a vanilla DVD. It also featured in the series one box set, which was released in North America on 7 October 2008 and on 10 November 2008 for the UK.

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