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The Eternity Trap (TV story)

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The Eternity Trap
Erasmus darkening
Main character(s): Sarah Jane, Clyde, Rani
Featuring: Celeste, Toby
Main enemy: Erasmus Darkening
red-eyed creature
Main setting: Ashen Hill Manor, 1665
Ashen Hill Manor, 2009
Key crew
Writer: Phil Ford
Director: Alice Troughton
Producer: Nikki Wilson
Release details
Story number: 16
Season/series: 3
Premiere broadcast: 5 - 6 November 2009
Format: 2x30 minute episodes
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The Eternity Trap was the fourth story in the third series of The Sarah Jane Adventures. It saw the return of Professor Rivers, and was essentially a Luke-lite serial.

Synopsis

A haunted house, mysterious whispers and secrets in the shadows attract Sarah Jane's attention. When Professor Rivers and the gang investigate an old legend, a monstrous creature appears in the night. The terrifying grasp of Erasmus Darkening reaches out from centuries past. Sarah Jane and the gang discover the secrets of Erasmus Darkening, but are they too late? Ghosts from the past rise up and the quest to find the missing children reaches a climax. It seems that nothing can stop the ancient alchemist's rise to victory.

Plot

Part 1

Professor Rivers tells the story of a haunted manor. She speaks of Lord Marchwood and how he employed Erasmus Darkening. Marchwood thought Erasmus could make gold out of nothing. His two children, Elizabeth and Joseph, spy on Erasmus and they vanish for eternity.

Rivers is telling the story to Sarah Jane, Clyde, Rani and her assistant Toby. Luke is at home as their standby lest something goes wrong. Sarah Jane separates and finds a book on the history of the manor. She turns from the book case where she is reading, and behind her, the books move. Clyde and Rani go outside and find a shed and a fountain. The fountain ceases flowing and wet footprints appear in the shed. They hear a young girl cry. It stops as Clyde pulls a sheet from a mirror. A man's face appears in the mirror. They run back to the manor to find Sarah Jane.

Meanwhile in the control room, the camera in the playroom cuts out. Rivers goes to investigate. Abruptly, the nursery monitor starts to play. Seconds later, Rivers vanishes.

The gang go to investigate and find all the toys have come alive. On the mirror in the room, a message appears: "Get out". Clyde and Rani explore and find a secret passageway leading to Erasmus' lab.

Meanwhile Sarah Jane goes outside. She finds a creature with red eyes in the bushes. It advances on her. Lord Marchwood's ghost manifests and he fights it off. Clyde and Rani find a computer, then turn around to see Erasmus Darkening.

Part 2

Lord Marchwood arrives with his children to rescue Clyde and Rani. Sarah Jane hears a recording of Professor Rivers saying, "Sarah Jane help me", over and over. Then she sees her. Rivers warns her, "He is coming for you", and disappears. Sarah Jane reunites with Clyde and Rani and they find Lord Marchwood. Sarah Jane believes they are not ghosts. Toby, Sarah Jane, Clyde and Rani discover all the people that have disappeared, except for Professor Rivers who hasn't been absorbed yet. Erasmus arrives and they all disappear.

Erasmus tells them he will come for them all. Sarah Jane and Toby investigate Erasmus' secret chamber while Rani and Clyde distract Erasmus. Toby tells Sarah Jane of a creature who used to come into his room and watch him every night. Rani and Clyde are chased by something into a game room. When all the games start playing by themselves, they run outside and are locked out.

Sarah Jane and Toby find Erasmus' machine. Sarah Jane suspects Erasmus was trying to get home to another galaxy with the machine. The machine malfunctioned and all the people that disappeared were trapped between dimensions. Clyde and Rani run into the pavilion. Sarah Jane and Toby are interrupted by Erasmus. Sarah Jane works out that the machine is giving Erasmus and all the people that disappeared eternal life. She also works out the creature that attacked her earlier came through the machine. Lord Marchwood again rescues Clyde and Rani. Sarah Jane, Clyde, Rani and Toby reunite with Lord Marchwood. Sarah Jane comes up with a plan to stop Erasmus. Erasmus is destroyed and Professor Rivers is returned. Sarah Jane destroys Erasmus' machine with her sonic lipstick. Sarah Jane, Clyde and Rani say goodbye to Professor Rivers and Toby.

Rani declares that this must be the end of the haunted house dealings. Clyde quickly rebuffs her and says that there were never any ghosts in the first place. He asks Sarah Jane if there really are no such things as ghosts. Sarah Jane answers, "That's right.... No.. such.. thing.. as.. ghosts." Her voice slows and becomes hesitant as she peers up at the manor, seeing something peculiar from up above, before slinking into her car. As the trio drive away, Lord Marchwood and his children watch from the window.

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.


References

Businesses

Culture

  • Clyde says, "I ain't afraid of no ghost", a phrase which was part of the Ghostbusters' theme tune. The song was also quoted by the Tenth Doctor and Rose Tyler in TV: Army of Ghosts. He also tells Darkening he and Rani have come to "bust" him, lampooning the Ghostbusters' catchphrase. Rani wishes she had a proton pack right about then, and Clyde says, "They even made boiler suits look cool." These are staples of the Ghostbusters' ghost-hunting gear.
  • Clyde compares the castle to Hogwarts from Harry Potter, but in Tim Burton style, a director known for his dark, gothic, and macabre works. He goes on to call it "Harry Potter Has A Close Shave Off Sweeney Todd". Sweeny Todd is a murderous barber in the musical Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Clyde also sarcastically says, "It isn't Santa's workshop."
  • Rani thinks the bell gonging they hear in the manor is like "Quasimodo on a joy ride", a character from The Hunchback of Notre Dame whose job was to ring a tower bell.
  • When Clyde walks into a cobweb, Rani chuckles and says that was "very Spider-Man" of him.
  • Rani believes the paranormal encounter with Erasmus is scarier than The Sixth Sense.
  • Rani and Clyde are herded into a billiards room by Darkening, with a fresh game of snooker set up on the billiards table. When Darkening starts manipulating the balls on the table, a nearby suit of armour holding a flail, a chest full of playing cards, and the rack of cue sticks, Clyde injects a pun: "Yeah, we're snookered all right."

Places

  • When Rani and Clyde hole up in the manor's tool shed, Clyde says "It's not exactly the Alamo," and Rani hopes not, remembering it got broken into when the battle to defend the Alamo was lost.

Individuals

Story notes

  • This is the only Sarah Jane Adventures story prior to his departure in TV: The Nightmare Man not to have featured Tommy Knight as Luke Smith. At the time, Tommy was busy taking his GCSE exams.
  • Neither Mr Smith nor K9 appear in this episode, although Mr Smith is mentioned. Along with TV: The Empty Planet, this is one of only two Sarah Jane Adventures stories not to feature Mr Smith.
  • This is the only Sarah Jane Adventures story not to feature Sarah Jane's house 13 Bannerman Road.

Ratings

  • Part 1 — 1.1 million
  • Part 2 — 0.93 million

Myths

  • The faceless being that Toby saw as a child was the Trickster.
  • Some people believed that Erasmus Darkening may have been a Time Lord. Sarah Jane commented on Darkening's manipulator having TARDIS-like qualities. Clyde made reference to some aliens looking human and used the Doctor as an example. He seemed obsessed with living forever as if he were a Time Lord on his last regeneration. His clothing was suggestive of Time Lord clothing. The counter-argument is that the Doctor has indicated that he "would know" if there were any other Time Lords still in the Universe. Erasmus was, however, trapped between dimensions, which it is hypothesised may have "hidden" him.

Filming locations

  • The Haunted House in the episode was previously used in Series Four of Doctor Who in TV: Forest of the Dead.

Production errors

  • In part one, when the Professor is taken, her scream can be heard, but the cameras she is using have no audio, as she earlier uses her radio to talk.

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.

External links


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