The Gift (TV story)
|Main character(s):||Sarah Jane, Luke, Clyde, Rani, Mr Smith, K9|
|Main setting:||Ealing, London and Antarctica, 2009|
|Premiere broadcast:||19 - 20 November 2009|
|Format:||2x30 minute episodes|
|SJA television stories|
|Mona Lisa's Revenge||The Nightmare Man|
- You may wish to consult
The Giftfor other, similarly-named pages.
The Gift was the sixth and final story in the third series of The Sarah Jane Adventures. It was notable for containing the only televised direct reference to a family of Raxacoricofallapatorians other than the Slitheen, namely their rivals, the Blathereen. It also established that Raxicoricofallapatorians are not exclusively green-skinned. Rather, some individuals of this story had red-brown-toned skin. Though long a concept explored in prose representations of the RTD creations, other families had never been named, leaving casual viewers of SJA and Doctor Who to think that "Slitheen" was the name of a species.
When the Slitheen's latest scheme to destroy Earth for profit is foiled, another family from the Slitheen's planet arrive, the Blathereen. Though they seem helpful, can they be trusted? As a generous gesture of peace, the Blathereen gift the gang with a plant called Rakweed, which could end world hunger. However, the Rakweed goes wild, spreading spores about London and infecting people, including Luke. Sarah Jane must fight alone, not only to save the Earth, but also her son. Meanwhile, Clyde smuggles K9 into school to help him cheat at a test, and he, Rani and the metal dog find themselves trapped in the school — surronded by Rakweed. Can the team work together across Ealing — and Antarctica — to prevent Rakweed from devouring the entire planet?
Part one edit
Sarah Jane and the gang chase a child Slitheen into a warehouse, where a disguised Slitheen sets up the countdown for a matter compressor that will form a web around the Earth's orbit to squash it into a very large diamond. However, two orange-skinned Blathereen arrive and teleport the Slitheen onto their ship. They state that they hunt Slitheen without profit. They introduce themselves as Tree and Leef Blathereen, and invite themselves to tea at Rani's house.
Whilst there, the Blathereen reveal that Raxacoricofallapatorius was once the most admired planet in the Raxas Alliance, governed by the Blathereen, until the Slitheen came into power. Their economy was destroyed, and eventually the Raxacoricofallapatorians revolted against the Slitheen; some were brought to justice, but some escaped to distant planets to gain money. The Blathereen returned to power and started to capture the various Slitheen.
The Blathereen give Earth a gift: a pot of Rakweed. They say it can survive in even the harshest conditions, and would end Earth's famine. With Sarah Jane as their ambassador, the Blathereen could form an alliance with Earth. Clyde is suspicious. After the Blathereen leave, Mr Smith says that the Rakweed is harmless. Clyde, Rani and Luke have a biology test the next day, and with Mr Smith's help, Clyde is able to smuggle K9 into school.
Whilst getting dressed, Luke can't find his tie and goes into the attic to look for it. The Rakweed has mutated and released harmful spores into the atmosphere. Luke accidentally swallows some spores and becomes properly ill for the first time, since the Bane gave him perfect health. Sarah Jane decides that Luke has to stay home, and Rani is concerned. In school, Rani learns that Clyde has K9 to help him, and will talk to him through an earpiece.
Sarah Jane discovers the Rakweed, and Mr Smith explains that the plant has mutated and is releasing spores across the Earth that will infect humans who may pose a threat to the Blathereen, and more Rakweed has grown outside Sarah Jane's house on Bannerman Road. Mr Smith also reveals that the Rakweed will put humans into a coma from which they will never awaken. Sarah Jane sees red and black spots on Luke's chest and the Rakweed releases a massive wave of spores that head towards Sarah Jane and Luke. Sarah Jane shouts for Mr Smith to somehow stop them as the Rakweed spores come closer.
Part two editMr Smith activates at the last moment and, using the cooling mechanism built into his system, diverts the spores towards the fans and away from Sarah Jane and Luke. However, doing this has depleted his energy. To prevent it from creating more spores, Sarah Jane throws the Rakweed into her safe. Mr Smith explains that the Blathereen use the Rakweed as a weapon to destroy anyone who stands in their path, and while Luke is a lot stronger than other humans, being able to resist the effects for longer, he inhaled the spores directly into his lungs. He can stand the spores for longer but not forever.
Meanwhile, Clyde and Rani prepare to begin their exam. Clyde slides the question papers under the table for K9 to analyse and asks for the answers to be relayed to him via the metal earpiece. K9 initially refuses, stating that his order is unethical, but is soon persuaded by Clyde, who says to K9, "You said a test was one human demonstrating intellectual superiority over others. I brought a supercomputer into school, that's pretty smart, wouldn't you say?" K9 considers by flashing his eye light. He finally agrees and Clyde says he wants the answers "short and to the point". In the attic, Mr Smith analyses Luke and determines that they have half an hour before he is completely poisoned, being at 63%, and that he is unable to find an antidote as the spores are constantly adapting; it could take him days to create one himself, and even then it might not work. Sarah Jane learns that others in the London area have already been infected. Clyde is caught cheating when K9 is discovered by the teacher, but everyone is distracted when the Rakweed plants spawn in the classroom, infecting the teacher and creating panic among the students.
Sarah Jane asks Mr Smith to locate the Blathereen using the teleportation co-ordinates she recorded, and learns that they are hiding in Antarctica. In their base, the Blathereen mock Sarah Jane's greed for glory over accepting the Rakweed and gloat over their plan's success. Mr Smith teleports Sarah Jane to the Blathereen base, despite the fact that he only has enough energy for a one-way trip. She is armed with a jet-powered water pistol loaded with vinegar. Rani learns about the Rakweed's effects after finding some of the students unconscious, and calls Luke, who is now 87% infected and falls unconscious mid-conversation. Sarah Jane bargains with the Blathereen to destroy the Rakweed, but she is tricked and strapped into a chair which, they say, "cost a fortune!!"
Clyde, Rani and K9 discover that the Rakweed has spread throughout the school grounds and find themselves trapped in the building. Meanwhile, Sarah Jane discovers that the Blathereen are addicted to eating Rakweed, and plan to cover the Earth with it, as it has a high value on the galactic market. They soon reveal their true identities — members of a family, descended from both the Slitheen and the Blathereen, known as the Slitheen-Blathereen family, who tend to take after the greedy Slitheen more than the noble Blathereen. Clyde and Rani discover from news reports that the spores are spreading across the whole of London. They are nearly infected but then the school bell rings, neutralising the Rakweed spores and some actual Rakweed. Sarah Jane learns that the Rakweed plants somehow rely heavily on communication with each other in order to spread. She breaks out of her restraints and manipulates their teleportation device to return home, only to discover Luke unconscious.
K9 utilises the school bells to defeat the Rakweed within the building. Clyde uses K9 to connect with Mr Smith to send the frequency level required to spread the noise across London (1421.09 Hertz). After Mr Smith sets off every single device that could emit those levels of noise, Luke and the other infected people recover from the deadly spores, and he and Sarah Jane embrace. The Slitheen-Blathereen teleport into the attic and confront Sarah Jane and the gang. Mr Smith activates the alarm, which causes the Slitheen-Blathereen's stomachs to swell, then explode, covering everyone and everything in their gory remains; the undigested Rakweed reacted to the alarm, creating an uncontainable amount of methane gas and causing them to "fart themselves to death." As punishment for trying to cheat, Clyde is told to clean up the mess, while the others prepare a barbecue.
Later, Clyde walks out, mop in hand and still covered in goop, while the rest of the group has changed into casual, clean clothes, telling Sarah Jane he has finished cleaning. He discovers she overcooked the sausage and tells her, "You cremated our picnic!" After switching to a fresh outfit and washing up, Clyde joins his friends at the outdoor picnic table for a leisurely meal.
During the epilogue, Sarah Jane comments on the possibility that one day some alien races will want to help humanity, the importance of friendship and that "Earth could become a shining example to the entire universe".
- Sarah Jane Smith - Elisabeth Sladen
- Luke Smith - Tommy Knight
- Clyde Langer - Daniel Anthony
- Rani Chandra - Anjli Mohindra
- Voice of Mr Smith - Alexander Armstrong
- Voice of K9 - John Leeson
- Leef Blathereen - Paul Kasey (voice: Miriam Margolyes)
- Tree Blathereen - Ruari Mears (voice: Simon Callow)
- Chris Slitheen - Jimmy Vee
- Chris - Calvin Dean
- Dave - Edward Judge
- Miss Jerome - Sarah Paul
- Reporter - Nick Williams
Created by Russell T Davies
|Executive Producers Russell T Davies, Julie Gardner and Piers Wenger|
|General production staff|
Camera and lighting department
|Make-up and prosthetics
General post-production staff
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.|
Crispin Layfield credited as Stunt Co-ordinator for part two only.
- The planets Raxacoricofallapatorius and Clom are mentioned as part of the Raxas Alliance, as are its counterpart planets, Raxacoricovarlonpatorius and Clix.
- The Slitheen want to compress the Earth into diamonds, which they intend to spend on the Pleasure Moons of Pakros.
- The Grand Council of Raxacoricofallapatorius is on Raxas Prime.
Companions by Doctor edit
- Perivale and Chiswick, homes to companions Ace and Donna Noble respectively, were areas affected by the Rakweed spores.
- The Rackateen are mentioned by the Blathereen.
- The Blathereen say that land prawns are a popular delicacy on Clom, which the Raxacoricofallapatorians also enjoy.
- Rakweed are normally docile, but mutate in response in defence of a perceived threat to their propagation. The plant given to Sarah Jane was genetically engineered by Tree to propagate seeds very quickly. Rakweed spores communicate through screeching noises to survive and reproduce. The spores and plants die when certain sound frequencies disrupts their noise communication; one effective frequency is 1421.09 Hertz. If digested and exposed to this frequency, the irritated Rakweed will produce extreme amounts of methane inside the stomach of the consumer.
- The ringing noise from a school bell kills the Rakweed.
- Sarah Jane has a six-barreled blaster filled with vinegar that she threatens to use on Tree and Leef.
- The Slitheen utilise their skin suit disguises and one of them suffers the oft-cited and audible common flaw of gas exchange.
- Mr Smith can raise his monitor to reveal a ventilation system, consisting of two seven-bladed cooling fans. Ventilation is a function present in modern computers used to prevent components from overheating. However, in an emergency, the ventilation system can be used to suck out toxins in the attic's air supply, but revving up its speed output can leave his energy reserves considerably drained. Presumably, the function and rotation of the fans can be reversed to stir up an extreme blast of oppressive wind if necessary to hinder intruders.
Cultural references from the real world edit
- While Luke is getting changed, "Everybody in Love" by JLS can be heard.
- Clyde says he should apply for MasterChef after the Blathereen enjoy his cooking.
- When Clyde asks Mr Smith if he thinks K9 is annoying, Mr Smith says "I couldn't possibly comment", possibly referencing the BBC's hit House of Cards trilogy from the 1990s, in which the main character's, Prime Minister Francis Urquhart, catchphrase is "You might very well think that, I couldn't possibly comment" (saying yes without saying yes).
Story notes edit
- The Blathereen and Slitheen both appeared in the book PROSE: The Monsters Inside. The Gift is the first appearance of the Blathereen in a TV story.
- K9 is also given an olfactory sensor in this story, thereby granting him the sense of smell.
- In part two, Clyde asks Rani what Sarah Jane would do. Rani replies, "She'd do what she always does: improvise." This is how the Third Doctor described his own approach to Sarah Jane in The Five Doctors.
- This story features the first instance where a substance other than vinegar has caused a reaction in a Raxacoricofallapatorian's body that made them explode, ironically methane, a gas they often abundantly produce from poor gas exchange in their skin suit disguises.
- This is the first episode to clearly imply that Rani has developed feelings for Clyde, a fact explored further in Series 4.
- Part 1: 0.8 million
- Part 2: 0.8 million
Filming locations edit
to be added
Production errors edit
- When the Blathereen are eating dinner there are times where the studio lights reflect in their eyes.
- At one point, it's obvious that Leef's collar has orange paint on it the same colour as her skin.
- When the Blathereen explodes in the attic covering the team with its remains, Clyde says, "Why does this always happen to me?" referencing when a Slitheen (TV: Revenge of the Slitheen) and a Bane (TV: Enemy of the Bane) exploded on him.
- Sarah Jane previously visited Antarctica in the 1970s in the company of the Fourth Doctor (TV: The Seeds of Doom) and in 2006 (AUDIO: Snow Blind).
- Clyde reminds Rani that the original K9 unit was built in the year 5000. (TV: The Invisible Enemy)
- K9 activates "Hover Mode" again to exit Sarah Jane's car from atop a seat and lower onto the pavement. He previously used it to cross down a flight of stairs in her house after responding to the alien presence of a Travist Polong. (TV: The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith)
- The Slitheen's flatulence issues with their skin suits rats their presence out yet again, as does the distinguishable bright light caused by unzipping the disguise. (TV: Aliens of London / World War Three, Revenge of the Slitheen, From Raxacoricofallapatorius With Love)
- Mr Smith and K9's acrimonious relationship returns to the forefront yet again when Mr Smith expresses pleasure at the thought of Clyde taking him to school and away from Sarah Jane's house. Likewise, K9 logically dictates that Mr Smith "interferes with his synaptic circuits," which Clyde sees as the equivalent of getting on his nerves. (TV: The Mad Woman in the Attic, The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith)
- The Slitheen leader referred to the Blathereen in TV: Revenge of the Slitheen.
- Sarah Jane's line, "But this isn't how it should end, there should have been another way", mirrors the Fifth Doctor's comment after destroying the Silurians and Sea Devils. (TV: Warriors of the Deep)
- The Slitheen's plan to compress Earth into a diamond is reminiscent of Baltazar's plan. (TV: The Infinite Quest) However unlike their plan, which was to turn all the carbon in Earth's atmosphere into one gigantic diamond, Baltazar's plan was to turn every single carbon-based life form on Earth into diamonds.
- The Gift at the Doctor Who Reference Guide
- The Gift at Shannon Sullivan's A Brief History of Time (Travel)
- The Gift at The Locations Guide