a real world point of view
|The Mark of the Berserker|
|Main character(s):||Sarah Jane, Luke, Clyde, Rani, Mr Smith|
|Featuring:||Maria, Alan, Paul, Carla|
|Main enemy:||Berserker Pendant|
|Main setting:||Ealing, 2009|
Washington, D.C., 2009
Lynport Marina, 2009
|Producer:||Nikki Smith, Matthew Bouch (series producer)|
|Premiere broadcast:||3 November - 10 November 2008|
|Format:||2x30 minute episodes|
|SJA television stories|
|Secrets of the Stars||The Temptation of Sarah Jane Smith|
The Mark of the Berserker was the fourth story in the second series of The Sarah Jane Adventures. Clyde Langer's family appeared for the first time, and it was the first story to have Sarah Jane Smith in a cameo role.
An alien pendant which gives its wearer the power to control others is stolen from Sarah Jane's attic. Luke and Rani enlist the help of Clyde's mum to track down Clyde and his father, who has the alien pendant. The chase leads to a terrifying waterside confrontation when the pendant takes control of Paul and begins transforming him.
Rani walks by the detention room at school. She witnesses a boy, Jacob West, controlling his teacher and fellow students. He runs into the boy's bathroom, drops a strange pendant on the floor and leaves. Rani picks up the pendant and pockets it. On Bannerman Road, Rani and her father, Haresh, are deciding on tea and choose to have a pizza. Rani discovers that Haresh will follow her verbal instructions. She deduces that the pendant causes people to follow instructions given to them by the pendant's wearer. Although she initially has fun with the pendant, when her father offers to die as a result to an idle comment, Rani realises how dangerous it is.
The next day, somebody knocks on the door of the Langers' home. Clyde answers it and finds that his long-lost father, Paul Langer, has turned up. His arrival upsets Clyde and his mum.
After an emotional discussion among the three of them, Clyde leaves with his father. During the course of the day, Clyde reveals to his father that he is involved in tackling alien threats. Meanwhile, Rani goes to Sarah Jane's attic only to find that Mr Smith has been deactivated while the house is empty. Rani decides to leave the pendant there so no one will find it. After a talk with her father, she decides to investigate matters herself. She finds Luke, and they go to the school to search for clues.
Clyde convinces his father that he is telling the truth by taking him to Sarah Jane's attic. Paul finds the pendant that Rani left and puts it in his shirt pocket. Outside they meet Haresh, who asks them about what they were doing in Sarah's house. Paul ends up instructing Haresh to do press-ups and realises it must be due to the pendant. Luke and Rani run up to them. Rani works out what has happened and confronts Paul and Clyde. Paul instructs Clyde to forget who Rani and Luke are. They walk off. Paul finds his hand has a strange symbol on it.
Clyde and Paul are walking in town. Paul can't stop looking at the symbol on his hand. Luke and Rani attempts to contact Sarah Jane, but she is preoccupied trying to pursue an alien called Travist Polong. Meanwhile, Luke and Rani send a picture of the pendant to Maria and her father to investigate, as her father can hack into UNIT. They discover the pendant can cause a symbol known as the mark of the Berserker to appear on one's skin.
Haresh refuses to stop the press-ups. Paul gets everything he wants for free (including a new car), and uses this to bond with his son. He instructs Clyde to forget about how he left him and his mum when he was young and to forget about his mum. The pendant takes over Paul's skin and he collapses. He declares himself the Berserker and Clyde his soldier. Sarah Jane appears and Clyde recognises her. She tells him that his mum, Rani and Luke are the most important in his life when he asks who they are. Clyde and his mum talk Paul through his memories, whilst Sarah Jane shows him a reflection of himself in the mirror and he remembers who he really is.
Everyone the Berserker commanded has their commands undone. Clyde tries to get his mum and dad back together, but Paul tells his son that he has made his mum's sister pregnant. Clyde tells his father he doesn't need him and not to mess up with this baby. Clyde tells his mother to forget about the pendant, what she knows about Sarah Jane's adventures with her son, and his father, then throws the pendant into the sea. Sarah Jane reveals that her parents died when she was young and she would do anything to see them again. When Clyde is gone, she takes out a picture of her mother and father and rubs her finger over the latter.
- Sarah Jane Smith - Elizabeth Sladen
- Luke Smith - Tommy Knight
- Clyde Langer - Daniel Anthony
- Rani Chandra - Anjli Mohindra
- Maria Jackson - Yasmin Paige
- Voice of Mr Smith - Alexander Armstrong
- Paul Langer - Gary Beadle
- Carla Langer - Jocelyn Jee Esien
- Jacob West - Perry Millward
- Haresh Chandra - Ace Bhatti
- Alan Jackson - Joseph Millson
- Mr. Cunningham - Huw Higginson
- Steve Wallace - Elijah Baker
- Car Salesman - Prassana Puwanarajah
- Detention Girl - Jessica Lewis
- Detention Boy - Andrew Philips
Created by Russell T Davies
|Executive Producers Russell T Davies and Julie Gardner|
|Series Producer Matthew Bouch|
|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.|
- A sticker featuring Yakko, Wakko, and Dot from the cartoon Animaniacs is visible on Rani's refrigerator.
- When Clyde shows Luke his drawings, there is a picture of Samus Aran from the Metroid video game series.
- Sarah Jane Smith's computer has a Magpie Electricals logo on it.
- While under the influence of the Beserker pendant, Haresh impersonates Bianca Jackson from EastEnders.
- Unusually (given the brevity of the season), this is a Sarah Jane-lite story, with Elisabeth Sladen appearing in only a few scenes.
- This is the fourth story in a row to feature a form of mind control.
- This story marks the final appearance of both Maria and Alan Jackson on the series.
- This is the only story to feature both Maria and Rani.
- Episode 1 - 531,000 (CBBC channel)
- Episode 2 - 628,000 (CBBC channel)
to be added
to be added
- Clyde Langer had referred to his family situation in TV: Warriors of Kudlak.
- Paul Langer mentions the Daleks, presumably in reference to their recent invasion of Earth. (TV: The Stolen Earth / Journey's End)
- Sarah Jane says she is visiting Tarminster. Tarminster is featured in the Doctor Who serial Terror of the Autons. The Harold Saxon promotional website mentions that Lucy Saxon's father was Lord Cole of Tarminster.
- Clyde mentions the Sontarans (TV: The Last Sontaran) and the Slitheen. (TV: Revenge of the Slitheen, The Lost Boy)
Home video releases
This story, along with the rest of Series 2, was released on DVD on 9th November 2009 (UK) and 10th November 2009 (North America).