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The Temptation of Sarah Jane Smith (TV story)

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RealWorld
The Temptation of
Sarah Jane Smith
48
Main character(s): Sarah Jane, Luke, Clyde, Rani, Mr Smith
Featuring: Barbara, Eddie
Main enemy: The Trickster, Krislok
Main setting: Ealing, 2009
Foxgrove, 18 August 1951
Alternative London, 2009
Key crew
Writer: Gareth Roberts
Director: Graeme Harper
Producer: Nikki Smith, Matthew Bouch (series producer)
Release details
Story number: 11
Season/series: 2
Premiere broadcast: 17 November - 24 November 2008
Format: 2x30 minute episodes
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The Temptation of Sarah Jane Smith is the fifth serial in Series 2 of The Sarah Jane Adventures. It featured the return of the Trickster, and his associate Krislok, who would be liberated of his servitude to his master and make his last appearance. The episode was also notable for revealing the ultimate fate of Sarah Jane's birth parents, Eddie and Barbara Smith, and introducing them for the first and only time.

Synopsis Edit

When Sarah Jane returns a boy who has slipped through a time fissure to 1951, she realises she has found a way to meet the parents she never knew. Is it a trap? Sarah Jane and Luke fall victim to a revenge plot by the Trickster.

Plot Edit

Part 1 Edit

A boy appears through a time fissure. Sarah Jane and Luke find the fissure as Clyde and Rani chase after the boy. They bring him back and Sarah Jane opens the fissure so he can return home. The boy is scared, so Sarah Jane takes him through. Before she can leave, Sarah Jane discovers it is 1951. She pauses, then returns through the fissure. The boy asks if he completed his task and the Trickster appears, saying he did it perfectly. This time Sarah Jane will not be able to resist temptation. Rani, Clyde and Luke try to convince Sarah Jane to let them go through, using her travels with the Doctor as leverage, but she tells them that it is too dangerous and the Doctor knew what he was doing, mostly. She closes the fissure and they head home.

At home, the kids agree that something is wrong with Sarah Jane and set Luke to find out what. In the attic, Sarah Jane asks Mr Smith the status of the fissure. It is inactive. She asks him for the history of Foxgrove. After he tells her, she puts Mr Smith away and looks at a black and white photograph.

Luke enters and convinces Sarah Jane to tell him the truth. She explains about her parents, their death in a car crash and how she was raised by her aunt. Luke asks why she doesn't go back. Sarah Jane tells him it could be a trap. Luke notes that it could just be a coincidence, but Sarah Jane decides not to go.

That night, Sarah Jane gets ready to go through the fissure and attempts to leave, but is caught by Luke. He asks about her clothing, then the two head out. At the fissure they discuss the dangers of crossing your own timeline. Sarah Jane passes through and the fissure closes, but not before Luke jumps through. The fissure is still active and can be opened, so Sarah Jane and Luke head towards the village. They are watched by Oscar, the boy they rescued.

Clyde discovers Sarah Jane's house empty. After failing to get either of them on their mobiles, he heads to Rani's house. With Gita's help, he gets her out of bed. On entering the house they find that it is empty and Mr Smith has no idea where they might be. He has a theory that Sarah Jane may have gone back in time through the time portal. Mr Smith detects the box which the Verron Soothsayer gave Sarah Jane has become active again and is glowing blue. Clyde explains what it is and suggests it will protect them with its boxy goodness.

Sarah Jane and Luke arrive in the village, where they meets her parents at a fete. The new arrivals introduce themselves as Victoria Beckham and her son David. Luke sees Oscar and follows him, but finds only a newspaper. Sarah Jane helps out with serving tea and talks to her mother, learning more about her parents.

On taking the box to the portal, neither Rani nor Clyde can find a way to use it. Then the box changes colour to red.

Sarah Jane leaves the fete as her emotions begin to get the better of her. Luke tells her that her parents' deaths are today. He wants to go home. They argue, but Sarah Jane disables her parents' car engine, stopping them from being killed and changing the future. They leave the village and head for the fissure as the weather begins to turn.

Clyde and Rani watch as the time portal opens and Oscar steps out. When Oscar changes into a Graske they run off. They evade it by hiding behind bins. Time starts to change. Clyde puts his arm round Rani and they experience the transition from their version of the present into a new, post-apocalyptic version.

Sarah Jane and Luke arrive back in 2009. London has been destroyed and the Trickster reveals himself. She asks how he did this. He tells her that she did it when she stopped her parents' deaths.

Part 2 Edit

Sarah Jane demands to know how saving her parents could have altered time so drastically. The Trickster explains the village was built on a fault in time. Sarah Jane's tampering with a fixed point in time opened this fault, allowing the Trickster to physically enter this reality and ravage Earth for the last half century. Sarah Jane and Luke go back through the fissure as the Trickster gloats he has already won.

Clyde and Rani explore London, ruined and reduced to rock formations, while Clyde explains that it is an alternative timeline.

On the other side of the time fissure, Sarah Jane and Luke notice the unnatural weather. They run towards the village. The fete has been moved to the village hall because of the weather.

Clyde and Rani wonder how they will get home from this alternate time line, then notice a Graske. They follow him.

Sarah Jane tries to figure out how to stop the Trickster before he manifests. She tells Luke there was only one person who would immediately know how. She finds a police box and mistakes it for the Doctor's TARDIS before discovering a policeman inside.

Having followed the Graske, Clyde and Rani discover the last surviving humans being worked as slaves. Rani finds her mum and shouts to her. The Graske hears her, but stays away, which Clyde puts down to him being scared. Despite Clyde's warning, Rani runs after her mother.

Sarah Jane and Luke try to find the Trickster and discover the fete has been moved to the town hall.

Rani wonders how her mother still exists. Clyde tells her that time tries to compensate for changes in the timeline. When they talk to Gita, she explains they are being made to mine every resource from the Earth. Clyde asks her how the world became like this. Gita tells them of the legend of Sarah Jane Smith and how she handed the world to the Trickster when he tricked her. The Graske sets the slaves back to work. Clyde figures out that he and Rani must warn Sarah Jane, but wonders why the Graske works for the Trickster.

Sarah Jane asks her parents if they have noticed anything strange or any new person in the village recently. While Eddie believes it to be none of their business, Barbara helps.

Rani and Clyde talk to the Graske, who tells them the Trickster uses the slaves to mine minerals to create a ship so he can extend his reach to the rest of the universe. Clyde and Rani implore the Graske to help them restore the original timeline but he refuses. They note that he is simply the Trickster's slave. He tries to grab the puzzle box but Clyde makes him tell them the truth first. Years ago, the Graske nearly died in space, but was saved by the Trickster in return for eternal servitude. Clyde promises the Graske that if he helps them, they will give him the puzzle box to free him from the Trickster. The Graske agrees, and reopens the fissure so Rani can tell Sarah Jane the new information. Rani passes through the fissure and goes to warn Sarah Jane.

Sarah Jane finds an unusual reading inside an old, open-roofed building. Rani, meanwhile, enters the village hall and asks where Sarah Jane is. She is told they were looking around the village and heads after them, soon followed by Eddie. Rani finds them and warns them that the Trickster is entering through the Abbot's Gateway.

The Trickster appears and Eddie arrives to take Barbara away. In the village hall, Eddie and Barbara figure out that something is wrong with them when fruit rots and flowers wither at their touch.

Sarah Jane threatens to send the Trickster back with her sonic lipstick, but he tells her it is no use. Luke reminds her of the only way to save the world, to re-activate her parents' car engine. The Trickster tries to convince her not to, but she runs off anyway.

Barbara and Eddie come to realise who Sarah Jane is and what she was trying to prevent. Sarah Jane repairs her parents' car when they approach her. After asking if their daughter had a good life and telling her how proud they are of her, they enter the car and drive off.

The weather changes and the Trickster begins to fade. He cannot see how the timeline could have been restored. Sarah Jane proudly states that the Trickster's plan never considered that her parents would willingly sacrifice themselves to save the world. The Trickster vanishes, howling in pain.

Back in the modern day, the timeline is restored around the Graske and Clyde, who gives the Graske the box. The Graske teleports away, beaming over its newly returned freedom. The fissure reopens as Sarah Jane, Luke and Rani return. Sarah Jane recloses the fissure and destroys the device which opened it.

At home, Rani is joyed to find her parents alive and well and Clyde heads home. Sarah Jane reminisces over her parents, showing Luke her only picture of them. Although she could not save them, she finally knows why they left and is incredibly proud of them. As Sarah Jane and Luke share a hug, writing can be seen on the back of her parents' photo, one last remnant of the notes they used to share: "Mr Smith, I need you".

Cast Edit

Crew Edit

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.
          

For Part 1, Steve Rees was Focus puller, while no credit was given for Camera operator.  For Part 2, Steve Rees was Camera operator, while Tom Hartley was Focus puller.


References Edit

  • Sarah Jane was born in Foxgrove in May 1951.
  • In 1951, Sarah Jane tells her parents that her name is Victoria Beckham and Luke tells them that he is David Beckham to follow the same-name basis.
  • Sarah Jane sees an actual 1950s police box and mistakes it for the TARDIS.
  • By this point, Rani knows about the Doctor and the TARDIS.
  • The ruined Big Ben in the alternate timeline is reminiscent of the famous final scene from the film Planet of the Apes.
  • Foxgrove was demolished in 1964 to make way for the A7665.
  • The registration number of Eddie and Barbara Smith's car is KPH 366.
  • Given her ethnicity, Mrs King assumes that Rani is from the Punjab in India.
  • Clyde refers to Luke as his "young Padawan". "Padawan" is a title given to Jedi in the Star Wars universe reserved for students training under their masters.
  • After Luke doesn't answer his phone, Clyde says his "Clydey-sense is tingling," which is a nod to the Marvel superhero Spider-Man, who has an ability called a "Spidey-sense" that tingles whenever he senses the presence of danger.
  • A Verron puzzlebox can detect irregularities in time, and its panels will flash blue when there is a disturbance; it also starts beeping. When brought directly to the site of the disturbance, the blue lights will turn red, flash at a faster speed and the puzzlebox beeps more intensely.
  • Clyde uses several various phrases to try (and humorously fail) to manipulate the Verron puzzlebox that have worked in movies:
    • "Hocus pocus," words recited by magicians before performing a trick.
    • "Open sesame," the phrase used to open a treasure-filled cave in the tale Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves.
    • "Jumanji," the titular name of a children's book, its feature film, and Jumanji, a magical board game that summons elements of the jungle into real life with each play of the dice and is won by reaching the end of the board and speaking its name aloud.
  • The photo Sarah Jane has of her parents contains a note from Barbara to Eddie; "Mr Smith, I need you". This is the exact, word-for-word phrase Sarah Jane uses to summon Mr Smith, giving it a secondary, symbolic meaning pertaining to her parents' romance.

Story notes Edit

  • On the BBC iPlayer page, Alan, Maria, Paul and Carla are all listed in the credits, even though they did not appear in the televised episode.
  • The story and its ending bears many similarities to the Doctor Who episode Father's Day. Both feature a companion preventing the automobile collision death of one or both of their parents during the companion's infancy, but the event is a fixed moment in time that cannot be altered without dangerous consequences; the course of history is derailed and put on a path that allows a destructive force that would ultimately destroy mankind access to the world, thereby causing horrific damage to the Earth (such as the case of the Reapers and the Trickster); Sarah Jane's parents, like Rose Tyler's father, sacrifice themselves to restore the timeline and protect their daughter.
  • The story also bears may similarities with the Doctor Who serial The Curse of Fenric. Luke, like Ace, met his young grandparents and his infant mother. Both of their grandfathers died, and their grandmothers sped off in a car to protect the infants.
  • "The Doctor's Theme" musical cue is played when Sarah Jane notices the police box. This is a fake-out to lure viewers into thinking the Doctor will actually appear when it is, in fact, a normal police box.

Ratings Edit

  • Part 1 - 483,000 (CBBC channel)
  • Part 2 - To Be Added

Filming locations Edit

to be added

Production errors Edit

to be added

Continuity Edit

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.

Home video releases Edit

  • This story, along with the rest of Series 2, was released on DVD on the 9th November 2009 (UK) and 10th November 2009 (North America).

External links Edit


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