a real world point of view
|Whatever Happened to Sarah Jane?|
|Novelised as:||Whatever Happened to Sarah Jane?|
|Main character(s):||Sarah Jane, Maria, Clyde, Luke, Mr Smith|
|Featuring:||Alan, Chrissie, Andrea|
|Main enemy:||The Trickster, Andrea Yates, Graske|
|Main setting:||Ealing and an Alternative Ealing, 2008, Limbo, England, 1964|
|Premiere broadcast:||29 October - 5 November 2007|
|Format:||2x30 minute episodes|
|SJA television stories|
|Warriors of Kudlak||The Lost Boy|
Whatever Happened to Sarah Jane? was the fifth story of Series 1 of The Sarah Jane Adventures. It was comprised of episodes 7 and 8 of the regular series. It saw the introduction of the Trickster, a recurring villain of the programme, whose minions would also appear in Doctor Who and Torchwood.
One day, Sarah Jane Smith exists. The next, only Maria Jackson knows of her. Andrea Yates takes her place, but Maria knows that Andrea has done something to remove Sarah Jane from the space/time continuum. It is up to Maria to uncover the identity of the "Trickster" if the human race is to survive. But with Sarah Jane and Luke wiped from existence and Clyde having lost all knowledge of his former adventures, Maria must save the world single-handedly. But she finds it may be time to tell her father about her secret life with Sarah Jane if the whole world is to survive.
Part 1 Edit
Sarah Jane Smith and Alan Jackson pick up Clyde, Luke and Maria. They stop off in a park where Clyde practises his skateboarding. Alan, disappointed at what he sees, tries to teach Clyde, showing off his own skills. Maria takes photos of everyone. While being photographed, Sarah Jane becomes very cold and mutters that someone just walked over her grave. As they leave, a black-cloaked, hooded figure peers from behind a bush. Back in Sarah's attic, Sarah Jane tells Maria, Luke and Clyde about a meteorite on course with Earth. She reassures them Mr Smith will deflect it the next day. After sending Clyde home and Luke to make tea, Sarah Jane gives Maria an alien puzzle box. It was a gift from a Verron Soothsayer, who told her to give it to the person she trusts the most and just to "remember". Sarah Jane says she chose Maria and sent Luke away so he wouldn't be offended. Maria tries to open it that night, but falls asleep holding it.
A mysterious, cloaked figure approaches Sarah Jane's house. He holds out a hand. The lights in the house go out, her car disappears and the puzzle block glows blue in Maria's hand. The next day, she tells her dad she is going to Sarah Jane's. Alan has not heard of the woman. Maria takes this as a joke. He mentions Andrea and thinks Maria is joking when she asks who Andrea is. Across the street is a strange woman in Sarah Jane's house who seems to know her, however neither Sarah Jane or Luke are there. Her dad calls the woman Andrea. Maria rushes into the house but the layout is entirely different. Checking the attic, she finds it is filled with old junk and Mr. Smith is gone. Maria checks yesterday's photos. Sarah Jane and Luke are not in them, but Andrea is. Sarah Jane, Luke and Mr. Smith have vanished. She alone remembers them.
Maria searches her mobile phone contacts, but Sarah Jane, Luke, and Clyde's numbers have all vanished. She remembers the impending meteor, but no one will listen. Remembering Clyde's number from memory, she calls him however he is an acquaintance rather than one of her best friends. When Maria asks about Sarah Jane and Luke, Clyde tells her that he no memory of either of them before rudely brushing her off. Maria decides to search for information on Sarah Jane in the library. She finds a newspaper article from 1964; a thirteen-year-old Sarah Jane Smith drowned after falling from a pier, where she was larking around with her friend, Andrea Yates. Alan reasons that Andrea told her about the accident.
As Maria watches, the names of the deceased and the survivor switch for a second, though a bemused Alan claims he saw nothing. Maria tells her dad she was lying to stop his worrying. She goes to confront Andrea. Maria becomes angry when Andrea can't seem to recall her best friend's death and Andrea throws Maria out.
Andrea rushes to the attic and finds a second puzzle box. The cloaked figure reappears and reminds Andrea of their agreement. She can't bear the memory and begs him to help her. He offers to make Maria disappear. After Andrea accepts, he dispatches a Graske, who chases Maria into a dead end under a tunnel. Despite her attempts to dodge the gun, the Graske shoots a clip attached to a cord at Maria. It catches onto her breast pocket and the Graske teleports Maria away just after Alan picks up the first puzzle box, which Maria had dropped. When Chrissie comes round, she cannot remember their daughter, although her ex-husband can. Meanwhile Maria escapes from the Graske and finds herself on a beach promenade near two girls. She grabs a newspaper and sees the date: July 13th 1964, the day of the accident. When Maria asks the two girls where she is, they introduce themselves as Andrea Yates and Sarah Jane Smith.
Part 2 Edit
After failing to dissuade Andrea from taking Sarah Jane to the pier, Maria is recaptured by the Graske and is taken to join the adult Sarah Jane on a white, misty plain called Limbo. The mysterious figure summons Sarah and explains that he has removed Sarah Jane from Earth's timeline so the meteorite will destroy it and create the chaos on which he feeds. He removes his hood to reveal a featureless face and a mouth with sharp, pointed teeth. He tells her how wonderful she is and that her life was so important to the Earth, but he found just the right time to 'snuff it out'. As he leaves, he also mentions that he will proceed to remove the Doctor from time as well, to ensure nothing can interfere with his plan.
Chrissie becomes angry at Alan for making up that they had children, and Alan begins to realise that what Maria said was true. He accompanies Chrissie to Andrea's birthday party. Recalling Maria's suspicions, he questions Andrea, who tries to change the subject but eventually breaks down and takes him to the attic. She tearfully reveals the truth. When she was on a school trip in July 1964, Sarah and she left the school group to explore on their own. After getting into the locked pier they larked around for a bit before leaning over the railings. Andrea leant on an open gate and tumbled down, grabbing hold of an overhanging girder. Sarah Jane tried to save her, but could not. A hoarse voice offered to switch the girls' places. Andrea, terrified, accepted. The two girls immediately swapped places and Sarah Jane fell, with Andrea safe. The figure appeared and gave her the puzzle box, then removed himself from Andrea's memory, promising to always be with her.
Andrea had forgotten about her friend's entire existence, but Maria’s questions made her remember. She tries tor reason with Alan, telling him she was a terrified child at the time, but Alan reminds her that she's just done the same to Maria. The figure appears in the mirror, though Alan cannot see him. He offers to remove Alan. Andrea apologises both for removing Maria and for what she is about to do. She grabs Alan's puzzle box as a Graske appears. Alan is chased into the street by the Graske, but knocks it down on his skateboard and ties it up. He uses its snare device to bring back Maria.
Maria returns to reality, leaving Sarah Jane on her own in limbo. At Andrea's party Clyde switches on the telly. Everyone at Andrea's party learns that a huge meteorite is heading for Earth and the air force are planning a missile strike. Maria tells Alan to fire the snare again to return Sarah Jane, but she does not appear; Maria deduces that she returned to her home, so Sarah Jane should be in her attic. The missile strike fails, and the guests flee the party to watch the approaching meteor.
In the attic, Sarah Jane appears in the mirror and explains that she cannot return while Andrea is there. Andrea grows angry when Maria says Andrea was "meant to die", arguing that she has the right to live and she will be forgotten. Sarah Jane agrees that neither of them should have died... it was a pointless death, something that Sarah Jane never forgot. Witnessing her death gave her the resolve to fight pointless deaths herself. When the figure reappears (called “the Trickster” by Alan), Andrea realises that she will die either way and withdraws the agreement, throwing the puzzle box at the mirror which smashes both.
Back in 1964, Andrea falls to her death, whispering "Remember me," to Sarah Jane just before she falls, while Sarah Jane and Luke reappear with Alan and Maria in the attic. Maria jumps up, remembering the meteor, now only metres from impact, and activates Mr Smith. The party guests have fled, but Clyde and Chrissie remain as targets for the incoming meteorite. Mr Smith activates the magnetic buffer and the meteorite diverts at the last minute. Clyde and Chrissie are relieved. Clyde joins the others in the attic, where Alan demands an explanation of his daughter’s involvement with aliens, monsters and supercomputers. The four look at each other and have no answer.
- Sarah Jane Smith — Elisabeth Sladen
- Maria Jackson — Yasmin Paige
- Luke Smith — Tommy Knight
- Clyde Langer — Daniel Anthony
- Voice of Mr Smith - Alexander Armstrong
- Alan Jackson — Joseph Millson
- Chrissie Jackson — Juliet Cowan
- Andrea Yates — Jane Asher
- The Trickster — Paul Marc Davies
- Krislok - Jimmy Vee
- Young Sarah Jane — Jessica Ashworth
- Young Andrea — Francesca Miller
- Newsreader — Jason Mohammad
- Voice of Krislok - Philip Hurd-Wood
Created by Russell T Davies
|Executive Producers Phil Collinson, Russell T Davies and Julie Gardner|
|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.|
- Sarah Jane Smith is Maria's age, thirteen, in 1964.
- The Trickster discusses using Sarah Jane to locate the Doctor and remove him from time, foreshadowing the events of TV: Turn Left. He also states that Luke Smith was never created because the Bane never came to Earth.
- Since Luke wasn't created, the Trickster says that he is in the Forgotten Places. The Forgotten Places are even further away than Limbo.
- You Really Got Me is playing on a radio when Maria is transported back in time.
- Sarah mentions that she's helped thwart several alien invasion including the Bane, Slitheen, and Gorgons, and that she helped defeat the Patriarchs of the Tin Vagabond.
- Sarah Jane authored a book called UNIT: Fighting for Humankind, and has a copy in the attic.
- Carla Morgan was a childhood friend of Sarah Jane and Andrea. In the alternative timeline, she wrote a poem dedicated to Sarah Jane and posted it on her profile on a social networking site.
- After searching the Internet, Maria discovers a solicitor named Sarah Jane Smith (presumably somewhere in the United Kingdom) as well as another woman of the same name who plays football in Guernsey.
Story notes Edit
- Both episodes aired on the CBBC channel, and were broadcast a week later on BBC 1.
- Jane Asher (Andrea Yates) previously played Susan Foreman in Whatever Happened to Susan Foreman?.
- The newspaper which Maria picks up on 13 July 1964 states that the Beatles have sold out the first leg of their UK tour. In real life, Jane Asher (Andrea Yates) was the girlfriend of Paul McCartney from 1963 to 1968. Although they were engaged in 1967, they never married.
- The title of this episode could be a reference to the BBC radio play, Whatever Happened to Susan Foreman?, which featured Jane Asher (Andrea Yates) as Susan Foreman. It's also likely a reference to the 1962 Bette Davis movie, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?
- Episode 1 - 406,000 (CBBC)
- 1.2 million (BBC 1)
- Episode 2- 633,000 (CBBC)
- 1.1 million (BBC 1)
Filming locations Edit
- Clinton Road, Penarth (Bannerman Road)
- Esplanade, Penarth
- Penarth Pier, Penarth
- Science Library, Cardiff University
- Victoria Road, Penarth
- Dinas Powys Skatepark, Cardiff Road, Dinas Powys
- Park Place, Cardiff
- Archer Place (Path under Bridge), Penarth
- BBC Studios, Upper Boat, Tonteg Road, Treforest Industrial Estate, Pontypridd
Production errors Edit
- Sarah Jane lives on 13 Bannerman Road, but a sign at the gates says '21'.
- When Maria arrives in July 1964 on the day of the accident, a radio can be heard playing You Really Got Me by The Kinks. However the song wasn't released until August 1964.
- A meteor would fall through the atmosphere in seconds, not make the leisurely descent.
- Sarah mentions other times she saved the Earth and thwarted alien invasions, including the Bane (TV: Invasion of the Bane), the Slitheen (TV: Revenge of the Slitheen) and the Gorgons (TV: Eye of the Gorgon). The Trickster indicates that he interfered with the course of events to prevent their schemes in the absence of Sarah Jane, preferring the Earth be destroyed senselessly by the meteor.
- The Church of the Tin Vagabond was previously mentioned in TV: The Satan Pit.
- The Trickster threatens the Doctor when in Limbo. He also wonders aloud what the Universe would be like if the Doctor had never existed. This echoes some musings of the Doctors arch-nemesis, the Master, in TV: The Five Doctors. It also foreshadows the events of TV: Turn Left, when an alternate timeline is created where the Doctor loses his life, and many of the events he would have been around to prevent wreak havoc on planet Earth.
- Sarah Jane would later claim that a Verron Soothsayer gave her the warp star. (TV: Journey's End)
- The Trickster tells Andrea, "Waking or sleeping, I am always with you". (The Black Guardian said this to Turlough in TV: Mawdryn Undead).
- The Verron puzzlebox later appears in The Temptation of Sarah Jane Smith, also the next episode to feature the Trickster.
Home video releases Edit
This story was included in the Series 1 box set, which was released in North America on 7 October 2008 and in the UK on 10 November 2008.
- Detailed synopsis of Whatever Happened to Sarah Jane? at the Doctor Who Reference Guide
- Whatever Happened to Sarah Jane? at Shannon Sullivan's A Brief History of Time (Travel)
- Whatever Happened to Sarah Jane? at The Locations Guide