Whatever Happened to Sarah Jane? was the fifth story of the first series 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. Additionally, Alan Jackson got exposed to alien activity yet again, to the point it was beyond Sarah's power to cover the evidence up. This left her no choice but to reveal her secret life before Alan and entrust her secrets to yet another person in her growing circle of friends.
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 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 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 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 the Ealing Palace 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 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 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 gives Maria an alien puzzlebox. 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 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'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'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's house who seems to know Maria, but neither Sarah 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 and Luke are not in them, but Andrea is. Sarah, Luke and Mr. Smith have vanished. She alone remembers them.
Maria searches her mobile phone contacts, but Sarah, 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, only to find that he is an acquaintance rather than one of her best friends. When Maria asks about Sarah and Luke, Clyde doesn't know what she's talking about and brushes her off. Maria decides to search for information on Sarah in the library. She and her father find 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 on the report switch for a second, though a bemused Alan claims he saw nothing. Realising that she can't get her father to remember anything about Sarah, Maria tells him she was lying to stop his worries. She goes to talk to Andrea. Andrea can't seem to recall her best friend's name until Maria mentions the incident in 1964, at which point Andrea panics and 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 and teleports her away just after Alan picks up the first puzzle box, which Maria had dropped during the chase. When Chrissie comes round, she cannot remember Maria, although Alan can. Meanwhile, Maria escapes from the Graske and finds herself on a beach promenade near two girls in school uniform. 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 and Sarah from going to the pier, Maria is recaptured by the Graske and is taken to join the adult Sarah on a white, misty plain called Limbo. The mysterious figure summons Sarah and explains that he has removed Sarah from Earth's timeline so the meteorite will destroy it and create the chaos on which he feeds. Luke also no longer exists, as in the altered timeline the Bane never came to Earth and thus he was never created. He removes his hood to reveal a featureless face and a mouth with sharp, pointed teeth. He tells her how 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 takes him to the attic and sorrowfully reveals the truth. When Andrea was on a school trip in July 1964, she and Sarah left the school group to explore on their own. After getting into the locked pier, they larked around for a bit before looking over the railings. However, the gate Andrea leant against was open and she tumbled down, grabbing hold of an overhanging girder. Sarah Jane tried to save her, but could not reach her. A hoarse voice offered to switch the girls' places. Andrea, terrified, accepted. The two girls immediately swapped places and Sarah fell, with Andrea safe. The figure appeared and gave Andrea the puzzle box, then removed himself from her memory, promising to always be with her.
Because of the figure, Andrea had forgotten about her friend's entire existence, but Maria's questions made her remember both Sarah and the deal she made with the figure. The figure then reappears in the mirror, though Alan cannot see him, and 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 the Graske appears. Alan is chased into the street by the Graske, but he knocks it down on his skateboard and uses its snare device to bring back Maria.
Maria returns to reality, leaving Sarah on her own in limbo. At Andrea's party, Clyde switches on the television. Everyone at Andrea's party learns that a huge meteorite is heading for Earth and the air force are planning a missile strike. Alan tries to fire the snare again to return Sarah, but she does not appear; Maria deduces that she returned to her home, so Sarah should be in her attic. The missile strike fails and the guests flee the party to watch the approaching meteor.
In the attic, Sarah appears in the mirror and explains that she cannot return while Andrea is still 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 agrees that neither of them should have died... it was a pointless death, something that Sarah never forgot. Witnessing Andrea's death gave her the resolve to fight pointless deaths herself. When the figure reappears (called “the Trickster” by Alan), Andrea realises the error of her ways and, in an act of selflessness and courage, withdraws the agreement with the Trickster, throwing the puzzle box at the mirror which smashes both.
Back in 1964, Andrea whispers, "Remember me," to Sarah just before she falls to her death, while Sarah and Luke reappear with Alan and Maria in the attic. Sarah activates Mr Smith to stop the meteor, now only metres from impact. 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 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
Uncredited cast Edit
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.
- Carla Morgan was a childhood friend of Sarah and Andrea. In the alternative timeline, she wrote a poem dedicated to Sarah 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.
- Mrs Jeffers is the teacher of Sarah and Andrea.
- Dan, Ricardo, Lara Bijoux, Etienne Bijoux, Danny and Joan are individuals who live in Andrea Yates' World.
- Maria, Alan, Clyde, Sarah and Luke are visiting the Ealing Palace Park.
- Since Luke wasn't created, the Trickster says that he is in the Forgotten Places. The Forgotten Places are even further away than Limbo.
- In 1964 Sarah and Andrea visit the pier at Westport.
- In 1992 Alan Jackson wins the King of the Concrete tournament in Romford.
- Maria and Alan visit the Roseborough Research Library.
- Sarah authored a book called UNIT Fighting for Humankind, and has a copy in the attic.
- Sarah gives a Verron puzzle box to Maria.
- Krislok carries a snare gun, a teleportation device and a snare cable.
- Sarah mentions that she's helped thwart several alien invasions including the Bane, Slitheen, and Gorgons, and that she helped defeat the Patriarchs of the Tin Vagabond.
- Sarah and her friends helped a Verron soothsayer to return to his home planet.
Cultural references to the real world Edit
- "You Really Got Me" is playing on a radio when Maria is transported back in time.
- By 13 July 1964, the Beatles have sold out the first leg of their United Kingdom tour.
- Maria Callas is an opera singer.
- Armageddon is mentioned by Clyde.
- The Trickster describes Sarah Jane Smith as "ephemeral."
Astronomical objects Edit
- K67 is a meteorite.
Story notes Edit
- Both episodes aired on the CBBC channel, and were broadcast a week later on BBC 1.
- 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?
- Part 1 - 406,000 (CBBC)
- 1.2 million (BBC 1)
- Part 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
- Upper Boat, Tonteg Road, Treforest Industrial Estate, Pontypridd
Production errors Edit
- Sarah Jane lives on 13 Bannerman Road, but a sign at the gates clearly says "21".
- When Andrea grabs the puzzle box and throws it to the floor, the puzzle box appears to break.
- 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, 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 Doctor's arch-nemesis, the Master. (TV: The Five Doctors)
- It also foreshadows when a parallel world 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. In this same parallel world, Sarah, Luke, Clyde and Maria all died. (TV: Turn Left)
- The events of that story were caused by a Time Beetle that was a member of the Trickster's Brigade, indicating that The Trickster indeed accomplished his aims, until the world was erased by Donna Noble.
- Sarah 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 once said this to Turlough. ( TV: Mawdryn Undead)
- The Verron puzzle box appears again when the Trickster next attempts to change reality. (TV: The Temptation of Sarah Jane Smith)
- The presence of Limbo and the Forgotten Places reveal two more forms of afterlife and/or alternate realities within the Doctor Who universe. At least one other exists, a featureless black void housing the creature Duroc where some souls end up after death. (TV: Dead Man Walking)
- The Trickster also states that Luke Smith was never created because the Bane never came to Earth. (TV: Invasion of the Bane)
Home video releases Edit
- This story was included in the Series 1 DVD box set, which was released in North America on 7 October 2008 and in the UK on 10 November 2008.
- Whatever Happened to Sarah Jane? at Shannon Sullivan's A Brief History of Time (Travel)
- Whatever Happened to Sarah Jane? at The Locations Guide