Sunday, October 05, 2008

Review: The Sarah Jane Adventures, Serial 2.1, "The Last Sontaran"

Former Doctor Who companion Sarah Jane Smith returns for a second season of her spinoff series, beginning with facing off against a Sontaran left behind after an attempted invasion of Earth that was thwarted by the Tenth Doctor on Doctor Who earlier this year.

Sontarans are no strangers to Sarah Jane. She encountered one in her very first appearance as the Third Doctor's companion in the 1973 serial, "The Time Warrior," then again with the Fourth Doctor in 1975's "The Sontaran Experiment."

Head writer Phil Ford delivers another solidly entertaining two-part serial, although the first part is the stronger of the two. The Sarah Jane Adventures skews toward the youngest audience of the three Whoniverse shows (including Doctor Who and Torchwood), and that's important to keep in mind when viewing it.

Elisabeth Sladen is in her usual fine form as Sarah Jane, while guest star Anthony O'Donnell makes a very good Sontaran warrior. Some cast changes are afoot this season, and this episode also sets them up.

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