Sarah Jane Smith
Matt Smith has only just taken the reigns of the title role in 'Doctor Who' and he is already slated to make a guest-appearance on the spin-off series 'The Sarah Jane Adventures,' according to the BBC Press Office. For those unaware, the spin-off follows the adventures of former 'Doctor Who' companion Sarah Jane Smith as played by Elisabeth Sladen.
Also joining them in the same episode is former 'Doctor Who' companion Jo Grant. She'll be played by Katy Manning, who is stepping into the role for the first time since 1973.
And to round out the news trifecta, the episode will be written by the creator of 'The Sarah Jane Adventures' and the man responsible for bringing 'Doctor Who' back to television, Russell T. Davies. This would mark Davies' first time writing for the character of the Doctor since he left the series (and it could be argued that it's his first time writing for Smith's Doctor).
Mind you, Davies writing was never particularly impressive on the series in terms of science fiction. Davies' strength tends to be writing about relationships, and having the Doctor in a room with two of his ex-companions (which for the Doctor would be the equivalent of ex-girlfriends) is enough reason to tune in.
He is also reprising the role for a second animated adventure before the year is done.
I can tell he already misses the role. When they do some sort of multiple Doctors story in a future Doctor Who, I'm sure with a minimum of coaxing (perhaps for a bag of crisps) he could be convinced to play the role again.
The third season of the series will broadcast in September, which would occur before the broadcast of Tennant's final bow and would well fit into the continuity of the series (loose as that continuity is).
As far as I'm concerned, Tennant is (to borrow a phrase from his predecessor) fantastic and couldn't appear as the Doctor enough times. I think he should have remained in the role for another couple of years, but that's just me.
The Sarah Jane Adventures is more geared for younger children than its originator, but some of the episodes are pretty cute. I haven't been able to catch season two yet (I've watched season one). It's more a case of not having the time to catch them rather than a lack of interest (although admittedly I find Doctor Who itself more exciting than its spin-off, but I'm not the target audience. I think). I do want to see the episode in which Nicholas Courtney once again plays his Doctor Who character Brigadier Alastair Lethbridge-Stewart.
I just realized via the press release that one of Sarah Jane's child companions is called "Rani". One of the Doctor's nemeses was a Time Lady named the Rani. Is that a reference back to the original series?
To begin, the CGI and special effects are quite possibly the best ever seen on the show. Despite being in charge of the specials that will be airing next year, it seems that this episode was treated as the last that Davies will ever run. As a result, he wrapped up most every storyline he could think of going back to the first season.
According to this article on Aint It Cool News, episodes of the Doctor Who spin-off The Sarah Jane Adventures have appeared on YouTube. Now, provided you have no problem with breaking international copyright law, you can watch them months before they appear on the SciFi Channel or BBC America or Nickelodeon or wherever the show winds up going.
This of course goes back to the old argument about creators or owners of a series having more control over their art. I find myself of two minds about this. On one hand, people should not illegally distribute other people's property over the Internet. On the other hand, I really like the fact that I can watch the series now anytime I want to.
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