May 31, 2023

Gabbing Geek

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The Sarah Jane Adventures “The Last Sontaran Part 1”

Maria and her father must make a big decision while Sarah Jane and the boys investigate an incident at an observatory.

You know, as much as I generally enjoy modern Doctor Who, it is really bad about setting up secret bad guys.  The episode plays out like the bad guy is some sort of secret, but then there’s the title of the episode that flashes before things go too far, plus coming attractions from previous episodes often give things away.

That said, how in the name of any god you care to name can this be the last Sontaran?  Those guys are mass produced in factories!

It turns out there is a good reason for it, and I’ll get to that momentarily.  See, the bigger issue here is less this one last Sontaran as it is Maria and her father might be moving to America.  Alan got this great job offer there, but that would mean Maria would need to leave behind her many exciting adventures with Sarah Jane, Clyde, and Luke.

This more or less comes out when the group goes to investigate a disturbance at a nearby observatory.  The people there was a father and his teenage daughter.  The girl saw something in the nearby woods and her father disappeared.  Clyde, probably smitten with the girl because that is Clyde’s thing, proposes he and Luke go investigate, but Sarah Jane tells them to stick to the outskirts.  Of course they don’t, but I did like how later on when Sarah Jane asked the boys why they didn’t, Clyde’s response is to say she was almost certainly aware they weren’t going to do that anyway, so why is she even mad?

Sarah Jane doesn’t really argue that much.

What she can do instead is have a rather “whatever” response to Maria’s announcing she might be moving to America.  Look, I get that Sarah Jane didn’t ask to become den mother to a bunch of kids, but shouldn’t she remember her own departure from the TARDIS, made worse by how distracted the Fourth Doctor was at the time?

OK, but that’s for later.  For right now, Luke and Clyde run into some Predator wannabe with a stealth field that chases them around the woods.  They do manage to escape and even find something else cloaked in the woods, but that astronomer came back acting weird.  Sarah Jane knows this but pretends otherwise until she and Maria get clear.  Then they find the boys and the ball-shaped ship in the woods.

Sarah Jane knows that ship design.

She’s seen them before.

It’s enough to make her want to call in to UNIT despite not liking the military.  As she notes, she was there the first time one appeared on this show.  Well, the original run.  Not this one.  The Third Doctor was there.

It’s a Sontaran!

Just one.  He’s the last…of that doomed invasion fleet UNIT and the Tenth Doctor defeated not that long ago.  After some chasing, he reveals his plan is to get the astronomer to cause all of Earth’s many artificial satellites to crash into major cities as revenge for the planet’s defeating his whole invasion fleet.

That sounds terrible.

Then he seems to shoot Sarah Jane just before the closing credits roll.

That seems worse.

But good on the show for not showing Sarah Jane in the next episode’s previews.  Maybe they did learn a lesson.

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