Actor Nicholas Courtney had what was probably the longest tenure of any cast member for Doctor Who. Though he did have a role in a First Doctor story, his best-remembered character, known mostly as the Brigadier, first appeared opposite the Second Doctor, was a regular cast member for the Third, and had interactions with the Fourth, Fifth, and Seventh (plus the Sixth if you count that one weird anniversary special). My guess is the only reason he didn’t really appear on the rebooted series as the Brigadier was because of his health and/or schedule.
But Courtney did get one last appearance in as his most famous character before he died, and it happened on Sarah Jane’s show. Given Sarah Jane’s series probably matches the classic show’s tone the best, that seems like a wise call to me.
But first, there’s a problem. Rani’s mother disappeared from her flower shop, and when the kidnapper contacts Sarah Jane, she wants to see Sarah Jane for some reason. Sarah Jane and Rani go off to look and find Gita in an abandoned factory with her kidnapper: Miss Wormwood, the human-looking leader of the Bane aliens from the first serial for this show.
Considering that most of Sarah Jane’s current companions aren’t even on the show as regulars anymore, it says something about how she is still mistrusted by Rani and Clyde, two people who have never met this person before. As it is, Miss Wormwood wants something from Sarah Jane: assistance. See, the Bane she used to run…kinda want her dead.
Oh, and eaten. They tend to eat people they want dead.
So, with Wormwood’s help, everyone escapes. Back at Sarah Jane’s house, the truth seems to come out: some ancient being called the Horath almost conquered, like, everything. The being was split into two components, his mind and his body, and the Bane found the mind. If they find the body, it’s game over, and even if they weren’t already mad that Wormwood had let their Bane mother die, she is bound and determined to stop them. There’s a clue to the location of the body in the UNIT archive. Can Sarah Jane with her UNIT connections find it and stop the Bane from getting it?
Um, yeah. Probably. True, she locks Wormwood up in a forcefield and has Luke and Clyde keep an eye on her while she and Rani go to someone for help: the Brigadier.
Oh, and the old man will be happy to help. He’s back from Peru (the go-to excuse for when anyone asks where he is when Courtney wasn’t available), and he doesn’t like the protocol because he figures he’s retired. But he will gladly use his clout and his car to get Sarah Jane and Rani into the Archive and out again with the information. Mostly that involves driving fast through a slowly-closing gate and using his rank to make people squirm.
Given how much older Courtney looks, that isn’t a bad idea. He still has the gravitas, but asking the man to do more might have been a bit much.
As it is, getting the scroll out wasn’t the real problem. The Bane did track Wormwood to Sarah Jane’s house, but in the escape, it came out that Wormwood is not to be trusted.
That is not a surprise.
The surprise may be that she is working with that lone Sontaran that Sarah Jane told to get lost back in the start of series two.
That guy is a problem all of his own.
So, can Sarah Jane stop these goobers?
Well, probably. It is what she does.