So, this episode was the final appearance of Nicholas Courtney as the Brigadier. He was supposed to reappear on a later episode of this series, but his health had prevented it, and the character (sort of) reappears in the parent series, but this is it for the old soldier. Considering how often he seems to be sitting down in various shots, I can’t say I am all that surprised, but it sure was nice to see the old man.
That said, the real issue here is Sarah Jane did take the mysterious MacGuffin from the UNIT vault, and yes, it turns out Miss Wormwood, working with that rogue Sontaran, is not to be trusted.
Raise your hand if this surprises you. Now put it down if you are a liar.
OK, Wormwood gets the gadget, that Sontaran backs her up, and Luke surrenders himself to spare the others. Wormwood has this really warped idea that Luke will somehow do what she asks of him out of some sort of family obligation despite the fact he keeps saying over and over again that, well, he will not do so.
Are the Bane that dumb?
Regardless, Wormwood stuns the other humans and runs off. There’s still the possibility that UNIT is looking for Sarah Jane, but Clyde has the brilliant idea (for Clyde) to go look around her yard because he was the only one who didn’t go to the UNIT raid, so they won’t know who he is.
That almost works!
But there is a UNIT guy there, that smarmy major the Brigadier didn’t like much. Oh, and he was a disguised Bane, but the Brigadier had a disguised gun in his cane, so that guy went down long enough for Sarah Jane to use Mr. Smith to figure out where Wormwood took Luke. Leaving the Brigadier behind to watch the stunned alien, Rani borrows her mother’s van and off they go to this secondary Stonehenge. Turns out the thing is a portal to the superweapon that the codex can activate, but only a human can do it, and eventually, Wormwood convinces Luke to do it.
But then that Sontaran realizes he’s been an idiot and pushes her into the vortex, sacrificing himself but saving the day.
So, that’s more or less how this series ended. Sarah Jane ends up destroying the stolen UNIT alien stuff, the Brigadier rides off to his home, and I realize Sarah Jane didn’t save the world quite so much in this batch of episodes. That’s fine. It makes the show more of a cast of equals where each of her sidekicks brings something new to the table. Yes, I make a bit of fun of Clyde, but he’s more of a comic relief character than the others, and even he has his skills. It’s a nice balance, something hearkening back to the days of the classic Doctor Who where the Doctor would have two or three companions who each brought something new to the table, like how for the Second Doctor, Jamie was the muscle and Zoe was the human calculator, or with the Fifth there was Adric to do the math, Nyssa to do the science, and Tegan to keep everyone in line. The Doctor in those instances was clearly the leader and the final authority, but each companion had a point beyond being the person the Doctor explained stuff to. Sarah Jane fills that final role here, and it fits her quite well.
However, this is the end of the road for Series Two, so it looks like I am going back to Torchwood.
I have heard good things about the third series of that one, a five parter that could have made for a good series finale, but they made more later. Point is, my excursion away from Sarah Jane will be a bit brief.