February 26, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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The Sarah Jane Adventures “Prisoner Of The Judoon Part 1”

A Judoon comes to Earth, looking for an escaped prisoner.

Alright, back with Sarah Jane Smith.  With this series three premier, I am not sure what I dug more:  someone finally realized the Judoon could be funny or Elisabeth Sladen got go Full Evil.

There’s a reason I took to this show right away when I got to it.

After an introductory voiceover by Clyde (because why not?), we see Sarah Jane doing her job–her actual job, the one that pays–interviewing the head of a nanotech company about the potential dangers of his product.  She then heads back home in time to see a meteor.  Only it isn’t, as Mr. Smith confirms it was not only traveling far too fast and it left a distress signal.  UNIT is probably on its way, but Sarah Jane saw it was a Judoon, and she knows all about those guys.  Alien cops that look like talking rhinos and don’t care who they have to kill to enforce the law are probably not the best to let armed UNIT soldiers handle.

So, best to get there before UNIT does.  Bad news there:  the Judoon was taking a prisoner somewhere.  Sarah Jane figures she needs to find the prisoner first, so she goes off with Clyde while Rani and Luke stay with the Judoon and keep him distracted.  Now, Judoon aren’t stupid, but there’s a small problem.  The prisoner in question is some sort of genocidal madman with a very unique power:  he can fuse himself with other beings.  Sarah Jane and Clyde find that out the hard way when they find a little girl crying about a monster, but it’s really the alien.

For its next trick, it takes over Sarah Jane, leaving Clyde stunned but otherwise OK.  The Judoon wakes him up with a squeezebottle.

What follows is the Judoon calling for back-up and then doing its job.  It commandeers a car from some local, terrified police officers, drives the speed limit, and threatens a guy with his service weapon for the crime of keeping his car stereo turned up too loud.  Sure, it may not be smart for Clyde and Rani to keep cracking wise or telling the alien cop how to do his job, but it is funny.

Meanwhile, Sladen has gone full-blown comic opera villain, and it’s glorious in its own way.  She gets no answers from Mr. Smith right away before she heads off to the nanotech company to have her spaceship rebuilt, but done so in a way where the nanites will destroy the Earth.  The possessed Sarah Jane just finds that funny.  I find that funny.

So, here we are.  Out of control nanites, the series protagonist is possessed by an evil alien, there’s a talking rhino running around threatening people with death if they don’t turn the radio down, and Mr. Smith is rigged to explode at any moment.

Yeah, this is why I dig The Sarah Jane Adventures.