September 28, 2022

Gabbing Geek

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The Sarah Jane Adventures “The Nightmare Man Part 2”

Luke needs to defeat the Nightmare Man on the dream plane.

You know, I know this is a kid’s show and all, so it would be appropriate for the kids to save the day more than Sarah Jane.  That said, I am starting to wonder if the reason for that may have been actress’s Elisabeth Sladen’s general health.  She did die before the fifth and final series of episodes were completed.  But the point stands:  Sarah Jane does not save the day here.  The kids do.

I am fine with that.

See, there’s a real Nightmare Man.  He setting all his Nightmare plans for everybody.  That’s starting with Luke and continuing with Clyde and Rani.

You know, if I thought the show did something clever with Luke’s fears from Part One, then surely it can do the same with Clyde and Rani.  Well, I’d say that idea is half-true.  Rani’s nightmare is she’d be somehow forced to tell the world Sarah Jane’s secrets, in a negative way, if she herself becomes a journalist.  That seemed…rather tame.

But Clyde’s fears were a lot more interesting.  His dream has him working in a take-out restaurant when a wheelchair-bound, even older Sarah Jane wheels herself in to talk about how great Luke is without really remembering much about Clyde.  See, that somewhat fits.  Clyde is something of the odd-man out.  He gets the voiceover for the introductory segment that spotlights all the other characters, notably Sarah Jane, Mr. Smith, Luke, and Rani as all having special skills or talents that make them awesome, somehow suggesting he’s up for anything to help out and little else.  So, really, that somewhat tracks that Clyde might not be sure what he brings to the table and might fear for his future compared to the others.

As far as the Nightmare Man goes, Sarah Jane learns about him thanks to a recording Luke made before he went to sleep, and the creepy guy even appeared in the end of it.  Sarah Jane’s big contribution, aside from staring the guy down and trying to bluff her way to the nightmare plane herself, is to get Mr. Smith and K9 to work together to put K9 in the dream.

How a robot dog can go into a dream, I don’t know.  But K9’s presence gives Luke the idea to call Rani and Clyde to his side, and though the Nightmare Man zaps both K9 and Mr. Smith in the real world, he can’t do anything when three people work together, trapping the Nightmare Man in Clyde’s dream where the daffy old version of Sarah Jane will spend eternity telling the Nightmare Man how awesome Luke is…which would also be the Nightmare Man’s worst fears from the looks of things.

So, that’s that.  Luke gets a heartfelt farewell the next day as he heads off to college, and Sarah Jane gives him a revived K9 to take with him, something that I am sure will not lead to any weird questions from anyone Luke meets at university.

See, nothing can stop Luke, Clyde, and Rani when they work together…except, of course, that may not fly if Luke moves away to go to school somewhere else.  That lesson may be a bit counterproductive.

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