December 11, 2023

Gabbing Geek

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The Sarah Jane Adventures “The Empty Planet Part 1”

Everyone on Earth disappears except for Clyde and Rani.

You know, making everyone on Earth disappear except for the two characters on the show who don’t have any special skills or talents sure is an interesting way to showcase both of those characters.

So, here’s the deal:  Sarah Jane and Mr. Smith are monitoring some kind of alien energy while Rani and Clyde are sent home to study for some big tests the next day.  But then something happens.  Rani wakes up to find there’s no one around.  Her parents are missing.  So is Sarah Jane.  The radio, TV, and Internet all seem to be down.  No cell phone coverage.  Mr. Smith isn’t coming when summoned.  She does think to grab the sonic lipstick, but there’s no one around except for a spooked dog and, eventually, Clyde.

He’s as mystified as she is.

The two decide to head into town and see if they can find out anything.  They do take note that there are no crashed cars or planes, so whoever took everyone else away did so in such a way to prevent anyone from getting hurt.  But beyond that, there are no real clues.

Much of this episode is just the two teens trying to figure things out while bonding a bit.  They reflect on how their lives got them where they are.  The debate the ethics of borrowing a bike or leaving change behind in a shop when they take some food.  They argue over who should be in charge.  Clyde twice makes an “Adam and Eve” type of reference to Rani’s at least mild disgust.

But then they do spot a kid.  They chase him down.  His name is Gavin.  He says he lives with his aunt in this apartment they found him in, but when some weird noises comes from, oh, everywhere, Gavin disappears.

Clyde notices there are no kid things in that apartment.  So, something smells false to him.  Rani thinks he’s just in an abusive home or something.

Regardless, Rani and Clyde see every screen around them switch on and run off to investigate.  The two are separated when Rani spots Gavin and runs down an alley without Clyde.

Oh, it turns out they aren’t alone after all.  There are also two robots, of the rock ’em, sock ’em variety by the looks of things, one red and one yellow, that each manage to corner one of the kids.

You know, it might be better to be among the missing billions of people at this rate.