CBBC, October 3
When a baby is left on her doorstep, coinciding with the arrival of an alien meteorite, Sarah Jane and her friends determine to keep it safe…
Inevitably, there’s a tinge of sadness when watching this first of the six episodes that form the curtailed fifth and final season of The Sarah Jane Adventures, but although series star Elisabeth Sladen must have already been dealing with her fatal illness, nothing of that shows in her performance. She’s as feisty and combative as ever, and, as the revamped title sequence shows, there’s a lot of changes in store.
The effects are better than ever – the metal man who shows up in the pre-credit sequence wouldn’t disgrace a number of better-budgeted shows – and there’s the show’s usual combination of humour and action. Daniel Anthony gets some 3 Men and a Baby moments (which pay off nicely in the second part), although the scenes with Rani’s parents feel a little forced. It’s nice to see Floella Benjamin return, even if she does seem used a little too much as comedy relief in this episode.
Verdict: Setting the scene for the game-changing second half, this is a welcome return for the Bannerman Road gang. 7/10
Check out our interview with Elisabeth Sladen from the start of The Sarah Jane Adventures here