Review: The Sarah Jane Adventures: The Man Who Never Was part 1 (Series 5, Ep 5)

Luke arrives back from university in time to join Sarah Jane and Sky attending a preview of a wonderful new computer system.

Gareth Roberts’ final script for The Sarah Jane Adventures has some thematic links back to the very first story, Invasion of the Bane, as Sarah Jane and her young friends investigate a consumer product that’s too good to be true, and discover an alien influence behind it.

The key difference, of course, is that Sarah Jane now has a family, and there’s a bit of tension between the two adopted children, Luke and Sky, and Clyde and Rani, who feel a bit left out from the “family outing”. Luke’s feelings at coming back to find a new sister ensconced in his bedroom are hinted at – Sky’s typical bluntness not helping matters – but unsurprisingly at the first hint of trouble, Luke’s natural urges reassert themselves.

There’s a strong cast list for this story: Peter Bowles makes a short but important appearance, while James Dreyfus is almost unrecognisable as the apparent villain of the piece, with Roberts writing a great scene for him and Lis Sladen which gives both actors ample opportunity to display their comedic and dramatic talents.

The reveal may have lost a bit of its power after elements of this season of Doctor Who, but the cliffhanger sees the entire Smith family in peril…

Verdict: Another enjoyable episode.  7/10

Paul Simpson

Click here for our review of the final ever episode of The Sarah Jane Adventures


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