The very final episode of The Sarah Jane Adventures plays to the series’ many strengths: confrontations between Lis Sladen and the villain of the week, ingenuity from the kids (notably Luke and Sky, proving to be a formidable combination), and some daft humour from Clyde, which actually gets nearer the knuckle than previously. Add in a helpful contribution, of sorts, from K9, Mr Smith demonstrating his abilities, and even a light helping of “issues” (how to cope with the arrival of a new stepbrother or sister), and it’s pretty much the archetypal fun instalment.
The Skullions’ operation of Joseph Serf comes across as a steampunk version of the Tesselecta from the original series, and in some ways it’s quite surprising that the Who production team allowed something so similar to be used on the SJAs. (It is hard not to think of miniature David Jasons when you hear the creatures being called Skullions – maybe they should have worn bowler hats?)
The final sequence obviously has been added on following Lis Sladen’s untimely death, with clips from across the five seasons of the show, including Invasion of the Bane. And for anyone who’s grown up with Sarah Jane – of the incredibly ancient generation who remember her first time round, or those who met her in the 21st Century – those last few minutes will bring a lump to the throat.
Verdict: Business as normal – and a fitting tribute. 7/10