The Sarah Jane Adventures: The Man Who Never Was tenth anniversary

October 17-18 2021 marks ten years since the original broadcast of The Man Who Never Was, the final story of The Sarah Jane Adventures, the series having to come to an end due to the death of Lis Sladen.

This left three stories that was intended to complete this season being unmade.

The Man Who Never Was is written by Gareth Roberts. This marks a full circle as Roberts had co-written the series’ first story Invasion of the Bane.

Prior to its broadcast, this story was reported to have the working title of The Man Who Wasn’t There.

Incidentally The Man Who Wasn’t There was later used as the name of a Big Finish Short Trip in 2016 with the Eighth Doctor and Charley.

The Man Who Never Was guest stars Peter Bowles. Bowles is a legendary actor who finally made his way into the Whoniverse in The Man Who Never Was.

Coincidentally the day before the first episode of this story came out in 2011, Bowles celebrated his 75th birthday on October 16.

Another guest star is James Dreyfus. Dreyfus was later cast by Big Finish as the first incarnation of the Master (chronologically speaking).

Although The Man Who Never Was is credited to Gareth Roberts, it began its life as a script by series creator Russell T. Davies when he submitted it for the second season of Bugs (1995-99) but was turned down by that series’ production team.

As Davies has often says, nothing is ever wasted.

The Man Who Never Was has Luke returning home from university and finally meeting his new sister Sky.

As mentioned before The Man Who Never Was bookends Invasion of the Bane due it both being written or co-written by Gareth Roberts.

There is also another bookend to this as both stories have been about a hotly demand product which is the invention of aliens. Invasion of the Bane had Bubble Shock and for The Man Who Never Was it is the SerfBoard.

Sarah Jane decides to have a family outing with Luke and Sky by taking them to the demonstration of the SerfBoard.

The SerfBoard is a very advanced laptop that as stated before, became hotly in demand. Rani even jokes about replacing Mr Smith with the SerfBoard.

The SerfBoard is named after its creator Joseph Serf (Mark Aiken). The name Joseph Serf was a pseudonym used by Patrick McGoohan when he directed The Prisoner episodes Many Happy Returns & A Change of Mind.

Incidentally Bowles himself was a guest star in The Prisoner in another episode A. B. and C. playing one of the episode titular characters A.

Serf turned out to be a hologram but viewers who saw the Next Trailer to this at the end of the previous story The Curse of Clyde Langer would not have been surprised by this as that very fact was included in that trailer.

However what came as a surprise is that the aliens which control hologram Serf are aliens (who are revealed to be called Skullions in the concluding episode) with upside down faces marking the series’ final cliffhanger.

The concluding episode revealed the real villain of the piece is John Harrison (Dreyfus), the PR of Serf Systems and that the real Joseph Serf was killed in a skiing accident.

Harrison then ran Serf Systems using the hologram Serf as a puppet.

Harrison uses the hologram Serf by controlling the Skullions with torture collars on their necks.

It also revealed that the SerfBoard is a con with Harrison saying that it is rubbish.

This scheme is definitely one that the Master would have done.

This scheme gets foiled with the Skullions being freed from Harrison’s captivity and exposing the fraud that is the SerfBoard.

The story and the series ends with the montage of previous stories.
This included clips of the Tenth Doctor, Maria and K9 while the Eleventh Doctor can be seen in a clip from Death of the Doctor but from his backside and you can hardly see him.

A clip of Lis Sladen as Sarah Jane was used as her last shot which led to this line on-screen:
“And the story goes on….Forever”

Russell T. Davies later brought her story to an end in Farewell, Sarah Jane in 2020 on the ninth anniversary of her passing on April 19.

Matthew See

Spocksoc Vice President

Doctor Who = Captain Planet

Saw the Captain Planet season 3 episode OK at the Gunfight Corral which had the Planeteers going back in time to the Old West.
William Hartnell and Matt Smith’s own respective third seasons as the Doctor also had them travelling back in time to the Old West in The Gunfighters & A Town Called Mercy.

Matthew See

Spocksoc Vice President

Which female scientist are you?

I am Liz Shaw:
“What you need, Doctor, as Miss Shaw herself so often remarked, is someone to pass you your test tubes and to tell you how brilliant you are.”
With numerous scientific degrees in subjects including Medicine and Physics, Dr. Elizabeth Shaw is an accomplished scientist who was brought in by UNIT to be their scientific advisor. Whilst she was initially skeptical about the existence of aliens, after helping the Doctor prevent an Auton invasion, she eventually succumbed to the irrefutable evidence before her.

While Liz was happy to work in a team, she wasn’t content at UNIT and returned to Cambridge University to continue her scientific career. Dressing in a manner that allowed her to comfortably work, Liz was present for some of UNIT’s most regrettable actions, including the destruction of the Silurian nest.”

Matthew See
Spocksoc Vice President

The Sarah Jane Adventures: The Curse of Clyde Langer tenth anniversary

October 10-11 2021 marks the original broadcast of The Curse of Clyde Langer, the middle story of the fifth and final season of The Sarah Jane Adventures.

Written by Phil Ford.

Due to the death of Lis Sladen, The Curse of Clyde Langer unintentionally became the swansong for Ace Bhatti as Rani’s father Haresh and Jocelyn Jee Esien as Clyde’s mother Carla.

Haresh later attended Sarah Jane’s funeral as recounted by Gita in Farewell, Sarah Jane.

At the beginning of The Curse of Clyde Langer, Clyde showed Rani at school, The Silver Bullet, a superhero comic strip which he created.

Later on it is revealed in Farewell, Sarah Jane, Clyde made commercial success out of The Silver Bullet as a comic book series and was involved in adapting it as a movie.

Just as Clyde was showing Rani, The Silver Bullet, came fish that literally fell out of the sky.

Clyde makes a pun out of this saying it is fishy!

Mr Smith detects possible link with the falling fish to a new exhibit at a museum, that of a totem pole,

Clyde gets the said curse due to him being bitten by the said totem pole which results in everyone (except Sky probably because she is an alien, I had surmised at the time) turning against him when they say, hear or read his name.

With the exception of Sky, as everyone who has said, heard or read his name had turned against him Clyde eventually accepts help from a girl called Ellie.

This marked the cliffhanger to Part 1.

For Part 2 I noted that it had more been about Clyde’s isolation than with the menace that is the totem pole.

Due to the curse that has been placed on his name, Clyde came up with a fake name Enrico Box, an inspiration taken from a discarded pizza box, to introduce himself to Ellie.

Sky, having not been affected by the curse, is the one who came up with the solution to free Clyde from the curse.

I noted at the time that just as the totem pole caused Clyde’s isolation it is also what caused him to lose Ellie as he had no time to let her know where he was going when his friends came for him.
Also Ellie seems to be lost forever because like Clyde’s use of a fake name, Ellie is not her real name as it was one that she read off a poster and therefore cannot be traced.
At the time I surmised that while the loss of Ellie was tragic it probably wasn’t in the production team’s mind to have another new regular character so soon after introducing Sky.

The Curse of Clyde Langer featured the homeless and Clyde unfortunately becoming one due to the curse and this presents a harrowing presentation of that very topic.

Matthew See

Spocksoc Vice President

Doctor Who: The High Price of Parking

The High Price of Parking is an audio story from Big Finish.
Featuring the Seventh Doctor, Mel and Ace.
Written by John Dorney and released in July 2017.
The Doctor, Mel and Ace arrived on an asteroid called Parking and funny when the Doctor says that it took three years for the asteroid to be given this name.
They soon encounter trouble when they were mistaken as Free Parkers a perceived terrorist group.
The High Price of Parking is an intriguing story that has a right sense of humour to it and the balance between intrigue and humour felt pretty right.
The way this story ended was certainly amusing.

Matthew See
Spocksoc Vice President

Roger Delgado and future in Who co-stars in The Belles of St. Trinian’s

Saw the movie The Belles of St. Trinian’s (1954) which had a brief appearance by Roger Delgado.
The Belles of St. Trinian’s featured three people who would guest starred in Doctor Who stories with Delgado as the Master, two in The Mind of Evil, Tommy Duggan and Ned Hood and the other in The Daemons that of Damaris Hayman.

Matthew See
Spocksoc Vice President