The Sarah Jane Adventures was a CBBC series, revolving around investigate journalist and former time traveller Sarah Jane Smith (Elisabeth Sladen). Along with her young friends Luke, Rani, Clyde and Sky, Sarah Jane combatted extraterrestrial threats to the earth. The series was created and executive produced by Russell T Davies, the man behind the relaunch of Doctor Who. The series was a children’s spinoff of the long-running Who, with Sarah Jane herself already a well established and incredibly popular character from the series.
The Sarah Jane Adventures was a great success, winning legions of fans - both children and adult- and numerous awards. However, midway through filming of the fifth series, Sladen sadly lost a closely guarded battle with cancer. Filming was immediately stopped and the BBC announced production on the series would not continue, naturally.
Since Sladen’s death in 2011, various tidbits about where the show was heading have been revealed in magazine articles and interviews. They include:
Three stories of series 5 remained unproduced at the time of Lis Sladen’s death. Those were Meet Mr Smith, The Thirteenth Floor and The Battle of Bannerman Road.
Meet Mr Smith was due to star Alexander Armstrong (the voice of Mr Smith) in a physical capacity. The story would see Mr Smith be transformed into a human, by an alien called Ozmo. Ozmo would force Mr. Smith to work for him, carrying out certain tasks for his nefarious scheme.
The Thirteenth Floor would begin in a newspaper office, where a journalist would go missing. The next day, Rani would begin a work experience placement at the office and would be intrigued by the mystery of the missing journalist.
This was to be a Halloween special episode, taking influence from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
The Thirteenth Floor script was cannibalised and restructured into an episode of the first series of Wizards Vs. Aliens, the series created by the SJA production team to save a full film crew from going out of work.
The Battle of Bannerman Road was to be written by show creator and executive producer, Russell T Davies, and looked to be one of the man’s typically loud finales.
Former Doctor Who companion, Jo Grant (Katy Manning) and her grandson Diego would return in the story, last seen in 2010’s SJA story Death of the Doctor.
Professor Rivers (Floella Benjamin) and The Shopkeeper were also due to return.
Long running series villain,The Trickster, was to return. In this episode it would be revealed that he instilled his essence into Sky at the moment of her creation, effectively making her his daughter. The Trickster had been manipulating events to bring Sky and Sarah Jane together.
After a long will they/won’t they? Clyde and Rani would finally get together in this story.
13 Bannerman Road may have been blown up at the climax of the story.
Clyde and Rani may also have been written out of the series at this point. Both actors felt they were ready to leave the series at this point, but no final decisions were made before production came to its sudden stop.
If a sixth series of The Sarah Jane Adventures was commissioned, Russell T Davies hoped to mix things up by relocating Sarah Jane to the fictional Foxglove Village
A sixth series would Also see an adventure starring Ace (Sophie Aldred), companion to the Seventh Doctor, and a cameo by the man himself, Sylvester McCoy.
In the audio commentary for Death of the Doctor (available only on the Doctor Who story The Green Death DVD), Russell T Davies revealed that were the show to continue, Luke Smith would have been revealed to be gay, per the request of the BBC. The corporation wanted to have "just a normal gay character" on children’s BBC.
Seeing what was lying ahead for the series makes it all the more upsetting it was halted in such a manner. Though there are a lot of morsels of information here that would excite fans -old and young alike- perhaps the most interesting planned development was Luke’s sexuality. The series was known and praised for the way it tackled sensitive topics for youngsters, including divorce, loss and homelessness. It would have been a bold move by the BBC and the production team, but looking at the talent behind the series, the chances are it would have played out brilliantly.
It’s also interesting to think of what the series would have been up to in Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary year. Russell T Davies has always unashamedly celebrated the series and its mythology in his work for it, so the chances are he would have went all-out in this landmark year for the franchise. Is anyone else revelling in imagining every companion ever paying a visit to Bannerman Road?
I’ve been rewatching this show for a while now, and decided to make a
list of all the reasons Sarah Jane Adventures will always be a terrific
TV Show, and why Sarah Jane Smith is an absolutely terrific character
Sarah Jane is an older woman, and still the main character.
Elisabeth Sladen was closer to 60 at the series start, Sarah Jane at
least close to 50. And she is still center stage in the show.
Sarah Jane has had a rather crappy life. Let’s be honest, shall we?
She has lived most of her life already when the show begins, and it has
been very far from the perfect, successful life she might have dreamed
The message that it is never too late to succeed, and have a good
life. Before The Doctor, Sarah Jane’s life hadn’t even started yet. After The Doctor, It took Sarah Jane 40 years of not knowing what
to do with her life before she figured out what she wanted to do, and
before it started looking brighter again. Isn’t that a splendid message?
You don’t need a guy to always save the day. She learned that
through 40 years of uneccesary pinning, and then she really take sit all
on on her own.
The well-functioning intergenerational friendship between the
‘companions’ and Sarah Jane. People doesn’t have to be your own age for
you to be your friends and for you to enjoy eachothers company. ❤
There is nothing wrong with being smart, or a little socially
awkward. It doesn’t take away from you as a person. Shown through Luke
the new-born teenager boy genious.
The honest emotions in this show. They don’t hide anything. They
show how much Sarah Jane hurts every time she find The Doctor and every
time something happens, there is several scenes of Rani running home to
hug her parents and cry when something upsetting happens etc. They give
all emotions the characters experience the space to run their course and
not just be over in the blink of an eye.
Relatable Characters. I could imagaine meeting every single non-alien
(with the exception of Luke and Sky) character in this show irl
The actors /actresses - they’re all fantastic at what they do,
especially Elisabeth Sladen
Logic and consistency- over five seasons they manage to hold it
toghther very well and even though there is a lot of aliens and
ridicoules threats the solutions never feels half-finished or rushed. It
always feels as though it logical based on the events of the episode.
‘Multiple parts’ or serial adventures. Just like Classic Doctor Who 90% of SJA is built up out of serials, two parts, which in my opinion leaves more room for development and fulfillment of the plot.
BUT since the episodes are only 30 min/each, it still doesn’t result in too many things being left hanging.
That is all. If you have your own ideas reblog and comment it! 😁