The Sarah Jane Adventures: Invasion of the Bane
Pilot episode of a spin-off series from Doctor Who
Starring Elisabeth Sladen as Sarah Jane Smith and Yasmin Paige as Maria
Also starring Samantha Bond as Ms Wormwood, Tommy Knight as Luke and Porsha Lawrence-Mavour as Kelsey
Written by Russell T Davies and Gareth Roberts
Also known as Sarah Jane Investigates (working title)



Russell is a genius. For a children's show this story was excellent and the references to Doctor Who were just icing on the cake. Definitely 10 out of 10.

Maria and her father have just moved in opposite 13 Bannerman Road, where a crazy woman by the name of Sarah Jane Smith lives. That night Maria sees a bright light and goes to investigate.

She sees the strange old woman communicating with a beautiful alien without any words. The alien disappears and Maria runs back to bed.

Within minutes of them unpacking Kelsey introduces herself to Maria and convinces her to go on a BubbleShock tour. This is Sarah's chance to follow the bus and find out what is going on there.

Kelsey and everyone else are scoffing the drink but Maria prefers tea and won't drink it. She's also suspicious of anything that says organic but doesn't explain what is meant by 'organic'.

Sarah slips through the gates behind the bus and, because the security guards are so concerned with a bus load of children she isn't spotted until after she uses her sonic lipstick. She's captured and brought before Mrs Wormwood who starts to give her an official interview but then asks her gorgeous personal assistant to kill her.

Sarah sees the coming attack in a reflective panel in the window and gives a pretty vicious pre-emptive strike before running out of the building.

The aliens have an achilles heal - mobile phone signals are very painful. Always good to give the kids some hope of a way out. This is discovered when Kelsey wanders into a restricted zone and tries to use her mobile. A huge tentacled creature that looks similar to the nestene consciousness from Terror of the Autons is hanging around in the ceiling. Alarms go off and it screams, revealing itself to Kelsey.

One of the male assistants, who turns out to be one of the Bane, smashes Kelsey's mobile and shuts off the alarms. But then Maria tries her mobile and sets the whole process off again, this time awakening an archetype child that had been grown by the Bane to research why 2% of the population won't drink Bubble Shock.

Sarah, Maria and the Child (later to be called Luke) end up in the women's toilets together just as the security guards are closing in.

They escape back to Sarah's place and Sarah sends Maria home telling her that her life is dangerous and she shouldn't get involved.

Kelsey's memories are searched and she wakes up not knowing what has happened. She's sent home and Maria finds out that she'd told Mrs Wormwood where Sarah lives. Maria runs to the door while Sarah is trying to work out how old Luke is. 360 hours old is the figure her Dick Tracy style watch tells her.

Maria and Kelsey tell her that one of the aliens are here to get her and they see a huge tentacled creature with a long body crawl along the side of the house. They slam the door but it easily rips it off its hinges then smashes its way up Sarah's tiny stairs.

Sarah has an intergalactic mace spray and sends it on its way but Kelsey goes into the secret room in Sarah's home where no one is supposed to go. And then several Doctor Who fans worldwide wet themselves, ooops, I mean, the kids see all of Sarah's possessions from pictures of the Brigadier to many things that she kept from her time travelling with the Doctor.

Mrs Wormwood investigates Sarah's DNA and finds that she is a small level of Artron energy - background radiation indicating that she'd travelled in time and space.

Sarah gets a call from K9 in her safe which contains a direct link to K9 circling a black hole. (Contrary to popular belief, K9 isn't the same K9 to move to a new series. That's a new K9. Sarah keeps her K9. So, if the new K9 series doesn't work, we may get to see Sarah's K9 a few times in the series.)

Sarah realises that she must destroy the Bane but first she decides to contact them to give them a sporting chance. Sarah has a computer, much like the one in the ceiling of the Tomorrow People, called Mr Smith, but this is shaped more like a collapsible organ in one of the walls of the room. Mr Smith can hack into any computer anywhere.

The kids are looking at some of the stuff that Sarah has and one of these is a communication device that she was given by the alien for giving her directions last night. For use if she ever needed help with her poetry.

Sarah speaks with Mrs Wormwood over the video link and tells her that she would do something about her. But Mrs Wormwood activates their invasion plans and everyone who's ever drunk Bubbleshock is suddenly taken over. They start walking the streets saying "drink it", including Maria's father.

Forced together they rush back to the Bubbleshock building to get rid of the Bane menace once and for all, somehow.

Sarah can't get into the building so uses the Bubbleshock bus to ram a hole in the wall. There they confront Mrs Wormwood but MOTHER, the name of the huge Bane in the ceiling, is ready to kill them all. Maria activates her phone but it really doesn't hurt an angry MOTHER. So Luke pulls the intergalactic mobile phone from his pocket and dials the Bane frequency. Not only does the MOTHER get badly affected by it, it affects all the systems in the building causing an overload. Sarah, Maria and Luck get out just as the largest explosion ever to rock a Doctor Who style story in recent times explodes around them.

Wow, what a story. Amazing what they write for kids these days. My son stayed glued to the screen the whole time for this one. And I had a tear in my eye when poor Sarah reminisced about her travels with the Doctor.

There were a number of neat touches all the way through the story which made it very entertaining. And listening to Kelsey speak was very educational!

And, finally, Sarah gets a son. She adopts Luke, who has the intelligence and memory of 10,000 school kids. Does that mean he's 10,000 more times likely to be addicted to Hollyoaks?

I look forward to watching the new series in August. Let's hope it's on sooner!

Invasion of the Bane also stars Samantha Bond as Ms Wormwood, Tommy Knight as Luke and Porsha Lawrence-Mavour as Kelsey

BBC Blurb
The Sarah Jane Adventures screened on New Years Day on BBC 1
1st January 2007 16:50 The Sarah Jane Adventures: Invasion of the Bane

Children's BBC ONE

Elisabeth Sladen Doctor Who's former sidekick is back as Sarah Jane Smith in a brand-new, fast-paced children's drama, created by Russell T Davies and from the makers of Doctor Who. The Sarah Jane Adventures ensures that children never look at fizzy drinks in the same way again...

Sarah Jane is fascinated by Bubbleshock, a strangely addictive organic drink that is taking the world by storm. She is almost oblivious to the arrival of her new neighbour, Maria, a young girl starting a new life with her father.

Maria becomes intrigued by the strange goings on at Sarah Jane's house but, before she can investigate, she's whisked away by her new friend, Kelsey, to the brightly coloured, but sinister, Bubbleshock factory.

As Sarah Jane tries to find out what the mysterious Mrs Wormwood is doing at the factory, Maria and Kelsey embark on a tour which leads them into the path of a monstrous creature and a strange young boy with no name or past.

When Sarah Jane and Maria discover the secret ingredient of Bubbleshock, they realise they are the only ones who can stop Mrs Wormwood and her evil plans for the human race.

Maria is played by Yasmin Page, Kelsey by Porsha Lawrence Mavour, Mrs Wormwood by Samantha Bond and the young boy/Luke by Thomas Knight. 

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