Three years ago, The Sarah Jane Adventures began, as the second spin-off from the BBC’s Doctor Who juggernaut. It featured Sarah Jane Smith, a Who companion from the seventies, fighting evil alongside a group of young sidekicks.
The series became one of the Beeb’s most successful children’s shows, renewed last year for a fourth and fifth series. But many of Doctor Who’s adult fans (which, let’s face it, is a lot of us on the dork-blogging scene) have not given Sarah Jane a chance. Well, I think you should, and here’s why…
It’s Better Than Torchwood (mostly)
A lot of us watched the first two series of Torchwood, right? Even though, at times, they were truly appalling. I know I did, and I didn’t even have the excuse of writing reviews for Dork Adore back then. Yes, Torchwood took a drastic leap in quality with the Children Of Earth mini-series, but still, Sarah Jane Adventures has a much better average and wins the spin-off wars easily.
After three series, the quality has rarely wavered below good, and some of it has been downright excellent. The emotional bits have a bit of resonance as the rest of it is such fun, and I care more about characters if they make me smile, rather than endlessly angsting and shagging.
It’s For Children (but in a good way!)
There’s no getting away from the fact that The Sarah Jane Adventures is aimed at kids, even more so than big daddy Doctor Who. There’s more silly fun bits, blatant moralising, focus on negotiation over extermination and, yes, lots of kids hanging around.
So if you have a mental hatred of child actors, this may not be the best thing for you. But most of the kids have been doing this for a few years now, and they’ve got pretty good.
It’s Just Good, Yeah?
In short, if you love Doctor Who, you probably possess the machinery to enjoy content aimed at the young. So why not give Sarah Jane a chance? I promise it’s at least enjoyable. If you need further incentive, David Tennant appeared in series three and the awesome new Doctor Matt Smith will be popping by in the upcoming fourth year.
The new series of Sarah Jane Adventures airs its first two-parter on the CBBC channel on Monday 11th (today) and Tuesday 12th October, with BBC1 repeats on Wednesdays and Thursdays. You can see a nice trailer on the BBC’s official Sarah Jane Adventures site. I’ll be there, will you?