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Reviewed By: DalekbusterScreen5ReviewsReview Date: 5/22/17 9:34 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

I thought I would review a spinoff episode today as opposed to a main Doctor Who episode; The Curse of Clyde Langer is not only from arguably the best Doctor Who spinoff so far The Sarah Jane Adventures but is also an absolute classic that would fit into the main show easily.

When Clyde (Daniel Anthony) pricks his hand on a totem pole during the visit to the Museum of Culture, everybody he knows turns against him apart from one - Sky (Sinead Michael). Clyde loses everything including a place to live and ends up living on the streets. This is a kid's programme yet it explores the adult topic of homelessness better than any primetime TV show; it is dealt with delicately and with quite a bit of heart, not afraid to shy away from some of the harsh ways the homeless must live. It's a sweet and touching story, helped by the introduction of homeless girl Ellie Faber (Lily Loveless) who quickly becomes a friend of Clyde's in a world where he has no friends. The ending is tragic too, as he
Hide SpoilersWARNING: spoilers below
returns to find Ellie after the curse has been resolved only to find she is no longer there
.

Daniel Anthony is absolutely at his best here; he gives a moving performance especially during the scene where his own mother (Jocelyn Jee Esien) kicks him out. You really feel sorry for him; Daniel Anthony was always the best child actor on The Sarah Jane Adventures and it shows here. Lily Loveless is also great as Ellie and as the audience you are left hoping she'll find a way out of her difficult situation. I like to think if it weren't for Elisabeth Sladen's tragic death and the show had continued that Ellie would have returned later down the line as she is a great character played by a great actor.

When I watched this at the time, there was also an episode of Coronation Street dealing with the same issue and it was nowhere near as effective. The Curse of Clyde Langer shows homeless people to be just like us, only in a more difficult and terrifying situation than any of us could possibly imagine. It's an important world issue and one that it was nice to see a CBBC show teach kids about; that was what was great about The Sarah Jane Adventures - it treated kids like adults who could deal with watching serious issues represented onscreen rather than clueless idiots who need everything spoon-fed to them (there are many shows that do the latter).

Simply put, The Curse of Clyde Langer is an absolute masterpiece and deals with the issue of homelessness in a sweet and touching way. Anyone should watch this episode not just Whovians as it is a great piece of television for kids and adults alike. It's worth watching just for Daniel Anthony, who gives a moving performance as someone whose friends have turned against him.
From the Reviewer:
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Reviewed By: DalekbusterScreen5ReviewsReview Date: 5/22/17 9:27 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

It's always great to see the main character of a TV show appear in its spinoff; The Sarah Jane Adventures may not have needed the then-current Doctor David Tennant to show up but it is undeniably a cool moment when he does. This year we will most likely have Peter Capaldi in Class to look forward to, so it's undeniable that the Doctor showing up in a spinoff is something people like to see.

There's just something fascinating about seeing certain characters interact with the lead from the main show and The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith knows exactly how to set up the Doctor's appearance. Many shows would likely just throw the character in from the start of the first episode.

Not this one.

This one takes its time in properly introducing the relationship between Sarah Jane Smith (Elisabeth Sladen) and Peter Dalton(Nigel Havers) and it's all the more stronger for it. It's okay to have a crossover but it's pointless if you sacrifice the narrative for it so kudos to Gareth Roberts for not taking the lazy option. Given that the plot of this episode revolves around Sarah and Peter's wedding plus Peter's deal with the Trickster concerning his life, we need to be able to buy into their feelings for each other. That's something that's obviously hard to do in half an hour when said male character is introduced in the same story, yet Gareth Roberts does it brilliantly and you can't help but feel for poor Peter. Peter was a good guy in the end just trying to survive and any of us in his situation would have done the deal with the Trickster.

As for David Tennant, he comes into the story at just the right moment: in the cliffhanger to part one, where he literally screams 'Stop this wedding, now!'. Granted, it sounds like a soap opera cliche but it's a brilliant cliffhanger to the first of a two part story due to the number of questions it raises about the wedding: why would the Doctor want to ruin his best friend's big day? What's got the Doctor worried? Why has he only just arrived? All of these are of course answered in part two but I won't spoil it here as it would ruin the impact of the cliffhanger for anyone who hasn't seen this SJA story.

A big draw of the Doctor appearing in Sarah Jane Adventures is seeing him confront the spinoff show's most iconic original enemy: the Trickster. It doesn't disappoint. The Doctor's confrontation with the Trickster (Paul Marc Davies) feels so natural that it wouldn't look out of place in the main show. She's still Sarah Jane's main antagonist in the end (The Doctor and the Trickster haven't even met before now) and quite rightly so but the Doctor VS the Tricker is a brilliant moment and one of the most memorable of the show.

Whilst it is odd that it's not the Doctor who defeats the Trickster in the end, it does feel right that it's a character from The Sarah Jane Adventures who stops him. And one of the best characters too - Clyde Langer. Daniel Anthony was always my favourite as Clyde and I hope one day he is made a companion. I could easily watch a whole series of the Doctor and Clyde travelling; the two just work so well together and he seems like natural companion material.

The camera framing is very strong. Camera Operator Martin Stephens has done a brilliant job with framing and composition; a particular highlight is this shot, that to me has a very 'Back to the Future' feel:



The director Joss Agnew has done a good job too; in any other hands, a story like this could feel too much like an episode of Coronation Street. Thankfully, Joss Agnew is wonderfully talented and he manages to make it feel more like a standard episode of The Sarah Jane Adventures rather than another show entirely (not a mean feat when you have a wedding going wrong).

Overall, The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith is a classic Sarah Jane Adventures story with brilliant pacing and a great confrontation between the Doctor and the Trickster. The camera framing and composition is top notch and director Joss Agnew does a good job keeping that Sarah Jane Adventures feel in spite of the 'wedding going wrong' soap opera cliche.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
10
Plot Rating:
10
Acting Rating:
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Replay Rating:
10
Effects Rating:
9
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Yes
Reviewed By: adamelijahReview Date: 3/9/16 5:57 am
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

The Lost Boy is a stunner of a series finale. The first series of Sarah Jane Adventures never had the feel of an being part of an arc, however this story brings together many elements from prior episodes to tell a crackerjack story as Luke's "parents" appear to claim him. The story does a superb job of putting all the main cha visit ringer, shakes the foundation of the show to its core, and features a surprise moment that would have felt like it came out of nowhere if you hadn't been paying attention all series.

Overall, this story is superb as it manages to take risk and really create a sense of excitement. Well written and full of surprises.
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
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Reviewed By: adamelijahReview Date: 1/6/16 4:53 am
1 out of 1 found this review helpful.

Sarah Jane disappears from existence along with Luke, and Mr. Smith just as the Earth is about to be hit by a meteor.

This story, particularly the first part, very evocative of the Twilight Zone. There's a great atmosphere of mystery throughout, and the story is never boring or predictable as it takes risks particularly as it relates to the handling of Maria's father.

The acting is generally solid with Jane Asher having a wonderful turn as Andrea Yates, the woman who never was and the final scene with her and Sarah Jane was very intense. Overall, a great episode that sets up the series finale.

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