Reviewed By: Drew Vogel
Review Date: 9/12/17 12:22 pm
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Sad to say, but this is something of a letdown. Overall, the second series of "Sarah Jane Smith" has been stronger than the first. Having one person write the whole thing gave it a much more consistent feel than the first series had. Unfortunately, the series peaked early with "Fatal Consequences", and this final episode is mostly a coda, plus a set-up for a third series which will never happen.
Of course, that's not all the writer's fault. When the BBC decided to make "The Sarah Jane Adventures", that put an indefinite hold on Big Finish's plans for the characters. And then of course Elisabeth Sladen passed away while Series Five of "The Sarah Jane Adventures" was in production. All of that means that this episode ends on a cliffhanger which will never be resolved. And that's not even the worst of it. This whole series has been an elaborate set-up for the sequel to "The Masque of Mandragora". It's not just the unresolved cliffhanger. The whole series is unresolved.
As for this episode, it takes a surprisingly relaxed and low-key aproach, after all the excitement of "Fatal Consequences". Much of the story involves the characters coming to terms with everything that's happened so far. In the meantime, the story gradually builds toward the first private spaceflight that the series has been teasing since the opening moments of "Buried Secrets", but there's not a lot of drama in it. I mean, we all know that something is going to happen when the ship finally launches, and the script tries to drum up some tension, but all the characters are pretty relaxed about it because there's no reason why they shouldn't be.
Unfortunately, this is where the story gets a bit ludicrous. I mean, the idea that the pilot of the spacecraft is a member of the now-defunct Crimson Chapter is pretty hard to swallow. It's also pretty ridiculous that Josh brought a gun on a spaceflight and would actually be dumb enough to use it.
Overall, this final episode isn't bad. All the character stuff in the beginning is actually very good, even if it is lacking in the excitement department. The final act is unfortunately a bit preposterous, but the biggest problem with "Dreamland" is that it's not a satisfying ending because it was never intended to be an ending in the first place.