Wednesday, November 17, 2010

My Review of The Sarah Jane Adventures 4x06: "Goodbye Sarah Jane Smith"

Written by Gareth Roberts And Clayton Hickman
Directed by Joss Agnew

Ruby (to Sarah Jane/Clyde/Rani): “I’m afraid not. This is where the adventures. Yours, not mine.”

Thank goodness it’s been long since confirmed that this show will be returning in 2011 for a fifth series or otherwise, “Goodbye, Sarah Jane Smith” really would’ve felt like the end of the road for the Bannerman Road gang. Hell, we even had the reminder that no-one is irreplaceable drilling through our heads in this story as well.

Sarah Jane’s been fighting off alien menaces for quite a long time now that at some point, it would have to be looked into as to whether or not she could carry on. Sarah Jane might be able to prevent a lot of things but ageing ain’t one of them and the idea of someone similarly fighting the good fight would be another.

I guess it was obvious that Ruby White would turn out to be too good to be true. She was a direct parallel of Sarah Jane – smartly dressed, initially standoffish and packing some impressive alien tech, which also included the equivalent of her own alien computer in the shape of Mr White.

Add to the fact both Clyde and Rani themselves couldn’t help but compare/notice the similarities between Sarah Jane and Ruby and the whole thing was set in stone. Sarah Jane felt like she was beginning to lose herself and Ruby was conveniently there to pick up the pieces.

Forgetting the sonic lipstick when facing the Dark Horde was a bad moment for Sarah Jane as it gave Ruby the opportunity to play hero with saving Clyde and Rani’s lives but it also meant that Ruby could get closer to Sarah Jane to really put her plans into effect as well. And yes, I totally saw Ruby’s true colours emerging.

In fact, I was damn tempted to scream at my screen when Sarah Jane gave Ruby control over Mr Smith and given that Julie Graham isn’t one of my favourite actresses, I was surprised with how much I enjoyed the hammy moments with Ruby in this entire story.

Ruby’s turn as she revealed to Sarah Jane that she had been sucking the life form out of her managed to retain some menace even if it was rather hammy as well but it also came to show how much trouble Sarah Jane had unwittingly become in. I know Sarah Jane would eventually defeat Ruby with some help but there was some nice touch and go moments in this one as well.

First of all was the fact that Mr Smith tried to alert Clyde to the real identity of Ruby, which only ended up in Clyde getting locked in a prison ship and then there were Rani’s attempts of placating the Katesh creature whilst Luke and K9 banded together to put Mr White out of commission and regain control over Mr Smith.

The final couple of scenes in this story weren’t too conflicting. Ruby’s desire for chaos at the expense of Sarah Jane and the gang was never going to end well for her but the fact that she was stupid enough to underestimate all of them also did help matters. For a creature adept at faking meteor landing and having Sarah Jane doubt herself so heavily, Ruby really did come a cropper in the end.

Of course, there’s no fear in Ruby in actually being destroyed. While she’s still alive and seething on her prison ship, I can only assume that Julie Graham will somehow reappear in the next series and after three series of the Trickster, perhaps Ruby will be another ongoing foe for Sarah Jane to have to deal with. The writers could have a lot of fun with her as a recurring foe.

As for a lot of the other stuff, taking out the seriousness of Sarah Jane’s plight, I’ve got to use this review as an opportunity to heap praise on Gita Chandra. While Ruby had both Clyde and Rani initially convinced that Sarah Jane had done a runner, Gita herself used the logic of maternal instinct as a means of debunking that theory.

I could say it was Gita just being her usual hopeful self but a part of me wonders if there’s something inside Gita that’s trying to remember all her alien encounters and knowledge of who Sarah Jane really is. I’m still convinced that wiping Gita’s memory was a bad move and one that could have consequences and perhaps this was a hint of that.

As for Luke – it was nice to see him back for a full appearance in this story but it’s almost like he is no longer a part of the series if that makes sense. Yes, he was instrumental in Ruby’s downfall but I guess that I’ve gotten so used to not seeing him that it felt a little strange seeing him again.

Also in “Goodbye, Sarah Jane Smith”

Sarah Jane ended the story with another one of those ‘life is a big adventure on Earth’ type of speeches.

Sarah Jane: “What are you doing here?”
Ruby: “Saving the world. All in a good day’s work. Goodbye.”

Ruby was largely decked out in red for the whole story and had a sports car. Oh and her was similarly styled like Sarah Jane’s.

Sarah Jane (to Ruby): “You’ve lead a normal life. Nothing’s been normal for me.”

Ruby: “We’re all going to miss you Sarah Jane and your little chums. Wonderful, brilliant Rani, amazing, plucky Clyde. Oh and your son, Lukey, Lukey Pukey. Oh but you don’t want these, your mind’s made up. No looking back, no goodbyes, you’re a hard woman, Sarah Jane. What am I gonna tell these kids?”

Gareth Roberts and Clayton Hickman previously wrote the 2009 Comic Relief sketch together for the series.

Ruby: “Enjoying the show?”
Sarah Jane (re kids): “They’ll find a way to stop you.”
Ruby: “The hope of the dying tastes so sweet.”

Luke: “You can’t.”
Rani: “It’s the only way or Clyde and Sarah Jane will die.”

Ruby’s prison ship looked pretty similar to the Sontaran ship, except for the white interior of course.

Sarah Jane: “Ruby, you made a big mistake coming here. What we do, it isn’t for the thrills. It’s not yours to take.”
Ruby: “Sarah Jane, I underestimated you.”

Chronology: Late 2010, though none is really specified.

“Goodbye, Sarah Jane Smith” is arguably the strongest of the four finales we’ve had and definitely a satisfying end to a series that has certainly come into it’s own over the last few weeks.

Rating: 9 out of 10.

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