Thursday, October 06, 2011

My Review of The Sarah Jane Adventures 5x01: "Sky"

Written by Phil Ford
Directed by Ashley Way

Sarah Jane (to Sky): “Yes, this is your home for as long as you want it to be.”

Okay, to get the elephant out of the review first – I have to admit that reviewing this story (as well as watching it) was something of a strange experience. It’s been nearly six months since the tragic death of Elisabeth Sladen and when watching this story, it’s hard not to note that a new chapter within the show’s history will now never be completed.

Of course that doesn’t stop this from being a wonderful opening story for the fifth and final series but it’s also a case of ‘we’ve done this before’ with the titular character of this story. Sky in a lot of ways is a new version of Luke.

She’s an alien designed as a weapon that is then neutralised (shades of Melody Pond to an extent too) and also one that Sarah Jane ends up taking in by the end of this story. Unlike Luke though, she actually does spend the first half of this story as a baby before being turned into a twelve year old girl.

Sky’s arrival was definitely not a coincidence in many ways. Apart from the cryptic cameo appearance from the Captain and the Shopkeeper at the end of the story alluding to Sky purposely being sent to Sarah Jane to look after, there’s also the fact that our regular kids have grown up.

The show has made no effort in denying it. Luke’s off on his own adventures in college and we got a brief snap of Sarah Jane feeling lonely without him and Clyde and Rani have both matured over the last couple of seasons as well. Having a baby land on Sarah Jane’s doorstep really was a blessing for her and the series in it’s own right as well.

Sky might not have shown the kind of intelligence that Luke is blessed with but the way that both her laughing and crying has a means of causing chaos was definitely fun to watch, especially when Gita herself at the end of the story showed some surprising suspicion to the older version of Sky as well. I’m beginning to wonder if this means some trouble ahead in the next two stories as well.

Of course, getting back to the weapon element of Sky – just like Luke, poor Sky had the misfortune of having another rubbish mother/creature in the form of Miss Myers. I’ll keep it blunt – Myers is an alright adversary but there’s very little than seems to distinguish from the likes of Miss Wormwood. In fact, you could easily argue that she’s little more than a carbon copy of the character.

Myers mission as a member of the Fleshkind (the same species as Sky) was to wipe out her enemies, the Metalkind by using Sky as a bomb and the arrival of a Metalkind on Earth and the Sarah Jane gang more or less put the kibosh into her grand scheming to an extent, even though Myers certainly did her best to also use the Earth as the same place where the Metalkind would perish as well.

I knew that throughout the episode and with the amount of time that the grown up Sky had spent with Sarah Jane, Clyde and Rani that their influence would end up saving the day. Sky absorbed the energy to save the day and also managed to deactivate herself as a bomb but with some spark left in her too.

As for Myers – not too surprised that the Metalkind was able to transport her back to it’s planet and if this show had made further stories, I would easily bet that Miss Myers would’ve been brought back. Sure, she seemed to be happy to dump Sky when the girl was neutralised but she would’ve changed her mind at a later date. That’s an obvious guarantee.

As for the new dynamic between Sarah Jane and Sky – it should definitely be an interesting one to watch in the next two stories. Sky might have a lot to learn about being a twelve year old girl on Earth but she certainly knows where her loyalties lie. Her deliberate defiance of Sarah Jane’s order at the power station was indicative of her own desires to help out and it will be interesting to see Luke cope with a younger sister as well.

Clyde and Rani meanwhile were great with both Sarah Jane and Sky as well as contributing to defeating Myers as well but as they are getting older, is part of Sky’s introduction a way of telling us that they might have left the series after this season? I guess we’ll never really know now, will we?

Also in “Sky”

You can tell it’s this show because the episode opened with another monologue of Sarah Jane discussing how life on Earth can be an adventure. I still like them though.

Sarah Jane: “Life here can be an adventure too but after all my adventures, the last thing I expected was a family and that’s been the most amazing adventure of them all.”

This story along with the remaining two - “The Curse Of Clyde Langer” and “The Man Who Wasn’t There” were filmed along with Series 4.

Sarah Jane (re Sky): “A teenager I can handle but a baby, an alien baby, I need help.”
Rani: “Don’t look at me.”
Clyde: “Or me, obviously.”

Miss Myers: “Don’t worry baby, mummy’s coming to get you.”

The guy who played Caleb (the main fella under Myers influence) also appeared in Torchwood’s “Captain Jack Harkness”

Professor Rivers: “Wait for me, I’m in wellingtons.”

Miss Myers: “Get in if you want the child to live.”
Clyde: “Who are you?”
Miss Myers: “I’m her mother.”

Nice mention of the Doctor in this episode but no mention of K9? What is the metal dog up to nowadays?

Clyde: “Typical. I’m in the middle of a nuclear station and I’m carrying baby bang-bang.”

Metalkind: “I am too late.”
Miss Myers: “Face your destruction, Metalkind, the child is your doom.”
Sky: “What’s happening to me?”

Clyde gave Sky the nickname of ‘Sparky’ and we learned that both the Fleshkind and Metalkind have planets located in the Tornado Nebula.

Sky: “Everything is so green.”
Rani: “This is England. It rains most of the time.”

Sarah Jane (to Caleb): “Good, now take me to your leader.”

I have to admit that I love the friendship between Sarah Jane and Celeste Rivers that’s been developing over the last few series. Nice use of the professor in this one too.

Sarah Jane: “You’re wasting your time; I will never give you Sky.”
Miss Myers: “It doesn’t matter. The child is primed to activate on the vast energy of the Metalkind.”

Rani: “Did you just see that?”
Clyde: “Yeah, I reckon Sparky hasn’t totally lost her spark.”

Chronology: I’m assuming it’s set within 2011 but I’m not sure how much time has passed since “Goodbye, Sarah Jane Smith”.

For an opening story, “Sky” might have been familiar ground rethreaded on once again but it was genuinely hard not to love the story for it’s merits. A great introduction for the character of Sky (both her and Luke really could pass for siblings), nice character moments and personally, I can’t wait for the last two stories.

Rating: 8 out of 10


Anonymous said...

It must be the spring or summer session, or Clyde and Rani would be in university.

Anonymous said...

The main difference is that Mrs. Wormwood was invading (and later trying to set up an empire) and Miss Myers wanted to win a war.

shawnlunn2002 said...

It possibly is set during summer.

As for Myers and Wormwood, still felt like the same type of character to me.

Anonymous said...

Didn't Myers say something about being driven to what she became?