Sep, 2006

The Sarah Jane Adventures

BBC – Doctor Who – News:

New CBBC spin-off announced. Russell T Davies has created The Sarah Jane Adventures, a brand new series for CBBC. Set in present-day West London, the programme stars Elisabeth Sladen, continuing her much-loved role as Sarah Jane Smith. Yasmin Paige will join her as Sarah’s 13-year-old neighbour Maria.

The BBC has released superb news about another welcome spin-off from Doctor Who. I think Russell T has made some fine decisions in selecting possible spin-offs, as they all target a slightly different audience. While Doctor Who remains family orientated, Torchwood will target a more mature audience, while this – going out on CBBC – will capture the attentions of the younger audience. I’d say that was a win-win-win situation for everyone, young and old.

Pantomime Mouse Attack

The Talons of Weng-Chiang – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

The Doctor brings Leela to Victorian London to see how her ancestors lived, but is rapidly drawn into a fiendish plot involving Chinese tongs, disappearing women, an Oriental stage magician, a murderous ventriloquist’s dummy and giant rats in the sewers.

Had the pleasure of watching this story for the first time the other night… Well, over the course of two nights, as I watched the concatenated VHS version. The story represents a superb example of Doctor Who at its very finest – with great villains, atmosphere and fine location filming. Yes, I can see perfectly where some might label the story racist – with the whole business of those dash distrustful Chinese – but I wouldn’t dream of faulting it for that – and I can see why fans have rated the story so highly. I loved the Professor Lightfoot character and would have appreciated the chance to see a little more of him, perhaps as an ongoing companion rather than a one-off. He reminded me of Terry Jones for some reason… probably the manner of speech and facial expressions.

The giant rat proved the finest element, without doubt. A finer animal I have not seen since my childhood watching Rentaghost! I watched with my 10 year old son and he found it hilarious, as various members of the cast suffered vicious attacks from this dubious and utterly unconvincing predator of the Victorian London sewers. Perhaps Russel T. could bring the rats back for the next series?