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  • Warning: Spoilers
    Of all the Doctor's companions, something about Sarah Jane Smith, a resilient journalist with a knack for finding trouble, has always appealed to television viewers. So much so that Elisabeth Sladen was asked to reprise the role in 1981 to ease the transition between fourth and fifth doctors (she wasn't interested), and given her own TV show, K9 and Company, when she refused to reenter the TARDIS. Despite the best intentions of all involved, the spin-off died a shabby and slightly embarrassing death after just the pilot episode. Given Sarah's popularity, it's hardly surprising that the Doctor Who team decided to try again after one more appearance in the classic series (The Five Doctors), a TV movie (Downtime), a self-titled audio series and a heart-wrenching return to the Doctor's side in "School Reunion". This time, however, they got it right.

    The Sarah Jane Adventures is a highly enjoyable romp through the alien filled existence of the Doctor's one-time best friend that depicts her as a cross between Captain Jack (techno-savvy ex-companion to the rescue) and the Doctor himself. For a journalist, her interpersonal skills are a bit skewed, but her calm demeanor and sense of humor are barely shaken in the face of adversity. She lives alone, lets no-one close, and her previous next-door neighbor went insane after thinking he saw aliens. He did. Enter Maria, a thirteen year old girl with shades of Rose Tyler, who moves in with her dad. Sarah's refusal to let the teenager in on the secrets of her life ("Go home - live a normal life - I work alone") recalls both the Doctor's initial reaction to Rose and another former companion, Jack's, reaction to a curious colleague in Torchwood.

    Yet Maria finds out anyway, by employing every Companion's favorite trick and running into danger. The villain of the pilot episode is a creature called the Bane, who plans to take the Earth for its own by controlling the humans it can and eliminating the rest. The means is a new, fizzy and completely free drink called Bubble Shock. Not only does the company give away free samples, they provide free public transport and propaganda filled tours of their factory. Surely this should have made someone *other* than Sarah suspicious? Is she the only thinking human left? Or maybe it's just the influence of the robot dog, sentient computer (which answers to the name of Mr Smith - perhaps its first name is John?), sonic lipstick and the other alien paraphernalia in her life...

    With the help of Maria and a human boy called the Archetype, constructed as a lab rat by the Bane and its children in order to help them better understand humanity and how to take it over, Sarah Jane outwits and destroys the alien threat. The Earth is safe once more and millions of people released from Baneful mind control. The Archetype needs a home, so Sarah adopts him with the help of some judicial government hacking. Welcome Luke Smith. He looks human, but his speech and behavior is anything but.

    With the SJA being set around 2 years after School Reunion, Sarah's made good on the promise she made the Doctor to stop waiting for him and to start living her own life. Clearly, she will never stop missing him. Since her last sighting of the TARDIS, she's built a life that revolves around helping stranded or lost aliens, collecting alien materials fallen to Earth, and getting rid of hostile alien threats. Torchwood, anyone? But like the Doctor, Sarah isn't too fond of secret government organizations, which obliquely references both her adventures in the audio series and a possible contact with Torchwood before the Battle of Canary Wharf (Army of Ghosts/Doomsday). Due to the nature of her work, she lives and fights alone until Maria and Luke prove their worth.

    The Doctor's influence and memory will always fill her life. In a telling, poignant moment, the girl asks her new mentor if she has a boyfriend. Sarah replies "There was only ever one man for me. And after him, nothing compared." In a moment of Bane-caused frustration, she lifts her sonic lipstick and invokes his name: "help me, Doctor". But it is Sarah Jane herself who thinks of the answer she needs. Calling on the man she loves and on whom she's modeled her life brings inspiration (What would the Doctor do in this situation? Ah yes, I know. Make a flippant comment and drive a bus through the wall) but her inner strength and courage is all her own. Sarah Jane cannot live with the Doctor, so she lives for him.

    Once again, Russell T. Davies and team have married the energy, great visuals and humor of the new series of Doctor Who with the spirit, characters and back story of the classic series. I enjoyed this show even more than Torchwood, which, despite being great viewing, often lurches from one theme to another in a frantic attempt to fit everything in. The Sarah Jane Adventures is better paced, and far more family friendly; the combination of well-loved classic companion for the parents who remember, the teenage heroes for the youngsters, and the Doctor Who and Torchwood references for the fans, not to mention Sarah's unrequited love for her Doctor for all the romantics, makes for a highly appealing and entertaining show. This Doctor Who spin-off manages to preserve the spirit and gentle humor of the original show, while introducing a collection of tantalizing new elements and characters.

    2007 looks to bring a very interesting season.
  • I'm not going to give a synopsis, as previous reviewers have already accurately done so.

    As a long time Dr Who fan, (Tom Baker days!!)I sat and watched this with the children, aged 7, 5 and 3, and my 60 something mum too. Full credit to the writers/directors, as this appealed to us all! Even my youngest got the general idea, the older two followed the whole story, and the adults were kept amused with a few laughs and "in" references and jokes. The pace was excellent, as the story and characters slowly draw you in, and then take off at speed after a few minutes of scene setting. By the end of the episode the characters are pretty well established, and we are all looking forward to the rest of the series.

    Well done BBC - this makes the licence worth while!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Firstly i must say i am 20 years old, secondly i do not have any younger siblings or relatives and thirdly i am not a fan of the "old" doctor who- a little sacrilegious to some people perhaps... but I LOVED this!

    It is meant for kids but with Russell T Davies co-writing and producing, it won't keep Who fans young and Old away. In a way I think it is better than Torchwood, because it excludes nobody from watching it. I and my Dad watched this just to see what it was like and we both felt it was excellent.

    The plot was sophisticated which is great because it assumes that children are intelligent and does not talk down to them (a pet peeve when i was growing up).

    The characters are lovable when they should be as you do like Sarah-Jane and her sidekick Maria. Sinister (again they were not just sinister too children but adults too) when they should be; the Bane Mother and her Spawn were scary and interesting, worthy of a possible Doctor Who cross-over if they felt like it. And humorous when needed; Kelsi being a non-believer and a popular culture freak saying things like "You should be on Jeremy Kyle, mate!" Of course the Doctor was mentioned a couple of times and that satisfies any Who fan really nicely as well ( Torchwood have only done it about twice in the whole series!)

    All in all great tea-time fun, and I look forward to the next adventure and hope to see more of the same characters.
  • I'm a huge Doctor Who fan and so I decided to give this show and Torchwood a try. This one beat Torchwood by a LOT. The writing is almost as good as in Doctor Who, the acting is very impressive for some of the young actors in it. I love all the characters, which I can't even say about Doctor Who (I hated Rose in the second season).

    If you're looking for something to replace Doctor Who while it's not on, this show is perfect. But it really stands on its own. It doesn't keep tying itself to the Doctor Who universe (except in a few stories, I will admit). It's got more heart than Doctor Who, while Doctor Who might be wittier and more dramatic, The Sarah Jane Adventures is witty but it's also sweet. You'll feel like a kid watching this but in a good way.

    It makes me ashamed to be an American, quite frankly! If BBC can produce a show aimed at preteens and make it so incredibly good that it has an audience of all ages, and yet America has crap like Hannah Montana... well CBBC must be superior.
  • "The Sarah Jane Adventures" continues to display the excellent production values demonstrated in the pilot "Invasion of the Bane". With well-conceived plots, great acting and genuine drama, the series surpassed my expectations.

    Elisabeth Sladen remains eternally youthful and is as watchable as ever. She's joined by a solid cast and the whole ensemble makes the series more satisfying that "Torchwood".

    "Whatever Happened to Sarah Jane?" is the highlight of the first season, superbly directed by Graeme Harper. It's a marvellous tale which paves the way for "Doctor Who"'s "Turn Left" episode.

    8 out of 10.
  • Over it's 56 year old runtime Doctor Who had many seasons and many spin offs, but the most notable two are: Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Abventures. The reason these two show are the most notable(other than them being the best) is because they can highlight the shows ability to be interesting to all ages. The Sarah Jane Adventures being really family-friendl(except for the nightmare man) even more then the original DW, because while Doctor Who is still ff it is rather in the middle while Torchwood is for a more mature audience with it's darker tone and more complex narrative.

    The Sarah Jane Adventures review: The Sarah Jane Adventures is the most "human" show in the Whoniverse. While in DW they always go on fun big and sometimes dangerous adventures in space and in Torchwood they're always trying to save the world here... well they always trying to save the world here too, but this show still just feels more down to earth. This show also follows a more child story-like structure(not in a bad way) our main characters are a wise old woman with a mysterious backstory and a bunch of kids/teenagers. The tone is usually lighter and very similar to the Ghost Whisperer. If you're into the Whoniverse and like great but a bit cliché shows go watch this!
  • The late Elisabeth Sladen, who was one of, if not the best Doctor Who Companion, stars in this fun show where she protects earth with the help of her adopted son and his friends. She was taken from us far too soon and some channel in the states needs to be repeating this.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I actually thought this special was quite good, although it was for children it had an interesting storyline and believable characters. Comparing this with the Christmas special of Doctor Who there was no competition, it was way better than Doctor Who, the character played by Catherine Tate was appalling, even the children's characters on Sarah Jane Adevntures were better! And the aliens we saw were way more like aliens than what we have seen in doctor who since the ood. It is about time we had some bug eyed green monsters instead of half spider half women things with really bad laughs, mind you it fits in with doctor whos tradition of crappy costumes! I am looking forward to the series of this, from what I have seen, even though it is a kids programme, as it was written well and produced well!
  • fkadurrant4 October 2018
    I've been a fan of doctor who ever since I was young and grew up watching it. This was an amazing spin off of the show and I loved it. Elizabeth sladen was an amazing actress and I would recommend this! :)
  • If Russell T. Davies had instilled this sort of educational and morality in the new series of Doctor Who, we would have something more akin to the Original series, which, even though I was only young when it was being aired and I never managed to catch either Troughton or Hartnell, was a fantastic series.

    Sarah Jane Adventures has humour, monsters and story lines that, although they are hidden behind children running around and on a children's network, are just as accessible to adults than to children.

    The characterisations are clear, the directing good, the effects up to scratch with those in Doctor Who and the acting, dare I say it, better. They tackle emotional issues, far-fetched plots and links to the Doctor Who series old and new and still come up Aces whilst being slightly educational along the way.

    Whether it was intentional or accidental, adopting the whole point to the original series (Being educational and for the family) The Sarah Jane Adventures should hopefully continue for a long time and be given a n equal focus to that of Doctor Who and far beyond that of Torchwood.

    Keep it up Cast and Crew of a fantastic series.
  • This is a great show in its own right. It's geared towards younger people but it is not exclusive to them. It's a highly entertaining show with a lot of imaginative plots and great actors to see them through. It is a part of the Doctor Who world, but it's a separate entity and should be viewed that way. The Sarah Jane character comes to us from that Doctor Who world but she has been put in a position where she had to create a new life and this is what it turned out to be. The sets are good, the plots are new and there's lots of action. The only thing about it's "youthful" approach is that it makes me want to be that age again, because I live through these characters as if I were running alongside of them. Isn't that what we all what entertainment to do, to actually pull us in? Well, this show is a stunner at doing just that. Enjoy!
  • My daughter loved this and being a old fan of Liz Sladen I was looking forward to this as well (Ok yes I have a copy of K9 and Co !!). It was a good romp and we shall look forward to the series in due course. Acting was excellent all round and the monsters, whilst toned down for the earlier slot worked well.

    All I would say however, is that credit should be given where due and the similarities between BubbleShock and Slurm from the Simpsons stable's "Futurama" were far to close to be co-incidence. Mind you we had "Fight Club" in Torchwood the other week so plagiarism is obviously alive and well at the BBC these days ....
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Many people will have I'm sure missed this show - the scheduling was tooled sensibly towards its target audience but I feel that an early evening repeat would have been warranted.

    This is superb children's entertainment. Sarah Jane and her three young friends save the Earth several times, in these 6 (so far) stories.

    Yes, the aliens look like people in rubber suits, and yes it's all rather silly - the episode where a meteor is heading to earth, via a "radar blind spot" for example, but no matter. The thrills are provided in large measure. The aliens are not too scary - but the "Death" type figure in the "Whatever happened to Sarah Jane" story was more disturbing than most.

    There are some great kids/adults moments - such as the skateboard park.

    Above all, enjoy with your children, and as always with the revived Doctor Who franchise, ignore the sad old Dr Who fans!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Sarah Jane Smith played by Elisabeth Sladen, one of many assistants the Doctor had at his side is now back home on earth. Sarah Jane Smith is an Investigative journalist who looks into strange events and seems to side always more than she bargained for.

    The following bit may be classed as a spoiler:

    Like most Doctor Who type shows would not be the same with out a sonic type toy. The Doctor has his Sonic Screwdriver, Sarah Jane Smith has a Sonic Lipstick. Another interesting toy is Mr Smith, no its not her husband but a super computer which seems to be able to access anything. Another helper at her side but not seen much in the pilot episode is K-9 her robot dog.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    As a true Doctor Who fan I always watch the spin off material, I had reservations about the Sarah Jane Adventures on their original transmission, but the show continued to surprise me, it was so tragic that our beautiful and wonderful Elisabeth Sladen was taken so young. I am so pleased that she got her own show, well deserved as she was and still is the number one companion.

    The show matured as it went along, the Pilot episode was fun enough, but a few episodes in particular shone through, firstly the wonderful 'Whatever happened to Sarah Jane,' as good as any recent Doctor Who I can think of, a great story. The wonderful and hugely sentimental 'Death of the Doctor,' where we finally got to see Sarah Jane meet Jo Grant. There were some other great stories, but in my humble opinion these two were the best.

    Suitable for all the family, enough jokes and humour for more mature villains, and enough scares for younger viewers. I became a huge fan of Juliet Cowan from this (Chrissie Jackson) she added lots of laughs to the show.

    I wish we'd had more, 8/10
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The Sarah Jane Adventures this is my favourite Dr Who spin off every story is amazing and i really enjoy season of this show bringing back Sarah Jane for a spin off was just genius and if they was going to bring back any classic companion it had to be her.

    The trickster is one of the best villains introduces in all of the Dr Who universe and every episode he is in is just pure gold and always interesting especially The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith which also sees David Tennant in he role of the Doctor again such a fun episode. The Brigadier also makes a return in this show and he plays really well and is a great way to tie the classic series and bring back a great character,

    My favourite in this show is The Death of the Doctor which sees Matt Smith in the role of the Doctor in on his best performances and seeing him with Sarah Jane is just incredible. However the best part of this episode is seeing Jo Grant return and its great seeing her relationship with the Dr again and she still plays the character really well.

    Verdict 9/10 Great Dr Who spin off and some incredible stories and a great villain in the Trickster
  • This is a great show if you grow up watching or if you love Doctor Who. There are cameos from David Tennant, Matt Smith, Nicholas Courtney & Katy Manning. There are new aliens than just the ones in Doctor Who making it feel like it expands from the show. Elisabeth Sladen is amazing as always as Sarah Jane Smith and Tommy Knight is great as Luke.The teen cast is very good over all (Tommy Knight, Daniel Anthony, Anjli Mohindra, Yasmin Paige), are very good.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This show is great fun. Good stories, nice characters, and the ever lovable Elisabeth Sladen. Don't expect just fluff, there are stories and lines of dialogue that will blow your mind. For example, Sarah Jane asks the dude who is kidnapping kids for a galactic war about his conscience and he says, "A conscience? A conscience is like a pebble in your shoe. You can't imagine the relief to be free of it." That's rough stuff for a kids' show.
  • Whether you're a fan of doctor who, or are looking for something to give your kids to watch, this show is brilliant. While the structure is more directed towards younger viewers, don't be mistaken, there are plenty of mature and developed plots in this show. I would recommend any fan of doctor who give this show a try, the first few episodes are a bit silly but there are some REAL gems in here. Elisabeth Sladen was a wonderful actress and she was brilliant in this!
  • I adore the Sarah Jane adventures, still now. Liz is such a great actor (and the rest of the cast) it's such a shame that Liz past away, she was like a child hood hero and her legacy will live on in this amazing show.
  • rohanumpleby31 August 2019
    Warning: Spoilers
    My favorite Sarah jane's are probably ones with the Doctors or won's That have the Trickster on them. And it is as truly good spin off from Doctor Who
  • A fun show, no question. But what Dr. Who should have been? What the original focus of the old Dr. Who was? Really, did you drink the koolaid? Just because children can enjoy a show does not indicate that they are the target audience. It seems fairly obvious today that they are not the current demographic with the exception of TSJA. I actually enjoy all three shows, for a variety of reasons. But basically TSJA is a show at its heart aimed at children and perhaps tweens at best. Families are not a target audience, subsets of families are. It hasn't been the 50's for fifty years, too many people still act like the standards of behavior were graven in stone about then and any deviation from that perceived pinnacle of cultural development is somehow a degradation of that "perfection". The show is designed to entertain, be entertained. Or watch something else. Like Howdy Doody Reruns.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I loved seeing Sarah Jane again since her outing in Doctor Who last year. The show should do well, I hope it shows here in the US in the future. I wanted to give it a higher rating but seeing as how the Doctor went to the trouble of fixing up K-9 and then he gets written out of the series is pretty much unforgivable. K-9 should be a part of the show too. Otherwise it was a good first outing, though I also have trouble with the lifting of the theme, same as in Torchwood and Doctor Who. This episode also borrowed heavily from a Christopher Eccleston Doctor Who episode, "The Long Game". Many episodes are less than original. The graphics and cgi were fine. But Most of all Liz Sladen was brilliant as always!
  • TheTimeLady28 February 2010
    Warning: Spoilers
    I like Elisabeth Sladen. Yeah, she's cool. I liked Series One and Two of SJA, (with the exception of The Mark of the Beserker) but Series Three is just BAD.

    They've taken a great actress, a great show and given both of them a seriously annoying load of stories, The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith being the worst out of the lot of them. Yes, there were some funny lines in that episode, and that goes for all of them, but Sarah Jane getting married, seeing her past (and future) and heading for Antartica with a supersoaker loading with vinegar?

    That has GOT to be the worst series yet. But I do like Sarah Jane's outfits.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Sarah Jane Smith continues the battle to save the planet in her own way, by writing articles and teams up with children....Thats the initial plot and it just gets worser, the actress Elisabeth Sladen is perhaps one of the worst actresses I've seen, she overacts and underacts, like every scene and delivers lines with a cheesy smile.

    This is supposed to be a kids show so people will argue that it doesn't matter.

    YES IT DOES! These kids who watch the shows today will become filmmakers of the future and they deserve to be entertained by the finest...take shows like Young Dacula for example a British show that excels past any other kid show in the last decade of British shows. Just because its part of Doctor Who and has the awful Russel T Davies as the creator doesn't mean it has to be on the air for another pathetic series.
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