Sci-Fi Fodder

Impressions: "The Sarah Jane Adventures"

"The Sarah Jane Adventures" premiered on the SCI FI Channel last Friday night, kicking off this seasons 'Sci-Friday' slate. he show is based on the life of Sarah Jane Smith after her time as a companion to the Doctor is over. It' also should be noted that it is produced by Russell T. Davies, who also is in charge of "Doctor Who", so "Sarah Jane" was worth checking out on that fact alone.

Here are my first impressions of the show:

The Good

I was pleasantly surprised by the work of Yasmin Paige, who plays Sarah's young sidekick 'Maria'. Even though the show is about Sarah Jane, Maria steals the focus of every scene she is in. She will be the 'companion' to Sarah Jane's version of the Doctor - and that's a good thing.

I also like that Sarah has a stash of alien gizmos and gadgetry. Her 'Sonic Lipstick' fits perfectly in the series, while the other gadgets (probably with the help of 'Luke', the other sidekick) will provide a good basis for Sarah to defeat the alien of the week.

The Not-So-Good

There was a significant amount of overacting. I know the show is trying to skew to a younger audience, but, at one point, I found myself waiting for the villain to go 'Mwahahahahaha!'. I suspect that it will work itself out, as the actors, writers and directors get a feel for each other.

I also thought the debut was a bit long. The premiere was ninety minutes and overall, it was paced fairly well. I did think there was some fluff added to extend it out, though. It was like they had a good seventy-five minutes or so of episode (commercials included, of course) and instead of cutting it down to an hour, they expanded it. Not a bad decision, but still noticeable.

The Bottom Line

It's pretty good. If the acting/writing levels out, I think "The Sarah Jane Adventures" will evolve into a gateway drug to "Doctor Who" - it has the same feel, just on a younger, toned down level.

Don't forget. The really annoying (read super whiny) kid does not make it into the proper series and is replaced with another kid.

This 90 minute one was aired on January 1st, and was what could be called a "Back door pilot". The remaining 10 episodes did not air for quite a long time after that.

It was nice to see Pierce Brosnan's Moneypenny in something else other than a 007 flick.

-- Posted by: Joe Siegler at April 14, 2008 12:01 PM