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Revenge of the Slitheen was the first serial of series 1 of The Sarah Jane Adventures. It was written by Gareth Roberts and directed by Alice Troughton. It featured Elisabeth Sladen as Sarah Jane Smith, Yasmin Paige as Maria Jackson, Tommy Knight as Luke Smith, Daniel Anthony as Clyde Langer and Alexander Armstrong as Mr Smith.

It was comprised of the first two regular episodes of the series. The episode was notable for the introduction of the character Clyde, as well as the reintroduction of the Slitheen, who had previously appeared in the Doctor Who stories Aliens of London/World War Three and Boom Town and would be prominently featured in future SJA serials.

Synopsis Edit

First days at school are always difficult. For Maria Jackson and Luke Smith, the task of blending in is made all the more difficult when their teachers turn out to be aliens from outer space, back for revenge!

Plot Edit

Part 1 Edit

Maria and Luke begin their first day at Park Vale Comprehensive School, first day at a new school for Maria and first day at school period for Luke. Sarah Jane drops Luke off in her car and kisses him on the cheek, which gets laughter and funny looks off passing students. Luke asks why they were laughing and Maria explains that it looks odd for someone of his age being kissed goodbye by his mother. She notices a very flashy modern building that is brand new according to Luke and wonders what is inside it. An arriving teacher, Tim Jeffery, is brought inside it by the headmaster and asked to stand against a wall, which opens to reveal a big green arm with long claws that silences Jeffery's scream...........

Maria and Luke are at assembly and admit they are anxious. They are joined by another new student, Clyde Langer, who is seeking to make friends with 'cool' people but will settle for them until then. The headmaster, Greg Blakeman, begins the assembly with a huge fart which the students find amusing. Blakeman seems highly dismissive and disinterested in the assembly, but reveals that he will be leading the classes in tours of the new technology building, starting with Luke and Clyde's form. The new building is highly advanced with computer labs and broadband, but also has a peculiar smell like metal or batteries. Blakeman's continued farting and the amused reactions of the class confuses Luke, unaware of the social humour behind it, and Clyde is increasingly confused and irritated by his classmate's odd behaviour and lack of social awareness. This does not stop him from sitting with Maria at lunch, where they bond slightly as both of them are divorce children and are disgusted to find their food has gone mouldy. Clyde opines that something strange is going on in the school, which piques Maria's interest.

The school day ends and Blakeman and "Jeffery" initiate a test-run of their project, which is obviously alien technology, whilst Maria and Luke recount the day's events to their parents. Sarah notes with slight jealousy how Maria and her father easily interact before she and Alan talk about the school's new building. Alan mentions doing a job in another school with an identical building, built by Coldfire Construction like the Park Vale one, which also had an odd metallic smell about it. Sarah goes inside to do some research about Coldfire whilst Luke unhappily recounts all the social mistakes he made that day. Sarah tells him that both of them are in uncharted territory as she has never been a mother before but both will get through it. Maria's mother, Chrissie Jackson, barges in for a visit which is interrupted by a sudden power cut, caused by the Slitheen's machine. There are signs that this is no ordinary power cut; the candles Alan lights go out and Sarah's scanner watch is completely dead, despite the fact that it can't lose power. The machine begins to overload and the Slitheen shut it off; the stabiliser isn't working, but once it is, the Slitheen will destroy Earth.

After seeing Luke off to school the next day, Sarah goes over to the Jacksons and asks Alan about the school building he worked on. He shows her the plans, which have a strange anomaly in them; a blank space with no door. She heads to the school, St Cheldon's Comprehensive in the posh Upminster borough and speaks with the headmistress, Wendy. Wendy is clearly at her wit's end, informing Sarah that the school computers keep crashing despite having the wiring in the block entirely reinstalled and shows her an apple that was fresh only that morning but has gone off inexplicably. Sarah asks if this has been investigated and Wendy tells her that one parent who complained fell off his bike the next morning. Wendy asks Sarah if she can feel it, like "a thunderstorm's coming". Unbeknownst to them, someone is watching them via a CCTV camera......

At school, Luke further distances himself socially with his advanced intelligence, which mystifies Jefferey. Clyde is caught with a cold chip sandwich that he made for his lunch, which Jefferey is terrified by and throws away. He and Blakeman talk about Luke's intelligence and the possibility of using him to solve their problem. Luke unwittingly provides them with the exact calculation that they need, to the delight of the Slitheen.

Sarah calls Maria and asks her to have a look around their building while she heads to Coldfire Construction to investigate further. She is met by a company secretary, Janine, who dismisses her questions and advises her to leave in a way that is implicitly threatening. When Sarah refuses, Janine unzip her forehead.........

Luke and Maria head into the new block, followed by Clyde who is now very suspicious of them. Maria is detected by Jefferey in a classroom and watches in horror as he unzips himself to reveal Kist Magg Thek Lutiven-Day Slitheen, who chases her on a hunt. She runs into Clyde and they both flee whilst Luke discovers the secret room.

Maria and Clyde are saved by Carl, the school genius. Unfortunately, they are not as safe as they think; Carl unzips to reveal a child Slitheen, who attacks them......

Part 2 Edit

Maria, Clyde and Luke escape their respective pursuers but are chased around the building. Sarah is cornered by the Slitheen that was posing as Janine, Florm Rox Fey Fenerill-Slam Slitheen, but gets away by spraying her with perfume which the Slitheen's advanced sense of smell cannot take. She calls Luke and advises him to do the same; Clyde fends off the Slitheen with deodorant and they reach the front doors as Sarah arrives, releasing them and sealing the Slitheen inside. Sarah is not happy to find Clyde with them, another person who knows and another life to worry about. The Slitheen are puzzled by Sarah's use of a sonic lipstick, as Earth is a Level 5 planet and such technology should not be present there, but dismiss it as their machine is ready. Their plan is to drain the energy from the Earth and use it to fund a takeover of their homeworld, Raxacoricofallapatorius, from which they are exiles.

Clyde barges his way into the Bannerman Road gang's world but is of little help beyond a few remarks. Sarah calls out Mr Smith and they deduce the Slitheen plan. Using a network of machines stationed in school buildings all over the world in ten cities, the Slitheen will drain the planet of its energy. Luke realises that he provided the Slitheen with the information necessary to make it work and feels guilty. Mr Smith brings up a Trinity Wells news broadcast reporting a massive loss of power on the West Coast and they realise it's starting. Mr Smith explains that the capacitor machines act as transducers, converting heat and light into electrical energy which is why the candles went out. They also cause cellular decay in organic matter even when inactive, which accounts for the food going off. Luke comes up with a plan to render the machines inert with the sonic lipstick whilst Mr Smith researches the Slitheen's weaknesses, but the power loss hits them before he can, scuppering both plans.

With no recourse, the gang prepare to head back to the school to try something else. Clyde remembers Jefferey's fearful reaction to his sandwich, which had salt and vinegar in it, and deduces that vinegar is their weakness. Armed with vinegar, the gang's rush to school is interrupted by the final phase of the alien plan; to drain the sun itself. The Slitheen detect their intrusion and Blakeman goes to deal with them personally. Clyde and Maria hold him off but Clyde runs out and Maria is hesitant to deliver a lethal blow. Blakeman taunts her over this, but she throws the whole lot of vinegar on him in response, causing him to explode all over them. The other Slitheen feel this and teleport in to deal with the situation. The whole gang is captured and the Slitheen reveal that profit isn't their only motivation here; they intend to exact revenge for the failure of the Downing Street incident. Luke tells them that the machine won't be able to hold the sun's power and the Slitheen believe him, shutting it down so Luke can fix it and make it safe.

However, Luke takes his chance and when power is restored, Sarah tosses him the sonic lipstick and he uses it to cause the machine to malfunction. The other Slitheen escape, but Florm, Kist and Korst are trapped. The electrical discharge kills Florm and Kist, but Korst escapes; Sarah believes him dead and feels somewhat regretful as he was a child. With the crisis over, Sarah calls her friends at UNIT and tells them about the capacitors, which they will clear up. Clyde is made an official member of the gang and joins in their enterprise, ready to help defend the Earth.

Cast Edit

Crew Edit

General production staff

Script department

Camera and lighting department

Art department

Costume department

Make-up and prosthetics

Movement

General post-production staff

Special and visual effects

Sound



Not every person who worked on this adventure was credited. The absence of a credit for a position doesn't necessarily mean the job wasn't required. The information above is based solely on observations of the actual end credits of the episodes as broadcast, and does not relay information from IMDB or other sources.


References Edit

Individuals Edit

Locations Edit

Organisations Edit

Objects Edit

Planets Edit

  • One of the Slitheen says, "For the love of Clom".

Species Edit

Story notes Edit

  • The first episode aired on BBC 1 only. Part two was broadcast afterwards on the CBBC channel, and was shown on BBC 1 a week later.
  • Beginning with part one, The Sarah Jane Adventures adopted a format of twenty-five-minute episodes (following its sixty-minute pilot episode). This marked the first time a Doctor Who franchise series used the twenty-five-minute episode format since episode 3 of Survival concluded the original series in 1989.
  • Part one includes flashback footage from Invasion of the Bane.
  • The character of Maria's friend Kelsey Hooper, played by Porsha Lawrence-Mavour in Invasion of the Bane, was dropped for the series as it was felt there were too many female characters in the show, so Clyde was created instead.
  • The American newsreader Trinity Wells (aka Mal Loup), who appears in numerous Doctor Who episodes, makes her first SJA appearance.

Ratings Edit

  • Part 1 - 1.4m viewers
  • Part 2 - 1.1m viewers

Filming locations Edit

  • Clinton Road Penarth (Bannerman Road)
  • Whitchurch High School Cardiff, Robinswood Crescent, Penarth
  • Cardiff High School, Cardiff
  • Mamhilad Park Industrial Estate, Pontypool, Wales
  • Coleg Morgannwg, Parc Nantgarw, Caerphilly
  • Unit A5, Pontypridd
  • Coldfire Construction, Ffordd-Y-Gollen, Tonteg, Mid Glamorgan

Production errors Edit

If you'd like to talk about narrative problems with this story — like plot holes and things that seem to contradict other stories — please go to this episode's discontinuity discussion.
  • When the unmasked Jeffrey is chasing Maria and Clyde and he says the line, "Children, come to me", the shot of Jeffrey is Birdseye, revealing the actor's head rather than the Slitheen's.
  • When Mr Smith is showing them the American news channel, down the info bar at the bottom it reads, "the pacific ocean" instead of the "the Pacific Ocean".
  • When Clyde is squirting vinegar at Glune, he realises that he has no more vinegar in his squeezie. However, in the previous shot, a good quarter of the mixture is still visible.
  • The audio tracks containing lines of dialogue dubbed by the voice actors of the Slitheen are sometimes out of sync with the lip movements performed by the actors in the suits.

Continuity Edit

Home video releases Edit

External links Edit

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