New to Doctor Who or returning after a break? Check out our guides designed to help you find your way!



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.

The episode was notable for the introduction of the character Clyde Langer and the reintroduction of the Slitheen family, who had previously appeared in the Doctor Who stories Aliens of London [+]Russell T Davies, Doctor Who series 1 (BBC One, 2005)./World War Three [+]Russell T Davies, Doctor Who series 1 (BBC One, 2005). and Boom Town [+]Russell T Davies, Doctor Who series 1 (BBC One, 2005)., and would be prominently featured in future SJA serials.


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!


Part 1[]

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, Greg Blakeman, and asked to stand against a wall, which opens behind him to reveal a big green arm with long claws. Jeffery turns around and screams in terror, as the claw strikes him down.

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. 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 suddenly turned mouldy and rotten. 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 Jane 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 Jane goes inside to do some research about Coldfire whilst Luke unhappily recounts all the social mistakes he made that day. Sarah Jane 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 Jane'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 Jane 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 Jane 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 Jane 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 Jane if she can feel it, like "a thunderstorm's coming". Unbeknownst to them, they are being watched by a woman via CCTV camera.

At school, Luke further distances himself socially with his advanced intelligence, which mystifies Jeffery. Clyde is caught with a cold chip sandwich that he made for his lunch (as an alternative to the rotting food in the canteen), which Jeffery 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 Jane 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 Janine, the company secretary, who dismisses her questions and advises her to leave in a way that is implicitly threatening. When Sarah Jane refuses, Janine unzips her forehead to reveal that she is a Slitheen. The Slitheen chases Sarah Jane and traps her in a corner.

Luke and Maria head into the new block, followed by Clyde who is now very suspicious of them. Maria is detected by Jeffery in a classroom and watches in horror as he unzips himself to reveal himself as a Slitheen, who promptly chases her. She runs into Clyde and they both flee, whilst Luke discovers the secret room and is greeted coldly by Blakeman, who anticipated his discovery of the room.

Maria and Clyde are eventually saved by Carl, the school genius. After locking the door behind them, Carl unzips his skin suit to reveal that he is a child Slitheen, and declares that he is going to hunt them.

Part 2[]

Maria, Clyde and Luke escape their respective pursuers but are chased around the building. Sarah Jane manages to escape Janine 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 the kids reach the front doors as Sarah Jane arrives, releasing them and sealing the Slitheen inside. Sarah Jane is not happy to find Clyde with them, another person who knows and another life to worry about. The Slitheen are puzzled by Sarah Jane'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 Earth of its energy 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 Jane 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 Jeffery's fearful reaction to his sandwich, which had salt and vinegar in it, and deduces that vinegar, acetic acid is their weakness. Armed with spray bottles of 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 unzips his skin suit to deal with them personally. Clyde and Maria hold the Slitheen 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. Eventually 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 Jane tosses him the sonic lipstick and he uses it to cause the machine to malfunction. The other Slitheen escape, but Janine is killed by the electrical discharge and Jeffrey's Slitheen, Kist, is killed as well; though seemingly his son, Korst, escapes. Sarah Jane believes him dead and feels somewhat regretful as he was a child at 12. With the crisis over, Sarah Jane 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.



General production staff

Script department

Camera and lighting department

Art department

Costume department

Make-up and prosthetics


General post-production staff

Special and visual effects


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.







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


Story notes[]

  • 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.
  • 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, as it was believed the show could benefit from a second male protagonist.[1]
  • Different effects were used when Kist and Korst died, this would be a hint that Korst did not in fact die.


  • Part 1 - 1.4 million viewers, with an AI score of 79. (DWMSE 23)
  • Part 2 - 1.1m viewers (DWMSE 23)

Part One aired on BBC One, whilst Part Two aired on CBBC.

Filming locations[]

  • 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[]

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.
  • In the initial shot of Tim Jeffery's skin suit flopping to the floor, the Slitheen that should be inside the suit is nowhere to be seen.
  • During a top-down shot of Kist Magg Thek Lutiven-Day Slitheen chasing Maria and Clyde, the head of the actor playing the Slitheen is visible.
  • 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.
  • On Mr Smith's map of London boroughs, Lambeth is misspelt as "Lamberth".


Home video releases[]

  • This was due to be released on a vanilla DVD along with Eye of the Gorgon on 17 March 2008, but that release was cancelled. It was instead first featured in the series one box set, which was released in North America on 7 October 2008 and released in the UK on 10 November 2008.
  • It was also released in the Complete Collection Series 1-5 boxset release (Region 2 release: 6th February 2012).

External links[]



  1. No on screen date is given for the first two series of The Sarah Jane Adventures, outside of The Day of the Clown from the second series being set shortly after 9 October in an undisclosed year. While Donna Noble's present from the fourth series of Doctor Who is set around the same time as the first series of The Sarah Jane Adventures, and The Temptation of Sarah Jane Smith from the second series of The Sarah Jane Adventures is explicitly described as being set a year after Whatever Happened to Sarah Jane? from the first series, Doctor Who's fourth series is not consistently dated, with TV: The Fires of Pompeii [+]James Moran, Doctor Who series 4 (BBC One, 2008)., TV: The Waters of Mars [+]Russell T Davies and Phil Ford, Doctor Who Autumn Special 2009 (BBC One, 2009)., and AUDIO: SOS setting the present of the 13 regular episodes in 2008 (heavily implied by TV: The Star Beast [+]Russell T Davies, adapted from Doctor Who and the Star Beast (Pat Mills and John Wagner), Doctor Who 2023 specials (BBC One, 2023). and TV: The Giggle [+]Russell T Davies, Doctor Who 2023 specials (BBC One and Disney+, 2023). as well), and PROSE: Beautiful Chaos setting them in about April to June 2009.