The episode was notable for the introduction of the character Clyde Langer, as well as the reintroduction of the Slitheen family, 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.
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!
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. Jeffery turns around and screams in terror.
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 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 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 a company secretary, Janine, 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 Kist Magg Thek Lutiven-Day 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.
Maria, Clyde and Luke escape their respective pursuers but are chased around the building. Sarah Jane 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 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 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 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 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 Jane 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 Jane believes him dead and feels somewhat regretful as he was a child. 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.
- Sarah Jane Smith - Elisabeth Sladen
- Maria Jackson - Yasmin Paige
- Luke Smith - Tommy Knight
- Clyde Langer - Daniel Anthony
- Mr Smith - Alexander Armstrong
- Alan Jackson - Joseph Millson
- Chrissie Jackson - Juliet Cowan
- Greg Blakeman - Martyn Ellis
- Tim Jeffery - Ian Midlane
- Wendy - Pamela Merrick
- Janine - Imogen Bain
- Carl - Anton Thompson McCormick
- Trinity Wells - Lachele Carl
- Carl Slitheen - Jimmy Vee
- Jeffery/Blakeman/Janine Slitheen - Paul Kasey
Created by Russell T Davies
|Executive Producers Russell T Davies, Julie Gardner and Phil Collinson|
|General production staff
Camera and lighting 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.|
- Luke and Clyde are Form 10B.
- Clyde mentions High School Musical.
- Clyde's deoderent is called Wolverine.
- Glune Fex Fize Sharlaveer-Slam Slitheen mentions Jamie Oliver.
- Kist Magg Thek Lutiven-Day Slitheen and Luke talk about Faraday.
- Coldfire Construction has set up schools in several cities.
- The reactor in Peking is causing a massive loss of power.
- Sarah calls UNIT to handle the other Coldfire and Slitheen sites, sending her "love to the Brig."
- The Grand Council is mentioned by the Slitheen.
- The Ealing Echo is an Ealing newspaper.
- One of the Slitheen says, "For the love of Clom".
- Chrissie mentions Zombies.
- The Judoon investigate Slitheen activities on Earth.
- The Slitheen mention the Hostrozeen family.
- According to the Slitheen, the Baaraddelskelliumfatrexius beasts are extinct.
- 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.
Part One aired on BBC One, whilst Part Two aired on CBBC.
- 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
- 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".
- This is the second time Sarah Jane has investigated schools with alien teachers. Sarah Jane refers to this fact, sarcastically saying it would be ridiculous for there to be something unusual in a school. In both cases, the leader of the alien group takes on the role of the school's headmaster. (TV: School Reunion)
- Kist Magg Thek Lutiven-Day Slitheen said that Glune Fex Fize Sharlaveer-Slam Slitheen had bought the plans for the machine from a Wallarian. (TV: Carnival of Monsters)
- The Blathereen family are mentioned as a rival family to the Slitheen. (PROSE: The Monster Inside)
- Sarah Jane recalls the phrase "Slitheen in Downing Street", which is a direct quote from Rose Tyler; Sarah Jane mentions that it was "something a friend said". (TV: School Reunion)
- Mr Smith has data on Abaddon. (TV: End of Days)
- The Slitheen are seeking revenge for loss of family members that "never came back" from a "standard job" on Earth. (TV: World War Three)
- Sarah Jane laments the apparent death of the Slitheen child. Previously, she told the Fourth Doctor that he could not kill a baby who would grow up to cause many deaths. (PROSE: Categorical Imperative)
- Chrissie recalls the Bubble Shock! factory blowing up. (TV: Invasion of the Bane)
- Sarah Jane tells Clyde of how she met the Doctor. (TV: The Time Warrior)
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).
- The Discontinuity Guide to: Revenge of the Slitheen at The Whoniverse
- Revenge of the Slitheen at Shannon Sullivan's A Brief History of Time (Travel)
- Revenge of the Slitheen at The Locations Guide