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The Nightmare Man, based upon the televised story of the same name, is the first novelisation of a story from Series 4 of The Sarah Jane Adventures. Along with Death of the Doctor, it was initially announced as a print release, but ultimately was issued in e-book format only.

Publisher's summary[]

Luke is scared about going to university...but something much more terrifying is threatening his very existence! A creepy Nightmare Man haunts his dreams and begins to take over his waking life, too — but he can't tell anyone. Will Sarah Jane and his friends figure out what's happening and make sure Luke doesn't disappear forever?


Part 1[]

The story starts with Luke recording a message - he is frightened that somebody is coming. The story then flashes back a year, to show Luke telling Sarah Jane that he is planning to go university a year early. It is then revealed that they are handcuffed to a bomb set by a Slitheen - however Clyde and Rani come in with K9. K9 deactivates the bomb, and Clyde throws vinegar at the Slitheen to kill it.

The story then goes back to four days before Luke goes to Oxford University, and shows him revealing that he got the right grades to get in. He starts planning his trip to Oxford. However, he starts having nightmares of his friends saying nasty things. First, Sarah Jane and K9 say how glad they will be to get rid of him, and then Rani and Clyde mock him for showing off by going a year early. Luke realises in the second one that it is not just a nightmare but something more - however, he is unable to say anything about it.

With two days to go, Clyde throws a going away party with some of his school friends. Luke has a third nightmare there - finally seeing the Nightmare Man of the title, who tells Luke that he is unable to tell anyone else about him - and sure enough, when Rani asks him, he is unable to say the name of the person. He then tries to tell his former friend Maria via Facebook but falls asleep, and has another nightmare. The Nightmare Man shows him a vision of Sarah Jane, Clyde and Rani replacing him with someone else, and burning all his photos. He tells Luke that he feeds off nightmares, and that one more will allow him to come into his world. On his last night, Clyde and Rani stay over and he tries to keep them awake - however as he starts to feel tired, he realises that he cannot stop the Nightmare Man, and records the message seen at the beginning. He then falls asleep - and sure enough, the Nightmare Man materialises in the room, where he adjusts to being real. The final shot of the first part is of Luke stuck in a completely black place shouting for help.

Part 2[]

The story continues with the Nightmare Man sneaking about in the attic with Luke fast asleep. As Sarah Jane walks into the attic the Nightmare Man disappears. He sneaks into the rooms in which Clyde and Rani are sleeping and changes their dreams into nightmares. Meanwhile, Sarah Jane finds the video camera that Luke recorded his message with and begins watching the recording. In Rani's dream, a news reporter for BBC News starts talking to Rani through the television and eventually pulls Rani into the television. Back in the attic, when Sarah Jane sees the Nightmare Man materialising into the attic, she rushes to Luke trying to wake him to no success. She then calls for Mr Smith and K9. Meanwhile, in Luke's dream he sees a red door and runs through it to find himself in a long corridor full of red doors. In Clyde's dream, he is working at a burger shop and an older version of Sarah Jane comes through in a wheelchair claiming that he is a stupid boy and that he was never as good as Luke.

In the attic, Sarah Jane plans to use a piece of sentient concrete in order to talk to Luke in his dreams. Sarah Jane then remembers Clyde and Rani and rushes to find them both asleep as the Nightmare Man dematerialises out of the room. She tries to wake them, but they are in a deep sleep like Luke. Back in Rani's dream, she is now in the BBC News studio with the news reporter staring down at her. Rani then appears in a news reporter outfit. Rani asks what to say on the news report and then finds out she is going to be telling the world about Sarah Jane. In Luke's dream again, Luke keeps telling himself it isn't real over and over again while he can hear the Nightmare Man laughing menacingly. As he walks down the steps in Sarah Jane's house he walks outside and can hear Luke talking to him as Luke's mind is so strong and can talk across the dimensions. This means that the dream world is in a different dimension to the real world. Sarah Jane tells K9 to use the concrete to communicate with Luke, but cannot because K9 does not have enough power. Sarah Jane then plugs K9 into Mr Smith so that K9 is strong enough to talk to Luke in his dreams. K9 tells Luke that it is just a dream and that he needs to wake up but Luke claims he can't. In Rani's dream the news reporter asks Rani how many times she has nearly died because of Sarah Jane and in Clyde's dream Sarah Jane tells Clyde he was never as good as Luke. Clyde then realises that it's a dream and tries to get out but the door is locked. Back in the real world the Nightmare Man is wandering the streets and reaching into the dreams of all the people in the houses.

Back in Rani's dream, the news report is happening and she is struggling because Sarah Jane is her friend. Luke deduces that he, Clyde and Rani are in the same reality so he tries calling them. They both hear him. Luke describes where he is and tells them to imagine a red door and to walk through it. The doors appear but the news reporter and Sarah Jane try to tempt them into staying but don't succeed. Rani is first to come through and hear him, Clyde takes a little longer. At this point, they are all having the same dream. The Nightmare Man's powers stop and when Rani and Clyde shut their doors the Nightmare Man's head starts to ache so he appears in the attic and shouts, "bad dog!" and zaps K9 with energy from his hand, blasting him out of the way so K9 disappears from the dream reality. He then zaps Mr Smith and the computer's power turns off. The Nightmare Man gets excited when he is alone with Sarah Jane and talks about all the nightmares Sarah Jane has ever had including the ones when she thought The Doctor was dead. Sarah Jane tries to trick the Nightmare Man into putting her to sleep so she can be with the others but fails. The Nightmare Man's head starts to hurt again so he materialises into the dream reality. He opens Clyde and Rani's dream doors and is planning to separate them all by sending Clyde and Rani back into their nightmares for all eternity. The news reporter from Rani's dream and old Sarah Jane from Clyde's dream can again be heard. Luke gives an inspiring speech about himself, Clyde and Rani, saying they're a team and that no one can stop them. The Nightmare Man questions Luke and asks how they can stop a creature like him. Luke, Clyde and Rani all join hands and the Nightmare Man's head hurts again. The Nightmare Man then gets put into Clyde's nightmare and is trapped there having to listen to Sarah Jane talking about Luke for all eternity.

Sarah Jane is trying to repair K9 after the Nightmare Man zapped him. Luke, Clyde and Rani all wake up and Luke goes to check on Clyde and Rani. Sarah Jane says, "I will miss you," and K9 claims Luke will be back for Christmas, but Sarah Jane says she was not talking about Luke, but was talking about K9. The next morning, Rani and Luke are walking up to Luke's new car while Sarah Jane finishes polishing K9. K9 says his final goodbyes to Mr Smith, and Mr Smith says he will miss K9 after all. Luke says his final goodbyes to Sarah Jane, Clyde and Rani, and drives off with K9 to Oxford University as they wave him goodbye.




  • This is the first Sarah Jane Adventures novelisation to be released in e-book format only. It was initially announced as a print release, but later cancelled on 18 September 2010 in favour of e-book alongside the novelisation of Death of the Doctor. It was released for download in the United States[1] and the United Kingdom[2] on the Kindle on the 25 November 2010. It was also released for for the Kobo reader in Adobe DRM EPUB format in November 2010[3].
  • This is the first Sarah Jane Adventures novelisation to feature the 2010 version of the Doctor Who logo.

Deviations from the televised story[]

  • Luke is stated to have just finished the diet that he was on in the novelisation of The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith and packs three pairs of trousers that have stretchy waistbands to accommodate for the freshman fifteen, which he is anxious of gaining.
  • The story retains a line of dialogue originally written for the TV version but cut from broadcast that hints that Luke may be gay; the implication of this line was confirmed by Russell T Davies in a 2013 interview in which he revealed CBBC had asked for a gay character to be included in the series, and Davies decided to establish Luke and Sanjay as a romantic pairing. However, due to Elisabeth Sladen's unexpected death, the storyline did not come to fruition until 2020's Farewell, Sarah Jane.
  • The novelisation includes a second farewell party held at 13 Bannerman Road, attended by various friends Sarah Jane and Luke have met while fighting aliens.


External links[]


  1. Sarah Jane Adventures: Death of the Doctor: Death of the Doctor {Kindle Edition}. Amazon.com (2012). Retrieved on 15th January 2012.
  2. Sarah Jane Adventures: Death of the Doctor: Death of the Doctor {Kindle Edition}. Amazon.co.uk (2012). Retrieved on 15th January 2012.
  3. Sarah Jane Adventures: Death of the Doctor: Death of the Doctor. eBook - Kobo (2012). Retrieved on 15th January 2012.