One fat geek's SUCCESSFUL attempt to regenerate into a not-so-fat geek by watching the entirety of Doctor Who while walking on a treadmill

All right, everyone's an alien. You, me, the Pope, James Blunt. Actually, I can believe that one.

Nov 21 2018
All right, everyone's an alien. You, me, the Pope, James Blunt. Actually, I can believe that one.

It's the day before Thanksgiving, and I can tell you one thing for which I am truly thankful: After two months of grimdark Torchwood viewing, as of today I have moved on to the (admittedly childish by design but) extremely cheerful and optimistic The Sarah Jane Adventures. Hurrah!

Invasion of the Bane

(TARDIS Data Core recap)

One of the most delightful things to happen early on in the Tenth Doctor's era was the return of Elisabeth Sladen as Sarah Jane Smith in School Reunion. An attempt had been made thirty five years earlier to give Sarah Jane her own spinoff, which resulted in the disastrous K9 and Company, but along with the revived NuWho era Sarah Jane finally got her due. At sixty years old Ms Sladen was still just as charming and engaging on screen as she ever was back in the 70's. And so, while Torchwood was spun off to target a more adult audience than Doctor Who so then was The Sarah Jane Adventures spun off to specifically target younger "tween" viewers.

This first episode aired on New Year's Day of 2007, and it perfectly tees up the new series. Sarah Jane is still living on Bannerman Road, revived back into action from her recent run-in with the Doctor, and she gets a new neighbor across the street in the form of thirteen-year-old Maria Jackson (along with her recently-divorced dad Alan, and her frequently-visiting and deliberately-annoying mom Chrissie). Maria is promptly whisked off to a free tour of a local soda pop factory, invited along by completely grating young girl who thankfully only appears in this episode. Of course, strange things are afoot at the Bubble Shock factory, and soon enough Sarah Jane is swept along into the action.

I am reasonably confident that the Bubble Shock beverage is modeled after the Scottish drink Irn Bru, which I first encountered on a trip to the U.K. with my wife a few years ago. A tour guide described it as containing "absolutely no natural ingredients, up to and including water." It is, as they say, an acquired taste.

They have to put it against a natural background, otherwise it will corrode your eyes just looking at it.

In the case of Bubble Shock, each bottle contains actual genetic material from an alien Bane MotherSquidThing. The evil plan is to get everyone in the world to drink it, and then turn them into zombies. Or something. The factory is run by the MotherSquidThing's children, and they give away free factory tours both to entice more youngsters to drink their evil brew and also to copy their knowledge and memories and feed them into a vat-grown human archetype who is physically a twelve-year-old boy. 

In the end, of course, Sarah Jane defeats the Ban whilst befriending Maria and adopting the boy (whom she names Luke). Along the way, K9 gets a brief cameo that neatly writes him out of the show because the intellectual property owners of the character wanted to spin him off into his own series in Australia. Which I will get to in a month or so.

I love this story so much. Yes, it is childish. But it is also colorful, optimistic, and just absolutely everything that Torchwood isn't. Most importantly, it gives us more time with Sarah Jane. That alone is worthwhile. As an added bonus, Yasmin Paige is wonderful as Maria. It is a shame she is only around for nine stories, I am not at all surprised to see that she went on to costar in a film with Emma Watson, and I hope to see her around more in the future.

Oh, one other thing to mention. Along the way there is an offhand reference made to James Blunt possibly being an alien. I had never really listened to him before, until a couple of weeks ago when my wife showed me this clip of him on The Graham Norton Show. Based entirely on that, I gave his new album a listen and I kind of like it. Dude's pretty funny.


Featuring: Sarah Jane Smith, Luke Smith, Maria Jackson, Kelsey Hooper, K9
Episode(s): Invasion of the Bane
Steps Walked: 8,279 today, 4,029,321 total
Distance Walked: 4.50 miles today, 2,109.89 miles total
Push-ups Completed: 80 today, 8,376 total
Sit-ups Completed: 0 today, 1,280 total
Weight: 257.28 lbs (five day moving average), net change -50.02 lbs

Total: 0 Comment(s)


Currently Watching:

( Story )

 of episodes viewed

of stories viewed

Total Steps Taken:

Total Distance Walked:

Weight Progress:
Blue Line: 5-Day Moving Avg
Yellow Line: Daily Weight


Latest Posts

My Final Sweaty Thoughts about Doctor Who
6/7/2021 2:18 PM
Sweaty Thoughts about Whatever Happened to Sarah Jane?
5/26/2021 4:47 PM
Sweaty Thoughts about Warriors of Kudlak
5/25/2021 6:12 PM
Sweaty Thoughts about Eye of the Gorgon
5/24/2021 6:10 PM
Sweaty Thoughts about Revenge of the Slitheen
5/21/2021 5:14 PM
Sweaty Thoughts about The Last of the Time Lords
5/20/2021 4:46 PM
Sweaty Thoughts about The Sound of Drums
5/19/2021 6:27 PM
Sweaty Thoughts about Utopia
5/18/2021 5:00 PM
Sweaty Thoughts about Blink
5/17/2021 6:55 PM
Sweaty Thoughts about The Family of Blood
5/16/2021 5:00 PM

Recent Comments