Where Have All the People Gone?
I am most certainly a child of the 70's. I was born in 1968, but all of my early pop culture memories come from the 70's. One of the first "scary" TV movies I ever remember seeing was 1974's Where Have All the People Gone, in which most of humanity disappears suddenly and a small group of survivors has to try to figure out what happened and how carry on. I actually remember very little about it from a plot standpoint, but it left a deep emotional impression on me as a child. So I have to say, today's SJA story really brought back those memories in force.
The Empty Planet - Parts 1 & 2
(TARDIS Data Core recap)
This story is very much The Clyde and Rani Show. Aside from a brief opening scene, and two short closing scenes, the entire story boils down to Clyde and Rani waking up one morning to discover that all of humanity has just up and disappeared. In the 51 minutes of running time, Sarah Jane appears for less than 4 minutes and has no involvement in the resolution of the story. The only other human to appear is a mysterious young boy named Gavin, and then there are two robots that show up as the main adversaries. The vast majority of the running time is just our two leads working together to figure out what happened, and how to bring back all the people.
That being the case, it is also the first story that really hints at a deeper romantic relationship that is growing between the two of them. There have been quick touches here and there before, but this is the one that really lets them explore their relationship in depth.
Ultimately, it turns out that the two robots used a warp shunt to safely remove all the humans, in order to search for the heir to the throne for their world's empire (who of course turns out to be Gavin). The reason Clyde and Rani were left behind is that they were both confined to Earth by the Judoon, and nobody wants to get on the bad side of the Space Rhinoceros Cops.
I liked this story quite a lot. It is unique in how few characters there are, and for being a Sarah Jane Lite story. It is also very well done in terms of cinematography, and in really selling the terror of a silent and abandoned Earth. As much as I maligned Rani early on as being NotMaria, she has really come into her own now as a character. As for Clyde, he is really starting to show hidden depths. One wonders where these two characters could have gone, had the show not ended prematurely due to Elisabeth Sladen's tragic death.
Oh, and hey, related to my workout: this morning I did 215 sit-ups. My goal had been to reach the point of being able to do 200 sit-ups every other day (alternating with 100 push-ups on the opposite days), and now I have achieved that goal. My weight even dropped more than two pounds from yesterday. Hopefully I can keep that trend turning. It would be really nice if I could finish 2018 back under 260 lbs again.
Featuring: Sarah Jane Smith, Clyde Langer, Rani Chandra
Episode(s): The Empty Planet - Parts 1 & 2
Steps Walked: 7,319 today, 4,186,776 total
Distance Walked: 3.66 miles today, 2,191.87 miles total
Push-ups Completed: 0 today, 9,300 total
Sit-ups Completed: 215 today, 2,465 total
Weight: 262.74 lbs (five day moving average), net change -44.56 lbs