Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

The opening seconds of this third series are riveting.

I don't normally like it when a series presents you with clips of upcoming episodes (spoils the surprise), but Clyde's opening monologue, bizarrely to camera, makes the whole thing quite exciting. And hey, K-9's there, I'm looking forward to seeing him again, I hope.

Not sure including the phrase "it's home to things way beyond your imagination" was too bright though. Not only are all scripts obviously the product of someone's imagination, but this opening story also recycles common elements from both previous series-openers.

Opening voice-over from leading character, check.

Guest race from the main Doctor Who series, check. (this time the titular Judoon - reckon they'll be back at the end too?)

And the perpetually-surprising appearance of zombies? As Clyde might remark to camera, "Always."

Still, not to give you the wrong impression, I do enjoy SJA. It may not be genius, but aside from Revenge Of The Slitheen, it has always been likable.

The tone throughout this opener is quite jolly too. Much comedy is found at the expense of the Judoon who our friends tag along with to track-down the possessed Sarah. Being a sort of intergalactic cop for hire, it commandeers a real police car and then insists that they pay and display when parking, in keeping with local by-laws.

The psychotic criminal it's hunting-down is quite camp, but in a disturbingly Rocky Horror sort of way. It's just a tad disquieting to find such a performance in a show featuring kids, and the actors (it takes people over remember) seem to be consciously trying to avoid going too far with their performances.

As we've come to expect of SJA though, the overall tone is one of light-hearted fun, such as when Rani's parents escape from security by just getting the keys out of the drawer.

Hopefully the rest of this series will restore some of the ground lost in the second.

Preferably without so many people actually being someone else this time.

Good luck, gang.

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