Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Overall, it's been a promising series.

I think The Sarah Jane Adventures really wants to regain the hipness of its first season, but has become too much of a performance piece. The central character in that first series was arguably Maria, and the relationship that she had with her mum and dad was highly believable.

These days however, Maria has been replaced by the sparkier Rani, who has sitcom parents. There's nothing wrong with that - actors Ace Bhatti and Mina Anwar make a great double act - but I do think the overall show misses that grounding in the real world.

When every edition now starts off with Clyde talking to camera and introducing clips from upcoming episodes, well you do lose that a bit. I am impressed that they didn't misuse this sequence to give-away the Doctor's return. Speaking of which… this season the Doctor returned!

The stories this year have been weaker than in the first series too, but acceptable because they have also been nowhere near as poor as in series two. At least this time they have generally been workable again, although that may be because so many of them have followed the same formula - zombies, and a machine that conveniently undoes everything at the end.

Stepping-up the rate of broadcast to two episodes a week didn't help to disguise this repetition either.

It's a shame that Maria hasn't made it back for her mum's wedding yet, but maybe a fourth series will grant us her long-awaited meeting with Rani?

And I must mention the music. About 80% of it must go. It's like listening to shortwave radio and getting interference from another station.

Of course, what I'd really like to see is an episode written by Steven Moffat. The dialogue in SJA tends to feel quite awkward at times, but his sparkling banter might just be able to make it all flow like in his old filmic series Press Gang.

Not that that will be any good if we can't hear it.

Stories this season:

Comic Relief Special
Prisoner Of The Judoon
The Mad Woman In The Attic
The Wedding Of Sarah Jane Smith
The Eternity Trap
Mona Lisa's Revenge
The Gift

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