Thursday, 13 May 2010

The Sarah Jane Adventures: Warriors of Kudlak

Part One

“I’m not a conspiracy theorist!”

Hmm. There’s no denying this is a great concept for a story, in theory; a Laserquest type establishment recruiting kids for an intergalactic war seems to be exactly the sort of idea for this programme. But the execution doesn’t quite work in spite of a great central concept and plot from newcomer Phil Gladwin (Who he? I don’t know anything about him. This is the first time in the Marathon that I didn’t recognise a scriptwriter’s name, which tells you what a fanboy I am…).

There are some nice touches, admittedly; some good character stuff with Encyclopaedia Clydannica explaining life to Luke and a bit of coolness with Sarah Jane’s Pertwee-esque machine. Best of all is the receptionist. But the dialogue feels uninspired and the whole thing feels a little slow.

Part Two

“I am not programmed for peace.”

Great twist at the end; the war ended ten years ago but the computer is unable to accept this. But this episode feels very slow, and I’m rather troubled by the fact Sarah Jane seems to deliberately take Maria with her to the ship, putting a child in extreme danger. And there’s something Scooby-Doo about the ending.

I don’t want to exaggerate; this is far from awful, and the central concept is great, as is the final twist. But it feels as though there’s a little of the “that’ll do, it’s only for kids” attitude about the dialogue and some of the guest performances, a worrying first. 2/5.

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