The Sarah Jane Adventures: Invasion of the Bane
I'm out of my depth here. On a recent trip to a bookshop I wandered into the Erotic Fiction section. I would normally defend that statement so you, dear reader, don't get the wrong impression. But it was only a section, and not a whole store. Honest. Casually, I thought about relocating their entire stock of Torchwood novels to these few brave (and groaning) shelves. But thought better of it. The Teen Fiction section holds similar dread. I can't win. If my continual internal monologue has already branded me a pervert for daring to skirt the mucky book section then the same applies for thinking about going anywhere near younger fiction.
And here we get to the crux of the problem: why is it a feel like some grotty old nonce hanging around a playground in a dirty mac? I'm only watching a kids TV show. That's all. And it's for research. Yes, research. But I'm angry. So very angry. We "adults" get Torchwood, where as the kids get this. What terrible thing did we do that resulted in us being smote in this way? This is fantastic. Somewhat derivative and obvious but fantastic nevertheless. I wonder if the writers have received that angry writ from lifelong dude and original party worm, Slurms MacKenzie? He might have been too busy indulging in par-tay to realise that Bubble Shock was basically a different coloured Slurm.
You see that? That's subtle. The font face. It looks just like one you might find, for example, that a traditional typewriter possibly used by a journalist of some description. This isn't the sort of visual imagery that accompanied SJ's previous spin off attempt. Anyone watching that title sequence had a complementary visit from a burly gentleman with a sledge hammer to ram home the message. But this? This gets it over and done with through the medium of typography.
But who's who? Well, there's a sex fuelled ex-wife who looks like TV's Lowri Turner spliced with the genetic material of a jelly baby. A dad straight from the pages of "Hot, Vulnerable Single Parents Monthly". Their daughter, a surprisingly non-screwed up kid who likes tea. Strike that, she like tea, how screwed up is that? A stereotype called Kelsey who's a street smart teen who's down with the scags in the hood, or summat. Her ability to mangle the Queen's English shall no doubt lead to calls of "Kelsey! Grammar". Then there's a young Martin Fowler from 'Enders and some mad old bat.
Looks like old SJ's got more alien tech than the Cardiff 5 have had sexually transmitted diseases. But the main question went unanswered. Forget the brief cameo from K9, what happened to that car? How many more years did it last before rusting into the sunset? All told a very promising start which contained 100% more tentacled alienness than SJ's previous spin off attempt and did in one hour what Torchwood has failed to do in over 10 hours: be entertaining.
The Sarah Jane Adventures Book of Made Up Facts has this to say about Invasion of the Bane: The screeching noise emitted by the Bane was achieved by using a super-compressed version of the theme tune to K9 and Company and pitch shifted to make it more palatable.