Sarah Jane Adventures, The: The Complete Second Season (DVD)
The charming Sarah Jane Adventures
continues to provide fun and entertaining children's television while remaining true to its roots in the venerable British science-fiction series Doctor Who
. Elisabeth Sladen, who remains among the Doctor's best-loved companions (she accompanied Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker on their interstellar jaunts from 1973 to 1976), is again front and center for this program, which takes place entirely on Earth. That doesn't mean it's safe from alien invasions, as the 2008 second season illustrates: menaces from Sarah Jane's past (a warlike Sontaran, whom she first encountered in the 1973 Doctor Who
serial "The Time Warrior," is on the loose in "The Last Sontaran") as well as newer foes (the Lovecraftian Bane return in "Enemy of the Bane," along with a nice supporting turn by Nicholas Courtney, who reprises his Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart) present challenges to the intrepid journalist and her teenage companions. The six two-part episodes that comprise season 2 deliver both the breezy cheek and the imaginative sci-fi that producer Russell T. Davies has brought to the revamped Doctor
and its more grownup spinoff, Torchwood
, and if the plots and action here are somewhat milder than those of the Doctor or Captain Jack Harkness, fans of both should be pleased that they can get an equal level of enjoyment from a show that they can also watch with younger viewers.
The three-disc set has an agreeable amount of extras, though many, like episode synopses for both seasons and character profiles, are text-based and therefore a bit underwhelming. More interesting are interviews with the cast and behind-the-scenes footage, most taken from UK kids' series like Blue Peter. There's also an enjoyable quiz section that yields an amusing comic clip. --Paul Gaita