This story in a nutshell: 'What happened to the children?'
Until Next Time...Miss Smith: Sarah's fear of clowns comes across as perfectly natural to me because it is one I share. Despite her apprehension, she faces up to her phobia and tries to laugh at it. It is only when she confronts it that she can really move on, like all fears. She is keen to stress to Rani that they don't just fight aliens but help out the ones who are in trouble too. Sarah admits that if she could turn back time she wouldn't have Luke or Clyde involved with alien skirmishes. It is a messy business. I really appreciated the flashbacks to Sarah Jane as a child hiding beneath the covers of the marionette hanging on the door. Like Whatever Happened to Sarah Jane? it feels like the writers are opening up new avenues and telling us more about a character that I thought I already knew back to front and inside out. And with the mention of losing her parents it looks like there is more to come. The writers aren't afraid to show the vulnerable side to this character and that makes her far more convincing a lead as a result. One fear that is even greater than clowns is the thought of losing Luke. Odd Bob preys on that at the climax.
Sparkling Dialogue: 'What encyclopaedia did you find that in?' 'Heat.'
'The fear of the painted smile...'
'If you really want me to count them all I'd pull up a chair, it has been over 700 years.'
'Can you imagine a bogeyman who brings children back from Never-Ever Land?'
The Shallow Bit: Mohindra is gorgeous, no doubt about that. And she only gets more beautiful as she gets older.
Standout Scene: The gorgeous moment when Sarah and Rani stand on Bannerman Road at night and discuss the wonders of the universe. It should be unbearably twee but the tone is judged perfectly and it drives home the excitement of being let into Sarah Jane's world. I also got the early signs of the treasurable relationship between Sarah and Rani.