Sunday, June 23, 2013

DVD Review: “The Sarah Jane Adventures – Season 3”

The DVD boxed set of The Sarah Jane Adventures Season 3 was really enjoyable to watch. While it only contained one special feature – an excerpt from the SJA audio book “The White Wolf” – It was the strength of the six two-part episodes that most impressed me from this season. Together they were equal parts humor, drama, and suspense, combined with a little art history (Mona Lisa’s Revenge), and further enhanced by the appearance of a certain Time Lord from Gallifrey (The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith) and one evil incarnation of Sarah Jane (Prisoner of the Judoon) for added excitement.

My favorite episode: 
It was a tie between The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith and The Mad Woman in the Attic – but if I’m honest, the only reason I liked The Mad Woman in the Attic was because it featured a guest appearance by Elisabeth Sladen’s real-life husband, Brian Miller (it was so cute seeing them together!). The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith really wins out because not only does it touch on Sarah Jane dealing with romance for the first time, viewers also get treated to an action-packed guest appearance by the Doctor (David Tennant) himself!

My favorite scene:  
There are actually a few of them after the Doctor first shows up in The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith. At the beginning of episode 2 both the Doctor and the Trickster have just shown up, all of the wedding guests except the kids – and K9 – have disappeared, and the Doctor is trying to assess the situation while the kids are struggling to figure out what’s going on and who this man in the suit and red trainers is…

Rani:    “It’s you, isn’t it?”
Doctor: “It’s me.”
Rani:    “The Doctor…”
Luke:   “That’s him.”
Clyde:  “I hope you’re as good as Sarah Jane says you are.”
Doctor: “Well, you know journalists, always exaggerating. But yeah – I’m pretty amazing on a good day.”

Other Items of Note
There are a few cool things about this season that I discovered! Check it out:

This season marks the third (and final) appearance of the Trickster during the episode The Wedding of  Sarah Jane Smith. He is the only villain who has appeared in one episode of every single season of The Sarah Jane Adventures thus far (preceded by Whatever Happened to Sarah Jane Smith? from Season 1 and The Temptation of Sarah Jane Smith from Season 2). This episode, however, is the only time we see him wearing white in addition to his usual black attire.

I also stumbled upon a unique musical connection to one of my favorite scary movies – Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 film adaptation of Stephen King’s novel The Shining – during both The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith and The Eternity Trap. Incidental music from The Shining – played in the film during the scene where Danny Torrance is playing with his cars on the carpet in front of Room 237 – is heard on two occasions during part one of The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith – first during the scene right after Rani, Clyde and Luke have peeked into the window of the diner and saw Sarah Jane and Peter kiss; the second occurrence comes during the wedding ceremony when the registrar is speaking, right before the Doctor first appears. During part one of The Eternity Trap the same piece of incidental music can be heard during the scene where Rani and Clyde explore the shed on the property of Ashen Hill Manor – and when Rani discovers the wet footprints on the concrete, the song Midnight, the Stars and You is also played, which was featured in the final scene of The Shining as the camera focuses on the photograph of the 1921 July Fourth Ball.

Last but not least, there is a subtle nod (or maybe it’s just me over thinking things) to the Doctor and Sarah’s touching goodbye scene in the 1976 Doctor Who episode The Hand of Fear during the end of The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith when the Doctor and Sarah are alone in the TARDIS.

Favorite quote:

Mr. Smith: “This is highly irregular behavior.”
K9: “Do not exceed your function, Mr. Smith. Your opinion has not been asked for.”

My rating: 5 stars (out of 5)

The Sarah Jane Adventures Season 3 is available on Amazon as boxed set and on instant video.

1 comment:

  1. sounds really cool. i will have to check this out. great review!!...b