Investigative reporter Sarah Jane Smith is running scared.
Living under false names, she has few friends and even fewer
clues as to those who have destroyed her reputation. Will
she find answers in the village of Cloots Coombe...?
Bernice Summerfield was not the first Doctor Who companion
to get her own series. Years earlier, Sarah Jane Smith took
the lead (excuse the pun) in the pilot episode of K-9 and
Company. A TV series never materialised, but nevertheless
Sarah and K-9 have since appeared in a number of short stories.
Now Big Finish has taken the popular character a stage further,
by giving Ms Smith her own series of adventures on CD.
course, Elisabeth Sladen is no stranger to audio drama, having
played Sarah on vinyl in Doctor Who and the Pescatons
and on the radio in Exploration: Earth, The Paradise of
Death and The Ghosts of N-Space. She also played
Lady Ninan in Big Finish's Professor Bernice Summerfield:
Walking to Babylon. Sladen exercises her emotional range
further here than she ever got the opportunity to do in Who
on television - the drama opens with a moving display of grief
on her part.
however, is conspicuous by his absence. In fact, he is never
even mentioned, which is something of an oversight. I doubt
Elisabeth Sladen will miss him too much, though - in a recent
interview for MJTV's The Actor Speaks series, she said
that Sarah should have palmed the metal mutt off on to Brendan!
Perhaps that's exactly what Sarah did, because we learn that
Brendan is also out of the picture, currently residing in
San Francisco. Instead, Sarah is backed-up by a new ensemble
of characters, which include the appealingly sarcastic Josh
Townsend (Jeremy James) and a sinister bunch of corporate
a lot of back-story to establish in this introductory tale.
Writer Terrance Dicks gradually (perhaps a little too gradually)
explains why Sarah became a recluse and how she survives such
an existence. The establishing of such details comes at the
expense of the story being able to distinguish itself in its
own right. No sooner has the plot started to make sense than
it has come to an abrupt end.
this is not as impressive a debut as Big Finish's Bernice
series enjoyed, but it does show promise for future development.