The Sarah Jane Adventures (2007-2011) is a spin-off of the BBC sci-fi TV series Doctor Who. Unlike Torchwood, the other spin-off, The Sarah Jane Adventures is focused on a younger audience. The series, created by Russell T. Davies, focuses on the adventures of Sarah Jane Smith, a middle-aged investigative journalist who, in her youth, had numerous adventures across time and space.
In 2006, Children’s BBC expressed an interest in producing ‘a drama based on the idea of a young Doctor Who’, but Russell T. Davies suggested instead a series based on the Doctor’s former companion Sarah Jane Smith. Actress Elisabeth Sladen previously played Sarah Jane between 1973 and 1976. In 1981, she was offered the role again to ease the transition between the Fourth and Fifth Doctors, which she declined, but agreed to star in the pilot for the spin-off series K-9 and Company, which brought her together with K-9, another popular character. After her appearance in The Five Doctors in 1983, she temporarily stopped acting in order to raise her family, but she returned to Doctor Who in School Reunion, a Tenth Doctor episode. Elisabeth Sladen and Tommy Knight have also appeared as Sarah Jane and Luke Smith in the series 4 finale, The Stolen Earth/Journey’s End, and with David Tennant in The End of Time.
Elisabeth Sladen died of cancer on 19 April 2011. The 5th season of The Sarah Jane Adventures (originally comprising 12 episodes) was commissioned for a late 2011 broadcast, but due to Elisabeth Sladen’s unexpected death in April 2011, the latter half never reached production, officially ending the series, after the third story The Man Who Never Was.
Season 1 of the Sarah Jane Adventures begins with the episode Invasion of the Bane. This episode focuses upon a young girl named Maria Jackson (played by Yasmin Paige), discovering the existence of aliens. After discovering that the Bane, creators of a soft drink called Bubble Shock, harbour a destructive secret, she teams up with investigative journalist Sarah Jane Smith to prevent their plans.
The Complete Sarah Jane Adventures DVD Box Set Region 2 PAL £31.50 English subtitles is available on Amazon.co.uk.
The Sarah Jane Adventures promo photos galleries on DVDBASH (330 pictures, 168Mb), starring Elisabeth Sladen, Daniel Anthony, Alexander Armstrong, Tommy Knight, Anjli Mohindra, Ace Bhatti, Yasmin Paige, Paul Kasey, Mina Anwar, Joseph Millson, Juliet Cowan, David Tennant and Matt Smith: