Tuesday, October 22, 2013

"She's My Best Friend..."

I'll be honest, that I don't often log into this Blogger site anymore. However, our visitor stats remain quite healthy. So then, despite the lack of any recent update - thanks for reading, and welcome to the world of Sarah Jane Smith!

A quick statement with regards to SARAH-JANE.tv:

We're here out of our love for possibly the Doctor's best friend, Sarah Jane Smith.

It's a sad fact that the woman behind that particular character, the magnificent Elisabeth Sladen, is no longer with us.

Since Lis' death in 2011, and the end of The Sarah Jane Adventures, my love and respect for the woman and her series has continued. My nephew is now old enough that he is discovering the show for himself - and as he watches on DVD it's a constant cycle of story after story; rewatched many times over, no end in sight.

But of course, the show has ended - and there's very little new news to write about. In effect, the main purpose of this blog is no more.

It will continue to exist as an archive of news for the series, and there may well be the occasional update here and there - but for the most part, that's all folks.

In the meantime, all of Elisabeth Sladen's appearences on 'Classic' Doctor Who are now out on DVD (the last release, Terror of the Zygons, hit UK shops last month) and of course The Sarah Jane Adventures is also out in full on DVD/partially Blu-Ray.

Russell T Davies and Phil Ford's Wizards VS. Aliens (their successful post-SJA effort) continues on CBBC  - with season two now showing. A third season is likely.

Finally, for a bit of self-indulgence and publicity, check out updates of my own blog.

Thanks again for visiting, and thanks for everybody who's left a comment. A big round of internet-applause for the rest of the site's writing team who have contributed over the years; in particular my partner in crime Nabu San. We did it!

To mis-quote our favourite lady:

Don't forget us.

Oh, and life reading blogs can be an adventure, too. You just need to know where to look!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Are You Watching...?

CBBC has started airing its new drama series, by the team behind The Sarah Jane Adventures.

Wizards VS. Aliens is a children's fantasy created by Russell T Davies and Phil Ford. It centres around two teenage wizards, who must protect the planet after alien creatures arrive to consume its magic.

Commissioned following the death of Elisabeth Sladen, the series utilises much of the behind the scenes crew that worked on the SJA.

I've seen the first two episodes, and despite some minor issues, I think it has the potential to be a great addition to children's drama in Britain.

It's on Monday and Tuesdays on the CBBC Channel, at 5:15pm. I'd expect repeats to follow within the first 7 days of broadcast. Of course, if you're reading this beyond 2012, chances are that the series
is now on a constant repeat cycle on the channel (as is the case with most of its dramas).

Following broadcast, episodes can be seen on the BBC's terrific iPlayer service.

A second series enters production soon, for broadcast in 2013. It will feature 14 episodes - two more than its first.

No news on international broadcasts.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

13 Smiths go to Battle! (or something)

Now that the third volume of Doctor Who Magazine's fantastic Sarah Jane Smith Companion has been out a few weeks, I'll break my silence and report a few titbits from within:

The final three adventures of series 5 would have been called:

Episodes 7&8 - Meet Mr Smith
Episodes 9&10 - The Thirteenth Floor
Episodes 11&12 - The Battle of Bannerman Road

A polished draft script of Meet Mr Smith was completed (by Gareth Roberts & Clayton Hickman), and the magazine utilises it quite extensively in its report. As the title aludes, it would have seen the introduction of a 'human' Mr Smith (played, as ever, by Alexander Armstrong).

An early draft of The Thirteenth Floor (by Phil Ford) was written. It has been cannibalised, and will feature as an orgmented adventure for Wizards VS. Aliens second series.

Russell T Davies was to have written The Battle of Bannerman Road, which may or may not have written out Clyde & Rani. It seems both the actors and exec producer were unsure if the characters were leaving - or if they'd return for more adventures in series 6!

The final would have seen the return of the Trickster, who's destiny was tied closely with Sky. Ahem.

As reported previously, series 6 (if commissioned) would have featured an adventure starring Sophie Aldred as Ace!

The sixth series may have transferred out of Bannerman Road. RTD was contemplating relocated to Foxglove village; although - as with the Rani/Clyde situation - his plans remained fluid.

One thing about the finale WAS certain. Rani and Clyde would definitely have gotten together. Hooray!

After Lis's death, RTD and Phil Ford understood that they had a crew ready to film, and created Wizards VS. Aliens - the first episode of which features Elisabeth Sladen's husband, Brian (who appeared in the SJA story The Mad Woman In The Attic).

The magazine is out now - although you're best bet to buying it in shops is WHSmiths, where it will cost you £4.99 (not £6.99 as I previously reported).


In other news - there's a "director's cut" edition of Doctor WhoTerror of the Zygons coming to DVD in 2013! It's the final DVD release to feature Elisabeth Sladen, and features a previously thought destroyed opening sequence, never before seen on television!

Expect the DVD in early 2013.


You can catch clips from Wizards VS. Aliens in CBBC's new 'Autumn' trailer. The series is created by Russell T Davies and Phil Ford.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Magical Could Have Been

The rather wonderful people over at Doctor Who Magazine release the third in their series of "Sarah Jane Companions" tomorrow, and this new volume covers the final six episodes of The Sarah Jane Adventures. As well as Sky, The Curse of Clyde Langer and The Man Who Never Was, it features a behind the scenes look at what could have been, had the second half of series 5 (and beyond) been filmed.


I haven't read the magazine yet, but word on the street (well, GallifreyBase) suggests that it covers what the secret of Sky really was, and hints at further returns for Jo Jones and grandson Santiago!

Of course, the release is tinted in sadness after the premature death of our beloved Elisabeth Sladen - but it will be a fascinating, and touching, tribute to see how our favourite show would have evolved if only history had not taken a crueler path.

That's the Sarah Jane Smith Companion - Volume Three, published by the folks behind Doctor Who Magazine at Panini.

It's out tomorrow, Thursday 16th August 2012, priced £6.99.


I'm aware that 'new' SJA footage is beyond us, but here's a link to two videos I shot when the CBBC roadshow hit Manchester's Trafford Centre back in 2009.

It shows the Judoon invading Sarah-Jane's attic... and there's a special introduction to proceedings by a certain Mr Langer himself!

Check them out.

(And apologies for their relative poor quality)

Monday, July 09, 2012

The Thirteenth Stone on Radio 4 Extra

This week The 4 O'Clock Show on Radio 4 Extra will be airing The Thirteenth Stone as read by Elisabeth Sladen.

Presented in five parts by Mel Giedroyc, this Sarah Jane Adventure is
 ...a tale of a botched school trip that takes in time travel, computer labs, numbers evil enemies, friends and families.  Mel's found lots of great nuggets of radio gold to compliment the story!
Miss an episode during the week?  Not to worry!  Radio 4 Extra will air the full story on Sunday, July 15th at 6:30 pm. 

I am looking forward to listening to The Thirteenth Stone, as I never have had the opportunity to listen to any of the Sarah Jane Adventures audio books.  Radio 4 Extra has obtained the rights to air several SJA stories, although they haven't listed which ones they will air (perhaps all of them!)  Which story are you looking forward to hearing on the radio the most?

Don't forget, if you are unable to listen to it live, be sure to check out Radio 4 Extra's Listen Again section!

The Sarah Jane Adventures on Radio 4 Extra
Schedule for July 9th-15th

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

The Sarah Jane Adventures Series 5 is Available Now!

The fifth and final series of The Sarah Jane Adventures is out now on DVD and Blu-Ray. The disc includes the three two-part stories, SkyThe Curse of Clyde Langer, and The Man Who Never Was and also the excellent documentary: Goodbye Bannerman Road: Remembering Elisabeth Sladen. It makes for a wonderful tribute to the late actress and features Daniel Anthony (Clyde Langer), Anjli Mohindra (Rani Chandra), Gary Russell (Script Editor) and Matt Smith (The Eleventh Doctor). 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Elisabeth Sladen: The Autobiography Book Launch At The Doctor Who Experience

Hi, I’m Emrys and I’m a new writer for Sarah-Jane.tv and I’m thrilled to be here.

At 2:30 on 26th November I attended the official launch of Elisabeth Sladen: The Autobiography. A select few who purchased a ticket for the Doctor Who Experience, currently housed at Kensington’s Olympia II, between 12:30-2:00 were offered a free ticket and invited to both celebrate the publication of the book and the memory of this much-loved actress, Elisabeth Sladen. I’ve visited the Doctor Who Experience twice before, but still very much enjoyed it the third time around.

After a brief wander around the fantastic exhibition we took our seats in the minute, dimly-lit, and somewhat balmy screening room, alongside the Face of Boe, as well as a Pig Slave and a Scarecrow [I think!] We then watched a short tribute to Sarah Jane. The homage included clips from Elisabeth’s first story The Time Warrior, Planet of the Spiders, Robot, The Mask of Mandragora, her two returns to the show in 25th Anniversary special The Five Doctors and the 2006 episode School Reunion.

TV Choice magazine’s Ben Lawrence was there to interview Doctor Who writer and script editor Terrance Dicks, the fourth Doctor himself, Tom Baker and Elisabeth’s daughter, Sadie Miller, who all came to share their fond memories of Elisabeth.

Terrance told us of his involvement with creating the character of Sarah Jane, reminding us that each companion grows out of the last. In Elisabeth’s case this was from Katy Manning’s Jo Grant. While Jo was a sassy, girlish foil for the Doctor as “someone to pass you your test tubes and tell you how brilliant you are,” Sarah Jane was created not as an “assistant” but as an independent female with a career as a journalist. He shared that he would always remember the way that Lis would call him, “TerrĂ¡nce.”

Tom then went on to share with us the massive amount of gratitude he feels he owes to Elisabeth Sladen, who guided him through the early days of his time on the show by helping him form a kind of comic/jokey persona to counteract his self-admitted self-doubt. He told us that in the time he spent with Elisabeth he changed and has remained that way ever since. That juncture with Elisabeth gave him a new lease on life, of enjoyment and confidence, which is why, he says, he stayed on the show as long as he did. He admitted to being devastated when Elisabeth decided to leave the show, due to the fact that she believed she would not be wanted when Barry Letts announced his leaving and Phillip Hinchcliffe and a new regime were to take over. Tom also shared the irony that Hinchcliffe later stated that he was actually very happy with their partnership as Doctor and Companion.

Sadie, who, along with her father wrote a beautiful coda to the book, spoke more about Elisabeth Sladen herself, as Sadie’s mother and not just as her character Sarah Jane. Quite understandably she didn’t share too much with us, as her mother’s passing is still quite fresh. She said she was yet to watch the recently aired episodes of the Fifth Series of The Sarah Jane Adventures, wanting to save them to watch on a special day and enjoy as an undiscovered part of her mother’s work. She also showed us the necklace that originally belonged to Liza Minnelli, who gave it to Katy Manning who imparted it to Elisabeth [while they worked on Death of the Doctor] who in turn gave it to Sadie. Listen to Sadie talking about the necklace here on BBC Breakfast.

Afterwards Terrance and Sadie, joined by her father and Elisabeth’s husband Brian Miller kindly stayed behind to sign copies of the book, with Tom having pre-signed some in advance.

I sadly never had the honour of meeting Elisabeth Sladen, but I find it amazing and wonderful that someone who myself, and millions of others alike, never met can have had such a profound effect on ones life.

Elisabeth Sladen: The Autobiography has a foreword by David Tennant and is published by Aurum Press. It’s available now RRP £18.99 and I highly recommend it.

Check out my epic pilgrimage through every single episode of Doctor Who at: www.wonderingsinthefourthdimension.blogspot.com

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Sadie Miller talks on BBC Breakfast

Elisabeth Sladen's daughter, Sadie Miller, appeared on BBC Breakfast yesterday morning talking about the autobiography. For those of you outside the UK, you can view it here on SJ.tv.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Elisabeth Sladen: The Autobiography

The cover of her book has now been released, and might I say how truly wonderful it is. I may need lots of tissues when reading this one!

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Never Fear, Sarah Jane is Here!

If you're feeling a little down in the dumps about the ever nearing end of The Sarah Jane Adventures, then perhaps I can put a smile on your face.

Due to be released November 24th, two new SJA audio books go on sale! Judgement Day is written by Scott Gray and read by Anjli Mohindra and Children of Steel is written by Martin Day and read by Daniel Anthony.

With the current lack of any official blurb at the moment, I managed to catch up with Martin Day, who gave me a little information about Children of Steel. It sounds like a cracking story!

"Clyde can’t believe he’s let himself be dragged along to a boring old auction of antiques, but one particular lot has caught Sarah Jane’s attention. It’s listed as an anatomical sculpture of a human face, in brass, but to Sarah’s eyes it looks more like the head of a robot – from a time before the word ‘robot’ was even coined. Sarah Jane is convinced it’s part of the famed ‘Difference Golem’, a steam-powered ‘autonomous man’ from the Victorian era... "

Now, the die hard fans among us will have heard about these books at the end of last year. It was assumed at that point that Elisabeth Sladen would be reading them, as she had done with the previous SJA audios, but due to her sad passing earlier this year and no word on what would happen with the stories, we feared the worse.

"The intention had always been for Lis to read it [Children of Steel]" said Martin. "Indeed, I was at Chessington with the family, mulling over various possible titles [it was originally named The Difference Golem] (in this case, the last step before a formal commission) when I heard she had died.

"I wasn’t sure for a while if the book would go ahead, but that didn’t matter in the slightest – it was such terrible and sad news. Anyway, after a while, and much thought by AudioGO and the production team, I was told to write it in the third person, and just get on with it...!

"I only knew it was Daniel [Anthony] doing the reading when I spoke to him at the BFI screening a few weeks back. It was great to meet him afterwards – he said if I didn’t like his reading, I should let him know. As if!"

I will be talking to Martin a little bit more about his story in a few weeks time, so stay tuned! I hope this will make up for my lack of posts in the past few weeks and I should be keeping things up to date from now on.