1)Ah, the late, great Elisabeth Sladen. As I've said elsewhere, the team of Tom Baker and Elisabeth Sladen were what got me hooked on the show. They weren't my first Doctor/companion combo, but they're the ones that really "clicked" for me. If they were going to bring back anyone from the old show, she would've been at the top of a very short list of "must haves". So, many great fanboy moments - Sarah's reaction on seeing the TARDIS, the scene where she meets the Doctor knowing that its him, her rivalry and then friendship with Rose, her sorrow at K-9's destruction, and her parting scene with the Doctor, and many more. If this had been the only time we'd seen Sarah Jane again, it would've been worth it, but I'm glad it wasn't the only time we saw her.
2)The Krillitane were quite well-realized, I thought. Librarian Guy from Buffy was particularly good as the boss heeel here - not just the way he spoke, but the way he moved as well. Created a real impression of cultured menace. Eugene Washington, who played his second, was quite good in the elegant menace department. An interesting note: Washington is black, and when his character transformed into "batform", his Krillitane self was portrayed as being darker-skinned than the other Krillitanes. No big deal, it's just that we don't often see much "racial" variation in the aliens in Doctor Who, but it made a sort of sense that a darker-skinned Krillitane might choose to pose as a darker-skinned human.
3)There's some good moments from Tennant in this, as well. I liked the Doctor's first reaction on seeing Sarah Jane - he looked as though he were having a, um, "personal moment" in the hallway after meeting her. She must've wondered what was up with him, since she didn't know who he was yet. Is this the first use of "John Smith" in the new show? It was interesting to see them address the in-story issue of why he never re-visits his old friends. "You can spend the rest of your life with me, but I can't spenmd the rest of mine with you. I have to live on. That's the curse of the Time Lords." He seemed genuinely tempted by the power Finch offered him, it was good that it was Sarah that pulled him back: "Pain and loss - they define us as much as happiness or love."
4)Piper had some good bits in this, too. Iliked "Lunchlady Rose", that was funny. Her reaction to discovering that she wasn't the Doctor's first companion was interesting. "How many of us have there been traveling with you?" He has mentioned to her in the past, but she obviously never thought it through - did she think he traveled alone for nine hundred years until he met her? But Rose is still a kid in some ways, and sometimes it doesn't occur to a kid that the universe existed before they were born - I remember feeling that way myself sometimes. I thought the p***ing match between Rose and Sarah was funny, too - "The - Loch Ness- Monster!" "What, really?"
5)Fun seeing K-9 again, he's entertaining in small doses, glad he wasn't really gone at the end. And they remembered to include a bit where his batteries gave out after about two minutes of use, just like in the old days. You'd think they'd have better power sources by the year 5,000. "K-9 originally created by Bob Baker & Dave Martin". That's the same Bob Baker who, with Nick Park, created Wallace and Gromit.
6)Some good moments for Mickey, as well. It was fun watching him gloat at the start. Behind all the business of the Krillitanes and Sarah Jane, we see Mickey turning a corner and getting fed up with his role. "I'm the tin dog!" I like Rose's expression when he asks to come along at the end - apparently, she's already forgotten that she was all in favor of it back in "Rose".
7)They seem to be ignoring the events of "The Five Doctors". My rationale is that Rassilon wiped everybody's memories at the end, so that people would leave him alone.
8)I also like that Kenny the Little Pudgy Kid figures out that sound is a good weapon to use against bat-people. Hoorah for Little Pudgy Kids!
9)Some fun quotes:
Overall: Well, of course, this is one of my favorites. Even beyond the re-appearance of Sarah Jane, there's some fun baddies and interesting character development.
"Goodbye...My Sarah Jane!"
As for Sarah, I assume you haven't seen The Sarah Jane Adventures?
The first couple of seasons of New Who had a fair number of stories that were clearly RTD saying "Y'know, nobody ever took this Classic Who concept and played out the logical implications." As in "I wonder what it would feel like to be a former Companion who "got left behind"?" or "I wonder what it would feel like to be a Companion and realize that your relationship with the Doctor is less special and unique to him than it is to you?" This is by far my favorite of that genre.
Of course, RTD didn't write this one. He just cribbed from it when he wrote "The Death of the Doctor" for The Sarah Jane Adventures a few years later. :)
RTD may not be the official writer, but he took every script and tweaked it...some scripts less than others. I think he's said that the Moffat scripts needed the least tweaking.
Almost all of the companions have had follow-up audio adventures via Big Finish.
The Baron said:
They seem to be ignoring the events of "The Five Doctors". My rationale is that Rassilon wiped everybody's memories at the end, so that people would leave him alone.
That would explain why Sarah Jane didn't seem to recall having met Tegan on Gallifrey in "The Death of the Doctor."
I tried so very hard NOT to find out anything about this show until I'd had a chance to see the episodes myself. All the same, somewhere along the way, the news that Sarah was going to make a guest-appearance slipped through. So when the 2nd season started, I kept wondering for a few weeks, WHEN? As soon as I saw the title of this story, I had a feeling this was it. Yep.
"The first couple of seasons of New Who had a fair number of stories that were clearly RTD saying "Y'know, nobody ever took this Classic Who concept and played out the logical implications."
Exactly the feeling I got. I'm sure countless fans over the years have thought about stuff like this, and it was interesting to see someone actually do something about it on the show itself. Not only has the new show had INCREDIBLY good writing (I think), but it definitely seems more "adult" and "grown up", no longer bound by the "IT'S A KIDS' SHOW!!!' restriction that wound up having Philip Hinchcliffe KICKED OFF the show at the height of his powers and its popularity.
For the longest tme, Sarah was not only my favorite WHO girl, but until 1991, my favorite female character on TV. (She's been #2 ever since, but still, that's on top of a LOT of other characters over al these years.) As a result, it wasn't surprising that this episode had a VERY powerful, emotional effect on me. I was in a extremely emotional state for two WHOLE DAYS after seeing it. Ahhh... then it finally went away.
I was very glad to see K-9 (Mk3) again-- and with John Leeson doing the voice (it wouldn't have been right with anyone else!!!). "Bad dog!" "Affirmative". OOOOOH. Sure, he blew himself up, but I bet he ENJOYED doing it. I don't believe he was really destroyed. His parts, sure, but my take is that his memories were preserved intact and in any ways that matter, Mk4 is the SAME dog, with all his years and memories of being with Sarah preserved.
As an aside... 2-1/2 years ago, I had, for me, the unique opportunity to help out an OLD friend I've known for over 25 years now, by reccomending her for a job where I worked. She was the only one they interviewed, and is still there today! But a strange thing happened...a week after she started, my boss told me I'D be helping her out in the office. And over the next several months, this wonderful, bright, funny person DROVE ME F***ING NUTS. The problem-- though SHE had trouble seeing it-- was, she was working 2 jobs, and anytime she came in without enough sleep, she turned into an "ugly drunk". Argueing to no purpose, contradicting every single thing I would say just for the sake of doing it... It took most of 4 months just for ME to get through to her that I was NOT trying to cause her trouble, but that SHE had been causing me more grief than I need in my life right now. (One day-- right after Christmas, I fact-- after she'd ruined my entire holiday weekend with her behavior in the office-- I actually blew up AT HER. And I swear, I was "channeling" Colin Baker when I did it.)
I bring this up because, for the longest time, she's always reminded me of Sarah Jane. Really.
The last time I watched my entire DOCTOR WHO collection, I found, to my surprise, that I was enjoying ALMOST every companion on the show more than I ever had before-- even Susan, Dodo, Jo, Leela, Nyssa, Peri... ALL but Sarah. Her entire 3-1/2 years worth of episodes, when I watched this time? Nothing. NO reaction from me at all. Utterly bizarre.
My best friend, when I described this strange phenomena to him, suggested that, maybe, after "SCHOOL REUNION", I'd finally "gotten over her". But I have a suspicion my real-life friend's behavior-- the one who reminded me of Sarah for all these years-- may have had an effect on it, as well. Ah well.
I have not been able to see even a single episode of Sarah's show YET. One of these days, I hope.
In the meantime... my feeling, while watching this episode was, if I had gotten back together with Sarah, I don't think I could have left her behind AGAIN.