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     SJA Series 2 Roundup    
     Author:  DarthSkeptical
     Dated:  Thursday, August 07 2008 @ 03:36 AM EDT
     Viewed:  2,840 times  
    Sarah Jane Adven...If you know absolutely nothing about Series 2 of The Sarah Jane Adventures, and want to stay totally unspoiled, do not read futher. However, if you're happy with a few minor spoilers, based on verifiable facts like well-reported casting information and official trailers, read on. This report contains nothing about any major plot points.

    Principal photography on the second series of The Sarah Jane Adventures wrapped last week, according to So, this seems as good a time as any to give a Series 2 news roundup for those who may be going through the early stages of Doctor Who withdrawal:

      Like last year, six hours of programming have been completed. However, this time, all six hours will be broadcast as a single series, meaning that the series will run for 12 consecutive weeks.

      There was an initial plan to film Series 2 and 3 simultaneously. However, the idea was nixed for budgetary reasons. Apparently, SJA receives the bulk of its funding from the CBBC, rather than the BBC, and there ultimately wasn't enough money in their 2008 budget for advance filming on a series that could potentially be broadcast as late as 2010. Technically, this now means that Series 3 could now potentially be withdrawn from production, although many see it as unlikely that the CBBC would axe their top ratings-earner while the principal talent is still willing to perform.

      A side-effect of this decision may be that, if Series 3 does go ahead in 2009, actor Tommy Knight ("Luke Smith") might have less of a presence in Series 3, for the same reasons that actor Yasmin Page ("Maria Jackson") will be absent for portions of series 2. She had to sit important exams during a portion of the filming of this series, as will Tommy Knight during the same time next year. Apparently, Knight has an intelligence that rivals his on-screen alter-ego: he's prepping for a ridiculous number of GCSEs in 2009.

      There are rumors aplenty on and that Paige's absence from part of this series are only somewhat related to her GCSEs. It may be that the actor's parents have pulled her from the project, as they feel she's got better opportunities to earn more, elsewhere. However, there's precious little evidence in reputable news outlets to back up this claim.

      To partially alleviate the narrative problem of a currently absent Maria, and a potentially absent Luke, a new team member is being added in Series 2, as are her parents and Clyde's parents. The name of this new character might have a familiar ring to long-term Doctor Who fans: Rani Chandra. It's therefore possible that persistent rumors of The Rani's return that dogged the production of Series 4 of Doctor Who might have actually derived from information leaked from the Sarah Jane set.

      Although Maria and her family are not to appear in the whole series as is made clear in this somewhat spoilery report at it is not known at this stage if Maria and the Jackson family are being entirely written out of the series or if some plausible explanation is given for their temporary absence. Whatever the case, she will not appear in the majority of the stories. Rani is, at least for the back half of this series, her effective replacement.

      In an interesting bit of symmetry with David Tennant, Joseph Millson, the actor who plays Maria's dad, took advantage of his abbreviated season on the show to play the titular character in Hamlet. While the others were finishing up filming of Series 2, he used June and July to star in the Stafford Festival Shakespeare production of the play. The Stage gave Millson an enthusiastic review, calling his Hamlet "outstanding" and "played with rare energy and surprisingly effective humour". Colin Baker, who went along to the play because Louise Jameson ("Leela") was playing "Gertrude", also had raves for Millson's "brilliantly clear and immaculate performance".

      According to Doctor Who Magazine #393, the titular "Head Writer" for this series is Phil Ford, marking a change from last year's chief, Gareth Roberts. Roberts was responsible for half of the first year's output, including the original New Year's Special, the first story, and the highly-regarded "Whatever Happened to Sarah Jane?" At the moment, he is only confirmed to be writing the as-yet-unnamed third story of the season. He is also confirmed to be working on the 2009 Doctor Who specials. Phil Ford was SJA's second-most-prolific writer last year, having written "Eye of the Gorgon" and the series finale, "The Lost Boy". It is interesting to note the possibility that Ford may therefore be responsible for all mentions and appearances of the Sontarans in SJA, given that he included references to them in "Gorgon".

      Ford will also make his Doctor Who debut during the 2009 "season" of specials.

      The first two story titles were unofficially revealed when Penguin Books solicited their November novelizations. They quickly took down the names after they realized they'd jumped the gun on BBC Wales. However, by that point the damage was done. It's believed that the appearance of the Sontarans in SJA was actually meant to be a surprise. That they now are in the teaser trailer is not believed to have been the original plan. However, it couldn't have been much of a surprise, since, as in Doctor Who's fourth series, the word "Sontaran" appears in the title of the story.

      No official UK transmission date has yet been announced. However, given the similar pattern of merchandising releases, it would seem logical to assume a late Septmber/early October release, as last year.

      Still, SJA's time slot is one of the more interesting non-narrative rumors on the net these days. Though disbelieved by the webmaster at, he reports that he's getting an increasing number of e-mails which seemingly confirm that it could move to Doctor Who's time slot on Saturday nights. Though possible, it does seem unlikely, especially given the reasons the original filming schedule was abandoned. If BBC were going to pinch SJA from CBBC, then it would seem logical they'd have to pony up a bigger budget.

      In issue #398 of Doctor Who Magazine, Elisabeth Sladen, fresh from her turn in "Journey's End", noted the difference between Sarah Jane-as-companion and Sarah Jane-as-mother. She said that rewatching "Genesis of the Daleks" made her remember a lot about the "girly" side of the character, which she feels she hasn't been able to bring to bear in her new role as "Luke's mum". However, she promises changes to Sarah Jane in season 2: "I'm going to try to bring a bit of that freedom [of being SJS the non-parent] in the second series of Sarah Jane. I think I should let go a bit more."

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  • SJA Series 2 Roundup | 1 comments | Create New Account
    The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
    SJA Series 2 Roundup
    Authored by: tarashnat on Tuesday, September 09 2008 @ 03:34 PM EDT
    Broadcast details

    The Last Sontaran

    Part One
    Monday 29 September 4.35pm CBBC on BBC One

    Part Two
    Monday 29 September 5.15pm CBBC Channel
    Monday 6 October 4.35pm CBBC on BBC One

    The Day Of The Clown

    Part One
    Monday 6 October 5.15pm CBBC Channel
    Monday 13 October 4.35pm CBBC on BBC One

    Part Two
    Monday 13 October 5.15pm CBBC Channel
    Monday 20 October 4.35pm CBBC on BBC One

    Secrets Of The Stars

    Part One
    Monday 20 October 5.15pm CBBC Channel
    Monday 27 October 4.35pm CBBC on BBC One

    Part Two
    Monday 27 October 5.15pm CBBC Channel
    Monday 3 November 4.35pm CBBC on BBC One

    The Mark Of The Berserker

    Part One
    Monday 3 November 5.15pm CBBC Channel
    Monday 10 November 4.35pm CBBC on BBC One

    Part Two
    Monday 10 November 5.15pm CBBC Channel
    Monday 17 November 4.35pm CBBC on BBC One

    The Temptation Of Sarah Jane Smith

    Part One
    Monday 17 November 5.15pm CBBC Channel
    Monday 24 November 4.35pm CBBC on BBC One

    Part Two
    Monday 24 November 5.15pm CBBC Channel
    Monday 1 December 4.35pm CBBC on BBC One

    Enemy Of The Bane

    Part One
    Monday 1 December 5.15pm CBBC Channel
    Monday 8 December 4.35pm CBBC on BBC One

    Part Two
    Monday 8 December 5.15pm CBBC Channel
    Monday 15 December 4.35pm CBBC on BBC One

    Daleks don't accept apologies! YOU WILL BE EXTERMINATED!