Changes Ahead For Sarah Jane Adventures

By Ian M. Cullen

It seems that no Doctor Who Spin – off series is immune from change. First Torchwood was condensed down to a mere five episode mini series and now it seems that fans of The Sarah Jane Smith Adventures will get a slightly longer season and one notable cast change to boot  - the good news however is that Elisabeth Sladen will continue to play the title role – so she hasn’t regenerated nor will she.

As reported here back in back in July Sarah Jane Adventures will have some classic guests popping in from the original Doctor Who series – firstly in the form of actor Nicholas Courtney who will reprise his role as Alexander Lethbridge Stewart – Formerly Brigadier Lethbridge Stewart of the United Nations Task Force also known as U.N.I.T.

Also making a return will be a lone Sontaran left behind after the failed invasion from the two season four Doctor Who episodes – and returning to the series is Samantha Bond who played the role of Ms. Wormwood whom we last seen in the pilot episode of the series back in Christmas of 2006.

The biggest change however is the departure of Maria Jackson (Yasmin Paige) and her family – and the addition of the Chandra family. The main reason for this change is due to Yasmin Paige needing time to focus on her academic career and pending exams.

Producer Nikki Smith who takes over from Matthew Bouch has every confidence that the new character of Rani Chandra who is played by newcomer Anjili Mohindra will fit right in. Apparently Rani wants to be a journalist and finds a kindred spirit and teacher when she meets Sarah Jane.

“Our new young actress, Anjili Mohindra, was such a find,” explained producer Nikki Smith to SFX Magazines Red Alert. “I knew it was going to be tough finding an Asian actress of that age who fitted in with our team but I was bowled over by Anjili in the audition.”

This cast change aside Smith says she has no plans to change the concept of the series – but she does promise that it will be every bit as exciting as last years first season.

The first story will involved the lone Sontaran and the final story will involve the much anticipated return of Brigadier Lethbridge Stewart which effectively bookends the second season.

Smith also reveals that there will be more focus on Family this year – where we will learn more about Sarah Jane’s young charges.

“We’re exploring the notions of family and the kids’ relationships with their families. We’re doing an episode where we meet Clyde’s estranged dad. It’s a big, emotional journey for Clyde and a really quite different episode.

“And when Mrs Wormwood comes back, there’s that whole kind of nature verse nurture business, because Mrs Wormwood made Luke but Sarah Jane is his mother. There are some interesting parallels that we’re exploring.”

As to rumours about a certain time lord popping up in the series finale Smith says, “Watch this space.”

The Sarah Jane Adventures will return to Childrens BBC later this month.

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