Sarah Jane Returns

This week SFX had a chat with the new producer of The Sarah Jane Adventures, Nikki Smith (appropriate surname) for a full interview to be published in SFX #174. She confirmed a few rumours that have been doing the rounds and gave us a few new snippets. While we'll keep some secrets for the main mag, with the way info leaks onto the net so swiftly these days we thought we'd give you a few tasters before somebody else does (mild spoiler alert):

• Maria Jackson and her family are only in the first story (episodes one and two). The Jackson family will then move out of their house.

• Moving in will be the Chandra family, with their daughter, Rani. She wants to be a journalist and looks up to Sarah Jane.

• If Rani’s name is an in-joke (the Rani being an evil female Time Lord in the classic Doctor Who series) Nikki Smith knew nothing about it. Which rather suggests that Rani is not eventually revealed as the Rani (bad luck to all you conspiracy theorists).

• A rogue Sontaran will feature in both the first and final stories.

• Mrs Wormwood (from the show’s pilot episode) is back in the final story, once again played by Samantha Bond.

• We meet Clyde’s parents in a mid-season story. They’ll be played by Gary Beadle (of EastEnders fame) and Jocelyn Jee Esien from Little Miss Jocelyn.

• Bradley Walsh plays an alien with three identities.

• The bulk of the FX work is now being handled in-house at BBC Wales with the Mill provided a few of the more complex FX sequences (including the return of the Sontaran spaceship).

• And when asked if the Doctor will make an appearance, all Nikki would say is, ”Watch this space.”

• Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart returns in the final story.

• A DVD of season one is in the pipeline and should be out by Christmas (and if you never saw the series because it was on CBBC, you should take this opportunity to get acquainted)