The Sarah Jane Adventures' head writer Phil Ford exclusively revealed to SFX last night that events in the first story of season three of the Who spin-off will have a direct link into the events in the upcoming Doctor Who animated series, "Dreamland". Not that it was supposed to be an exclusive… Phil told us he meant to reveal the fact in a Q&A session following the screening of "Prisoner Of The Judoon" in London last night but didn't get the chance.
That was because, rather sweetly, the Q&A session was well and truly hijacked by the children in the audience, who managed to ask all the questions! They were were enthralled by the episode - which was massive fun – and bursting with questions, and took over the session. To be honest, they probably did a better job than journalists usually do... except they were obviously more interested in the stars than Phil (who has written both "Revenge Of The Judoon" and "Dreamland"), so he didn't get the chance to make his big revelation. SFX managed to have a chat with Phil afterwards, and we're happy to be of service.
He was a bit more tight-lipped about the next Doctor Who special, "Waters Of Mars", only promising that it will be "the scariest Doctor Who ever!"
As for "Prisoner Of The Judoon" itself: a fantastic romp, which joyously pokes fun at the Judoons' jobsworth attitude and has a bizarre performance from Lis Sladen that needs to be seen to be believed. It's all very silly, but loveably so, with some great, laugh-out-loud one-liners and some pretty decent effects - the kids in the audience loved the baddie alien's lizard tongue. The main problem with it are Rani's comedy parents (the modern-day Meekers from Rentaghost) , who have far too much screen time and get in the way of the action. They're fine as background support characters, but you really don't want them in the main action.
Something did flash upon Mr Smith's screen at one point, though, that we reckon it might be worth pausing on if you get the chance - though maybe it was nothing, so don't get too excited. It was hard to tell at a screening where you only get a glimpse... it just looked like it was something begging to be paused on.
The screening also included a showreel of clips for the remainder of the series, so, yes, we got to see The Doctor (David Tennant) in "The Wedding Of Sarah Jane Smith" and can confirm that it's definitely more than just a cameo – he's a full-on, proper guest star in the story. Which looks amazing, by the way.