Tuesday, September 29, 2009
The character of Sarah Jane Smith was a genius stroke from Barry Letts and Terrance Dicks. She is is the best of both worlds - a strong, proactive female character who, thanks to her journalist background, can ask question after question and have it seem completely natural for her character.
Case in point - the conversation Sarah and The Doctor have in this episode while The Doctor is making some smoke bombs. Sarah's questions are blunt and point blank, and would seem out of place if any other companion (or potential companion) were to be phrasing the same questions. But Sarah's a journalist, and an inquisitive one at that. What sounds like an interrogation for some is completely normal to her, allowing the series to dispense with uncomfortable exposition scenes by having a companion who doesn't have to ask all the questions - she wants to ask all the questions.
There's an aborted battle sequence in this episode that, sadly, for me, a big fan of medieval battle scenes (just wait for the Robin of Sherwood Chronic Hysteresis I'll do one day) wraps up far too early thanks to The Doctor's smoke bombs dispersing Irongron's army. The well-placed line in Episode One about the armies of both Irongron and Edward of Wessex being drained to fight in the Crusades just about makes up for the fact that each castle is defended by as many extras as the BBC budget could afford, but not quite.
Posted by Steven at 3:19 PM