The last dance of Sarah Jane Smith begins
October 11, 2011, OTTAWA — Pretentious is a dangerous word for a critic, one I try to avoid and one which (I hope) I use with judicious deliberation when I do press it into service.
The term is kissing cousin to dishonest, and which implies promises which are undelivered or, worse, betrayed.
As you might know, I have spent considerable time over the past few months looking at a couple of British science fiction series, the 2011 editions of Doctor Who and its ostensibly adult-oriented spin-off, Torchwood, both of which promised much but delivered very little indeed.
So it is that I am very happy to report that the first (of three) remaining instalments of The Sarah Jane Adventures promises only an entertaining children's adventure story yet delivers quite a lot more.
Phil Ford's eighth two-part serial is, not surprisingly, very much a typical Sarah Jane adventure, offering low-key, character-based comedy, thrills enough (I think) to keep a child on the edge of his or her seat (if not, quite, hiding behind the proverbial couch), and a subtle moral seriousness that leaves its more bombastic cousins looking like charlatans, or worse.
Not many spoilers and no snark at all (for a change), as I take a belated look at Sky and begin my last dance with Sarah Jane Smith.