Showing posts with label Rani Chandra. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rani Chandra. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

10 TW/SJA Characters Who Should Appear In Doctor Who

If you don't know what TW and SJA mean, then please stop reading. Now. Thanks. Anyway, yup! It's yet another list! This time, Blogtor has been looking at the Whoniverse and included below are ten characters (well there's actually more, I cheated with some) from The Sarah Jane Adventures and Torchwood who would should make appearance in Doctor Who. Let the insanity begin...
Haha, only joking - he's DEAD! He is NOT coming back! #lightsmatch
Anyway, here's the real ten...

The late re~write for Martha Jones (yeah, thanks Law & Order - you thieving bastards!), the secretary turned world~saver proved to be quite the hit for the third series of Torchwood. Actress Cush Jumbo pushed aside any Freema comparisons with wads of personality and a soup├žon of assured sexiness. She was last seen banged up in a cell, at the end of Children Of Earth; maybe it's time Doctor Who sprung her out...?

Facing the difficult task or "replacing" Chrissie and Alan Jackson (who both very nearly made the Top 10), Rani's parents fitted in perfectly into Bannerman Road. Ace Bhatti, who recently ripped it up bad~style on Eastenders, played the straight head~teacher down a tea whilst his missus, played by Mina Anwar, provided constant comic entertainment (that she previously demonstrated on The Thin Blue Line) with her continual, though unintentional, needling of Sarah Jane.

One of the features of the most recent Torchwood series, Miracle Day, that warmed my heart greatly was the appearance of this guy, played with affable charm by the lurvely Tom Price. I was so pleased that, even though it was a "big" US production, the "little" guy was still remembered. And what a journey for "PC" Andy Davidson. From a loyal, though lowly copper, popping up every now and again during the first two series to helping save the world on more than  one occasion. If anything, out of persistence, Andy deserves a shot at Who.

One of Torchwood's shining moments was the time~traveling tale from Series One, Out of Time, where three people from the 1950s ended up in modern day Cardiff. One of these unfortunate human beings was Diane, a spunky pilot with a fine line in make~up and a rather trouser~tightening approach to sex (nice one Torchers!). Diane got chummy with Owen and would later turn up to haunt him, thus helping cause the apocalypse (nearly), in the finale End of Days. Louise Delamere's fine performance as a woman out of time wherever she lay (a bit like my first wife) was genuinely touching and is still one of the show's highlights. Would make for an excellent companion to the Time Lord.

Like her parents, Rani had the unenviable task of replacing a Bannerman Road fave. And, for her, it was an even more Herculean task as she was taking over from, what ostensibly was, a "companion". But such a hit was she that the words Maria Jackson were but a faint whisper by the time she's finished her first year with Sarah Jane & Co. Similarly, Clyde became the star of the show towards the end, nabbing all the best lines and receiving some tremendous stories (The Curse of Clyde Langer, for example). The couple made for an electric watch (Series 4's The Empty Planet demonstrated this neatly) and I can't recall such a likable and fun duo on television. I doff my cap to both Anjli Mohindra and Daniel Anthony and sincerely hope they get some more TARDIS action in the future.

Man, this guy fah~reaked me out. With no offense intended towards actor Murray Melvin, he has the look of an utter demon. Sure, he may have a tasty suit and nifty cravat but his crafted skull and piercing eyes made for one of the most delicious villains in the entirety of the Whoeuvre. Bilis was all smiles and pictures when he met some of the Torchwood gang in Captain Jack Harkness but by the time the next episode came long, End of Days, his role as "bad guy" was confirmed. Thankfully, the makers of the show decided to retain total mystery to who he was. We know nothing about him and he flopped off before he could explain his "evil" time~jumping deeds. His appearance was so perfect that I did wonder, whilst surrounded by clocks in his shop, if Bilis would be revealed to be The Master (which I'm glad they didn't, by the way). Having said that, maybe he did just hop into one of the grandfather clocks and Vworp away...

Did someone say Torchwood 1899: The Series? if not, they blummin' should! Making a splash in the Series 2 finale (Fragments and Exit Wounds), these two ladies have a certain Vastra and Jenny feisty quality about them too. Their introduction to the Whoniverse saw them killing Captain Jack, savagely torturing him and then making him work for Torchwood - not bad ladies. Not bad at all! Despite starring in Outcasts (a BBC sci~fi misfire, to put it politely), Amy Manson would make a terrific ally/enemy for The Doctor as Guppy whilst BFF Holroyd, played by Heather Craney (a Holby City and Eastenders stalwart) is on hand to straddle any passers~by. And aren't their outfits purty?

Talk about text~book enigmatic, this guy is The Enigma~tron! He is positively rolling in riddle~ocious~ness (it's a word!). This chap first popped up in The Sarah Jane Adventures, trapping our heroes and then subsequently splitting them up and sending them back in time - the nerve! But he wasn't a bad guy (oh no!), The Shopkeeper was just keeping the universe in balance - not unlike a certain other friend of Sarah Jane's... Played with wonderful suavetry (it's a word!) by Cyril Nri, even got a brief return in the final series (Sky). One certainly hopes that he is indeed another Time Lord, awaiting to be found...

Hhmm. Lauren Ambrose*.

This guy. *Does Goodfellas style hang gesture* This guy! So immense was his appeal, so awesome and mighty was his darkness that not only did he get a mention in both Doctor Who and Torchwood (well, The Trickster's Brigade did in Turn Left and Immortal Sins), but The Doctor himself had to crossover to The Sarah Jane Adventures in order to defeat him!  The stand~off between them during The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith was quite something with a fangasm~inducing mention of The flippin' Key To Time.
The Trickster's original appearance, Whatever Happened to Sarah Jane?, remains my favourite of his trilogy; where the lurvely Elisabeth Sladen was replaced by the equally lurvely Jane Asher. Writer Gareth Roberts created  one of the great Whoniverse villains; meddling with time and people with horrific consequences, just for fun. The Temptation of Sarah Jane Smith displayed a memorable, and deeply unsettling, view of the future juxtaposed with some heart~breaking moments for Sarah Jane.
Special mention must also go to the man behind the cloak, Paul Marc Davies who also manged the feat of appearing in the Doctor Who story Utopia and the Torchwood tale, Exit Wounds. The Trickster, without a doubt, is the one character from the spin~offs that deserves to face~off against The Doctor on a Saturday night around 7pm.

The Eternity Clock new trailer
BBC Books announce new Matt Smith title
Revisitations 3 DVD boxset details
REVIEW: The Lost Stories - The Fourth Doctor Box Set
The Doctor, The Widow & the Wardrobe audio commentary

Monday, November 1, 2010

REVIEW: The Sarah Jane Adventures, "The Empty Planet"

Everybody lurves robots, right?

Good, 'cos The Empty Planet, this week's two~parter in The Sarah Jane Adventures, is packed with robotular activity. Well, I say "packed", there's only two robots but they do feature quite a bit. More of them later. Writer Gareth Roberts is best known in the world of SJA for his "Sarah Jane Smith" stories (Whatever Happened to..., The Temptation of... and The Wedding of...) featuring the wonderful Trickster. Sorry to spoil your fun but the no~eyed one doesn't make an appearance here. Just like the rest of the world...

Clyde and Rani face that very familiar horror/sci~fi trope where you wake up and find the rest of the world has vanished (happens to me all the time). Instead of freaking out, the dynamic duo trying to figure out just why everyone has vanished and what makes them so special. Young Mr Langer, played by Daniel Anthony (in startlingly fine form yet again), muses that aliens wanted to start the human race again using them as the new "Adam and Eve" (can't say I blame him).

It's a credit to the "youngsters" that they carry so much of the story. As characters they continue to grow and become just as, if not more, important than the "leads" of the show. Watching the pair of them, on their own as it were, is delightful as the ongoing will~they~won't~they? sub~plot really begins to take hold. Must be the old romantic in me. Top marks to the aforementioned Anthony and the lurvely Anjli Mohindra for making such an empty story, so to speak, so full of warmth, humour and fun.

The pair are afforded material from writer Roberts that will leave a Doctor Who crack in time and space sized smile on your face. From digs at Chris Moyles (again!), to Rani saying "bum" (double again!!), to the pair tiffing (is that a word?) to the glowing realisation that they are not, in fact, just "hangers on" in the SJA dynamic. When Clyde and Rani work out just why they are still on Earth and no one else is, you'll positively beam with delight. Satisfying in the extreme as the reasoning delves into the history of the show, picking up on a fact that has been mentioned more than once...

The emptiness of the world - and I don't think I'm spoilering it for you if I tell you that world in question is Gallifrey, sorry, I mean Earth - is eerily realised. Silence, a most unusual trait for most television programmes (let alone a "kids" one), is felt throughout the opening part. And I don't just mean it's quiet - I mean there is actual silence. When it is broken, we're presented with other~worldy noises of spaceships and, wait for it, robots!

Yup, flippin' robots! Special mention must go to the sound design on these guys 'cos the noises emitting from them will pique your ear in a most intriguing way. I shan't spoil the plot for you but these robots are not your run~of~the~mill bad guys - an endearingly typical trait in The Sarah Jane Adventures where difference is treated with equality and strangeness with a handshake. A fine blueprint for mankind if ever there was.

But Clyde and Rani are not totally alone, and another mystery unfolds as they try to figure out why young boy Gavin has also been left. Like the reasoning behind their own Earth detention (but very different), it's cleverly executed and makes for a neat resolution. The only downside being that the actor playing Gavin isn't as engaging as his peers on this occasion but he is given a rather sinister back~story with his secluded home life (note the empty wine bottles in his home).

At every turn the direction also betrays the "kids show" label attached to The Sarah Jane Adventures. Director Ashley Way makes every shot, at the very least, interesting with unusual angles and framing; turning banal stairs and mundane bedrooms into worlds where anything is possible. Specifically worth a mention are the scenes that take place in the cafe - sharing a familiar trope with Doctor Who and Torchwood (or Russell T Davies anyway) where the everyday is the home to the most fantastical and universe~changing conversations.

The Empty Planet is yet another fine example of Gareth Roberts' grasp on the SJA universe, going from Clyde and Rani's "school night" activities to the plains of the gorgeous new planet (see below) with the awkwardness of teenage lurve stuck in the middle as they battle Robots from another world. Not only that there's also some mentions of The Doctor, the TARDIS, Lady GaGa, references to The Smiths and Rani wielding the Sonic Lipstick. All that in time before tea. Classic Sarah Jane without the titular character.


Thanks to the BBC

Friday, October 2, 2009

DAVID TENNANT in "The Sarah Jane Adventures" - HIRES PICS

As previously reported, DAVID TENNANT is set to return to the small screen as The Doctor on October 29 in The Sarah Jane Adventures. The two~part story is titled The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith and you can see HIRES versions of the pics by clicking on them.