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'Sarah Jane Adventures': Season Two Preview

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'Sarah Jane Adventures': Season Two Preview
Intrepid investigator Sarah Jane Smith returns to our screens this week, fresh from helping her Time Lord pal thwart the Daleks alongside surrogate son Luke and computer Mr. Smith. Armed once more with her sonic lipgloss and young cohorts, Sarah Jane will face a procession of dastardly enemies during the second season, which comprises six stories split into two episodes each.

The Regulars

The big news is that actress Yasmin Paige will be departing the show in the early part of the season because filming clashed with her GCSEs. Not only will Sarah Jane be bidding adieu to Maria Jackson, but her father Alan and mother Chrissie will also jump ship. However, there are strong rumours that the family may make a surprise reappearance later in the series.

Luke, Clyde and a more humorous version of Mr. Smith are all hanging around, and they'll be joined by a new face too. Mention the word 'Rani' to seasoned Doctor Who fans and they'll instantly start quivering amidst flashbacks of the Time Lord's 1980s recurring Gallifreyan adversary played by Kate O'Mara, decked out in big shoulder pads and spluttering technobabble sci-fi jargon.

Fortunately, Rani Chandra is a feisty young lass intent on saving the world, not destroying it. The new sidekick, played by Anjli Mohindra, will take up residence at Maria's old house in Bannerman Road with parents Haresh and Gita. Now if only her father was called Sanjay then an EastEnders crossover could have been a possibility.

New Enemies

Clown phobia is a pretty common fear for children and adults alike - and Sarah Jane is no exception. So expect there to be some scuttling behind the sofa during second story 'The Day Of The Clown' - especially because former gameshow host Bradley Walsh will be donning the make-up and juggling some balls.

The legend of the Pied Piper is also set to play a prominent part of the circus-related narrative too, which revolves around local children going missing. That sounds a bit similar to the laser quest-based 'Warriors Of Kudlak' last year, but the story does manage to throw in the mysterious Pharos research centre glimpsed during last year's finale.

Old Enemies

A lone Sontaran in the spud-faced shape of Commander Kaagh roams the curiously-titled Goblin's Copse in the exciting opening adventure, which functions as a sequel to Doctor Who episode 'The Poison Sky' from earlier this year. Watch out for a nifty new method for a Sontaran to remove his helmet. The diminutive Graske is back too, but it remains to be seen whether the mega scary 'Trickster' is in charge of him again. Perhaps he's too busy sulking after his time beetle failed to alter Donna Noble's past for good?

Delving back to the very origins of The Sarah Jane Adventures, the dreaded Mrs. Wormwood (Samantha Bond) and her fellow Bane return to do business for the season finale. Purportedly working with the Sontarans, it'll be fascinating to see how Wormwood plots global domination this time, following her previous fizzy drink masterplan.

Old Friends

Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart makes his first canonical on-screen appearance since the 1989 Doctor Who story 'Battlefield'. The UNIT legend, freshly bestowed with a knighthood, appeared in many adventures and alongside several Doctors over the years since his Yeti-fighting debut as a Colonel in 1968's 'The Web Of Fear'.

Seeing as the character spans 40 years and struck up a friendship with Sarah Jane in the mid 1970s, it's no wonder that Whovians are drooling at the prospect of his imminent return. Squeals of joy will be heard across the nation should he bark out his famous catchphrase "five rounds rapid!"

There's no word on whether K-9 will return yet. Perhaps he's too busy wagging his metal tail on the set of the cartoon spinoff that's been caught in development hell for the best part of two decades?

The Sarah Jane Adventures returns Monday at 4.35pm on BBC One

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