The Sarah Jane Adventures Episodes 20 & 21:
The Temptation Of Sarah Jane Smith


In August 1951, Eddie and Barbara Smith inexplicably left their infant daughter, Sarah Jane, by the side of the road and, moments later, perished in a traffic accident. In the present day, Sarah Jane discovers a time fissure leading back to her home town of Foxgrove in the summer of 1951. Despite her fears that she's falling into a trap, she can't resist altering the course of events to save her parents' lives. In so doing, Sarah Jane succumbs to a plot by the Trickster to irrevocably alter the Earth's history.


After completing work on Secrets Of The Stars, Gareth Roberts turned to his second serial for the sophomore season of The Sarah Jane Adventures. Of his contributions to the first season, What Ever Happened To Sarah Jane? and its Machiavellian antagonist, the Trickster, had been particularly well-received. Executive producer Russell T Davies asked Roberts to develop a rematch between Sarah Jane and the Trickster -- as well as his servant, the diminutive alien Graske -- and suggested that their second encounter involve the journalist's parents, who had already been established as having died when she was very young.

Roberts was working on this adventure in early 2008, and the original version was substantially different from the finished product. Here Sarah Jane identified a time fissure at the disused RAF Twyford, and used it to travel back to 1951, during the airbase's heyday -- the place and time of her parents' death in a mysterious accident. Masquerading as Commander June Barlow to fool Group Captain Burfield, Sarah Jane became suspicious of research being conducted by Dr Kendrick. Clyde came through the time fissure to assist her, but the first episode ended with the reveal that this was really the Trickster in disguise, as her friends were actually being kept away from the fissure in the present day by the Graske. Sarah Jane discovered that Dr Kendrick was working with a lethal type of bacteria, but did not realise that the scientist and her parents were already infected. In the original version of history, they sacrificed their lives by crashing a plane loaded with all samples of the bacteria. Due to Sarah Jane's interference, however, this no longer transpired and the infection began to spread uncontrollably. Fortunately, in the present day, her friends were approached by an old woman named Jinty who had helped care for the infant Sarah Jane as a twelve-year-old on the base. Armed with Jinty's information, Luke was able to travel through the time fissure and help his mother put history back on track.

During its development, the setting was changed from an airbase to the rural village of Foxgrove

Over the ensuing weeks, the action of Roberts' story was greatly simplified, with the military element removed and the setting changed from the airbase to the rural village of Foxgrove. Luke accompanied Sarah Jane back to 1951 immediately, rather than passing through the time fissure only at the adventure's climax. Sarah Jane's parents, originally Edward and Gloria Smith, now became Eddie and Barbara Smith -- the latter an homage to Davies' own mother. Roberts' scripts later became known as The Temptation Of Sarah Jane Smith. The serial would be made alongside the season finale, Enemy Of The Bane, as the third and final production block of the year. Assigned to direct was Graeme Harper, who had helmed Whatever Happened To Sarah Jane?. Since then, Harper had worked on five episodes for the 2008 season of Doctor Who, most recently its finale The Stolen Earth / Journey's End (in which Sarah Jane, Luke, Mr Smith and K·9 had appeared).

The first filming for The Temptation Of Sarah Jane Smith took place at Upper Boat Studios on June 26th and 27th. The first day covered material in the Chandra residence, while the second day dealt with scenes in the Graske's ship as well as effects shots of the Trickster. Around this time, Tommy Knight (Luke Smith) was participating in workplace experience with the BBC's Art Department. Due to the late-summer setting of Roberts' story, Harper then elected to concentrate on Enemy Of The Bane for several days, before the scenes at Broughton New Town were recorded at Llanedeyrn Maelfa Shopping Centre in Cardiff on July 16th and 17th.

Sequences in the alternative timeline where the Trickster was victorious -- dubbed “Futureworld” in the scripts -- were filmed at Trefil Quarry near Tredegar on July 21st and 22nd. Cast and crew were meant to continue at the quarry for a third day, but swift progress made this unnecessary; as such, the 23rd was instead dedicated to work on the attic set at Upper Boat. Next up was the story's principal location: the small town of Llantwit Major, which was dressed as 1951 Foxgrove. Harper's team filmed there on July 24th and 25th, and after the weekend from July 28th to the 30th. On the last day, some time was also spent at Clinton Road in Penarth for material on Bannerman Road.

July 31st started with sequences in the Abbey, actually the ruins of Old Beaupre Castle in Llanfair. Harper had then planned to return to Llantwit Major to record Sarah Jane and Luke approaching Foxgrove -- material which had been deferred from the earlier shoot due to rainy weather. However, a suitable site was instead found nearby at Beaupre Farm, saving the team some travel. The last day of principal photography for the season was August 1st. Work on The Temptation Of Sarah Jane Smith started at Clinton Road, before shifting to Upper Boat for some pick-up shots.

  • Doctor Who News.
  • Doctor Who Magazine Special Edition #23, 24th December 2009, “Episodes 2.9/2.10: The Temptation Of Sarah Jane Smith” by Andrew Pixley, Panini Publishing Ltd.

Original Transmission
Episode 1
Date 17th Nov 2008
Time 5.15pm
Duration 28'16"
Viewers (more) 483k
· CBBC 483k
· BBC1 720k
(24th Nov 2008)
Appreciation 82%
Episode 2
Date 24th Nov 2008
Time 5.15pm
Duration 27'51"
Viewers (more) 593k
· CBBC 593k
· BBC1 800k
(1st Dec 2008)
Appreciation 85%

Sarah Jane Smith
Elisabeth Sladen
Luke Smith
Tommy Knight
Mr Smith
Alexander Armstrong
Clyde Langer
Daniel Anthony
Rani Chandra
Anjli Mohindra
Haresh Chandra
Ace Bhatti
Gita Chandra
Mina Anwar
Barbara Smith
Rosanna Lavelle
Eddie Smith
Christopher Pizzey
The Trickster
Paul Marc Davis
The Graske
Jimmy Vee
Mrs King
Georgie Glen
Robert Madge
Voice of the Graske
Philip Hurd-Wood
PC Ferguson
Andrew Bullivant

Written by
Gareth Roberts
Directed by
Graeme Harper
Produced by
Nikki Smith

Created by
Russell T Davies
Phil Ford
1st Assistant Director
Lloyd Elis
2nd Assistant Director
Anna Evans
3rd Assistant Director
Sarah Davies
Location Managers
Jonathan Allott
Iwan Roberts
Production Co-ordinator
Clare Rutteman
Llinos Wyn Jones
Script Editor
Gary Russell
Camera Operator
Steve Rees
Focus Pullers
Steve Rees
Tom Hartley
Dave Holliday
Boom Operator
Jeff Welch
Mark Hutchings
Stunt Co-ordinator
Abbi Collins
Supervising Art Director
James North
Standby Art Director
Ciaran Thompson
Standby Props
Phill Shellard
BBC Wales Graphics
Costume Supervisor
Arabella Rhodes
Assistant Editor
Lee Bhogal
Post Production Supervisor
Nerys Davies
Post Production Co-ordinator
Marie Brown
Jon Everett
Sound Editing
Bang Post Production
Dubbing Mixer
Mark Ferda
Title Music
Murray Gold
Sam Watts
Casting Directors
Andy Pryor CDG
Andy Brierley
Production Executive
Julie Scott
Production Accountant
Dyfed Thomas
Sound Recordist
Julian Howarth
Costume Designer
Stewart Meachem
Make Up Designer
Emma Bailey
Visual Effects
Craig Higgins
Special Effects
Any Effects
Millennium FX
Ceres Doyle
Production Designer
Arwel Wyn Jones
Director of Photography
Rory Taylor
Production Manager
Phillipa Cole
Associate Producer
Debbi Slater
Series Producer
Matthew Bouch
Executive Producers for BBC Wales
Russell T Davies
Julie Gardner

Updated 27th July 2017