The Sarah Jane Adventures Episodes 22 & 23:
Enemy Of The Bane

Plot

Mrs Wormwood returns, and claims to be in need of Sarah Jane's help. She alleges that she is being hunted by the Bane due to her failure during their invasion of Earth. In retaliation, she wants to foil the Bane's plan to resurrect an ancient interstellar conqueror named Horath. She requires information stored in UNIT's Black Archive, and Sarah Jane reluctantly agrees to approach her old friend, Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, for assistance. But it is actually Mrs Wormwood -- in allegiance with Sontaran Commander Kaagh -- who is plotting to revive Horath, and thereby dominate the galaxy.

Production

The first season of The Sarah Jane Adventures had been bookended by two stories featuring the same villains -- in that case, the Slitheen, who menaced the Bannerman Road gang in both Revenge Of The Slitheen and The Lost Boy. For the programme's second season, the production team decided to follow a similar format, but with a twist. Not only would the season finale bring back the Sontaran Commander Kaagh -- who had been introduced in the opening serial, The Last Sontaran -- but it would pair him with another returning foe. Mrs Wormwood of the alien Bane had been the show's very first villain, in the introductory special Invasion Of The Bane, and actress Samantha Bond confirmed in the spring of 2008 that she was interested in reprising the role.

Lead writer Phil Ford -- who had scripted The Last Sontaran and the year's second serial, The Day Of The Clown -- began developing the finale, which ultimately bore the title Enemy Of The Bane. Given the pairing of the two malefactors, it was suggested that Sarah Jane and her friends should receive assistance from an established character in the Doctor Who universe. Originally, this was to be Martha Jones, who was a companion to the Tenth Doctor throughout the parent show's 2007 season, and had returned for three episodes in 2008. Martha had also appeared in three episodes of Torchwood, and executive producer Russell T Davies was planning for her to play a more significant role in that spin-off's third season (which eventually became Children Of Earth).

Two weeks before production was to begin, it was confirmed that Freema Agyeman would not be available to play Martha Jones

However, in May, Martha actress Freema Agyeman was offered a lead role in Law & Order: UK, which was being developed by former Torchwood producer Richard Stokes and Chris Chibnall, who had written for both Doctor Who and Torchwood. The new opportunity would leave her unavailable for Torchwood, and while it was hoped for a time that she might still be able to appear in Enemy Of The Bane, on June 15th it was confirmed that this was no longer possible. With just a week to go before the readthrough and two weeks before production was scheduled to begin, this meant that a replacement character had to be rapidly identified.

Within twenty-four hours, the discussion was coalescing around the idea of delving back into Sarah Jane's past, by reviving a familiar face from twentieth-century Doctor Who: Brigadier Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart, played by Nicholas Courtney. One of the programme's longest-serving and most beloved recurring characters, Lethbridge-Stewart had first appeared in 1968's The Web Of Fear and was then reintroduced as the head of UNIT in The Invasion later that year. Courtney had then featured regularly throughout Jon Pertwee's tenure as the Third Doctor, and was first paired with Elisabeth Sladen as Sarah Jane Smith in her debut story, 1973's The Time Warrior (which, coincidentally, was also the first serial to feature a Sontaran). Courtney's appearances in Doctor Who had gradually diminished after Tom Baker took over as the Fourth Doctor, and he and Sladen last appeared together in 1975's Terror Of The Zygons. However, the Brigadier was brought back for sporadic appearances during the 1980s, including a new encounter with Sarah Jane in 1983's twentieth-anniversary special The Five Doctors. The two characters also appeared in the thirtieth-anniversary celebration Dimensions In Time in 1993. Since then, Courtney had made occasional television appearances in programmes such as Doctors, Casualty and The Bill, while maintaining a robust career in the theatre. He had also reprised the role of Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart on numerous occasions, including a variety of audio plays for Big Finish Productions, and was reunited with Sladen on projects such as the direct-to-video drama Downtime and the Third Doctor radio plays The Paradise Of Death and The Ghosts Of N-Space.

With Courtney confirming his involvement in Enemy Of The Bane, the scripts were hastily rewritten to accommodate the character -- now Sir Alistair, as had been alluded to in the recent Doctor Who story The Sontaran Stratagem / The Poison Sky. Nonetheless, it briefly appeared that an additional hurdle might arise in securing permission to use Lethbridge-Stewart from his creators, Mervyn Haisman and Henry Lincoln; fortunately, this was resolved without hampering production.

On July 8th, 2008, Nicholas Courtney recorded scenes as Lethbridge-Stewart for the first time in the new century

Enemy Of The Bane formed part of the year's third production block for The Sarah Jane Adventures, joining The Temptation Of Sarah Jane Smith under director Graeme Harper. Work began on June 26th with a day on the sets for the Chandra home at Upper Boat Studios. Next, June 30th and July 1st were spent at Trefil Quarry near Tredegar for sequences in and around the stone circle. On July 2nd and 3rd, the Usk Valley Business Park in Pontypool posed as the Lexington Road Industrial Estate. The 4th began with material in UNIT's Black Archive, filmed at the Collection Centre for the National Museum of Wales in Nantgarw, before Harper's team returned to Upper Boat for various effects shots. Upper Boat was the venue again on July 7th, for scenes in Sarah Jane's attic as well as Luke's nightmare.

On July 8th, Nicholas Courtney recorded scenes as Lethbridge-Stewart for the first time in the new century when material at Sir Alistair's home was filmed at a house on Marine Parade in Penarth. Later that day, a shop on Cornerswell Road in Penarth was dressed as Gita's florist business, Bloomin' Lovely, and work continued there the following day. July 10th, 11th and 14th were then spent on Clinton Road in Penarth for material on Bannerman Road. On the 15th, MOD St Athan in Barry was used as the exterior of the Black Archive, and also provided a suitable space for Kaagh's pursuit of Luke.

Most of the remaining material for Enemy Of The Bane was completed at Upper Boat, including Major Kilburne watching the security cameras (on July 18th) and various attic scenes (on the 23rd). The last day of production for The Sarah Jane Adventures was August 1st, which largely dealt with several insert shots, recorded both on Clinton Road and at Upper Boat; the latter work also included additional material in the Chandra residence. However, some pick-up shots were still needed, and these were completed at Upper Boat during filming for Torchwood on September 5th.

On November 25th, the BBC announced that The Sarah Jane Adventures had been renewed for a third season

Editing removed an explanation for Lethbridge-Stewart's use of a cane, with Sir Alistair telling Sarah Jane that he has had a Katta Makhanu stinger in his leg for the last fifteen years, rendering it all but useless. On November 25th, six days prior to the broadcast of Enemy Of The Bane part one on CBBC, the BBC announced that The Sarah Jane Adventures had been renewed for a third season in the autumn of 2009. The statement also confirmed that Davies would continue to be the programme's executive producer, despite the fact that it was now known that he would be leaving Doctor Who following a series of specials to be broadcast throughout 2009. As the second season of The Sarah Jane Adventures wrapped up on December 8th, however, Davies was grappling with the possibility that the budget for The Sarah Jane Adventures might be significantly reduced, a matter exacerbated by the fact that the programme's ratings in 2008 -- while still very good -- were falling short of what had been achieved in 2007, even as Doctor Who was rising to impressive new heights of viewership.

Sadly, Enemy Of The Bane proved to be Nicholas Courtney's final Doctor Who-related appearance as Lethbridge-Stewart. It was hoped that he would return to The Sarah Jane Adventures for the following season's The Wedding Of Sarah Jane Smith, but poor health intervened. Cancer ultimately accomplished what hordes of Daleks and Ogrons, Silurians and Sea Devils had failed to do: Nicholas Courtney passed away on February 22nd, 2011, leaving Doctor Who bereft of one of its greatest ambassadors and most popular stars.

Sources
  • Doctor Who News.
  • Doctor Who Magazine Special Edition #23, 24th December 2009, “Episodes 2.11/2.12: Enemy Of The Bane” by Andrew Pixley, Panini Publishing Ltd.
  • Doctor Who: The Writer's Tale: The Final Chapter by Russell T Davies and Benjamin Cook (2010), BBC Books, ISBN 978 1 846 07861 3.

Original Transmission
Episode 1
Date 1st Dec 2008
Time 5.16pm
Duration 28'06"
Viewers (more) 464k
· CBBC 464k
· BBC1 940k
(8th Dec 2008)
Appreciation 79%
Episode 2
Date 8th Dec 2008
Time 5.17pm
Duration 28'04"
Viewers (more) 555k
· CBBC 555k
· BBC1 820k
(15th Dec 2008)
Appreciation 85%


Cast
Sarah Jane Smith
Elisabeth Sladen
Luke Smith
Tommy Knight
Mr Smith
Alexander Armstrong
(more)
Clyde Langer
Daniel Anthony
Rani Chandra
Anjli Mohindra
Haresh Chandra
Ace Bhatti
Gita Chandra
Mina Anwar
Mrs Wormwood
Samantha Bond
Sir Alistair Lethbridge-Stewart
Nicholas Courtney
Kaagh
Anthony O'Donnell
Major Cal Kilburne
Simon Chadwick


Crew
Written by
Phil Ford
Directed by
Graeme Harper
Produced by
Nikki Smith
(more)

Created by
Russell T Davies
Co-producer
Phil Ford
Sontarans created by
Robert Holmes
Sir Alistair created by
Henry Lincoln &
Mervyn Haisman
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
Continuity
Llinos Wyn Jones
Script Editor
Gary Russell
Focus Puller
Steve Rees
Grip
Clive Baldwin
Boom Operator
Jeff Welch
Gaffer
Mark Hutchings
Stunt Co-ordinator
Abbi Collins
Supervising Art Director
James North
Standby Art Director
Ciaran Thompson
Standby Props
Phill Shellard
Graphics
BBC Wales Graphics
Costume Supervisor
Arabella Rhodes
Assistant Editor
Lee Bhogal
Post Production Supervisor
Nerys Davies
Post Production Co-ordinator
Marie Brown
Colourist
Mick Vincent
Sound Editing
Bang Post Production
Dubbing Mixer
Mark Ferda
Title Music
Murray Gold
Music
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
The Mill
Special Effects
Any Effects
Prosthetics
Millennium FX
Editor
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 29th July 2017