The Sarah Jane Adventures Episodes 25 & 26:
Prisoner Of The Judoon

Plot

Sarah Jane and her friends investigate what seems to be a meteorite, but turns out to be a crashed Judoon prisoner transport. On board was an intergalactic murderer named Androvax -- a Veil, capable of inhabiting the bodies of others. Sarah Jane forges an uneasy alliance with Judoon Captain Tybo in an effort to recapture Androvax, but falls prey to the Veil herself. Now in possession of all of Sarah Jane's knowledge and weapons, Androvax sets his sights on Genetec Systems -- whose nanobot technology will help him escape Earth, or destroy it in trying.

Production

A third season of The Sarah Jane Adventures was publicly confirmed by the BBC on November 25th, 2008; internally, however, it had been mooted as far back as late 2007. Nonetheless, the production team found themselves faced with some difficult decisions, as the programme's budget -- already cut for its second season -- was slashed even further. In October, some consideration had been given to an offer by Jane Tranter, the BBC's Controller of Fiction, to move the original broadcast of each episode to Sunday afternoons on BBC1 with repeats on the CBBC digital channel (effectively the reverse of the programme's normal transmission schedule), with the budget restored to the level of the first season. However, in order to free up the funds, there would have to be a one-year hiatus before the third season could go before the cameras, and executive producer Russell T Davies was wary of such a long absence from the airwaves.

In the end, it was decided to accommodate the decreased moneys principally by moving to a new recording model. For its first two season, The Sarah Jane Adventures had been divided into blocks typically consisting of two stories (four episodes) made by a single director. Now, however, each serial would form its own block, with two directors alternating throughout the season; this would allow greater economy in the overall shooting schedule. The director for the first, third and fifth stories would be Joss Agnew, who had recorded The Last Sontaran and The Mark Of The Berserker for the programme's second season, and would also be shooting the charity mini-episode From Raxacoricofallapatorius With Love shortly before the new season got under way.

Russell T Davies and Julie Gardner were joined as executive producers by Piers Wenger, Head of Drama for BBC Wales

During 2009, Doctor Who would be undergoing a comprehensive turnover both in front of and behind the camera, with star David Tennant, showrunner Russell T Davies, and executive producer Julie Gardner all leaving, to be replaced by Matt Smith, Steven Moffat, and the team of Piers Wenger and Beth Willis, respectively. By contrast, The Sarah Jane Adventures would be relatively stable, with both Davies and Gardner retaining their status as executive producers (although they would be relocating to Los Angeles). The pair would, however, be joined by Wenger now that he had succeeded Gardner as Head of Drama for BBC Wales.

Phil Ford would continue to be the lead writer for The Sarah Jane Adventures and, as with season two, he would contribute three scripts to the third season, beginning with the year's premiere. Sticking to the established format, this would grab viewers by pitting Sarah Jane against a familiar monster from Doctor Who. After appearances by the Slitheen in 2007's Revenge Of The Slitheen and a Sontaran in 2008's The Last Sontaran, Davies suggested bringing back the Judoon, the rhinoceros-like intergalactic policemen he had created for the 2007 Doctor Who season premiere, Smith And Jones. Since that story had established that the Judoon were not normally permitted on Earth, this led to the idea of a lone, stranded Judoon, and from there the notion of the real villain of the piece being an alien criminal the Judoon was transporting: Androvax the Veil. Androvax's ability to possess people was inspired by Elisabeth Sladen's interest in playing an evil version of Sarah Jane, which she had suggested during the production of the 2008 season.

Around the same time, Ford was writing an animated Doctor Who adventure called Dreamland featuring the Tenth Doctor, which would be broadcast in late 2009. This script wove together elements of UFO lore such as the alleged crash of an alien spaceship near Roswell, New Mexico in 1947 and the existence of a secret American air force base at Area 51 in Nevada which housed recovered extraterrestrial technology. Ford saw an opportunity to tie together these branches of the Doctor Who family, by having Androvax steal the plans of the Roswell ship to aid in his escape from Earth. Ford's season premiere script was eventually known as Prisoner Of The Judoon.

Castmembers from The Sarah Jane Adventures were involved in two key pieces of filming prior to the start of work on the show's third season. First, all the regular castmembers (plus John Leeson as K·9) were involved in From Raxacoricofallapatorius With Love on February 19th, 2009. Then, on April 10th, Sladen and Tommy Knight (Luke) were at Clinton Road in Penarth -- the usual venue for scenes on Bannerman Road -- to record cameo appearances in The End Of Time, the final story of the Tenth Doctor's era.

The first day of recording for the new season was April 20th, 2009

The first day of recording for the new season was April 20th, with work getting under way on the set for Sarah Jane's attic at Upper Boat Studios. The rest of the week -- from the 21st to the 24th -- was then spent at the Linea Building in Cardiff's St Mellons Business Park, which served as the exterior and most of the interior of the Genetec Systems headquarters. The security office, the airtight lab and the room where Tybo became trapped were actually located in the Biomedical Science Building at Cardiff University, the venue for filming on April 27th. On the 28th, Agnew's team visited the Billy Banks housing estate in Penarth; this disused development was scheduled for demolition, and was therefore ideal to represent the Brindley Chase estate. April 29th brought cast and crew back to the familiar venue of Clinton Road.

April 30th was originally meant to be another day spent at the Billy Banks estate, but heavy rains made this impossible. Instead, a number of scenes were rewritten so that they could be recorded at the All Saints Church Hall in Penarth. With the skies having cleared, work on May 1st took in a variety of Penarth locations: the conclusion of the footage begun the previous day at All Saints, Luke tricking Tybo at the Billy Banks Estate, Tybo seizing the police vehicle at Royal Close and driving it along that street and Paget Road, and the material with the speeder at the corner of Arcot Street and High Street. Principal photography then concluded at Upper Boat on May 4th, for scenes in the Chandra home and Androvax's spacecraft. Agnew then captured pick-up shots at Upper Boat on the 5th and the 22nd.

It was ultimately agreed that the transmission pattern for The Sarah Jane Adventures would change for its third season. Not only would all the episodes now premiere on BBC1 before being repeated on CBBC, but it would also move to a twice-weekly schedule. This would mean that an entire story would now unfold over the course of a Thursday and Friday afternoon, rather than viewers having to wait a week between episodes. The programme would now also be broadcast in both standard and high definition.

Furthermore, it was decided to adapt a cinema trailer made for the show's second season to act as an introduction to each episode of the third season. Recorded at Clinton Road on July 15th by producer Nikki Wilson, it saw Daniel Anthony, in character as Clyde Langer, speaking to the camera to explain the premise of The Sarah Jane Adventures, before meeting up with Sarah Jane and Luke. His dialogue also firmly established Sarah Jane's address as 13 Bannerman Road, after her house number had appeared inconsistently during the programme's early episodes. It was this introduction which greeted viewers when Prisoner Of The Judoon part one heralded the start of the new season on October 15th.

Sources
  • Doctor Who News.
  • Doctor Who Magazine Special Edition #28, 13th July 2011, “Episodes 3.1/3.2: Prisoner Of The Judoon” 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 15th Oct 2009
Time 4.35pm
Duration 28'00"
Viewers (more) 730k
· BBC1 / BBCHD 730k
Appreciation 81%
Episode 2
Date 16th Oct 2009
Time 4.35pm
Duration 28'16"
Viewers (more) 820k
· BBC1 / BBCHD 820k
Appreciation 86%


Cast
Sarah Jane Smith
Elisabeth Sladen
Luke Smith
Tommy Knight
Mr Smith
Alexander Armstrong
(more)
Clyde Langer
Daniel Anthony
Rani Chandra
Anjli Mohindra
Gita Chandra
Mina Anwar
Haresh Chandra
Ace Bhatti
Madison Yorke
Terence Maynard
Security Man
Robert Curtis
Captain Tybo
Paul Kasey
Voice of Captain Tybo
Nicholas Briggs
Androvax
Mark Goldthorp
Julie
Scarlett Murphy


Crew
Written by
Phil Ford
Directed by
Joss Agnew
Produced by
Nikki Wilson
(more)

Created by
Russell T Davies
Co-Producer
Phil Ford
1st Assistant Director
Simon Morris
2nd Assistant Director
Sarah Davies
3rd Assistant Director
Will Cummins
Location Manager
Jonathan Allott
Production Co-Ordinator
Ceri Hughes
Continuity
Nicki Coles
Script Editor
Gary Russell
Camera Operator
Martin Stephens
Focus Pullers
Mani Blaxter Paliwala
Rob McGregor
Grip
John Robinson
Boom Operator
Kevin Staples
Gaffer
Dave Fowler
Set Decorator
Joelle Rumbelow
Standby Art Director
Dafydd Shurmer
Standby Props
Dewi Thomas
Graphics
BBC Wales Graphics
Costume Supervisor
Arabella Rhodes
Assistant Editor
Lee Bhogal
Post Production Supervisor
Nerys Davies
Post Production Co-ordinator
Marie Brown
Colourist
Jon Everett
Sound Editors
Matthew Cox
Howard Eaves
Dubbing Mixer
Mark Ferda
Title Music
Murray Gold
Music
Sam Watts
Dan Watts
Casting Directors
Andy Brierley
Andy Pryor CDG
Production Executive
Julie Scott
Production Accountant
Dyfed Thomas
Sound Recordist
Ray Parker
Costume Designer
Stewart Meachem
Make Up Designer
Emma Bailey
Visual Effects
Craig Higgins
Special Effects
Colin Gorry Effects
Prosthetics
Millennium FX
Editor
Will Oswald
Production Designer
Arwel Wyn Jones
Director of Photography
Mark Waters
Production Manager
Steffan Morris
Executive Producers for BBC Wales
Russell T Davies
Julie Gardner
Piers Wenger

Updated 2nd August 2017