The Sarah Jane Adventures-Complete Fifth Series (2009)

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Released 5-Jul-2012

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Science Fiction Main Menu Audio & Animation
Featurette-Behind The Scenes
Rating ?
Year Of Production 2009
Running Time 156:00
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Joss Agnew
Alice Troughton
Graeme Harper
Charles Martin

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Elisabeth Sladen
Case ?
RPI ? Music Sam Watts
Dan Watts

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 2.0
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

     Fans of Doctor Who, either the classic series or the new version, will be aware of the character, Sarah Jane Smith, a journalist and companion to The Doctor. She originally appeared in the classic Doctor Who series back in 1973 with the third Doctor (played by Jon Pertwee) and then with the fourth Doctor (played by Tom Baker). She finished her run as the Doctor's companion in 1976. Subsequent to this the character was revived for an attempted spinoff series K-9 & Company and reappeared in a variety of specials and spinoffs of the classic Doctor Who series. Then with the new Doctor Who series in 2005, the character was again brought out of retirement and appeared in a few episodes. This then led to a new spinoff series, The Sarah Jane Adventures, of which this is Season 5. From 1973 to 2011 the character was played by Elisabeth Sladen. This fifth season of The Sarah Jane Adventures was cut short due to the unfortunate death of Elisabeth Sladen whilst the season was being shot. Accordingly, this final season is only three two-part episodes rather than the usual six or more.

     For those not familiar with this series, it is designed for younger fans of the Doctor Who universe and tones down the scares and spookiness of the main show. Other than Sarah Jane herself the other main characters are all teenagers including Clyde Langer, a boy from the neighbourhood; Rani, a girl from over the road who is good friends with Clyde and Luke, Sarah Jane's adopted and genetically engineered son. Sarah Jane is also aided by Mr Smith an alien computer who lives in the wall of her attic. Sarah Jane has taken it upon herself to protect earth from alien invasion, while Doctor Who is somewhere else. She does this with the help of Clyde, Rani, Luke, Mr Smith and sometimes even K-9.

     In this particular season, the action kicks off with a baby being left on Sarah Jane's doorstep which seems to be able to affect electrical appliances. The baby, with the help of a visiting alien, grows quickly into 12 year old girl, Sky. She was obviously planned to become a recurring character as by the end of episode 1 she has been adopted by Sarah Jane. The second episode's plot is kick started by a rainstorm of fish, seemingly caused by a mysterious totem pole. The third episode features a new personal computer being launched by mysterious recluse, Mr Serf.

     This is a good series for older pre-teens and young teens who are a bit young for Doctor Who. My pre-teen boys enjoy it greatly finding it exciting and entertaining. It is a great shame that this will now be the end of the series due to Elisabeth Sladen's death. These three episodes are quite decent without being spectacular and some fans have found the addition to Sky to be annoying. I didn't think she was so bad, but It was a bit too coincidental for Sarah Jane to adopt two aliens.


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Transfer Quality


     The video quality is good.

     The feature is presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio which is the original aspect ratio. It is 16x9 enhanced.

     The picture was reasonably clear and sharp throughout although was affected by some graininess which sometimes trended into mild macro-blocking. Shadow detail was quite good.

     The colour is very vibrant, occasionally too much so.

     Other than those mentioned above the only artefact was some motion blur during fast motion.

     There are subtitles in English for the Hearing Impaired which were clear and easy to read.

     There is no obvious layer change during the episodes.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


     The audio quality is decent but could have done with better mixing.

     These discs contain an English soundtrack in Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo. The sound is obviously quite front focused.

     Dialogue was a bit difficult to understand at times and the subtitles were certainly useful.

     The music sounds great and fits the show well, although does tend to drown out the dialogue at times.

     The surround speakers and subwoofer were not used.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use



     The menu featured music and motion and was themed to the show. There is an audio navigation option.

Goodbye Bannerman Road, Remembering Elisabeth Sladen (19:00)

     A worthwhile featurette focused on Elisabeth Sladen's career, life and her time on the show. Various cast & crew plus Matt Smith talk about working with her and her time as a Doctor Who companion.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    This show is available in the UK in the same format.


     The truncated final season of The Sarah Jane Adventures.

     The video quality is good.

     The audio quality is decent.

     One good extra.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
Review Equipment
DVDSONY BDP-S760 Blu-ray, using HDMI output
DisplaySharp LC52LE820X Quattron 52" Full HD LED-LCD TV . Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt into BD player. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer

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