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Looking at the reviews of this, at March 2009 there were 13 so practical to browse them all, those in favour and those not. I can agree with big chunks of both sides. If I shrug off the flaws this is okay. The best is really okay. But on the days when the ham acting drags me down it is way too other.
This is something that I need to watch only occasionally, but at March 2009, season one was available as a DVD set, and at what for me is an affordable price. At least it was possible for me to purchase this.
The worst aspects remind me of UK media when they try to fight the good fight, deliberately making their work into flawed creations, some with a love for kiddie level SF might even consider this to be a manufactured virus that might erase their love of BBC SF. At the same time there is another side, there are even some very positive aspects to this series. Some are, to me, from the story creation, some are fan stuff, if one is a fan of most of the key actors then one will have to be impressed by how they mostly cope with the ham, sometimes they all fall but mostly there are some who stand out as good actors.
When Doctor Who first appeared, with two consecutive episodes, I watched it with my toughest sister. Scary, but everyone else was out, sunny Saturday late afternoon. We both liked it a lot. I thought that it was way better than anything else that was in the 5 to 6 pm time slot, but I was around the age of Maria and Luke, a lot of the other progs no longer made sense.
Doctor Who as apparent perfection. When I noticed any flawed acting or flawed continuity or flawed anything I could not remember it for long. I would now be suspicious of such a reaction but then I had to rate it highly.
I do not consider Sarah Jane to be perfect. As far as perfection goes, season one is way below such as Skippy 1992 and Pete and Pete 1993-5. I rate the Gorgon episode as 100% for political reasons, I rate Whatever Happened and The Lost Boy as way less than 90%, Sarah being like gritty ham to me, but I rate the first two stories, Bane and Slitheen, as amazing SF.
A big political plus. Many of the monsters in season one are unlikely to be frightening to any of age 5, some yes, most not. The first scary, Gorgon, was predictably scary, but covered until just the right time, the unveiling slow. The ugly scary related to the Gorgon host being rather old, well past her sell by date. I should shudder. With Kudlak there was an acclimatisation time, a cute look until rough stuff got rough. Whatever Happened to is maybe in the borderline territory, but if any feel a need to skip that they also miss some really ham science fiction. This monster aspect shows sophistication. Several of the older audience are said to have a love for the scary and this does try to include some, but while also scaring some who just have a love for science fiction.
I have to rate this series, despite the ham and flawed SF, for that monster aspect. If the early Dr Who achieved that it would likely be because special effects were not so advanced. This is kids television, and not geared just for the older kids. The bad guys tending to be ham might link with this, but that only occasionally works, for me. When it does work it is a big plus, folksy ham.
Fan stuff: A series that is not perfect, oh woe, just that Yasmin Paige is there so I have to take it seriously, this series covers her transition from tooth fairy to beginner level woman, it is one of the definitive Paige's. Essential viewing for those with that sort of good sense. And her acting stands out alongside the best in these stories. Except in some stories the principle actors go weak ham too, and that includes Yasmin, as if the directors sometimes had off days. Fans of any of the main actors will often be pleased, but occasionally wonder if their world has gone askew. The flaws can be difficult to shrug off.
Season 2. The DVD set available not so long after the season appeared. A lot of features have this, but not so many series. I found the price tag of season two to be welcome, especially with the season including appearances by Yasmin and Claire Thomas, as most series that I purchased during 200.9 had a price that got higher and higher.
First impressions of the story content: More solid, negligible ham acting until the later episodes. More scary, but not looking more scary just feeling more scary. Except none of them compared with the first two stories of season one. To me this season is missing out on something special, though comments suggest that some are finding this to be better. Rani having a very different style to Maria, impressively superhero versus impressively nice girl, to me that is the big difference.
I also found a copy of Dr Who season one, but that was the Eccleston Dr of 2005ish. I find it to be consistently at the level of the best of Sarah Jane, a big quality improvement over the early years, but not what I interpret as kiddie level SF, which is how I interpret Sarah Jane, I prefer Sarah Jane. Then I notice lots of Dr Who Easter eggs and assume that it is rather popular with today's young.
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