The Sarah Jane Adventures: Season 3, Episode 11

The Gift: Part 1 (19 Nov. 2009)

TV Episode  -   -  Drama | Family | Sci-Fi
7.5
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Leaf and Tree, two seemingly harmless members of the Blathereen race, give Sarah Jane a gift, a plant known as the rakweed. Mr. Smith's analysis deems it harmless but whilst Luke sleeps he inhales its spoors, which send him into a coma.

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Title: The Gift: Part 1 (19 Nov 2009)

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Episode complete credited cast:
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Daniel Anthony ...
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Mr. Smith (voice)
John Leeson ...
K-9 (voice)
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Leaf Blathereen (voice)
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Tree Blathereen (voice)
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Leaf Blathereen
Ruari Mears ...
Tree Blathereen
...
Chris
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Chris Slitheen
Edward Judge ...
Dave
Sarah Paul ...
Miss Jerome
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Leaf and Tree, two seemingly harmless members of the Blathereen race, give Sarah Jane a gift, a plant known as the rakweed. Mr. Smith's analysis deems it harmless but whilst Luke sleeps he inhales its spoors, which send him into a coma.

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Drama | Family | Sci-Fi

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19 November 2009 (UK)  »

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You can hear a 'Terran Siege Tank' (from the game StarCraft (1998)) transforming into 'Siege Mode' in the background. Listen closely ~1 minute after the opening credits, when the Slitheen in human skin activates his 'money spinner', right before he says "And so it begins". See more »

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Some Nice Symbolism and a Big Plot Hole
21 January 2011 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

THE SARAH JANE ADVENTURES is a good spin-off from the BBC Wales version of DOCTOR WHO, in which Sarah Jane Smith, an old traveling companion of the Doctor, battles various alien threats to Earth with her adopted son Luke, two of his friends, an alien super-computer and K-9, a robot dog from the 6th Millennium. It is pitched for younger children, and typically contains a goodly amount of thrills, moral lessons, and aliens.

In this one, aliens from the planet Raxacoricofallapatorius, who have previously appeared in the 2005 season of DOCTOR WHO, trick Sarah Jane into accepting Raxweed, which they say can feed the planet. However, it soon becomes clear that this is a virulently invasive species which will, like kudzu in the American Southeast, take over the planet, unless Sarah and her teenage assistants can stop it. The story is told with the series' usual good humor, action and production values. Happily for fans of the serial form like me, all the stories of Season Three are written as two-parters, which permits cliffhangers. In addition, some important issues are handled symbolically -- something which fantasy and science fiction do very nicely: the question of whom to trust, the dangers of introducing new species into a a local ecology -- just like kudzu, as mentioned above -- and the dangerous allure of fame.

Unfortunately, there is a big plot hole: since the Raxweed spreads itself rapidly via spores -- fast enough to cover all of greater London in three days and the entire planet, presumably, in a few weeks, why did the aliens need to involve Sarah Jane at all? Why not just drop it in an out-of-the-way spot and let it conquer the Earth before anyone noticed? Well, I suppose the production team figured that its target audience would not notice.


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