The Sarah Jane Adventures: Season 4, Episode 1

The Nightmare Man: Part 1 (11 Oct. 2010)

TV Episode  -   -  Drama | Family | Sci-Fi
7.7
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Luke is all set to go to Oxford University a year earlier than usual but,in the days before he is due to leave,he experiences dreams for the first time in his life. They are in fact ... See full summary »

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Title: The Nightmare Man: Part 1 (11 Oct 2010)

The Nightmare Man: Part 1 (11 Oct 2010) on IMDb 7.7/10

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Episode cast overview:
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Daniel Anthony ...
Anjli Mohindra ...
Julian Bleach ...
The Nightmare Man
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Mr. Smith (voice)
John Leeson ...
K-9 (voice)
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Toby Longworth ...
Slitheen (voice)
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Luke is all set to go to Oxford University a year earlier than usual but,in the days before he is due to leave,he experiences dreams for the first time in his life. They are in fact recurring nightmares in which he is rejected by Sarah Jane,Rani and Clyde,who replace him with another boy Josh. Worse, he is pursued by the Nightmare Man,who threatens to materialize in the real world. Luke describes his dreams on a Cam-Corder but finally cannot stay awake any loner and,as he seemingly ends up in limbo,the Nightmare Man steps into the attic. Written by don @ minifie-1

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Drama | Family | Sci-Fi

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11 October 2010 (UK)  »

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Ambition and Anxiety
13 January 2012 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

Luke has gotten into Oxford a year early and even as he prepares to go away, he starts to dream for the first time, only to have nightmares... until it turns out that it is an alien entity that wishes to take his place.

Of the four modern DOCTOR WHO series -- DOCTOR WHO, TORCHWOOD, K9 and THE SARAH JANE ADVENTURES, the last, with its aim set squarely at a juvenile audience is often the most successful replication of the original series. With the limitations on language and subject imposed by its authorities, it must tell its science fictional stories purely in terms of symbols. Although it often fails because of its mechanical uses of those symbols, every once in a while it tackles its subjects as more than kiddy adventures.

It does so here, with its lurking subtext of separation anxiety. Luke wants to go to Oxford, but is fearful of leaving his safe home environment -- a seemingly bizarre assertion considering their regular involvement with all sorts of alien monsters -- and the first episode plays with the possibility that this is normal anxiety. It is only with the cliffhanger that we find out this is real.

The second half works just as well with its scenes of personal nightmare -- although no one shows up without their pants, which is what happens in my nightmares -- but some expert staging, lighting and camera work maintain the bizarre and disquieting atmosphere -- and the message that runs throughout the series that ordinary people can save the world.

Appreciating this sort of story is something that most adults outgrow -- if the despair of age can be considered adult. Even if you can't, perhaps your kids can. You can enjoy it for the technical excellence -- and the pleasure and hope it brings your children.


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