6 user 3 critic

Invasion of the Bane 

Maria moves into her new home and meets her neighbour Sarah Jane Smith. It's long until both of them find themselves at the local Bubble Shock factory and in terrible danger.


Colin Teague




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Elisabeth Sladen ... Sarah Jane Smith
Samantha Bond ... Ms. Wormwood
Yasmin Paige ... Maria Jackson
Tommy Knight ... Luke Smith
Porsha Lawrence-Mavour Porsha Lawrence-Mavour ... Kelsey
Jamie Davis Jamie Davis ... Davey
Joseph Millson ... Alan Jackson
Juliet Cowan ... Chrissie Jackson
Rungano Nyoni Rungano Nyoni ... Secretary
Philip North Philip North ... Technician
John Leeson ... K-9 (voice)
Alexander Armstrong ... Mr. Smith (voice)
Sydney White ... Bubbleshock girl
Olivia Hill Olivia Hill ... TV Reporter
Konnie Huq ... Herself


Maria Jackson and her divorced father Alan move into a house opposite that of Sarah Jane Smith, a rather secretive woman who is an investigative reporter, currently looking at Bubble Shock, a very influential soft drink, manufactured very speedily at a factory run by the elegant Mrs. Wormwood. In fact Mrs. Wormwood is an alien in human form, a member of a race known as the Bane, who intend to invade Earth. She is making an 'Archetype', a human boy, from the DNA of the many school-children who visit the factory. One of these is Maria, who meets Sarah Jane whilst the latter is investigating its activities. Sarah Jane ultimately destroys the building and the aliens working there, except Mrs. Wormwood, who escapes in an underground lift, vowing revenge. Sarah Jane takes the 'Archetype' home and adopts him, calling him Luke. He is extremely intelligent but has no memory of his creation. Sarah Jane is forced to admit to Maria that she is an erstwhile time traveller, who was friendly with a ... Written by don @ minifie-1

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Family | Sci-Fi


TV-PG | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

1 January 2007 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

BBC Wales See more »
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Technical Specs



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Did You Know?


When Sarah Jane suggests "Harry" and "Alastair" as names for the boy who ends up being called "Luke", she is probably referring to Harry Sullivan and Brigadier Alastair Lethbridge-Stewart, two men she knew from her time adventuring with the Doctor in the original Doctor Who (1963). Earlier, their photographs can be seen on the walls of her attic. See more »


When SJS is driving through the gates at the Bubble Shock factory, the front shot shows the gates closing and she drives through when the gates are part shut, just missing the car. In the rear shot, the gates are wide open. See more »


Sarah Jane Smith: There was a scientific project in Switzerland: they created their own black hole, and if it gets free, the whole earth would be swallowed up. So K9's sealing it off.
K9: Greetings, Mistress.
Maria Jackson: K 9?
Sarah Jane Smith: He's my friend.
Kelsey: K9? As in canine? Ha! That's so lame!
Sarah Jane Smith: He's been in there for a year and a half, now, plugging the distortion. And every so often, he passes my way!
Kelsey: Your best friend is a metal dog with its bum stuck in a black hole?
Sarah Jane Smith: [with quirkiness] I know!
See more »


Featured in The Sarah Jane Adventures: The Lost Boy: Part 1 (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

Pilot: Not great but at least, unlike Torchwood, it seems to know its target audience
4 January 2007 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

Maria and her father move into a new house. Maria's new friend Kelsey tells her that the last people in her house went crazy, claiming all sorts of nonsense about aliens and the like. Maria says nothing but she has already seen her neighbour doing something mysterious the night before. She goes with her friend to a free tour of the local Bubbleshock plant – a soft drink that everyone seems to love, seems to be everywhere and is being promoted with the apparent aim of total saturation. Maria smells some sort of rat and has her fears confirmed when she learns that new neighbour Sarah Jane Smith is also looking into the plant and mysterious boss Ms Wormwood.

Although I knew it was not aimed at my age group I decided to give some time to this most recent attempt to hold up Russell Davies as some sort of god. Having found that Torchwood was like a children's programme dressed up for adults (supposedly) I was interested to see what he would do with a grown up form of children's drama. The end result is pretty mixed but benefits from knowing who it is aimed at and who its audience is going to be for the most part. This is well seen in the pilot episode. Aside from some clunky setting up of the characters and relationships required for the series proper, this pilot has a bit of satire, special effects aliens, drama, tweenies and action. None of it is very good but it all works well enough for a very early teenage audience as it is much more interesting that the majority of dramas churned out for kids – particularly some of the sitcom style comedies from America.

As an adult I found it all a bit basic with the satire and the aliens lacking teeth, the action without a lot of substance and the characters thin, but at least it was clear from the series that this was not meant for me! I would say that older children should still be served good product for their viewing (they are not idiots – they can cope with challenging material) but this is still "good" by the standards set by the rest of the material in the time slot around it. The performances are not great though, which was a shame and hopefully is something they can overcome. Sladen appears to be unsure of her character and is a lot les interesting than she was in her recent Dr Who appearance. As a result Sladen drifts from scene to scene and appears uncertain of who she is – something that will need resolving. Better is young Paige/ Potentially an annoying little brat, she is actually quite down to earth and gives a good account of herself. It is obvious what her character will be over the series (she is basically Rose but with all the romance stuff gone!) and she seemed able to work with that. This shows up support from Porsha Lawrence-Mavour really badly though. Again it is clear that Lawrence-Mavour will be the cynical friend across the series but my god she was annoying after five minutes never mind five episodes (even her name is annoying!). She has a touch of realism about her but her dialogue is irritating and her character poor – her presence in each scene took away from what was actually quite an OK chemistry between Sladen and Paige. Knight was OK but again his character is weak; hopefully he can grown into his role within the character dynamics and not be as wet as he was here. Bond lacked teeth and seemed to rely on the mood music to do her job for her; it looks like she will be a reoccurring character so hopefully the series can use her better than in this pilot. K9 was sadly limited to a brief appearance and his location in a black hole seemed like a convenient way of keeping him out of the way so his rare appearance can be an event – he was cool though.

Overall then a solid enough attempt at a kid's sci-fi drama show. It doesn't totally make use of the potential and was not as good as I had hoped it would be but it did the job for its target audience of older pre-teens. At this level it will work for what it is but if it improves the performances, tightens the characters and plots and provides material closer to recent Dr Who story lines then it could be much better. However, like I said, at least it is aimed at children and works for children as opposed to Torchwood that seems to have been aimed at adults but mainly works best for older children.

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