Thanksgiving 2010: In praise of an older woman:
The Sarah Jane Adventures returns!
For the past three years, the BBC has been producing what must be one of the best "children's television" adventure programs in the world. I'm tempted to call it a "family drama" or some other euphemism because — much as it pains me to admit the truth — I am a few
years decades past any claim to being a child, but The Sarah Jane Adventures is broadcast on C(hildren's)BBC, and even a cursory glance at its website reveals that it is being marketed to ... kids. Full-stop.
And yet ... And yet, I am looking forward to its fourth season with what is a frankly childlike — maybe even childish — sense of excitement, despite last year's third series, even if last year's third series wasn't, quite, as much fun as were the first 24 half-hour episodes.
And fun is the operative word here. So far, The Sarah Jane Adventures have captured the feel of its progenitor, Doctor Who, arguably better than the revivified original itself.
As befits a spin-off, The Sarah Jane Adventures isn't saddled by an enormous and fanatical (and extremely vocal) fan-base and so, I suspect (though I'm sure Russel T Davies & Co. would hotly dispute my hypothesis), that its writers and producers are not suffering quite the same pressure to make it BIGGER and BETTER than it was last time out.
Which ironically gives them a better chance to produce more of the sort of stories that made it so bloody good the first and second (and, partially, third) times around. Instead of worrying (even if subconsciously) what fandom and the blogosphere are going to say moments after a program airs, they can, with clean hands and composure, concentrate on telling stories.
Yes, I'm going on about the importance of story again; yes, it's a recurring theme; and yes, it's bound to pop up again here, probably sooner than later.
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