Doctor Who's most reliably awesome spin-off had almost everything this week: android versions of Agent Smith, silly UFO nuts, and alien genocide. Most of all, it had bad-ass Clyde Langer. Here are our five favorite moments. Spoilers ahead.
So the first story of Sarah Jane Adventures season one was a bit of a letdown — but the second outing, "The Vault Of Secrets," was a return to awesome form. Writer Phil Ford created a sort of unofficial sequel to his animated Doctor Who story, "Dreamland," featuring the return of those 1950s android men in black who are devoted to keeping humans from finding out about aliens. Once again, Sarah Jane proves she's much too gullible when an alien turns up with a sob story — how many times has Sarah Jane helped an evil alien break into a vault now? A dozen? And Gita Chandra learns the truth about her daughter Rani's hobby... for a little while, anyway.
So here are the five utterly ridiculous moments that totally made us love the Sarah Jane Adventures once again:
1) Sarah Jane's coverup. Best Doctor Who in-joke ever. NASA's launched yet another robot probe onto Mars, but Sarah Jane keeps shutting them down before they can discover a certain pyramid...
2) Excessive UFO silliness. I don't know why I think this line is so funny — I think it's just the delivery or the timing, or perhaps the look on Haresh Chandra's face. But even though, by rights, the UFO conspiracy society called BURPSS ought to be the dumbest joke of all time, something about the line, "We believe in... letting it all out" converts it into pure comedy gold for me. This story had a lot of dumb jokes that worked for me, including the way Sarah Jane says "Android Association" and then does a little vaudeville thing with her elbow. And then the android has to give an endless speech to explain why he's not programmed for comedy. It's bad humor that crosses over into being excellent.
3) Clyde and Rani's moment of seriousness. Rani's mom has been taken over by the evil Androvax — no thanks to Sarah Jane — and Rani's wondering if she should have told her mom the truth about aliens long ago. It's actually a really nice moment, where she realizes how terrible she's going to feel, having laughed at her mom's ignorance, if it results in her mother's death. Then Clyde actually shows this mature, thoughtful side — until suddenly, they're holding hands. (I am so a Clyde/Rani shipper. Make it happen, Russell T. Davies!) This all leads to the greatest Clyde line of them all: "If it's Clyde Langer versus the universe, the universe better bring some mates."
4) Someone finally does the sensible thing and lies to the evil alien. After Androvax has lied to our heroes a few thousand times, I think it's permissible to do the reverse. Rani plays Androvax perfectly — I no longer miss Maria, and that's saying a lot. And then her mom has to check to make sure she's wearing pants.
5) Hasta La Vista! And finally, no roundup of awesome moments would be even half-way complete without Clyde destroying two androids. Yes, it's completely absurd — including the instant replay! — but it's still awesome. Note that for all the androids' swaggering and threats to incinerate everybody, this is the only time they ever actually shoot their laser thingies and hit anything. They're worse shots than Stormtroopers! And then Clyde says "Hasta La Vista" to an android. Role reversal!
And then next week, we get Clyde and the Doctor sharing a body. Can. Not. Wait.