Tuesday, July 29, 2008

SJA: Invasion of the Bane



EPISODE: New Year's Special
AIR DATE: January 1, 2007
VILLAINS: Mrs. Wormwood
OTHER CHARACTERS: Maria Jackson, Luke Smith, Mr. Smith, Kelsey Harper, Davey, Alan Jackson, Chrissie Jackson, K-9

Young Maria Jackson and her recently divorced father, Alan, are moving into a house opposite Sarah Jane Smith on Bannerman Road. As her father sorts boxes, Maria watches a television commercial for the popular new soft drink called Bubble Shock! Maria's mother, Chrissie helps out and pesters her former husband for more money before leaving. That night Maria is awakened by a bright light which she follows to Sarah Jane's house and finds there a glowing alien. As it disappears into the night sky, a terrified Maria runs home and locks the front door. The next morning local girl Kelsey Harper arrives to welcome the new family and offers to take Maria into town. When Maria replies that she has no money, Kelsey tells her about the free Bubble Shock! Bus, which takes visitors to the Bubble Shock! factory for a guided tour. Mr Jackson attempts to introduce himself to Sarah Jane but she overhears the girl's plans and gives chase in her car.

On the bus, Maria questions Kelsey about the secret ingredient in Bubble Shock! known only as Bane. Kelsey roughly repeats the claims made by the television adverts that Bane is organic and that makes it good. Maria is still not convinced enough to drink any of it. Kelsey informs her she must be part of the official 2% statistic of the population that doesn't like the drink. After the bus reaches the factory, all the guests go through a security scanner and have to turn off their mobile phones. Unknown to them the scanner collects their DNA. A boy, the Archetype, lies in a medical chamber has a breathing mask over his mouth. A worker informs his supervisor Mrs Wormwood that the DNA of the children has been transmitted. Mrs Wormwood is delighted and believes "mother" will be equally pleased.

The guests are led by PR agent Davey who offers everyone numerous free samples of the drink whilst boredly providing a pre-written PR statement on the virtues of the drink. He notices that Maria has not taken any samples and insists she does. She responds that she doesn't care for it, saying she is in the 2% of the population who feel likewise. Davey cryptically replies that the factory is heavily working on a way to make sure 100% of the population will consume the drink.
Sarah Jane is sneaking around the factory, when she notices a door. Using her sonic lipstick to unlock it, she opens it, before being captured by some guards who take her to Mrs Wormwood's office, Sarah comments that Wormwood was described in the Bible as a star that would fall to Earth and taint the world's water supply. Wormwood recognises Sarah Jane's name from a number of e-mails and phone calls the company received, all of which went unanswered. Wormwood agrees to grant Sarah Jane an interview. Sarah Jane asks how they obtained a license to make food and drink in two weeks. Mrs Wormwood replies that they are only satisfying the Western world's need for food, stating how humans love to gorge themselves. Sarah Jane presses her to reveal the nature of the mysterious Bane ingredient as every test she has had run on the drink has been unable to reveal anything -- almost as if the drink had a form of intelligence and was hiding its contents. Mrs Wormwood insists that she drinks some Bubble Shock!, but Sarah Jane refuses and continues her attempts to find out the origins of the ingredient and suggests that Wormwood comes from space. Mrs Wormwood mocks such an idea as crazy talk and has her secretary Lesley escort Sarah Jane out of the factory. Once in the lift, Wormwood orders her secretary to kill Sarah Jane but she intercepts the attack and escapes further into the factory.

Kelsey attempts to phone her friend Suki and wanders into a restricted area. Her mobile phone disturbs an unknown beast and sets off an emergency alarm causing the factory to be evacuated. Davey finds her huddled in a corner, screaming for someone to get "that thing" away from her. Davey angrily responds that the creature is not "a thing", Kelsey is; the creature is his mother. Mrs Wormwood dispatches guards to locate and kill Sarah Jane, as well as demanding the alarms be switched off for the sake of the Bane Mother. Maria attempts to find Kelsey using her mobile phone but she sets off the alarm again and prompts the Archetype to escape. Mrs Wormwood and Davey lead teams in an attempt to find the source of the alarm.

Soon after Maria bumps into the Archetype. She tries to introduce herself, while the Archetype just repeats what she says back to her. They hide in a cubicle in the women's toilets and are soon joined by Sarah Jane, with both parties surprised to see one another. Just outside, Davey reports they have searched eveywhere and have found no sign of the intruders. Mrs Wormwood asks him if he has checked inside the women's toilets. Somewhat shocked, he replies that his training on human culture had stated it was strictly forbidden for males to enter. Frustrated at his stupidity, Wormwood storms into the toilets and slams open all the cubicles but finds no one there. Davey points out the window has been opened and Wormwood realies Sarah Jane and the children have escaped. Outside they flee to Sarah Jane's car. Maria protests that they left Kelsey behind.

Sarah Jane uses her sonic lipstick to get out of the factory. In Mrs Wormwood's office, Kelsey rants about the treatment she has received. Unable to make sense of her tirade, Wormwood decides to change into her natural form in order to scan the girl's mind. She deactivates her causing Kelsey to scream. Sometime later, Kelsey lies unconscious in the office. Davey notes Wormwood held back, to which she replies that children have parents who would cause them trouble by asking questions. She attempts to make sense of Kelsey's thoughts and finds most of them to be no use, focusing on boys and pop culture. She eventually discovers Kelsey knows of Sarah Jane and lives on the same street. She dispatches Davey to take Kelsey home with his true objective being to kill Sarah Jane and retrieve the Archetype.

Upon arriving back at Bannerman Road, Sarah Jane tells Maria to go home and not get involved. Maria replies that it is too late for that and reveals she saw the alien from the previous night which shocks Sarah Jane. However, Sarah puts her foot down and tells Maria her life is dangerous; she doesn't want anyone else getting hurt for the decisions she has made. A furious Maria runs home and her father attempts to comfort her. Sarah Jane questions the Archetype on his origins. She finds that despite his appearance he lacks a navel or any common sesneknowledge. Most surprisingly, Sarah Jane's alien watch reveals him to be only hours old. When she asks him who he is he only replies, "I am everyone". A male voice calls out to Sarah Jane. The Archetype asks what it is but Sarah Jane quickly responds that it is nothing and that he is not allowed to go upstairs.

Soon after, Davey's car pulls up on the street. Kelsey attempts to flirt with him but he just tells her to get out. Kelsey enters the Jacksons' house and a relieved Maria asks her what happened. Kelsey remembers nothing, instead believing Maria abandoned her for no reason and that she had to get a lift home from Davey. Realising this means he is on their street, an alarmed Maria runs to Sarah Jane's house to warn her. Sarah Jane initially mistakes her intent and shuts the door on her but quickly opens it when Kelsey screams -- Davey has revealed his true Bane form and is crawling along the side of the house. Sarah Jane quickly rushes both girls inside but Davey easily knocks the front door off its hinges and chases them up the stairs.

Sarah Jane tells the children to wait as she dashes into a room she declares off limits and returns with a mysterious spray with which she attacks Davey with a spray. Kelsey slips away into the mysterious room and loudly declares her amazement. Sarah Jane and the others follow, revealing a room filled with mementoes of past adventures and also a talking computer, Mr Smith. Sarah Jane explains that years ago she met a man unlike any other, who took her on adventures in time and space. This is when K-9 puts in a brief appearance, too, having a rare chance to say hello to Sarah.

Sarah uses Mr Smith to patch into the Bubble Shock factory communication systems and offers to Wormwood an ultimatuum should the Bane not leave Earth. Harried by mind-controlled Bubble Shock! drinkers, the group heads to the factory and the Archetype uses a transmitter device given to Sarah Jane by her alien friend to destroy the Bane. Back home, the gang try to think up a name for the Archetype and decide on Luke. Sarah has her computer print up adoption papers for Luke. That night, the quartet sit together in Sarah Jane's yard, looking up at the stars.