Doctor Who

Season 2 Episode 3

School Reunion

Aired Saturday 8:00 PM Apr 29, 2006 on BBC America

Episode Fan Reviews (32)

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out of 10
564 votes
  • One of my favourite episodes of NuWho. :D

    "Does he still stroke bits of the TARDIS?"

    "Yes! Sometimes I'm like: 'Do you two want to be alone?'"

    Poor Rose has competition, it would seem. And we're not just talkin' the return of the fabulous Sarah Jane Smith!

    Miss Smith (played by Elisabeth Sladen) was first introduced in the 1973 Third Doctor story The Time Warrior where she was infiltrating a top-secret research facility, posing as her aunt, Lavina Smith, who was a famous virologist. She sneaks aboard the TARDIS and aids The Doctor in a battle against a militaristic alien (a Sontaran).

    Sarah Jane went on to further travels with The Doctor as well as to work with The Brigadeer, leader of the United Nations Intelligence Taskforce (UNIT). She faced off with Cybermen and Daleks, even meeting the latter's creator, Davros. She was there for The Doctor when he regenerated from the Third to the Fourth.

    Her last regular appearance was 1976's The Hand of Fear where The Doctor receives a summons to Gallifrey and leaves Sarah Jane in Aberdeen (rather than the promised Hillview Road, South Croydon) because humans are not allowed on the Time Lords' planet. After that, Sarah appeared in numerous specials including, but not limited to: The Five Doctors, Dimensions in Time (a canonically debatable Doctor Who/EastEnders crossover for Children in Need), and A Girl's Best Friend (pilot to the failed K-9 and Company where The Doctor fulfils his promise not to forget her by sending her his beloved metal dog).

    School Reunion is an episode that thrives on campy horror and acting. The plot is rather cheesily threadbare and, if the episode depended on said plot, I rather think it would have gone the way of The Long Game. Thankfully, this was not the case.

    So School Reunion is not just good, it is a great episode. It is funny and scary and touching and sad all at once. It also serves as an unofficial promotional for the excellent children's series The Sarah Jane Adventures. With a decent plot and excellent character and relationship growth, nothing about this episode is tedious to watch. It started out great and built to an amazing climax and a bitter-sweet ending. I give it a 10/10 and hope that future episodes will take inspiration from the story of a Time Lord and his best friend, reunited at last.

  • School Reunion

    School Reunion was a superbly entertaining episode of Doctor Who. I enjoyed watching because the story was fun, the characters were intriguing and awesome and the action was engaging. It was great to meet Sarah Jane Smith and K-9 the robot dog as they were both awesome and resourceful. It was intriguing when Sarah Jane Smith confronted The Doctor with the question of why he left her, in front of Rose, and it was great to see the uneasy feeling ensuing for both of them. I liked how every thing played out and look forward to watching what happens next!!!!!!!!!
  • Experience the wonders, joy, and marvels of being one of The Doctor's companions. Learn of the heart break and indirections when your time is over. These above all are what this episode will help you explore within yourself.

    Sarah Jane Smith, K-9, The Doctor, Rose, and Mickey all come together for what maybe one of the three best episodes ever. Have you ever wanted to be a companion and see the universe throughout all of time and space? Don't you want to see the wondrous diversity of living, thriving, and yes conflicting life that exists. Haven't you wanted to make a difference not just to you community but to all whom ever existed? If you feel this way then you, too, want to be a Doctor companion.

    There are so many positive reasons to accept an offer to join The Doctor. I certainly would join in a heart beat. As Sarah Jane says there are reasons to let your heart break. Traveling with The Doctor is adventurous, rewarding, but above all exciting, even to the extent of addiction. But it is worth it to those called then, now, and forever.

    This episode helps us see the downside for companions, the withdrawal they experience when their time with The Doctor is over. It also reminds us of the curse The Doctor lives with by aligning himself with humans. The curse isn't he regenerates. The curse is he loves us and we don't regenerate. If it wasn't for his love of us he'd be with others who also regenerate.

    This episode will run the gambit of all your emotions. You'll cry, cheer, hate, love, and more with the villains, The Doctor, and all of his companions. Above all, though, you’ll cry tears of happiness and joy during the last scene – the reunion of K-9 and his mistress.
  • goodbut just not good enough, too bad aswell

    "School Reunion" has an interesting if quickly resolved story, new aliens with a suitably grand goal and a creative way of achieving that goal, and some good performances from all involved. I do have some issues with characterization, but I'll come to those in a moment.

    I think this is the first time the 45 minute format really seemed too short to me. So many ideas and story threads are crammed into this episode, but it's not as though they aren't dealt with. It's just that every little plot idea is shown and resolved so rapidly that the episode really does feel rushed. There's no dramatic process of discovery, where events proceed and I as the audience have time to think about and mentally digest the latest plot revelation before the next one comes along. Everything is thrown at the audience at a break-neck pace. This approach doesn't derail the story by any means, but it's just not as emotionally satisfying as I would like.

    That being said, at least the story isn't dull. The Doctor is already in place and investigating when the story opens, which is new ground for the series, and also indicative of the generally rushed pace of events. It's hilarious that Rose is working in the school kitchen and that she's clearly resentful of that fact! It doesn't take long figure out that something is amiss in the school, as demonstrated by the genius kid in the Doctor's physics class and the odd cooking oil in the kitchen.

    Then during the chat in the teacher's lounge one of my favorite companions is added to the mix: Sarah Jane Smith. I've been looking forward to this episode ever since I heard that Elisabeth Sladen would been guest starring. And John Leeson is back voicing K9 as well! And while it's wonderful to see the two characters again, the characterization of Sarah is the part of this episode that bothers me. I don't want to criticize said characterization, since apparently Mrs. Sladen felt that the writers had treated Sarah well, but it's just sad to think that she had pined away for the Doctor for thirty years. That's not the strong independent Sarah Jane I remember. I imagine it would be very difficult to go back to an ordinary life after all those experiences and adventures she'd had, but to have denied herself a family and a life of her own is just sad, and frankly a little tough to believe. I'd rather they hadn't gone that route with her story. Especially when it's patently obvious that Sarah is being treated in part as an object lesson for Rose as much as a character in her own right. That isn't sad, it's downright irritating.

    The first meeting between the Doctor and Sarah where he knows her but she doesn't recognize him is lovely, as he's clearly delighted to see her again, and as proud as he can be of her. David Tennant just does an outstanding job in that scene. Later on when they meet in the school and head down to the diner, he's clearly enjoying her company, though Rose is not. Now here I have to say that though I've generally liked Rose up to this point, her little jealous fits are becoming very irritating. So much so that I'd just as soon she left the show than put up with having to watch them over and over. It's bad enough when she's throwing the evil eye at Lynda with a y, but when she starts criticizing Sarah Jane it's too much. Grow up and get over it already. In this fan's view, if it comes down to a choice between Rose and Sarah Jane, Sarah wins every time.

    Is it me, or is "The Five Doctors" pretty much ignored? It's odd with all the continuity that's on display that Sarah pretty much acts as if she hasn't seen the Doctor since he dropped her off in what turned out to be Aberdeen. I suppose that in "The FIve Doctors" she did spend the majority of her time with the third Doctor, who of course hadn't been the one who dropped her off and left, but she did meet the fifth briefly. Perhaps we could rationalize it away by saying that she didn't realize he was the 'successor' to her Doctor. But then there's the presence of K9, who the Doctor obviously left for her some time after he dropped her off, so she would have known he hadn't died. I think that in order to write the story he wanted to, Toby Whithouse had to ignore the fact that Sarah had already had some closure, and had to play fast and loose with the old series in order to make something more out of the 'best friends' that the fourth Doctor and Sarah were. I get the feeling that like so many people today, the writers of this show have a hard time conceiving of a close friendship that doesn't involve romance and sex, which shows a lack of imagination on their part, to say the least. As I said before, turning Sarah into the victim of unrequited love so she can be a sad old spinster and a object lesson to Rose is certainly not respectful of the character, or faithful to the past.

    All of that being said, Sarah is still one of my all-time favorites, and the use of her character, above complaints excepted, is good enough that I still enjoyed her inclusion in the episode tremendously. And the 'real goodbye' at the end is touching, and I'm glad to see she finally got that goodbye.

    Poor K9 is all rusty and not working well. But Sarah is still carrying him around, and the Doctor is happy to see him again, and Tennant just does so well in expressing his delight that it's infectious. The little dog is as endearing as ever, though he doesn't get a lot of time on screen, he is crucial to resolving the plot and ending the Krillitane threat. He's a brave little fellow, and I'm glad I knew he was coming back at the end of the episode, or I'd have been really unhappy when he sacrificed himself to blow up the school. As it is, he gets some of the best lines, telling Mickey several times "We are in a car", and his smug little "Affirmative" to the Headmaster's "You bad dog!" I was just grinning like a little kid again when he comes to the rescue in the cafeteria and starts shooting down Krillitane.

    I really enjoyed Anthony Head's performance as well. I remember him from the Excelis audios that Big Finish released a few years back, where he was quite good as Lord Grayvorn. He's just as good here, with his distinctive voice and restrained mannerisms. Then he gets angry and looks rather fiendish, and clearly seems to be having fun in the part of an evil alien school headmaster who eats students. He's a good strong bit of casting which I think was certainly needed in a story with so much going on. A less distinctive actor might well have been lost in the shuffle or just outshone by Sarah and K9's return.

    The coda at the end is welcome, as Sarah gets to see the TARDIS and comment that she 'preferred the old one', and turn down an offer to travel again. It's good to see the Doctor express his affection for her so openly. Most of the time I prefer the Doctor to be reserved, but not in this case. Sarah's obvious happiness at seeing K9 again is well performed, and the scene elicited a bit "awwwww" out of my wife, who didn't know it was coming.

    As for David Tennant, he put in another fine performance. His acting is first rate from start to finish. As is the episode itself. It's not perfect by any means, and I have other minor nitpicks besides the characterization of Sarah, but generally speaking the story is good and works quite well. One of my favorites of the new season.
  • K9!!

    This a great episode for us as viewers to start to work out the 10th Doctor's character. For those of us not having experienced a regeneration before, it gives us time to adjust to this crazy new guy who's stolen the TARDIS. It has loads of fun parts, such as the Doctor and, yes, Sarah-Jane of all people cooing over K9; well, K9 mark 3 to be precise. It also has the Doctor as a physics teacher and Rose as a dinner lady. Anthony Head does a great job as the head Krillitane and we learn that being the Doctor's companion is great- until you have to leave. Fundamentally a filler episode to ease us gently into the new season, but with some witty one-liners and fast paced action, this episode has got it all.
  • What could have been a decent episode ends up being lame.

    I've liked the new Doctor pretty well and after last week's episode, this was very disappointing.

    The story was good and Anthony Stewart Head was awesome as the bad guy but the entire story is let down by two things: Mickey's being a waste of space and the truly dreadful Sarah Jane.

    First off, Mickey is such a non-character it's not funny, he has no function except to be the butt of jokes and even then fails miserably. Plus his absurd relationship with Rose is completely pointless - at least Captain Jack created some sort of love triangle, you wonder what on Earth Rose even sees in this idiot, not to mention the connection (dare I even say love?) that Rose and the Doctor feel for each other.

    But my real objection to this episode is Sarah Jane - her storyline is interesting though she whines about how the Doctor abandoned her and obviously she wasn't very important to her given how he just shrugs when she complains. The writers make this lame attempt to create some sort of bond between them but alot of it contradicts previous behaviour and is just a mess. Then there's the actress' pathetic acting and the simple fact that she was just badly cast - there is *no* chemistry between these two and even the actor who plays the Doctor is awkward around her, not sure how to behave.

    There are good moments but the entire episode just doesn't work very well which is a shame because it had potential.
  • Fairly exciting to watch.

    Fairly exciting to watch and sees the return of Sarah-Jane Smith and reveals a lot of information from the Doctor's past.

    It is fun to see Rose's reaction to Sarah Jane and the argument they have about which aliens and monsters they have met.

    It isn't a drak episode, it is very bright and Anthony Head performs well as the evil and head krillitane.

    The krillitanes are very cleverly made creatures. The only thing that lets it down is some of the special effects were a bit non believeable but apart from that it was brilliant.

    Not my favourite but very very good :)
  • A true highlight of Doctor Who.

    Sarah-Jane, Mickey, Anthony Head and K9 all in one episode turned out to be a great treat in this simple-concept isolated episode. The return of Sarah-Jane weather you knew her or not was a excellent idea for an episode. She is a much loved charecter by old and now new, the link to the classic made for interesting viewing whovians wet thier pants to! As said the story was simple. Clever, effective and well worth telling but simple. A school based episode with evil chips and teachers and a Disco Tin-dog, with a predictable happy ending isn't everyones cup of tea - but its VERY Doctor Who, and for being true to its core this episode cannot be faulted. The CGI of the aliens in this episode was as good as it needed to be, and 3 years later it still looks very impressive. This for me is the most replayable episide. It does a very good job of being accesible to a wide range viewers whilst satisfying the fans who crave for connections to the past and 'lore' in a pretty big way. A truly satisfying episode.
  • The Doctor catches up with Sarah-Jane and K9...

    This is a very special episode. The Doctor, Rose and Mickey investigate strange things going on at a school - but this is secondary to the gang meeting old companion Sarah-Jane and K9. Lis Sladen is wonderful as the older companion - as she meets the current Doctor and Rose. Her questions about being left behind, her relationship with the Doctor and returning to normal life after seeing new worlds are great - what every viewer wants to hear. Her interaction with the Doctor - and her initial friction with Rose - is fantastic. You almost forget that there is something weird going on in the school - led by Anthony Stewart Head (Giles from 'Buffy') - who is great as the villain. David Tennant seems to be having a ball as he sees Sarah-Jane again and Billie Piper gets some great scenes as she spars/laughs with the older companion. The final scene where Sarah-Jane finally gets the Doctor to say good-bye to her is just awesome.
  • i think its a very interesting episode but don't read my review

    10 out of 10 i loved that it had k9 in it and Elisabeth Sladen (Sarah Jane Smith),
    i haven't seen many old eps but the ones i have seen had Sarah Jane Smith but i now want to see all of the Season Num: 20 25,1983 on uk gold i think i like the new doctor more now than i did the
    first series doctor christopher ecelson he was a bit to wacky for me
    its amazing what they can do on such a small budget now a days

    i will delete this if a can soon o k
    t t t t
  • That is; I'm sure it will be reckoned as such. Within twenty years (or less)!

    Because the first time I ever heard of Dr. Who was the old Peter Cushing movie (adapted from the debut serial of the original series' first season). The first I ever heard of the original series, itself, was on a Saturday night, circa 1975, while watching WOR-TV (NY/NJ). It was chapter 1 of "The Sontaran Experiment." And, who did the Fourth Doctor have accompanying him? Harry Sullivan and Sarah Jane Smith! And, seeing the latter reunited with the Doctor was not only what I had been hoping for. It proved even better than expected! I said in an earlier review that Rose was as smart and feisty as Sarah Jane. Well, their verbal catfight confirmed that, and then some. They went from potential rivals to fast friends, upon realizing they had more similarities than differences. Bravo to the writers for realizing that. Likewise, for the heart-to-heart they arranged between Sarah Jane and the Tenth Doctor, himself. I have to admit; she did have reason to be mad at him. Because, technically, she never did meet the Fourth Doctor, again. Instead, she was retroactively reunited with the 3rd one (Jon Pertwee) during the 20th anniversary special called "the Five Doctors." As for the rest of the story, in general? Anthony Stewart Head did a masterful job as Headmaster Finch. Although, the bat-like Krillitanes (?) reminded me too much of those poor-man's chronovores from Season 1 of this series. Hence, my deduction of one-tenth of a point. And, with regard to Mickey joining the crew? Hopefully, Mr. Tennant won't deliberately mangle his name the way Mr. Eccleston did. It looks like Mickey will have it rough enough, what with this new attitude Rose seems to have developed. Is she resenting his presence, because she's no longer the Doctor's only traveling companion in this regeneration (and, thus, no longer special)? Or, does it go deeper than that? The same way Sarah Jane's relationship with the 4th Doctor went deeper than mere friendship? Obviously, only time will tell.
  • A great combination

    Dammit, Russell T. Davies, you made me cry--for a robotic dog! In the final few minutes when K9 sacrificed himself to stop the Kryllatine, there were tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat.

    And it's all for a robotic dog from the 70s whose originally purpose on the show was to compete with R2-D2 and to be a plot device.

    For that alone, this episode would be in the category of greatness. But yet, it wasn't done there.

    I have to admit I had severe trepedation about this episode when it was first announced. The return of K9 and Sarah Jane Smith--that could easily go down the path of every self-referrential Who story from the 80s and easily dispell all the goodwill and accolades the show has earned to this point.

    But it didn't. And not only that but it had a solid, wonderful storyline that felt like the perfect mixture of new and old Who.

    The new--the consequences of being a companion and loving the Doctor. Rose gets a preview of what will eventually happen to her in Sarah Jane Smith. And we once again get the reinforcement of the Doctor's sense of isolation. Not only is he the last of the Time Lords, but he never ages. He stays young while those he cares about become older. He just keeps replacing one companion with the next and while they have fun for a time, does anyone really know him.

    And we see how the Headmaster uses that to try and tempt the Doctor into helping them solve the equation to bend and space and time to their will. That that was the old style Who right there--innocent place being used for nefarious purposes. In this case, a school and computers.

    As if that weren't enough, the Headmaster is played with delight by Anthony Stewart Head. Head has shown on Buffy he can be more than just the librarian and what a delightful villain he is. The scenes with the Headmaster and the Doctor by the swimming pool are just one of many highlights of this story. I still say we find a way for Head to be the Master. I don't care how you do it, just do it.

    And then, as I said, this one had me misty eyes. OK, I'll admit in the end, I had tears in my eyes as the Doctor said "Goodbye, my Sarah Jane" and hugged her as the music swelled. And even knowing there is a Sarah Jane and K9 spin-off, I still went, "How could you not rebuild K9?!?" as the TARDIS faded away..and there he was. Such a wonderful coda to a great episode.
  • Do try the chips...

    This is easily the best episode of Doctor Who in existence. The script is good, the dialogue is good, the acting is good, the villans are good... Just about everything in this episode is spot on. Examples include: "This isn't your classroom Kenny. Now Run... along.", "Oh children, the things you will see...", "Forget the shootie dog thing.", "You'll be joining my class next period." This is the best thing that has been on tv for years. It also has the breif return of K9. The episode might have been worse without him, but it's hard to tell. It is impossible to fault this.
  • A fine example of what makes Doctor Who great, and how the new series is continuing to deliver what it promises - a trip of a lifetime.

    Basic Plot
    Along with Mickey, Sarah Jane Smith and K9 Mark III, the Doctor and Rose investigate a school where they discover an alien plan orchestrated by the prime minister off Little Britain...

    "Do try the chips..."
    School Reunion has all the components of what makes a great Doctor Who episode - sad, poignant speenches by the Doctor, a cool villain played by a fantastic actor, great CGI, explosions, and of course, Rose eating chips and getting jealous.
    Anthony Stewart Head is brilliant as Mr. Finch. Every line he delivers oozes malevolence and evil, especially when he confronts the Doctor in the swimming pool room. David Tennant rises effortlessly to the challenge and (I know I'm weird) my favourite scene in this episode is after he's met Sarah Jane and he's staring into space grinning as loads of school kids rush past. That one scene demonstrates how amazing an actor Mr. Tennant is.
    Elizabeth Sladen returns, with her trusty canine companion - K-9, and gives a great performance also, almost as if she'd never left.
    The overall plot is a tad weak, but as far as I'm concerned, this is more of a character piece, and a good one at that.
  • This episode featured old and new characters in what could have been the best yet...

    School Reunion was a fantastic episode. When I first heard that Sarah Jane and k-9 were returning, to be honest, I didn't want it to happen. I thought it would make the episode impure. I have very unusual views but continuity issues make an episode impure, like the Tony Blair reference in Rise of the Cybermen.

    Despite this, only a few impure comments were made, such as the 'I've regenerated half a dozen times since we last met'. There was no need to specify. But the storyline was fun and exciting and was a generally bright episode. Which is good, 'cause the episodes I like have to be bright.

    It was a tiny bit emotional and a mixture of fun and emotion creates a perfect episode. You just wait 'til I get to The Satan Pit...!
  • The Doctor and Rose are summoned to Earth by Mickey who suspects strange happenings in a nearby school. The Doctor, posing as a teacher and Rose a kitchen helper infiltrate the school to investigate. Meanwhile, Sarah Jane Smith, a former Who companion a

    This episode nicely meshed the old series with the new. Sarah Jane's interaction with the new Doctor was as good as it was when she was with Tom Baker back in the late '70s. She was always quite feisty, and it was nice to see that remained in her character. I really liked how she was able to let Rose know about the other companions, but also help her to deal with that revelation and continue her travels with the Doctor.
    Bringing K9 back was nice from a nostalgic aspect, but face it, he is definitely part of Doctor Who\'s hokey effects from the past. I would at least have liked to see the replacement K9 (Mark IV) have been somewhat updated (per a Sony Aibo, perhaps?). It just seemed a little out of place in the modern series.
    I am not sure about bringing Mickey along for the ride, however. Three's a crowd, don't you know. We'll see where it goes from there.
  • Sarah Jane Rules, Nuff\' Said!

    What is the world of Doctor Who without Sarah Jane Smith and K-9? We\'ve seen that so far, now we are reminded of what it was like with them. Smashing return of classic series stars. I\'d love to see more companions return, like Jamie or Leela. Maybe even if they have the guts, a meeting of two Doctors or more? This episode proves, if done right such episodes can be the high point of the new series.
  • A brilliant episode on every level: phenomenal character development and great special effects mixed with wonderful nostalgia for long time fans. Perfect payoff.

    For me, this is the episode I was anticipating the most this season. I cut my DW teeth on the Pertwee/T. Baker years (the PBS reruns in the 1970s), and Sarah Jane Smith remains my favorite companion ever. Period. Oh, I get that last year's Dalek and this season's Cybermen's return are the events every geek loves to gush over ... but this was the ep, and SJ was the reason, for me.

    I think what sells the revisioning of Doctor Who so perfectly is the richness of continuity and back story being delivered, and the trackable internal logic and realism to the writing and performances. Yeah, it's SciFi, but the understanding that Tennant, Sladen and Piper bring to their characters here was palpable: fun, touching, engaging and fulfilling. Even K-9's performance was notches above what I expected.

    As to the adventure: Anthony Stewart Head's turn as the ep's villian was most excellent (even if we didn't get the return of the Master as was once rumored), and the CGI creatures in the episode were awesome. I jumped out of my seat a couple times during the episode ... no small feat I might add.

    Keep this up! Tennant's Doctor is quickly moving near the top of the heap for this confirmed Whovian.
  • Sarah Jane Smith returns as does K9 and they've both barely aged. Well thats a lie, she has aged but she still looks good.

    A damn fine episode and a welcome return to two old favourites.
    However there were a few negative points that niggled at me.

    The first and major niggle was that they tried to make it seem that Sarah Jane had romantic feelings for the Doctor. No way, i ain't buying that for a dollar!!!
    Now i've been a Who fan for many a year and it doesn't bother me a bit with the new romance they're bringing in between the Doctor and Rose but having seen the majority of her stories from the 70's (both Pertwee and Baker)i think it cheapens Sarah Jane's character to make her some love sick puppy.
    In my view companions fall into two categories. "Just companions" eg Liz Shaw and "Good friends" eg Sarah Jane and Ace.

    I also think it would've been a nice twist that Rose be in love with the 9th Doctor but couldn't handle the regeneration thing and so revert to being just friends yet still have the 10 th Doctor have romantic feeling for Rose.

    Other niggles are some dodgy CGI eg, when they are on the roof watching the cafe (with a brazen robot dog on the table) an Anthony Heads acting that veered strangely from absolutely brilliant to shades of panto!!

  • The doctor fights the Krillitanes who are taken over the staff at a local high school while Doctor meets an old companion.

    Yeah some of it was farfetched i.e. why did Sarah show up at this point? Was she ever in love with the doctor? It seems at first the answer would be she was at least with the fourth doctor Tom Baker. To the new doctor David Tennant she expresses some anger toward him when he dropped of her at earth.

    THe interaction with Sarah and Rose was a great highlight
    as they exchange companion memories.

    The Krillitanes look like gargoyles. K-9's appearence was probably unnecessary but but was a bonus. It set up some jokes with Rose's boyfriend as the odd man out "Oh My God, I'am the Tin Dog!!" LOL

    Overall it was a great episode seeing Anthony Head (Giles
    from Buffy) was a bonus as well. We've seen him play the good guy that we forget he is also good at being the villain.
  • Practically perfect in every way

    This was a wonderful episode from start to finish!
    The plot would have been interesting even without the very welcome addition of the wonderful Elisabeth Sladen as my favourite companion, Sarah Jane Smith, and there were some great moments throughout.
    The Doctor teaching Physics was a beautiful sight, especially in those glasses which I hope make an appearance in every episode this season. Rose as a disgruntled dinner lady was a delight, and Micky came off well too.
    There were many very funny moments, but the thing that made this episode truly special was the depth of emotion and sincerity - when the Doctor first sees Sarah Jane, when she realises who he is, when the TARDIS disappears at the end of the episode. All of these moments were heart-stoppingly emotional, and beautifully played.
    Also, kudos to all involved for interacting so well with K-9. It could have come off as silly, but there was obviously genuine affection there and it played just right.
    By the end of this episode I was so thrilled and so emotionally wrung out that I hardly knew whether to laugh or cry. This is one that will bear many repeat viewings.
  • K9!!

    From the slicked hair of the Principal to the freaky nastiness of the Maths teacher we knew we were in for evil from the first moments of this episode.
    Breaking away from the usual arrive, identify, destroy routine, the Doctor and Rose have already arrived at a suspicious school which has been receiving record test scores in line with UFO sightings in the area. The Doctor gets a chance to show off his intelligence when he takes a position of Physic's teacher.
    With all this cleverness flying around, it is natural that the Doctor abd co aren't the only ones who notice what's going on. Sarah Jane Smith reappears after 23 years of absence, meeting the Doctor but not recognising him. I was half hoping that she might because I always felt that she was the quintessential companion and the closest friend the Doctor had in the old series (thus warranting the gift of K9). When they all break into the school later in the evening, Sarah is finally reaquainted with the Doctor, much to Rose's displeasure and they all move together to stop the impending evil from completing it's master plan.
    I personally always though of Sarah Jane as a strong character. She was always creeping off to investigate something further and always getting herself into trouble. It seemed to me that the moment she realised the Doctor was there she went soft and was incapable of being herself. In addition to that, everyone was treating K9 as the "stupid tin dog" (which was not too much different to what he used to be treated like, but atleast he had more lines!!) and then when he saves the day, it doesn't really effect anyone.
    This is one of those episodes which could have been longer, but has been squashed into a single episode and important character developing moments have been fast-tracked and misunderstood. I have been unimpressed with Rose's childish behaviour in the past episode "Tooth and Claw" as she is behaving like a spoilt child ( I want to take her seriously, but she'd just being stupid and moody). When Mickey wants to come along with them at the end she makes her feelings clear through body langauage...she doesn't want him to come.
    Overall, not my favourite but I really enjoyed seeing K9 again. Would have liked to see more of him. What's the point of bringing in elements of the old series if you're not going to utilise them sufficiently.
  • As time flows on, so dose Doctor Who with the reunion of Sarah Jane Smith and the traveling time lord, and not forgetting his trusty dog K-9. Tears will fall as fans watch after so many years the coming back of one of our favorite assistants.

    I, like many others have waited for this moment for so long, to see Sarah Jane Smith come back after so many years and be reunited with the Doctor, since her time the Doctor has regenerated several times and his attitude also has moved along compared to Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker’s Doctor.
    The story it self is average at best, but with the mix of K-9 and Sarah and the humor and emotion that it brings, it makes you teary to realize in full that the Doctor is more human then he knows.
  • A truly moving episode - the one we've been waiting for.

    Finally! Doctor Who is back in business. The plots are starting to flesh out now, after a slightly slow start with New Earth. And so are the characters: we glimpse a side of the Doctor that we've never been allowed to see before, as well as more flashes of jealousy from Rose. The look on her face when Mickey was invited on board the TARDIS holds particular interest - ten out of ten for Billie Piper, then and throughout the episode.

    In fact, there was fantastic acting all round: Antony Head brought real menace to Mr Finch, especially when taunting and tempting the Doctor; Elisabeth Sladen was perfect in both the emotional and comic scenes; and David Tennant was, as always, a joy to watch. He conveyed so much emotional depth in his scenes alone with Rose and Sarah Jane, it was hard to keep dry eyes. Well, for me anyway.

    It'll be very interesting to see how this episode affects the mystery that is Episode 13 - if the Doctor won't leave her behind, and Sarah Jane predicts a broken heart, where will Rose end up?
  • The villians and K9 were great but the doctor as lover bits were difficult to watch.

    I loved seeing K9 again and I wish that the Doctor would have break out a new model for himself -- unfortunately we seem to get Mickey instead.

    The villians were fun and I assume we might hear about this paradigm thing again. I liked that the chubby kid who had the non-chip diet became a hero to his schoolmates.

    Sarah Jane Smith was mostly charming except that the whole Doctor being her "great love" thing creeps me out. Yes, there was something that always a weird vibe to the Doctor having all those female companions but that was something that they didn't have to explore indepth and the audience was fine with it. I understand that for the modern audience they had to have a young, hip Doctor and that the relationship with Rose was inevitable. However, the Doctor used to be very unsexual (not that there was no sex appeal or sexy women companions but we didn't feel like the women were constantly wanting to jump him). So, going back and using Sarah Jane Smith to help up the romance quotient was just bizarre. I liked her performance. I just wish that they could refrain from getting to far into the Rose-Doctor relationship because if a real romance is shown it could easily cripple the show.

    Take out a few lines of dialogue about the brewing tempestuous romance and this would have been a good, fun episode.
  • Very good relationship building but stupid plot.

    I loved the fact that they started to use the old series for a change. In the first season, there was barely any reference to the Original series (except the Daleks, The TARDIS, and the Doctor) but this episode was brilliantly written.
    The storyline was not fantastic in my opinion, but I loved the relationship between the Doctor and Sarah Jane and Rose and Sarah Jane. It was nice to see what happens to a companion after they have left the Doctor, and makes me wonder if Rose will realise what Sarah Jane had said after she has left the Doctor to continue with her own life.
    There was a continuity error (of course! Just have to point it out). When the Doctor reveals who he is is Sarah Jane, he says he\\\\\\\'s regenerated half a dozen times since she last saw him....Fair enough as she travelled with the Fourth Doctor and that would mean 6 bodies to get to the Tenth but she met the Fifth Doctor in the special episode \\\\\\\'The Five Doctors\\\\\\\'. I\\\\\\\'m just being picky here but it\\\\\\\'s my review after all.
    I did not like the way Rose was acting all jealous and especially when Mickey got invited along. She seemed to have no problem when Adam or Captain Jack was invited along with the Doctor so why not Mickey?
    I loved the goodbye sequence at the end. It was a real tearjerker...not a complete \\\\\\\'Titanic\\\\\\\' moment tear jerker (you know the one, where you end up sailing out of the cinema cos so many people have cried) but it still moved me. A proper good bye, and of course Sarah Jane Smith is the Doctor\\\\\\\'s Sarah Jane. I assume out of all his companions, there will always be a place for Sarah Jane in his life.
    It makes me wonder if Rose will start to find out more about his previous companions. There\\\\\\\'s no point introducing some of the others back, especially as the actors are either dead or their characters are dead, and I remember reading that the actress who played Tegan said she never wants to act again or something like that.
    All in all a nice episode, but the alien things and eating school children was a bit pointless in my opinion. It was Sarah Jane and the Doctor which stole the show for me.
    Roll on next episode (and Mickey is a companion yay! About time to!)
  • A great episode, with some perfect acting in it.

    This episode was really great.
    The special effects are perfect again like in the last two episodes. The animations of the aliens are perfect again. Movements, Shadows, Lightning – perfect.
    The references to the old series I can’t judge, because I don’t now them. They were nice as far as I can tell. I mean the robot dog is so funny and Sarah Smith brings up a complete new side of the doctor. The past, his feelings: very well done.

    Then Anthony Stewart Head is perfect! He plays the role perfectly! The faces, the entire acting is perfect. Really perfect, he plays his role just amazing well played.
    The story in the school was well done as well, but again I wish for a bit more of story line. Sure this time it’s nice, but remember: Back to season one – there the story was the amazing thing, not the acting, the jokes or the special effects. I hope for that, even though I have to admit, that the character development was great in here.
  • Old friends, new enemies *SPOILERS WITHIN*

    And just when you think things can't get any better, they do! School Reunion is, in my opinion, the best episode so far. The Doctor, Rose and Mickey infiltrate Deffry Vale High School where something very strange is going on. But they're not the only ones with an interest in the school- Sarah Jane Smith, the Doctor's former companion, is investigating too. They discover the school is being controlled by the Krillitanes, an evil alien race with a sinister plan to crack an aeons-old paradigm that will give the power of creation to whoever solves it.

    Several absolutely brilliant guest performances add to good work from David Tennant and Billie Piper. Rose's jealousy at meeting 'the other woman' is quite funny, but there is a serious side to it too as she wonders will he just leave her behind too? The Doctor's dilemma of going through his lives alone is quite a heartrending one and you can't help but feel for him. Elisabeth Sladen is as good as she always was as Sarah Jane. Older but still with the same spark and energy, all her scenes are great. The eventual camaraderie between her and Rose and their attempts at oneupmanship are particularly good. Her scenes with David Tennant, especially the more emotional ones, are also great. I completely empathised with her. How difficult would it be to adjust to life after seeing all the universe has to offer? There is a chilling performance by the superb Anthony Head as the headmaster Mr Finch; his showdown with the Doctor across the swimming pool is an absolute joy as is the scene when the tries to get the Doctor to join him
    John Leeson returns to provide the voice of K9, and is as mischevious and intelligent as always.

    A great script by first-time writer Toby Whithouse, encapsulating comedy, drama and emotion in a finely tuned 45 minutes. Solid and assured direction by James Hawes as always and a quite noteworthy score too. The only grade I could give this is an A+. 10 our of 10!
  • Sidelines Written by Toby Whithouse Directed by James Hawes


    Mickey (re The Doctor/Sarah Jane): “I have this little dance prepared”
    Rose: “Do it quick, mate”.

    If ever there was an episode of Doctor Who that focused on old versus new, primitive versus modern, then it would be this and boy, wasn’t there a lot riding on this particular instalment.

    It wasn’t for the fact that favourite to become a Doctor, Anthony Stewart Head had bagged himself a role as a main baddie in this episode. No it was simply for the return of two former assistants – Sarah Jane Smith and K9, and suffices to say, the pressure cooker was certainly on.

    Last seen back in “The Five Doctors”, both Sarah Jane and K9 haven’t been forgotten over the thirty years that they’ve been off-screen. After all, there was a spin off, K9 and Company and Elisabeth Sladen contributing to the ongoing audio books but even the most easy to satisfy viewer will attest that a return of an iconic character can’t be just be for the sake of it but that there has to be an important enough reason for them to reappear and luckily enough, there was one here for both former assistants.

    Our episode opened up with The Doctor, Rose and Mickey (in what is probably his most pivotal appearance to date) investigating a strict comprehensive school with super smart children and a creepier than thou staff, most notably Headmaster Finch. Well, let’s be honest, a school where the kids are more interested in trying to decipher an ancient code instead of lunch is always going to be suspect but funnily enough, our TARDIS team aren’t the only ones who are curious about this particular as The Doctor meets an old ally in quite a reunion.

    Okay first of all, The Doctor actually meets Sarah Jane in the staff room during a break but she doesn’t seem to recognise him, despite The Doctor throwing a rather vital clue about who he is during their brief little encounter. Maybe she’s playing hard to get or is genuinely unaware, you decide.

    However she more than recognises him later that night when she spots the TARDIS in the scary school and bumps into her old pal, along with Rose and Mickey before the four of them face one of Finch’s bat like cohorts and flee but it’s really from here that this episode gains huge momentum.

    Dealing with new versus old, the face off between Rose and Sarah Jane is easily an episodic highlight and the pithy antics between Billie Piper and Elisabeth Sladen are a joy to watch. Even as a newcomer to the Who universe, it’s very easy to see Sarah Jane’s perspective every bit as much as it’s easy to see Rose’s. From her standpoint, it feels like The Doctor abandoned her and replaced with the younger and perky Rose. In fact there’s something of a marriage analogy that is made between the hostilities and introductions with The Doctor/Sarah Jane/Rose that even Mickey makes a rather perceptive comment on it too.
    Also having two strong minded women meet up and having them find out that they’ve both shared an intimate relationship with The Doctor and having seen so many things through him, it wasn’t an entire shock that they would clash over it. I loved the scene with both of them trying to compare the extent of their relationship with the Time Lord before they busted into a fit of giggles and bonded over The Doctor’s more eccentric manner.

    As for Sarah Jane and The Doctor, well thirty years is a long time to go without maintaining some kind of contact and Sarah Jane was right on how she broached The Doctor about leaving her behind. David Tennant played well amongst Sladen during several character turning moments but I did find it strange that The Doctor didn’t articulate a real reason for his decision not to get in touch. Sarah would’ve understood about the Time War if he had told her.

    But however much she wants to be with The Doctor (and she wasn’t exactly shy about that during the first half, given her initial hostility to Rose), she did acknowledge during an important moment that all things must move on, even if it painful to feel.

    Sarah Jane’s appearance threw Rose into a sense of doubt about her relationship with The Doctor and now she’s got a new dilemma to ponder over. Instead of the fear of being killed or seeing people such as her Mum and Mickey suffering or dying, she now feels worried about being abandoned and sent home by The Doctor. Is she right to? Yes, she definitely is and even though The Doctor said/promised Rose that the same thing wouldn’t happen to her with him that it did with Sarah Jane, realistically we all know that this isn’t a promise he can ultimately keep.

    Then there’s Mickey. Tired of feeling like a spare part, thanks to his interactions with both Sarah Jane and K9, he decides to become an assistant and surprisingly enough, The Doctor actually says yes. Rose doesn’t look particularly delighted with that prospect though, does she? Still though, time travelling with Mickey in tow should be an interesting if unlikely a permanent experience.

    However the real highlight for me in this reunion special was of course, K9, the coolest robotic pooch in existence and wasn’t he a delight in stopping Finch and the Krillitaines from getting The Doctor to open up and be able to control time, space and matter? He valiantly sacrificed himself to save our heroes and the kids and wiped out Finch and his lackeys. So it was nice at the end when The Doctor gave Sarah Jane an updated version of K9. Despite her willingness to move, you could tell that she appreciated this particular parting gift as well as the deserved proper goodbye she got from The Doctor this time around.

    As villains go, the Krillitaines were certainly an interesting bunch. Did they really want to unlock that code for the purposes of good? I doubt it but ex-Buffy actor Anthony Stewart Head certainly played well against David Tennant (who showed us his dark side again) and they also seem likely to make an appearance again. After all they nearly seduced The Doctor with the promise of keeping Sarah Jane young and saving the Time Lords. It’s like there was something really pivotal about their presence and mission or am I reading into things too much. Still though, their defeat at the hands of a robotic dog is beyond sweet.
    Also in “School Reunion”

    Was it me or was it an incredibly audacious opening scene with Finch and that little girl at the start of the episode. Did he kill that girl because she was from a children’s home?

    Sarah Jane: “Nice to meet you”
    The Doctor: “Very nice, more than nice”.

    The name The Doctor when he first met Sarah Jane was John Smith. She made a funny crack at the end of adding a Smith to the TARDIS team with Mickey.

    Sarah Jane: “You look incredible”
    The Doctor: “So do you”.

    What happened to Miles in this episode? He only appeared for like ten minutes and why didn’t that teacher kill Kenny when he morphed into his natural form? Were the kids aware on a subconscious level of what was really happening?

    Sarah Jane (to The Doctor): “You didn’t mention me once?”
    Mickey: “Oh mate, the missus and the ex-girlfriend. Welcome to every man’s worst nightmare”.

    Finch: “Show me how clever you are, work it out”
    The Doctor: “If I don’t like it, I’ll stop it”.

    Finch described The Doctor’s race as pompous and The Doctor came out with the “one warning” statement again. We learned that Finch’s species take the best from various other species but have become allergic to their own oil.

    Sarah Jane: “Big Loch Ness monster”
    Rose: “Really?”

    Monsters the girls have seen included the Daleks, their emperor, gas mask people, dinosaurs, ghosts, mummies, Slitheen and werewolves. Rose has to win with the Dalek emperor bit though.

    The Doctor: “I can stop the war”
    Sarah Jane: “No the universe has to move forward, even through pain and loss”.

    Finch (to K9): “Little dog with a nasty bite. Not so powerful now are you?”

    K9 was called “tin dog” by Rose and Mickey, “shooty dog thing” by Finch and “old friend” by The Doctor. It was a smart move not to modernise K9’s look.

    Sarah Jane (re The Doctor): “More than a match for him”
    Rose: “You and me both”.

    There was a nice reference to “The Christmas Invasion” here with Sarah Jane and The Doctor discussing the Sycorax’s space ship. How far in 2006/2007 are we time wise?

    Another pivotal reminder of the old series, “School Reunion” may be partly nostalgic but it was certainly a lively and discussion worthy romp on the nature of The Doctor’s relationship with his assistants and beyond their sell by date. Add superb guests like Sladen and Anthony Stewart Head and you’ve got the best episode this season so far.

  • An old friend returns, and it's sure to end in a bang. For k9 anyway...

    To begin my review I'll re-post a blog entry I made just hours before I finally watched this episode:

    "Doctor Who was an important part of my childhood. For instance, I can't remember my first day at school, but I can remember watching Logopolis aged four. Yes, Doctor Who has attached himself to my sub-conscience. I am a major fan of the show, and in particular Tom Baker and Elisabeth Sladen.

    The Fourth Doctor and Sarah were perfect company for a young fan: the best friends anybody ever have, in much the same way David Tennant's Doctor, and Billie Piper's Rose must be to a whole new generation of fans. In Tom we had the most perfect Doctor ever: ecentric, brilliant, but every bit insane. Sarah-Jane Smith was therefore the perfect companion: she was calm, every bit the feminist, and very very sexy (and at almost sixty, she still isn't doing bad now!). Her return tonight marks not the return of a past companion, but for me, a return to my childhood. A more innocent time where Zarbis were more terryfying than anything (yes, even Adric). Where Daleks were officially cool. And where I loved every single Saturday afternoon in front of the TV watching my best friends.

    And they're back you know. And isn't that just fantastic?"

    This was, for me, the big one. The episode I've waited almost a year to watch, ever since the tabloids first told of Sarah's return last May. It couldn't possibly go wrong...could it?

    The answer, in short, is no.

    I'm going to say something strange now: this was the perfect way to end Doctor Who. I'm not talking about the current Tennant/Piper/Clarke series. I'm talking about the original series, which ceased its life in 1989. Like Sarah, that series never got a proper goodbye. It's fans, like Sarah, were left waiting years for the Doctor's return. When, at the end of the adventure, the Doctor says "goodbye" to Sarah, he's also saying goodbye to the series past. By bringing back an old-favourite in Sarah, the gap between old and new has finally been filled, and for me, there's closer at last. Over 1 year after the broadcast of Rose" my insecurities about this new show, that it might not be real Who, have finally vanished. Because, like Sarah, I know that everything has its time. The old series is gone, dead and buried. It's time to stop re-living the past and embrace the present.

    Long live Sarah-Jane. But most of all, long live Doctor Who.

    Oh, and is there any reason why a small portion of chips costs £2? I know London's expensive, but I didn't know it was that expensive!
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