The Sarah Jane Adventures

Season 1 Episode 3

Eye of the Gorgon (1)

Aired Monday 4:35 PM Oct 01, 2007 on BBC
out of 10
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Episode Summary

Eye of the Gorgon (1)
Sarah Jane and Company investigate the mysterious haunting of Lavender Lawns. A nun is stalking the tenants, but is it really something supernatural, or is there something else going on?

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  • Medusa Written by Phil Ford Directed by Alice Troughton

    Sister Helena (to Maria): "I'd shut up if I were you or the Abbess might show you her idea of solving a problem like Maria."

    Nuns, nun and nuns. In the words of Father Jack Hackett – reverse, reverse. Only in a sci-fi would this lot be less than a heart warming presence. The opening scene even had Mrs Randall frightened by the presence of a ghostly nun so that's a big indicator that they're going to be up to no good in this storyline.

    Having the gang investigate the goings on of a retirement isn't the most unprecedented thing that could happen. Even we do take on some real life reports of abusive staff in places like these, there was always the chance that one of the young characters or even Sarah Jane could have a family or friend in somewhere like Lavender Lawns.

    With Clyde, it was seemingly that Mrs Randall was a friend of his grandmother but it was nice that it was him who brought Sarah Jane in on the case, which was something that he even mentioned at one point as well. Modesty might not be Clyde's strongest asset but he did have a point.

    Of course Sarah Jane didn't deliberately try to hog the limelight and anytime she might have told him to stay put was more to do with his safety and less to do with, er jealousy. I liked that Sarah Jane wasn't deliberately condescending with Mrs Randall, which is evidently not the same thing that can be said about the lady who ran Lavender Lawns.

    As soon as Luke met up with Bea, I knew that she was going to play a role in the alien threat of the episode. The fact that she handed him a talisman and made him swear not to tell anyone that he had it was also a good giveaway. Luke must have one of those faces if Bea could instantly trust him the way she did.

    Of course by giving Luke the talisman, she also put the boy in the attentions of the nuns, who were obviously working with the bad guy this week. Clyde may a fantastic point that when in the possession of something dangerous, you never tell the bad guy you have it. Luke's a bright kid but even he blabbed to the sinister Sister Helena about the talisman and that was before she snatched him.

    Beth Goddard is mainly known for her role as one of the dopey couple in Gimme Gimme Gimme but here, she certainly shines with a nasty veneer as the determined Sister Helena. Although I didn't think she was possessed at first, it did make sense given the lengths she was prepared to go in order to protect her Abbess/Gorgon.

    I love that Sarah Jane explained to the kids that both fairytales and myths have some foundation of truth in them. This helped when we discovered that the Gorgon was a set of three aliens and that she was literally the last one standing. It would be unreasonable of Sarah Jane to deny the Gorgon her chance to die in her own world.

    So, it made complete sense that the Gorgon was really going to latch onto a new host and take over Earth with humanity serving it. I don't think Sarah Jane would've been so resistant to have handed over the talisman if she didn't believe that the nuns and the Gorgon had sinister motives.

    Besides, the whole story gave us no reason to trust either the Gorgon or the nuns. Maria, Luke and Clyde at different points were being used as leverage to get Sarah Jane to play along and Alan had the misfortune of being turned into stone, the poor thing.

    When it finally came to the part where Sarah Jane was being sized up as a new host for the Gorgon, it was really Maria who rose to the challenge. All the sonic lipsticks in the world weren't going to get Sarah Jane out of this one. Luckily Maria and Bea's mirror played a nice part in things.

    If there was something about this episode that disappointed me, I guess it was the nuns being possessed after all and acting oblivious when they were free of the Gorgon's control. It's not a bad thing but it might have been more interesting if in their warped way they had believed in the Gorgon.

    However that's a very, very minor quibble in a story that kept firing cylinders all round. The Gorgon made for an excellent villain no doubt but what was more excellent was Phyllida Law as Bea. This story just further proves that children's TV doesn't have to equate dumbing down.

    I loved how truthfully the series touched on the issues of Alzheimers and while Doctor Who and Torchwood have done this themselves, this is still something worth praising. Bea's battle to remember vital information about her own encounters with the Gorgon coupled with Maria's desperation to save her father made for a good moment.

    While it was nice that talisman reversed the process for Alan, I wasn't entirely shocked that it didn't wipe away Bea's Alzheimers however. Still, it was nice that she got one last memory of Edgar and there are some wonderful moments where Sarah Jane clearly related to Bea as well, coupled with humour and poignancy as well.

    As for the home parts, I still think this show is using way too much of Chrissie. I like Juliet Cohen who plays her and while Chrissie does get some good zingers and isn't a terrible person (though she is both clueless and selfish), do we really need to see so much of her when Alan is around?

    Chrissie got a deserved dressing down from both Alan and Maria in this episode. I liked that Alan told her there was consequences to breaking up their family and I even found it immensely funny when she thought Sarah Jane was keeping a statue of Alan, only to be proven wrong. Better luck next time, huh, Chrissie.

    Also in "Eye Of The Gorgon"

    I just realised that Phyllida Law who played Bea in this story is the real life mother of Emma and Sophie Thompson. Cool!

    Bea (to Luke): "There's something different about you, oh don't be afraid I've seen a lie … ahh, unusual people before. Perhaps you can help me."

    Bea mentioned the Sontarans in this episode, which was appropriate given that it had been leaked that they were returning to Doctor Who and of course, they were the first alien race Sarah Jane ever met.

    Chrissie: "Anything I can help you with?"

    Maria: "You and Maths, I don't think so."

    Chrissie: "At school, the only figures I was interested in was fellas phone numbers."

    Sarah Jane: "She's seen Sontarans?"

    Bea: "The silliest race in the galaxy. That's what Edgar used to say."

    For a brief second when we were learning about Bea and Edgar's alien encounters, I was almost certain that Bea was going to mention The Doctor. I can't be the only one who thought that, right?

    Sarah Jane (to Maria): "The Greeks were always dishing out challenges. I think it must be a man thing."

    Mr Smith (to Sarah Jane): "I can only be realistic and to be candid, things look worse for you all the time."

    Sarah Jane got called "Sally Jean" and "Mary Jane" by Chrissie when she wasn't going under the brief alias of Felicity Barnes.

    Chrissie (re Sarah Jane, to Alan statue): "She really is a bunny boiler this one. Couldn't have the real thing, so she made a statue. I bet you'd be flattered if you knew, wouldn't you? You didn't know, did you?"

    Sister Helena: "Parasite? It's such an unflattering word."

    Sarah Jane (re Gorgon): "It's what they are. A life form that lives on another, that depends on another to feed and survive."

    Lavender Lawns is a terrible name for a retirement home. It's sort of like something you'd call a garden house, isn't it?

    Alan (to Sarah Jane): "Pity really. Think I'd look good as one of those Greek statues."

    Chronology: It's been six months since Chrissie first left Alan and Maria for Ivan.

    "Eye Of The Gorgon" to me is this show providing a ripping yarn, playing nicely with mythology and also providing some discussion worthy topics on the nature of ageing and the like. How can anyone dismiss this series?moreless
  • 2nd episode

    This is a two parter second episode about nuns who protect a gorgon that can turn people to stone (like Medusa in acient greek legends) Sarah Jane and Company investigate the mysterious haunting of Lavender Lawns. A nun is stalking the tenants, but is it really something supernatural, or is there something else going on? here's a good line-

    Sister Helena: I'd shut up if I were you, or the Abbess might show you her idea of solving a problem like Maria. Also - Clyde: Listen Luke, when weirdo nuns turns up on your doorstep asking about freaky glowing alien gizmo's, one thing you never do... is tell them you've got one.moreless
  • In the second story mysterious nuns are haunting Lavender Lawns and protecting a sinister gorgon.

    Eye of the Gorgon is the second story in the Doctor Who spin-off The Sarah Jane Adventures. Clyde, Luke, Maria and Sarah Jane investigate an old peoples' home that the residents think is haunted by a ghostly nun. The team investigate but they find nothing but Luke who had talked to an old lady called Bea Nelson-Stanley who gave him a talisman which Bea said the nuns must not get. Sarah Jane and the team arrive at her house and ask Mr Smith if he could analyse the talisman, he said there was insufficient data and needed to perform a detailed analysis, Maria then comes in and slams the door quite hard and Sarah Jane asks her not to do that as there is a lot of sensitive equipment in the room, Sarah Jane then says she will go back to Lavender Lawns (the old peoples home) and ask Bea about the talisman, Maria came along to. They arrived at Lavender Lawns and headed up to Bea's room. Bea comes and greets them a few minutes after Sarah Jane and Maria had arrived, Sarah Jane asks about the talisman and she starts to talk about where she got it from and then talks about the gorgon. Phil Ford has done an excellent job writing this episode and hopefully the next part will live up to this one. This episode is quite easy to understand and you can follow it very well. Brilliant episode!

    Scariness = 8

    Grippiness = 9

    Villain = 9moreless
  • A local old people's home is haunted and Sarah Jane investigates.

    Good episode.

    I agree with Sarah Jane's assessment of Luke, for someone so clever he is incredibly stupid. Admittedly, he is still becoming used to living but when your friend tells you not to get into the car with the scary nuns, you do not get into the car with them, no matter how logical their explanation sounds.

    I think Sarah Jane fears that she is looking at her own future when she looks at Bea. An old woman, who has seen things most people haven't seen yet who's now old and alone and nobody believes her stories and all think they are made up. If that was the intention, and I do believe it was, that was very clever and subtle from the writers.

    I also thought the storyline about Chrissie constantly popping up and Maria's dad telling her off for that, saying a separation has consequences was escellent too.

    Oh yeah, loved the Sound of Music reference!moreless
Sarah Crowden

Sarah Crowden

Mrs Gribbins

Guest Star

Phyllida Law

Phyllida Law

Bea Nelson-Stanley

Guest Star

Doreen Mantle

Doreen Mantle

Mrs Randall

Guest Star

Joseph Millson

Joseph Millson

Alan Jackson

Recurring Role

Juliet Cowan

Juliet Cowan

Chrissie Jackson

Recurring Role

Alexander Armstrong

Alexander Armstrong

Mr Smith (voice)

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • The Gorgons were first mentioned in the Torchwood episode Random Shoes by the ghost of Eugene Jones "That's pre-Gorgon Pilurian currency. I had them authenticated.".
      Leading to the speculation that the Gorgon homeworld, unnamed in this episode, is called Piluria.

  • QUOTES (3)

    • Clyde: Listen Luke, when weirdo nuns turns up on your doorstep asking about freaky glowing alien gizmo's, one thing you never do... is tell them you've got one.

    • Sarah Jane: So, no obvious reason for the home to be haunted by a nun, then?
      Mr. Smith: I assume that by haunting you mean the projection of energies imprinted on psychic assimilating matter?
      Sarah Jane: Obviously.
      Clyde: Come again?
      Sarah Jane: Events get recorded on their surroundings, then under certain circumstances they get played back.

    • Bea: You're the boy in the window.
      Luke: My name's Luke, we were visiting Mrs. Randall. She says this place is haunted by a nun, have you seen her?
      Bea: Yes I have, and she's no ghost. There's something different about you, oh don't be afraid it's all right I've seen alie..ahh, unusual people before. Perhaps you can help me.

  • NOTES (2)


    • Mrs Randall: Especially the Gorgon, I saw that years ago at the flicks, with Christopher Lee and ahh, Barbara Shelley.

      Mrs Randall is referring to the 1965 Hammer horror film Gorgon which did star Christopher Lee and Barbara Shelley, but also Peter Cushing, the actor who would later play Doctor Who in Dr. Who and the Daleks & Daleks - Invasion Earth 2150 AD.

    • Bea: He used to say the Sontarans were the silliest looking race in the galaxy.
      Sarah Jane: No, what did you say?

      The Sontarans are a militaristic race who are engaged in a millennia long war with the Rutans, in appearance they are squat with a hairless dome shaped head and mottled brown skin. They first appeared in the Doctor Who episode The Time Warrior which also saw the debut of Sarah Jane Smith which may aid in explaining Sarah Jane's obvious confusion and joy at Bea's statement.

    • Sister Helena: I'd shut up if I were you, or the Abbess might show you her idea of solving a problem like Maria.

      A somewhat predictable reference to The Sound of Music the Twentieth Century Fox blockbuster staring Julie Andrews in the role of Maria, a rebellious nun. One of the songs sung by the nuns is 'Maria' which includes the lyric How do you solve a problem like Maria?

    • Clyde: By the time I'm 40 I can get my brain put in a robot and live forever.

      This idea of immortality through robotics is very reminiscent of the updated Cybermen's method of upgrading humanity to rid them of disease, ageing and death.