The Sarah Jane Adventures

Season 1 Episode 5

Warriors of Kudlak (1)

Aired Monday 4:35 PM Oct 15, 2007 on BBC
out of 10
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Episode Summary

Warriors of Kudlak (1)
Sarah Jane investigates the case of a missing teenager, and it leads her to a laser-tag centre called Combat 3000, and the mysterious Mr Kudlak.

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  • Games Written by Phil Gladwin Directed by Charles Martin

    Maria: "You don't think there's anything weird about Lance, do you? I mean, you're not doing this story because you think there's aliens involved or anything?"

    Sarah Jane: "I don't see aliens behind every bush, you know, Maria. I'm not a conspiracy theorist."

    A storyline involving the disappearance of children is hardly new for a sci-fi series, especially one aimed at younger audiences and neither is a commentary on children's enjoyment of violent video games but it does make for another well thought out story in this series.

    The opening scene had a nice moment of creepiness as Lance had the misfortune of disappearing via transmat beam just as he was getting into the Combat 3000 levels. From there on in, it was just waiting for the next batch of children to disappear as a result.

    It's good that at the start of this story, Sarah Jane's reason for wanting to write an article on Lance's disappearance had nothing to do with aliens. In fact it hadn't been until later on that Sarah Jane did consider alien interference but when Maria first suggested it, Sarah Jane did shoot down the theory.

    It's not that Sarah Jane was being snippy but I suppose a lot of her actual work as a journalist has nothing to do with aliens. In fact, the majority of stories she submits are unrelated to any of her adventures that we've seen with this series and her times with The Doctor and UNIT.

    The scene where she empathised with Lance's distraught mother was poignant. Sarah Jane can probably relate more to Carrie's distress now that she's a parent than she might have done before Luke became such an integral part of her life.

    Lance had an interesting relationship with his mother following the death of his father. Anyone who loses a parent at a young age can probably relate to Lance in this way. It's also a shame that garnering an ill advised nickname from Luke was how his peers had seen him.

    I get that Luke wasn't being intentionally malicious but this did remind viewers, not that reminding is needed that Luke is still alien to human feelings. Clyde spending most of the time teaching him slang and how to fit in raised some good comedy. It's becoming harder not to like Clyde as the series goes on.

    One thing I'm also noticing about the series, especially with this story and the previous one is that our gang seems to split in two. Maria and Sarah Jane are usually investigating on one hand and Clyde and Luke are usually getting caught by the baddie on the other.

    This could be an interesting case of role reversal, it could also be incidental but it is quite noticeable too. While Clyde and Luke are sucked into the grips of Combat 3000, its Sarah Jane, Maria and Mr Smith who are doing the grunt work into figuring out how and why so many children have recently disappeared.

    Mr Grantham really was a Pied Piper type of man, wasn't it? Luring children into the realms of computer madness, all so that his alien partner, the Kudlak could test them out as warriors. Choon Sibian brought a very slimy quality to the character, more so during his confrontation with Sarah Jane and Maria.

    Slimy as he may have been though, he was also quite thick as a villain too. The Kudlak could barely tolerate him and both Sarah Jane and Maria were able to escape and knock him out at different points (damn, Maria is good). He was even dumb enough to assume that both of them wouldn't make it off the Kudlak's ship alive as well.

    Sarah Jane's reaction to that really interested me. Here, she was really confident that she would save the day and survive the ship. It's not always a bad attitude to have (expect the best get the best) but it did sort of surprise me too. Maybe we weren't supposed to see the Kudlak as a real threat.

    He was determined to use the kids to fight in an intergalactic war with the Malakh but by the time we got into the second half of the episode, we saw more to him. There was the Mistress, who was far more bloodthirsty for war than the Kudlak himself. Even when the Kudlak attempted to embrace the idea of peace, she appeared affronted by this.

    Other things I loved about this episode was Luke and Clyde. Sure they got snared by the baddie, but like all good companions, they banded together and tried their very best to escape along with the other kids captured. Too bad that their attempts were thwarted but it did give Luke a chance to point out that none of the kids were ready for an actual war.

    The discussion on war in this episode could be seen as a little topical. Maria went to lengths to point out that there was a difference between kids enjoying mindless violent video games and actually going to war while Lance discussed his father's history of war and Jen also realised that they were going to be forced to fight.

    In the end, the reveal of the war being over saw an incredible reverse from the Kudlak. He shot his Mistress in anger (no surprise she was a computer) after Luke showed him the Emperor's message and even offered Sarah Jane the choice to kill him. It's nice to see alien characters given dimension on this show too. Naturally though, Sarah Jane declined on killing Kudlak.

    As for Grantham, I really wanted him to get his just desserts in this story but sadly he got away. Sarah Jane did point out that people like Grantham were unable to stay out of trouble so hopefully she's right in guessing that he'll get his due in time. As for Luke wanting to know more about girls, I can imagine the future plots with that one.

    Also in "Warriors Of Kudlak"

    Mr Smith really does do that booming fanfare with some gusto, huh? It's going to make a future reference so accurate.

    Luke: "At breakfast, I am so hungry; I could murder a box of cornflakes. Does that make me a cereal killer? You're not laughing."

    Maria: "It wasn't very funny."

    Grantham made some horribly patronising comments about Luke being close to his mother before realising his potential.

    Sarah Jane (re Luke): "Is he really finding it hard to fit in, Maria?"

    Maria: "No harder than the rest of us. Clyde will talk to him. It'll be alright."

    Luke: "How did you grass me up?"

    Clyde: "Look, we'll get back to Slang 101 another day."

    Clyde mentioned that his dad left him and his mother for his aunt Melva. That's cold.

    Kudlak (to Mr Grantham): "Neither of us is irreplaceable. Not I and certainly not you."

    Sarah Jane (to receptionist, re Combat 3000): "Apparently it's the nuts."

    Maria: "Okay, let's agree to never say that ever again."

    Nice little take on when a companion says something to fit in but sounds silly doing it. Maria basically channelled The Doctor during that moment.

    Mr Grantham: "I know, I probably should've called you first, but."

    Sarah Jane: "Not at all, Mr Grantham. I'm always delighted to study new forms of human low life in the comfort of my own home."

    Mistress: "Welcome my warriors."

    Luke: "We're not warriors, we're kids."

    Kudlak: "None of those before you had the initiative to escape the holding deck. None forced my return to the ship to deal with them. You are good warrior stock."

    What was the name of that machine Sarah Jane and Maria to cause the weather patterns to change?

    Mistress: "You seem weary, general."

    Kudlak: "It has been a long war, Mistress. I grow old, dreaming of peace."

    Lance: "It doesn't make a difference if he can fly it or not. We're not going anywhere."

    Luke: "You wanna make a wager?"

    Clyde: "Respect, Luke, respect."

    For the only time in the first season, there are no appearances from either Alan or Chrissie. Pity, I would've liked to have seen the former in this story.

    Maria: "It's incredible. Even after seeing everything, I never thought I'd see this."

    Sarah Jane: "Maybe if everybody could see the Earth from up here, they might appreciate it more. Come on, Maria, let's go."

    Mistress: "We have no home, Kudlak, except on the battlefield. Peace is a strangers land, we have no place there."

    Chronology: It seems that a short period of time has passed since Clyde's debut in "Revenge Of The Slitheen".

    Commentaries on bloodlust, computer games and wars aside, "Warriors Of Kudlak" might not be as strong as the previous story but there's no denying that this series is on a roll with good material as well.moreless
  • Luke and Clyde are teleported after playing a laser tag game.

    Another good episode. I like how they continue storylines over several episodes. Luke's still trying to fit in and learn modern slang. Despite doing research into jokes and slang, he doesn't have a lot of success and when a kid he nicknamed 'Corporal' disappears, he feels Luke. Clyde tells Mary-Jane he'll talk to Luke and in an effort to explain slang, kids culture and games, they end up participating in a laser tag game. Unbeknownst to them, the laser game is where Lance 'Corporal' disappeared too.

    I really like how Clyde is still looking out for Luke, he's a good friend.

    Mary-Jane and Maria seem to work very well together as well. Looking forward to part 2...moreless
Chook Sibtain

Chook Sibtain

Mark Grantham

Guest Star

Sarah Haynes

Sarah Haynes

Carrie Metcalf

Guest Star

Pamela Merrick

Pamela Merrick


Guest Star

Alexander Armstrong

Alexander Armstrong

Mr. Smith (voice)

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • In the final stage of Round Two of Combat 3000 Luke and Clyde compete against a group of Slabs. This race appears as a leather-clad humanoid with a closed motorcycle helmet but are actually formed entirely of leather and were last seen in the Doctor Who episode Smith and Jones.

  • QUOTES (5)

    • Maria: Come on, I want to get a new bag.
      Luke: You've got lots of bags.
      Maria: You can never have too many bags!
      Luke: Another thing I don't understand.
      Maria: Don't worry. You're a guy, you're not meant to.

    • Mr Grantham: Who are you, and what are you doing in my office?
      Sarah-Jane: Sarah-Jane Smith. Journalist.
      Mr Grantham: (Points to Maria) Who's she?
      Sarah-Jane: My Work experience girl.
      Maria: It was either this or putting up scaffolding.

    • Clyde: They have a laser tag world championship?
      Mr Grantham: Yeah. That's kinda why I said it.

    • Sarah Jane: Oh, please don't be offended, but this isn't the first time I've had a gun pointed at me, and guns from other planets… Ooh, afraid I've rather lost count.
      Mr Grantham: Will you die happy if I tell you that I'm impressed?
      Sarah Jane: I'll die happy when I get Lance Metcalfe and the other twenty-three children you've kidnapped back to their parents safe and well!

    • Maria: You don't think there's anything weird about Lance disappearing, do you? I mean, you're not doing this story because you think there's aliens involved or anything?
      Sarah Jane: I don't see aliens behind every bush, you know, Maria. I'm not a conspiracy theorist!

  • NOTES (4)


    • Clyde: He's Luke, which makes me Obi Wan Kenobi.

      Clyde's use of the name of the Jedi Master from the Star Wars films is a reference to his role as Luke's mentor, in much the same way that Obi Wan was for Luke Skywalker.

    • CloudBusting

      The machine that Sarah Jane builds to monitor the residual effects of the odd weather patterns bears a striking resemblance to the machine that featured in Kate Bush's 1985 hit Cloudbusting.

    • DVD Posters

      Lance has posters of the DVD's Space Station Zero, Acid Burn & City Justice amongst others all over the walls of his bedroom. The same posters can be seen in the front window of the Bantos DVD Store in the Doctor Who episode Blink.

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