The Sarah Jane Adventures have so far had some nice moments, even if they seemed brief and fleeting, and Warriors of Kudlak continues that trend for me.
Its only big failing (remembering it’s a 21st century children’s show) is that it sort of makes the main character, Sarah Jane Smith, into someone that seems a little at-odds from the companion we once knew. It is sadly, a product of its own idea.
The Sarah Jane Adventures were borne of the Doctor Who episode School Reunion, the idea being to make Sarah Jane into the sort of adventurer/detective that might investigate suspicious schools or kidnapping video games of laser tag.
That’s really the only complaint I can really find for Warriors of Kudlack; its use of sci-fi standards was at least entertaining if not masterfully done, and it’s always nice to see an alien who in the end is neither good nor evil, especially if you’re a fan of science fiction
A false war between the main alien race the Uvodni and their enemies the Malakh was the catalyst for the events in this episode, and the revelation of that the war was over was well handled; it almost seemed to step out of classic Doctor Who, with its speeches and a resolution that still leaves quite a lot of children in danger and probably quite dead. Luke is seen using his intelligence in a more acceptable and less annoying way, and it really seemed to be a script that was paced nicely for its actual time on screen.
The supporting cast is again the ones that shine in this, with the villains Kudlak, Mr. Grantham, and The Mistress being quite fun and enjoyable if as said a bit cliché. The idea in itself with aliens searching for great warriors in the children of Earth, does its job and makes you to wait and see what the resolution might be. Predictable to be sure, but as long as its fun, then we can at least stomach it for a little while, if not half an hour each week.
The fact that it is written for children has to be taken into account, even though I still firmly think that children should never be talked down to nor shown a story that fills the plot with holes or predictable, simple solutions. Certainly it seems they have made good use of kids adventure staple – monsters – but the more interesting things the aliens in question have to say, the better the alien overall, and the more ambitious the show seems.
The Sarah Jane Adventures does seem to take another step up the ladder every new episode, but it has yet to really make me love it yet.