As an off-shoot of Dr Who, and a gentler counterpart to the current Dr Who series, this show is tailored more for children, though definitely entertaining for adults. While nowhere near the intensity of Dr Who, the development of Sarah Jane’s character since being parted from the Doctor is very convincing. Having found it difficult to adjust to a life back on earth, Sarah Jane continues to search for alien life, becoming very isolated and single-minded. Her only friend is K9, a robot dog from her Doctor days, who occasionally appears out of a black hole to say hello, until she meets 3 teenagers who join her quest to protect the earth from hostile aliens. While there is a tendency for the ‘us’ versus ‘them’ approach with respect to alien life, Sarah Jane adopts a stance which challenges the typical defensive approach to ‘enemies’ and attempts to respect and reason with them. At the same time she attempts to teach the children about the magic of the universe and the diversity of life within it. It is very satisfying to see a strong and independent female role model who regularly ‘saves’ the world without a man. Having said that however, it is interesting (and disappointing) that her supercomputer, an alien life form is called Mr Smith, and when she needs the computers ‘help’ she uses the magic words ‘I need you Mr Smith’. That inevitable patriarchal assumption of male ‘authority’ still manages to manifest itself. That aside, there are some interesting storylines and unexpected twists.