The Sarah Jane Adventures: Day of the Clown Parts 1 and 2 (series 2, episodes 3 and 4)
TV episode review
UK airdate 7 October and 14 October (CBBC); 14 October and 21 October (BBC One)
Local children keep on vanishing. Could it have anything to do with the sinister clown that the kids keep seeing? Er, yes…
Despite their comical nature, clowns have always held the power to frighten, and it’s something that movies and TV shows have frequently played upon (click here to read our Top 10 Evil Clowns feature).
In this double episode it’s the turn of The Sarah Jane Adventures to dabble in some clown-based horror, in a story that owes a big debt to Stephen King’s It (with a shade of the Torchwood episode From Out of the Rain and the Doctor Who adventure The Greatest Show in the Galaxy).
The episode boasts an appropriately sinister performance from Bradley Walsh as Odd Bob the Clown, a supernatural being who swipes kids with the aid of red balloons, and if there’s not quite enough here to sustain a double-episode's worth, there’s a scattering of memorable scenes, including an ingenious final showdown.
The episode also introduces the Chandra family as Sarah Jane’s new neighbours. The likeable Rani (Anjli Mohindra) is an aspiring journalist, which naturally draws her to Sarah Jane, while, in a nice little twist, her father Haresh (Ace Bhatti) is the new school headmaster.
This may not be earth-shattering kids’ TV, but it’s good creepy fun nonetheless. Matt McAllister