Doctor Who game writer on Sarah Jane Adventures Easter egg: "I have a massive affection for SJA"
Now we know what Rani and Clyde from The Sarah Jane Adventures are up to in the modern day.
Fans have discovered that Doctor Who: The Lonely Assassins, a new video game about the Weeping Angels, includes a neat little Easter egg about Rani and Clyde from The Sarah Jane Adventures. And the game's writer, Gavin Collinson, has told RadioTimes.com all about it.
The Lonely Assassins game already had strong pedigree in relation to televised Doctor Who stories, with Ingrid Oliver reprising her role as Osgood and Blink's Finlay Robertson returning as Larry Nightingale. The team behind the game even shot on-location at the same creepy house that represented Wester Drumlins in Blink.
The Lonely Assassins game is part of the 'found phone' genre, which tasks players with piecing together a mystery by sifting through emails, messages and other corners of a stranger's simulated phone. It's within the game's email inbox that players can discover the update on Daniel Anthony's Clyde and Anjli Mohindra's Rani.
But if you haven't found this reference to Sarah Jane's young helpers, and you want to know what happens to those beloved characters, read on! But be warned - some fans might consider this a spoiler, so look away now if you'd rather discover the Easter egg in the game for yourself.
What is the Doctor Who: The Lonely Assassins' Sarah Jane Adventures Easter Egg?
As spotted by a fan and posted on the Doctor Who Reddit board, Rani from The Sarah Jane Adventures has exchanged emails with the owner of the phone which players interact with in the game.
The email in question, which you can see in the screenshot below, reveals that Rani helped spread the word about the sinister threat that lurks at Wester Drumlins, which forms a core part of The Lonely Assassins' story.
Anyone that's seen Steven Moffat's Blink episode, from the David Tennant era of Doctor Who, will remember that a small sect of Weeping Angels were left trapped in the basement at Wester Drumlins. And now, years since we last saw her on-screen, Rani has been helping to raise awareness online that people should stay away from that place.
The email also makes reference to Clyde, providing fans with an update on what he's been up to since we last saw him on TV. He's working for a homelessness charity which just opened its third shelter, and it sounds like he called Rani "a special person" when introducing her to the owner of the phone.
That lovely compliment will surely strike a nice note with fans of The Sarah Jane Adventures, especially those who saw potential for a romance between Rani and Clyde.
Doctor Who: The Lonely Assassins writer talks Sarah Jane Adventures Easter egg
RadioTimes.com reached out to Gavin Collinson, the writer behind Doctor Who: The Lonely Assassins, to find out how this reference to Rani and Clyde came to be.
Collinson told us exclusively, "Rani’s inclusion in The Lonely Assassins and the accompanying website, Into the Unknown, developed by chance. I needed an astute journalist who would have an open mind about aliens, and so she fitted the bill beautifully!"
Collinson added, "We don’t reveal too much about what she’s up to at the moment, although I did write something about her contributing to the Metropolitan, which felt like an appropriate tradition to continue." Fans will remember, of course, that Sarah Jane Smith herself was a writer for the Metropolitan newsmagazine.
"The reference to Clyde was a natural extension," Collinson continued, "and the line about ‘his homeless charity’ hopefully resonates in terms of events in The Curse of Clyde Langer." That's a nod back to series five of The Sarah Jane Adventures, where The Curse of Clyde Langer was a story that tackled issues around modern-day homelessness.
Collinson also joked, "Or maybe I’m over-intellectualising all this, and I popped them in simply because I have a massive affection for SJA and those characters!" That being said, with the BBC holding the rights to all-things Doctor Who, you can't just chuck in any reference that you like.
"All references like these must be cleared, quite rightly, by the Doctor Who team in Cardiff," Collinson explained. "They’re brilliant to work with, and even approved the return of Susan Foreman in a short story that serves as a prologue to The Lonely Assassins. It’s a shame we couldn’t have seen Rani meeting her… How fabulous would it have been to have included scenes showing those two working together?"
That short story, if you were wondering, can be found on the game's tie-in website Into The Unknown. Prior to the launch of the game, fans unravelled a mystery to work out the password for the website's Login screen. The reward for doing so was a free download of something special - a prequel story penned by Collinson himself. And if you fancy taking a look, let's just say that the Reddit page where fans discussed finding the password is still live! The Easter eggs just keep coming.
Doctor Who: The Lonely Assassins is out now for iOs, Android and PC, with a Nintendo Switch release following at a later date.
Looking for something to watch? Check out our TV Guide.