With The Sarah Jane Adventures now available to stream again and a new audio series being released soon, returning Doctor Who showrunner Russell T Davies sat down with SFX Magazine to chat through the beloved spin-off show.


Talking about The Sarah Jane Adventures, which he sees as the "apple of his eye", Davies spoke about the script-writing process and having a good understanding of "how to pitch things at the right level".

Because of this, a certain villain was omitted from The Sarah Jane Adventures because let's face it, cybermen really aren't all that suitable for children's bedtime viewing.

He explained: “Matt Jones [writer of Who’s 'The Impossible Planet'] once pitched a Cyberman invasion of Bannerman Road, and I sat there thinking, 'What the Cybermen do is remove your brains and put them into metal – that’s horrible."

He continued: “I don’t think Cybermen fit five o’clock in the afternoon. I don’t think Daleks do. We were always dying to get the Daleks in there, but if Sarah Jane and a bunch of kids could defeat a Dalek that makes the Daleks pretty soft!”

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The cast of The Sarah Jane Adventures.
The cast of The Sarah Jane Adventures. BBC

“You wanted great big villains, you wanted the end of the world,” he continues, “but she’s not the Doctor, so you have to temper that by saying they’re brilliant, brave amateurs. That’s why in [alternate-timeline Who episode] ‘Turn Left’ you saw that Sarah Jane and the kids had tried to stop Florence the Plasmavore [from “Smith And Jones”] and been killed."

He said of the spin-off series: “There was a natural youngness to it, but we were very keen that that wasn’t softness. There are obvious rules – no blood, no swearing. But within that it was absolutely the full emotional range.”

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But that's not to say that Davies didn't cheerfully break any of his own series-specific rules, he said: “I remember when I came in and wrote ‘Death Of The Doctor’, Phil Ford turned round and said, ‘But you told us no alien planets, and no killing the monsters.’ Which is exactly what I did on that!”

Davies has obviously returned to the world of Doctor Who as the series is celebrating its iconic 60th anniversary and while this is his second tenure as the helm of the sci-fi series, Davies has also confirmed that he'll be working on the show for years to come.

Speaking recently on the Table Manners podcast with Jessie and Lennie Ware, Davies said that he will be working on the show "for years I think actually, I will have to spend years on that".

When asked whether his work on Doctor Who means he won't have any other new projects in development, Davies said: "Not for a while. I am sorry. Time to give these young people a bit of space."

SFX is on sale 22nd March 2023 with subscriber copies available from 18th March 2023.

The Sarah Jane Adventures is available to stream on BritBox. For more, check out our dedicated Sci-Fi page or our full TV Guide.


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