The Sarah Jane Adventures is a British science fiction television programme, produced by BBC Cymru Wales for CBBC, created by Russell T Davies and starring Elisabeth Sladen. The programme is a spin-off of the long-running BBC science fiction programme Doctor Who and focuses on the adventures of Sarah Jane Smith, a middle-aged investigative journalist who, in her youth, had numerous adventures across time and space. The series debuted on BBC One with a 60-minute special, entitled “Invasion of the Bane”, on 1 January 2007. A full series of ten 25-minute episodes followed, beginning on 24 September 2007. The first series consisted of five two-part stories.
The series was set largely in and around Bannerman Road, Ealing — the street on which Sarah Jane lived. As shown in the initial, New Year’s Day special, Sarah Jane was a wealthy and reclusive eccentric. Her somewhat lavish house, car and lifestyle were paid for by her work as a freelance journalist, and an inheritance from the aunt established in her first Doctor Who appearance and the pilot for Sarah’s first spin-off series.
In the opening narrative, she acquired an adopted son, a highly-evolved human, who had been manufactured by the Bane. Her hitherto lonely life was also invaded by a girl who had just moved into the house across the road. Once the series proper began, and her adopted son, Luke, started attending school with Maria, they picked up a third friend, named Clyde Langer. Initially, then, the format of the series was about the three school-aged kids having alien-fighting adventures with Sarah Jane, whilst trying to keep Maria’s divorced dad and mum unaware of their activities. Major subplots included: Maria and Alan Jackson’s attempts to have a productive relationship with Chrissie, in the wake of the divorce; Sarah Jane’s efforts to be a good mother; Clyde’s attempts to help the socially awkward Luke “be cool”; the gradual uncovering of Mr Smith’s true nature; and Alan’s discovery of what exactly happened at Sarah Jane’s house.