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File:Missusex 3123.jpg
Oh mate, The Missus and the Ex! Welcome to every man's worst nightmare.
Mickey Smith

The return of Sarah Jane Smith and K-9 Mark III, who last appeared in The Five Doctors in 1983. This episode pretty much singlehandedly spawned The Sarah Jane Adventures, giving another generation of children the gift of Elisabeth Sladen.



So there's a certain Perfectly Ordinary Comprehensive whose Perfectly Ordinary Students are absolutely whomping the competition in the school ratings, with enough time left over in the school day to calculate pi to infinity, invent time travel, etc. They're led by new headmaster Anthony Stewart Head, whose hobbies include looking Obviously Evil, cackling maniacally, Chewing the Scenery and chewing on the kids.

Sensing high weirdness afoot, the Doctor has gone undercover as a Perfectly Ordinary Substitute Science Teacher, dragging Rose along to serve as a Perfectly Ordinary Cafeteria Worker. Rose is a bit miffed that she pulled kitchen duty, but consoles herself with the happy thought of all the chips she can eat. In fact -- childhood obesity epidemic be damned -- at this P.O.C., school lunches are free, but also mandatory.

Somebody else's weirdness detector has pinged, too: Intrepid Reporter Sarah Jane Smith (Elisabeth Sladen), companion to the Third and Fourth Doctors, has turned up at the P.O.C. to see what's afoot. It's been thirty or so years since she left the Doctor, in her timeline, and several hundred years in his. He recognizes her but pretends not to, only to come clean when Sarah Jane sneaks into the school at night and finds where he's parked the TARDIS. Here the picture goes all swimmy and blurry for some reason.

By the time it clears up again, the Doctor has provisionally identified the cafeteria's chips as the source of the kids' mysterious intelligence. K-9 (pulled out of Sarah Jane's car boot, and fixed by the Doctor) identifies the frying oil as "Krillitane Oil", which identifies the baddies as Krillitanes, a bunch of nefarious shapeshifters.

So, ok, villain identified--but what's up with making the kids smarter? Why, so they can solve the Skasis Paradigm, of course! The Skasis Paradigm is a grand unified theory of everything that can rebuild the universe and space and time. The Doctor is eye-rollingly annoyed at yet another group of beings who want to take over the universe and remake it in their image... but then the head Krillitane surprises the Doctor by offering him the top job. It really shouldn't surprise you that he turns it down flat.

Also, Sarah Jane tells the Doctor that she spent the last few decades waiting for him, unable to fall in love again, unable to forget him, unable to trust and unable to live happily as a regular human anymore. The Doctor mumbles something almost resembling an excuse as Rose looks on in horror at what apparently awaits her. Noticing what the Doctor now means to Rose, Sarah Jane gives Rose some pointers on having "a relationship" with the Doctor, and the two bond after some initial awkwardness. Meanwhile, Mickey gets acquainted with K-9 and realizes that he's not much more than the team's "tin dog".

With the Villain of the Week appropriately vanquished by K-9, having blown up the Krillitane oil and a portion of the school as well as himself, the Doctor prepares to once again make his departure without so much as a proper goodbye. Sarah Jane isn't having any, and finally gets the goodbye for which she's been waiting three decades.

 Sarah Jane: No, say it. This time, please, say it.

The Doctor: Goodbye - my Sarah Jane!

Here he picks her up off her feet in a hug for the ages, and for a moment, we catch a glimpse of a much younger Sarah Jane Smith...

No, whacking the screen is not going to make it less blurry.

He vanishes again, but leaves his beloved Sarah with two things: badly-needed closure, and a new K-9 model. However, this isn't the last we've seen of Sarah Jane, and she'll return in series 4.

Tropes

  Doctor: I'm so old now. I used to have so much mercy. You get one warning. That was it.

  • Big Damn Heroes: K-9, of all things, saves everyone by application of laser blasts.
  • Brick Joke: A brick thrown thirty years ago finally lands; when we last saw Sarah Jane, she suspected the Doctor had left her in the wrong part of Britain. Turns out that, in fact, he had.
  • Buffy-Speak: "Ignore the shooty dog thing." Said by Giles.
  • The Bus Came Back
  • Butt Monkey: Lampshaded, as Mickey compares Rose to Sarah Jane, and himself to K-9 in their relationship with the Doctor...

  Mickey: (realization dawns) I'm the tin dog.

    • Even the Doctor gets a turn when Rose and Sarah-Jane bond over his annoying habits and end up laughing their heads off at him.

  Doctor: What? What is it? Stop it!

  • Car Fu: As K-9 so aptly put it...

  K-9: We are in a car.

  • Cat Fight (Not the physical Fan Service-type, but Rose and Sarah Jane engage in a verbal pissing contest through much of the episode)
    • Also a subversion, as the girls end up coming to a (very giggly) compromise when they start comparing the things about the Doctor that just bug them.
      • Which in turn makes the poor Doctor wonder if them getting along isn't even worse for him, since now they seem to be in conspiracy against him.
    • As Mickey so aptly puts it:

 "The Missus and the Ex-- every man's worst nightmare."

 Sarah Jane: I saw things you wouldn’t believe!

Rose: Try me.

Sarah Jane: Mummies.

Rose: I’ve met ghosts.

Sarah Jane: Robots. Lots of robots.

Rose: Slitheen. In Downing Street.

Sarah Jane: Daleks!

Rose: (smugly) Met the Emperor.

Sarah Jane: Anti-matter monsters!

Rose: Gas-mask zombies!

Sarah Jane: Real living dinosaurs!

Rose: Real living werewolf!

Sarah Jane: The. Loch. Ness. Monster.

Rose: (Stunned) Seriously?

  • Computer Equals Monitor
  • Creative Sterility: the Krillitanes
  • Cut the Juice: After getting inside the school, Mickey finds all the kids typing away. After being unable to get their attention, he finds the plug, looks around as though expecting a more dramatic solution, and then just pulls it out. He gets a few sparks thrown at him, but that's it.
  • Deadpan Snarker: K-9 gets one very epic snark.

 Finch: You bad dog

K-9: Affirmative.

    • His "We are in a car" may count. If he had eyes, he'd be rolling them by the third time.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The Doctor's relationship with his companions is horribly deconstructed, with Sarah Jane hammering it into his head that he takes young women across the universe, shows them all the wonders of creation... and then he "dumps" them back on Earth. Although to be fair to the Doctor, Sarah was one of the few who was actually 'dumped' (which no doubt coloured Sarah's view of the situation somewhat), and as is also noted in this episode (as well as several later ones), it's more often the case that they leave him.

  Doctor: You can spend the rest of your life with me. But I can't spend the rest of mine with you. I have to live on, alone. That's the curse of the Time Lords.

  K-9: We are in a car.

 Sarah Jane: I can tell it's been a long time, your assistants are getting younger.

Rose: I'm not his assistant!

    • A reference to the Fandom debate over whether those who travel with the Doctor are "assistants" or "companions." The media largely used "assistant" during the classic series, although since the reboot, this is hardly heard any more.
  • The Good Old British Comp: Deffrey Vale.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: After Elisabeth Sladen's untimely death on 19 April 2011, the Doctor's goodbye to Sarah Jane is particularly gut-wrenching.
  • Heroic BSOD: Mickey upon realising that he's their "tin dog".
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Poor K-9...of course, he recovers.
  • The Knights Who Say Squee: Sarah and the Doctor's reaction to seeing the other once again.
    • David Tennant even admitted the reason he's grinning like a madman throughout the episode is because he got to act along side Elisabeth Sladen, who he grew up watching on the show.
  • The Missus and the Ex: Trope Namer.
  • Oh Crap: Sarah has a minor one when she turns around and see's the TARDIS, confirming that the Doctor is still alive, he's here and exactly how much danger she's got to expect.
  • Poorly-Disguised Pilot: It's important to remember in the wake of The Sarah Jane Adventures that this actually wasn't a PDP for that show. In fact, Sarah Jane's appearance wasn't supposed to lead to a spin-off, but was more to link New Who with the old show (to show that it was an extension of the old show, not a new version of it.) The fact that the episode was successful and RTD decided to create a Sarah Jane spin-off was just a very happy accident.
  • Screw Learning, I Have Phlebotinum: The Krillitane oil apparently doesn't just make the kids smarter, it also dumps a load of knowledge into their heads. Like how to travel through time.
    • It's also possible that those computers they are mesmerized by are teaching them, but that's still this trope.
  • Stock Ness Monster: During the argument between Sarah Jane and Rose over who endured the most "space stuff", Sarah Jane mentions she went up against THE. LOCH. NESS. MONSTER! Rose couldn't top it.
  • Utopia Justifies the Means
  • We Can Rule Together: Mr. Finch gives the Doctor a sales pitch Mephistopheles would be proud of.
  • Wham! Line: When Mr Finch catches the Doctor off guard, by instead of planning to keep all the power for himself, offers to share it with the Doctor:

  Mr Finch: No. By someone like you.

  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: This episode was the first time the series openly questioned why The Doctor leaves his Companions (or lets them go):

 Doctor: "I don't age. I regenerate. But humans decay. You wither and you die. Imagine watching that happen to someone you...

Rose: What, Doctor?

Doctor: You can spend the rest of your life with me. But I can't spend the rest of mine with you. I have to live on, alone. That's the curse of the Time Lords.

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