First Broadcast April 29th, 2006 @ 7.25pm (8.31m viewers)
‘School Reunion’ is simply perfect. Fact.
The return of Sarah Jane Smith and K9 was a beautiful idea, a nod to the past that would please the fans and thank them for their dedication whilst the programme was off the air. However, what would result from that simple concept is a masterpiece.
As the third story transmitted in David Tennant’s first season in the lead role it also provides a useful opportunity to provide context, reflection and to put Rose Tyler in her place. Confidently and somewhat arrogantly Rose is under the delusion that her relationship with the Doctor is the only important one he has enjoyed and is hurt by the prospect of being replaced and forgotten, given her adoration for the traveller. In addition to this thread the plot centres around strange occurrences in a school and some peculiar chips. The face of that mystery is the wonderfully cast Anthony Head, recognisable from his role in popular show ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’, which would influence the development of Doctor Who’s revival, who oozes menace and poise. His scene with David Tennant in the swimming pool showcases some sublime acting, no raised voices, just both calmly and firmly standing their ground. These two are not the only astonishing acting performances delivered in this story.
The moment that Sarah discovers the TARDIS once again and turns to meet the enigmatic Time Lord still sends a chill up the spine and the eyes to moisten, even TEN years on. Elisabeth Sladen channels her own personal relationship with the Doctor over the years as the emotion of returning to the role which made her so loved by Doctor Who fans was laid bare on screen. The character of Sarah Jane Smith benefited from being given the label of journalist, her inquisitiveness neatly facilitating the necessary questioning of the Doctor vital to explain the action to the viewers at home. This instinct coupled with her likeable nature cemented her as one of the Doctor’s very best friends. It is also lovely to have K9 back in the show because despite people’s opinions the robot dog’s popularity is unquestionable and the pair proved once again to be the most beloved companion duo in Doctor Who’s history.
This story is one of the best examples of how brilliantly composed the modern revival of Doctor Who was, resulting in it being such a popular hit with the audience. Although acknowledging the past it does not dwell on it but also introduces a new villain and a new and original alien creature in the form of the intriguing Krillitanes that assimilate physical aspects of races which they conquer. The programme would continue to develop but there is no doubt that they struck gold with this flawless offering.
- The Doctor- David Tennant
- Rose Tyler- Billie Piper
- Mickey Smith- Noel Clarke
- Sarah Jane Smith- Elizabeth Sladen
- Mr. Finch- Anthony Head
- K9 (Voice)- John Leeson
- Kenny- Joe Pickley
- Director: James Hawes
- Writer: Toby Whithouse
- Producers: Phil Collinson
Also First Aired On This Day…
- The Faceless Ones : Episode 4
- The Mutants : Episode Four
- Doctor Who Confidential: Friends Reunited