Doctor Who Logo 'The Curse of
Clyde Langer'

(Part 1)

by Phil Ford
The Sarah Jane Adventures - Cast

Homeless and abandoned on the streets of London, Clyde recounts the events that led him to his terrible predicament, which started with a storm…

At school, Clyde shows Rani ‘The Silver Bullet’, a superhero comic strip he has written and illustrated; Rani is very impressed with her friend’s latest project, but isn’t quite as taken with his idea for another tale, starring an adventurer named “Susie June Jones”! Meanwhile, Rani’s father, headmaster Haresh Chandra, meets with Sarah Jane and her newly-adopted daughter to discuss Sky’s enrolment at the school. When their conversation is interrupted by the sudden appearance of a fish on the window-ledge outside the office, Haresh suspects a student prank; however, when he, Sarah and Sky go outside they are astonished to find that it is raining fish! Leaving Haresh and his pupils gazing in amazement at the bizarre spectacle of the fish-covered school and playground, Sarah, Sky, Clyde and Rani race back to the attic of No.13 Bannerman Road, where Mr Smith is busy monitoring reports of the unusual storm. Sarah explains that previous accounts of such phenomenon have been attributed to tornadoes sucking up fish and then depositing them elsewhere; but just to make sure, she asks Mr Smith to carry out a scan for any alien energies that could be to blame. Although the Xylok computer is unable to detect anything suspicious, he does inform Sarah of a possible link to a new exhibit at the Museum of Culture, where an ancient Mojave Native American artefact, the Totem of the Lost Tribe, is currently on display: legend has it that when this artefact was removed from the cave in the Mohave Desert in which it was hidden, a storm of fish fell from the skies… It isn’t long before the gang arrive at the museum, and as they race inside, Clyde gives some spare change to a homeless girl begging on the street outside. Making their way to the Native American display, the four adventurers easily find the totem pole: a tall, wooden post carved with creepy-looking faces. Clyde immediately plays the joker and tickles one of the faces, only to get a nasty splinter in his finger; while he tries to remove it, Sarah, Sky and Rani meet Doctor Samantha Madigan from the anthropology department; she knows of the totem’s legendary powers, but doesn’t attribute the recent storm to Hetocumtek, the vicious warrior supposedly imprisoned inside the artefact by Native American Medicine Men. As Sarah conducts a fruitless scan of the totem pole, Clyde manages to remove the splinter. With no alien threat apparent, the friends decide to leave. Clyde returns home and, after having dinner with his mum, he goes to his room to finish working on his comic book. After completing the final panel of ‘The Silver Bullet’, Clyde signs his name and then goes to bed, noticing as he does so that his finger is still hurting; but as Clyde falls asleep, he fails to see his name mysteriously glow on his pictures and school certificates… The following morning, Clyde pays a visit to Sarah to show her his completed comic book; Sarah is full of praise – until she hears Clyde say his own name, and her attitude changes in a second: she becomes furious at Clyde for his teasing of Luke, and promptly throws him out of her house. Astonished, Clyde crosses the road to tell Rani what happened – but then Haresh says Clyde’s name, and both he and his daughter immediately become enraged: Rani spitefully tells Clyde that she hates him, while Haresh expels the bewildered boy from school. Upset and confused to hear such venom from those people he considered his friends, Clyde quickly walks away… Back at No.13, Sarah tears up all the pictures drawn by Clyde that she can find; Mr Smith voices his concern at her inexplicable anger, but Sarah then calms down as soon as Sky enters the attic. With Sky about to attend her first day at school, Sarah decides to return to the museum to write an article on the totem and the fish storm; then Sky mentions Clyde – and Sarah’s attitude changes once more: she bans her daughter from ever mentioning Clyde again, and the instructs Mr Smith to sound an alert should the boy every come near the house. Meanwhile, in the park, Clyde phones Luke, only to discover that his best friend won’t talk to him either. Clyde then meets his mate Steve, who asks him to join in a game of football; Clyde tactfully refuses – but then Steve says his friend’s name, and he too becomes overwhelmed with hatred. After stomping Clyde’s phone into bits, Steve and his mates prepare to do the same to their former friend, but Clyde runs for it instead. Racing out of the park with the angry gang close behind, Clyde manages to evade his pursuers by hiding behind some bins; once his ex-mates have run past, Clyde notices that his finger is still bleeding – and he immediately makes the connection to the totem. Returning to the museum to look at the artefact, Clyde bumps into Doctor Madigan; he asks her about Native American curses, before he can learn anything useful, Sarah turns up and promptly causes a scene. Doctor Madigan tries to calm Sarah down, but then she says Clyde’s name – the curse takes effect and Clyde quickly finds himself being frog-marched out of the exhibition hall by security guards, while Sarah phones the police to make a harassment claim. Having been forcibly hurled onto the street, Clyde picks himself up from the pavement and sees the homeless girl watching from nearby… Clyde returns home, only to discover that his mum has also been affected by the curse after reading her son’s name on some mail. Accusing Clyde of lying to her, Carla demands that he leave the house never to return; Clyde is devastated, and tries to reason with his mother, but when she opens the door to let in the police, he is forced to make a hasty exit out the back door… On the run, Clyde tries to get some money from a cash machine, only to watch as the screen just fills up with his name, repeated over and over again… Night soon falls and a thunderstorm begins. Soaked through, with no home, no family and no friends, Clyde tries to find shelter in a doorway; all seems lost, but then Clyde finally gets a break: the homeless girl appears before him and offers to help…

Elisabeth Sladen (Sarah Jane Smith), Daniel Anthony (Clyde Langer), Anjli Mohindra (Rani Chandra), Ace Bhatti (Haresh Chandra), Sinead Michael (Sky Smith), Alexander Armstrong (Mr Smith [Voice]), Lily Loveless (EllieFaber), Jocelyn Jee Esien (Carla Langer), Sara Houghton (Doctor Samantha Madigan), Elijah Barber (Steve Wallace), Anwar Lynch (Security Guard)

Directed by Ashley Way
Produced by Brian Minchin
Executive Producers Russell T Davies and Nikki Wilson
A BBC Wales production

10th October 2010 @ 5.15 pm

*Featuring Sarah Jane Smith, Clyde, Rani, Sky and Mr Smith