Doctor Who Logo 'The Empty Planet'
(Part 2)

by Gareth Roberts
The Sarah Jane Adventures - Cast

The red robot closes in on Rani… only to be knocked back as Gavin suddenly appears and rams a big metal bin into it. As Rani and Gavin make their escape, the robot sounds a distress call: the signal is picked up by the yellow robot, distracting it enough to allow Clyde to slip into a nearby clothes shop. The yellow robot gives chase, but Clyde tricks it by pretending to be one of the shop dummies; once the automaton has left, Clyde races outside, where he bumps into Rani and Gavin. Together they head back to their café HQ, so that they can try to reason out what the robots want them for: what links Rani and Clyde to Gavin, but not to Sarah Jane? Clyde and Rani may have been left behind because the Judoon banned them from leaving Earth – but that still doesn’t explain why Gavin didn’t vanish along with the rest of humanity. The trio’s thoughts are interrupted by the arrival of the two robots, who crash through the café window and stride rapidly through the shop; rushing out the back door, Clyde and Rani split up from Gavin, hoping that at least one of them will evade the robots. Rani manages to give the yellow robot the slip, but Clyde quickly finds himself cornered in a dead-end alley: the red robot closes in on the boy and scans him with an energy beam… Meanwhile, back at the café, Rani’s relief is short-lived when the yellow robot appears and scans her too. However, instead of being killed, Clyde and Rani are each surprised to hear their ‘attacker’ attempting to speak to them, albeit in an alien language. Leading his robot back to the café, Clyde rejoins Rani, and when the robots start picking up on her speech, Clyde has the bright idea of using a newspaper to help speed up the automatons’ assimilation of English. Now that they can all communicate, the robots decode the signal on the café television: it’s a countdown, and there is only twenty-three minutes left… Declaring that they have come for the “air” and the “sun”, the robots explain that they have used a warp shunt to transport humanity to a sub-dimension – and if they do not get what they want, they will never return their hostages. Rani suddenly has a revelation: the robots are looking for a son and heir, the prince of their planet: Gavin! Clyde backs up this theory, recalling how Gavin told them that his late mother wouldn’t talk about his father after he left them – Gavin’s dad must have been an alien king! The two robots confirm this: the king of their world is now dead, and so they have come to take the heir to the throne back home with them. Realising that the robots are only carrying out their orders, Clyde and Rani race to Gavin’s flat, the automatons close behind them; however, when they get there, there is no sign of the boy – and they only have fifteen minutes left. Frantically searching for clues, Clyde and Rani guess from Gavin’s interest in nature that he must be hiding in a nearby reserve. Together with the robots they race to the park, quickly finding the terrified boy hiding under a tree. Calming Gavin down, Rani explains how he is the most important person on the planet; Gavin finally believes her, but when Rani looks to the robots to stop the countdown, they are unable to see the boy in front of them: something is shielding Gavin from their detectors. Realising that the ring Gavin’s father gave him is a bio-dampener, Rani instructs the boy to remove it – the robots immediately see him, and when a quick scan confirms his identity, the automatons link with Gavin’s mind and show him who he really is. Overjoyed that someone finally needs him, Gavin orders the robots to take him home and to return everyone to Earth; he then confers the titles of “Lord Clyde” and “Lady Rani” on his new friends, and after bidding them goodbye, he teleports away with the robots. To Clyde and Rani’s dismay, they see that the countdown is still ticking, and no-one has returned… until the clock reaches zero: the streets suddenly fill with people, all none the wiser for their absence! Returning home, Rani finds an anxious Haresh placating Gita on the phone: her parents have been worried sick about her, and they also cannot account for the last hour and a half… Rani explains to her dad that she has been helping Clyde with his homework; they are then joined by Clyde himself, who is busy on the phone calming down his mother. Then Sarah arrives: she is also relieved to see her young friends, and somewhat bemused at their new ‘titles’… Some time later, in the attic at Number 13, Sarah informs Clyde and Rani that Mr Smith has fixed official records to show that Gavin has gone to live in Australia. After hearing how proud Sarah is of the way they handled their latest adventure, Clyde and Rani realise that no matter what, they will always have each other to rely on…

Elisabeth Sladen (Sarah Jane Smith), Daniel Anthony (Clyde Langer), Anjli Mohindra (Rani Chandra), Alexander Armstrong (Mr Smith [Voice]), Ace Bhatti (Haresh Chandra), Jocelyn Jee Esien (Carla Langer), Joe Mason (Gavin), Paul Kasey (Red Robot), Ruari Mears (Yellow Robot), Jon Glover (Voice of Robots)

Directed by Ashley Way
Produced by Brian Minchin
Executive Producers Russell T Davies, Julie Gardner and Piers Wenger
A BBC Wales production

2nd November 2010 CBBC @ 5.15 pm
4th November 2010 BBC 1 & BBC 1 HD @ 4.30 pm

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

*This was the first episode of the series to be broadcast in HD, for its transmission on BBC 1 and BBC 1 HD