|'Lost in Time'
by Rupert Laight
Sarah, Rani and Clyde investigate a newspaper report of an alien sighted at a local antiques shop. Entering the premises, the trio are quickly received by the owner, Mr Smalley, and his parrot, Captain; to Sarah’s surprise, the shopkeeper knows all about her: it seems the newspaper clipping was a lure, because Smalley needs her help in saving the world! With great urgency, the mysterious shopkeeper explains how the time vortex is under threat from Chronosteel, a powerful metal that has been forged into three objects that are lodged at key moments in the timestream; these artefacts could change the course of history, and only Sarah, Clyde and Rani can retrieve them because they have previously travelled in time. Before Sarah and her friends can protest, Smalley then conjures up a time portal and blasts it straight at them; as his unwilling helpers are sent on their way, the shopkeeper turns to his parrot and declares ominously that the trio have until the grains of sand in an old hourglass run out to complete their mission… Clyde comes to on the shoreline of a beach, where he meets a young boy named George, who spying on three men who have just arrived in a small boat. Clyde is excited to learn that the date is now 7th June 1941, but this turns to concern when he sees that the new arrivals are a group of Nazi invaders… Rani awakes to find herself in the Royal Chambers of the Tower of London, on the 9th of July 1553, where she encounters the head of the Queen’s household, Mistress Ellen; to Rani’s surprise the woman takes her for the new lady in waiting of Queen Jane – formerly Lady Jane Grey, later to be known as ‘The Nine Days’ Queen’… Elsewhen, Sarah regains consciousness in a haunted house in the year 1889, where she meets amateur ghost hunter Emily Morris, who is investigating reports of supernatural manifestations… On being introduced to Queen Jane, Rani immediately hits it off with the sixteen-year old monarch – much to the displeasure of the Queen’s other confidante, Lady Matilda, who is suspicious of the newly arrived “foreigner”… Watching the progress of the unwilling time travellers through a crystal ball, Mr Smalley worries that he will not be able to keep the time window open much longer… Using her wrist scanner, Sarah detects strange energy readings in the abandoned house; just then the clock chimes eight o’clock: according to Emily, the time when the ghosts manifest! After a rush wind blasts the two adventurers, they then hear the sound of people talking and footsteps going up the stairs; Sarah immediately decide to follow the noises… Rani confides to Queen Jane that she is searching for a special piece of metal; she is interrupted by Mistress Ellen, who brings news that Jane’s half-sister Mary has arrived in London with her forces, and is demanding that Jane give up her false claim to the throne; Jane is fearful, knowing that such an accusation will lead her execution as a traitor… Intending to warn the Home Guard of the invading Germans, Clyde and George race to the nearby church of St. Michaels to use its telephone – but to their dismay the phone is dead. When the Germans suddenly arrive outside, the two boys attempt to hide – but they are quickly discovered and taken prisoner by the Nazi’s leader, Lieutenant Koenig… As they follow the sound of children, Sarah explains to Emily that ghosts can be echoes of the past trapped in the fabric of buildings; however, when she listens closely to the speech patterns of the kids, she realises that these ‘ghosts’ come from the future… As Clyde and George watch, the Nazi’s unpack a strange device that looks like a transmitter; when Lieutenant Koenig shows his captives the machine’s power source, an ancient silver cross that Hitler has dubbed ‘Thor’s Hammer’, Clyde realises that he has found the Chronosteel he is looking for… Shocked that Queen Jane will soon be executed, Rani then notices Lady Matilda behaving suspiciously: believing herself unobserved, the woman opens a window and speaks to someone outside, taking from them a silver dagger – a weapon with which she plans to kill the Queen… Tracking the ghostly voices to a bedroom, Emily and Sarah discover that the temperature has suddenly soared – the children are trapped in a fire in the future, and there is no way to save them! Back in the present, Mr Smalley is convinced that Sarah, Clyde and Rani are taking too long in their quests – and without the Chronosteel, they will be trapped in the past forever!
Elisabeth Sladen (Sarah Jane Smith), Daniel Anthony (Clyde Langer), Anjli Mohindra (Rani Chandra), Cyril Nri (Mr Smalley [Shopkeeper]), Amber Beattie (Queen Jane), Elizabeth Rider (Mistress Ellen), Fiona Hampton (Lady Matilda), Richard Wisker (George Woods), Tom Wlaschiha (Lieutenant Koenig), Gwyneth Keyworth (Emily Morris), Lucie Jones (Gemma), Morgan-Faith Hughes (Katy), Llewcus Oaten (Ben)
Directed by Joss Agnew
Produced by Brian Minchin
Executive Producers Russell T Davies, Julie Gardner and Piers Wenger
A BBC Wales production
8th November 2010 CBBC @ 5.15 pm
10th November 2010 BBC 1 & BBC 1 HD @ 4.30 pm
*Featuring Sarah Jane Smith, Clyde and Rani
*The date of Sarah’s newspaper clipping, the date on which this story is set, is 23rd November 2010 – which is also the forty-seventh anniversary of ‘Doctor Who’