|'Warriors of Kudlak'
by Phil Gladwin
At ‘Combat 3000’, one of dozens of laser tag establishments across the country, a young boy called Lance outwits his fellow combatants and enters a secret, neon-lined corridor; as rain and lightning appear suddenly over the building, Lance enters a hidden chamber – and promptly disappears in a blaze of light. Elsewhere, an insect-like alien informs his mistress that a new recruit is on his way… Some days later, Luke joins Maria on a shopping trip, and as they pass ‘Combat 3000’ its manager, Mark Grantham, gives them cut-price vouchers. Sarah visits Mrs Carrie Metcalf, who asks for help in finding her son, Lance, who vanished three days ago. Returning home, Sarah tells Maria, Luke and Clyde of their schoolmate’s suspicious disappearance. When Luke learns that the nickname he gave Lance may have hurt the boy by reminding him of the father he lost in the Gulf War, he becomes upset and runs off; while Clyde goes after him, Sarah and Maria head for a local café to talk to Lance’s friend, Brendan. With his arcade gaming interrupted, Brendan tells them that he was caught in a freak storm on Saturday, shortly before he was to have met with Lance. Returning to her loft, Sarah asks Mr Smith to co-relate all the children reported missing in the last year against any freak rainstorms, and learns that there are twenty-four matches. Continuing with his education of being a teenager, Luke asks Clyde about games and shows his friend the flyer for ‘Combat 3000’; the two boys immediately head off to check out the laser tag firm. With Maria’s help, Sarah uses her stock of alien equipment to build a device to check the skies above the hilltop where Brendan was caught in a storm; the device generates a burst of energy that results in a downpour of tiny objects, which Mr Smith later identifies as entanglement shells – a by-product of alien teleport systems that can be used in terraforming. Tapping into a military satellite, Mr Smith accesses records for the previous Saturday, and determines that a freak rainstorm briefly appeared over ‘Combat 3000’. Meanwhile, at that very establishment, Clyde and Luke begin playing a game of laser tag; they are watched on CCTV by Grantham and his boss, a humanoid insect creature called Mr Kudlak, who notes with enthusiasm that Luke shows great promise as a warrior. The game ends, with Luke in first place, and Clyde in second; Grantham offers the boys the chance to play Level Two, with a chance for a place in the World Championships – all they have to do is be the first to reach a special chamber in the games arena. Sarah and Maria arrive at ‘Combat 3000’, and learn from a moaning cashier that the company recently came under new management. While the cashier continues to complain, Sarah and Maria nip inside and find the manager’s office, but their search of the room is soon interrupted by the arrival of Grantham; when Sarah tries to question the manager about all the children who have vanished in the vicinity of a ‘Combat 3000’ building, she quickly finds herself looking down the wrong end of an alien blaster. Teaming up against their fellow competitors, Luke and Clyde near their objective, only to be faced with several black-clad, motorcycle-helmeted assailants – Slabs – all armed with laser tag guns; however, the two boys manage to evade their attackers, and enter the secret corridor… Overpowering Grantham with her sonic lipstick, Sarah manages to escape with Maria, and together they find a room filled with CCTV monitors – only to watch helplessly as they see Luke and Clyde teleporting away. Then Mr Kudlak enters the room and closes in on Sarah and Maria…
Elisabeth Sladen (Sarah Jane Smith), Yasmin Page (Maria Jackson), Thomas Knight (Luke Smith), Daniel Anthony (Clyde Langer), Alexander Armstrong (Mr Smith [Voice]), Chook Siblam (Mark Grantham), Sarah Haynes (Carrie Metcalf), Pamela Merrick (Wendy), Sonny Muslim (Lance Metcalf), James Bellamy (Brandon Butler), Nadiyah Davis (Jen), Chrissie Furness (Cashier), Paul Kasey (Kudlak / Emperor / Mistress), Silas Carson (Voice of Kudlak / Emperor), Tina Greatex (Voice of Mistress)
Directed by Charles Martin
Produced by Matthew Bouch
Executive Producers Russell T Davies and Julie Gardner
A BBC Wales production
15th October 2007 @ 5.30 pm CBBC
22nd October 2007 @ 5.00 pm BBC 1
*Featuring Sarah Jane Smith, Maria, Luke, Clyde and Mr Smith
*The Slabs are mercenaries first seen in the 'Doctor Who' episode 'Smith and Jones'
*Writer Phil Gladwin has a rather entertaining 'Screenwriting Goldmine Blog' on script writing, so be sure to visit!