Monday 11 October 2010, 12:08
Set your sonic lipsticks to thrill - The Sarah Jane Adventures is back. And I don't care if I've already seen the scripts (even written some) - I'll be on the edge of my seat watching them all over again. Just as I adore Doctor Who, I love this show.
Now I've written four series of adventures for her. I am the biggest kid in the playpen and I'm playing with my favourite toys. Being a writer who gets to write for his childhood heroes is the best of the best.
When I wrote my first Sarah Jane, The Eye of the Gorgon (the one with the nuns who drove around in a hearse) people said it reminded them of Doctor Who from way back. There's no greater compliment. Now we are on the fourth series and the show just keeps getting better.
And scarier. I like the scary stories. My favourite episodes have been last year's haunted house story, The Eternity Trap, and The Day Of The Clown from the year before. Bradley Walsh, who played Odd Bob, scared the pants off me on set.
This year, Joe Lidster's Nightmare Man is right up my scary street. Gareth Roberts' Empty Planet is just about as big a mystery story as you can get - complete with robots. And Goodbye Sarah Jane Smith, which he has co-written with Clayton Hickman is both emotional rollercoaster and action-packed gobsmacker.
Rupert Laight's Lost In Time is three stories in one and then there's Russell T Davies' return to Sarah Jane writing duties with a story that not only features Matt Smith but Katy Manning returning to her role as Jo Grant, the Third Doctor's other companion.
Then there's my Vault Of Secrets, which sees the return of a familiar reptilian face and some sharp-dressed villains with something nasty up their sleeves. It's going to be so much fun.
It's a bit different from Waters Of Mars - the Doctor Who special that I co-wrote with Russell last year. We visited a very dark part of our favourite Time Lord with that one.
People ask me about the differences in writing something like Waters Of Mars and Sarah Jane's adventures with Luke, Clyde and Rani. Is it a different process? No. It's just about writing the best story I can.
Instinctively you pitch the story differently, but I'm still using the same parts of my brain - the bits that get scared, the bits that laugh, the bits that get fired up by adrenaline, and the bits that cry,
Because stories are all about emotion. And I guarantee this year you will laugh, cry and hide behind the couch. I know, because I'll be there with you.
Phil Ford is lead writer and co-producer on The Sarah Jane Adventures.
To find out times of future programmes, please visit the upcoming episodes page.
Until Friday, 5 November you can press the red button to test your knowledge of the show with a Sarah Jane Adventures Quiz.
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