A race called the Krillitane (a composite species that absorb the characteristics and appearance of those races they have conquered), under the command of Mr finch have infiltrated the school using the children as tools to unlock a powerful weapon.
The children’s learning power is accelerated by the oil that is added to the chips. The Krillitanes goal is to get the children to crack the Skasis Paradigm – The God Maker – The Universal Theory – “Crack that equation and you’ve got control of the building blocks of the universe, time and space and matter – All yours to control”
The chips subplot was inspired by the controversy over the school menus incited by Jamie’s School Dinners (2005).
The headmaster (masterfully played by Anthony Stuart Head) tries to lure the Doctor into joining him..he could fix all his mistakes, saves lives, stop the war etc…but Sarah Jane talks him out of it, what is done is done…
Not only are the Doctor and his team, gang, comrades…whatever you wanna call them…investigating the mystery but so is a familiar face…Sarah Jane Smith (and K-9!! Affirmative!) – acting as a journalist reporting on the new headmaster.
As soon as Rose meets Sarah Jane (and see’s the relationship she has with ‘her’ Doctor) you can just see the jealousy, confusion and bitchiness in Rose’s eyes. She had no idea he had other companions. She thought she had something special with the Doctor and that she was the only one…..and not his ‘assistant’. This attitude soon gives way to an understanding between them both. There is an initial ‘tit for tat’ battle over who has seen more aliens but then they bond over the Doctor’s weirdness and all is well.
(To keep Sarah jane and Rose laughing, the make-up artist drew a moustache on David without them knowing until he came out – which is why at one point in the scene Rose points at David while laughing hysterically.)
Meeting Sarah Rose makes Roses see the transient nature of the Doctor’s relationship with his companions and it scares her. How long before the Doctor moves on again and leaves her behind??
“You can travel with me for the rest of your life, but I can’t travel with you for the rest of mine. I have to live on alone. That is the curse of the Time Lords.”
TORCHWOOD REFERENCE – Mickey is trying to break into the Army’s records to find out more about the several UFO sightings (that just happened to occur at the same time that the staff was ‘replaced’ at the school). The system keeps kicking him out – the screen reads “Torchwood Access Denied”
In the end, K-9 sacrifices himself in order to rid themselves of the Killitanes…you were a good dog…affirmative!
Sarah Jane was great in this episode. She gave the current ‘companions’ a look into the Doctor’s past and his lifestyle. I found the scene with Mickey and Sarah amusing, especially Mickey coming to the realisation that although he considers himself the Doctor’s ‘tech support’ he is somewhat just the “tin dog (K-9)” of the group.
The episode really got me amped to go watch the classic episodes – along with the spin-off Sarah Jane chronicles. I love K-9 too…I wish he had stayed.
I don’t think that Rose is all that keen for Mickey to join them either by her facial expression when he asks the Doctor if he can stay…even Sarah Jane picks up the tension…poor Mickey.
The final scene with Sarah jane and the Doctor saying their goodbye was bittersweet and I loved how he fixed K-9:
K9: The Master rebuilt me. My systems are much improved with new undetectable hyperlink facilities.
SARAH: Oh, he replaced you with a brand new model.
SARAH: Yeah, he does that. Come on, you. Home. We’ve got work to do.