Lost in Time

Posted in Episode by - November 20, 2022
Lost in Time

Aired 08 – 09 November 2010


With no time wasted after Sarah Jane, Clyde, and Rani begin to investigate an antiques shop to open Rupert Laight’s ‘Lost in Time,’ the mysterious shopkeeper there separates and thrusts the trio into three distinct eras of Earth’s past to find pieces of a metal forged in the vortex that can reshape Earth’s history, warning that the time windows can only remain open as long as his hourglass still runs before the planet is destroyed.

Featuring multiple storylines with one lead in each of the three is a setup that could quite easily collapse under its own ambition, but the very mature and emotional themes running through each make for a surprisingly resonant affair that showcases the very best of Elisabeth Sladen, Anjli Mohindra, and Daniel Anthony. In 1553, Rani finds herself mistaken for the new lady in waiting for Lady Jane Grey on the final of her nine-day reign as Queen of England before she is deposed by her cousin, Mary, and then executed as a traitor. Rani recognizes that this young woman needs a friend more than anything, and she quickly forms a strong companionship with this ruler while also ensuring that Jane does not fall victim to another plot on her life in a series of events that perfectly exemplify Rani’s kindness and bravery.

Concurrently, Sarah Jane arrives in a home purported to be haunted in 1889, mistaken as a ghost initially by a young girl named Emily Morris who recently lost her mother but refuses to believe she is actually gone. In many ways, Emily acts like a young Sarah Jane here during her investigations, and Sladen portrays Sarah at her most empathetic and determined as the two come to discover that the hauntings are echoes from the future rather than the past as expected. The story of a neglectful babysitter who locked two young children in their room while she left to meet up with someone else is quite powerful, and Emily’s grief serves as a strong parallel to the horror that this house will come to know.

Finally, Clyde is taken to a beach in 1941, meeting a young boy named George Woods who is watching Nazis land on the short. Unfortunately, the Nazis soon capture the two, but rather than cower in the face of these powerful men who are more than capable of any atrocious deed they may mention, Clyde steadfastly stares them down with an assuredness in himself, in Britain, and in humanity’s core decency. What is ostensibly a children’s programme boldly does not shy away from racism in any form, and though this impassioned speech could have fallen flat in the hands of other young actors, Anthony dials up his character’s pride and confidence to deliver a shining an defining moment for Clyde who continues to grow and develop so much.

Of course, each of these three stories is dependent not only on the leads but also on the young trio of supporting performers, and Amber Beattie, Gwyneth Keyworth, and Richard Wisker all superbly add to the heightened emotions that are so integral to this story. This dip into the past allows The Sarah Jane Adventures to confidently explore new settings and to imbue this script both with a novel sense of excitement and- in the case of Jane Grey- a degree of crushing inevitability that presents an immense hurdle to incorporate and navigate. Concluding with a neat twist that effectively brings past and present together just as time appears to have run out, ‘Lost in Time’ is a strong variation on a formula that in its three brief vignettes highlights the incredible strengths of Sarah Jane, Rani, and Clyde when isolated and tasked with a seemingly impossible ask.

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