Unearthly Times

The Sarah Jane Adventures

Mona Lisa’s Revenge


N.B. there might (or might not) be spoilers in this article!

This week’s memory blind spot saw me completely forgetting Suranne Jones had been in The Sarah Jane Adventures.

“You can’t fake this kind of class.”

Mona Lisa, Mona Lisa’s Revenge, Part One

Frankly, having the Mona Lisa, that epitome of Renaissance elegance, portrayed as a brash Northern lass was a stroke of genius. And they don’t come any more brasher or Northern than one of Steve McDonald’s many ex-missuses. Suranne Jones has an enormous amount of fun with this: laughing maniacally, swanning around the gallery with a ‘sultana blaster’, and firing off painting and picture related puns seemingly at will.

I love Doctor Who‘s continued lack of reverance for the subject of Leonardo’s masterpiece. Whereas, back in City of Death, the Doctor had described her as ‘that dreadful woman with no eyebrows’, here’s it said she ‘laughed like a camel and farted like a donkey’, finally giving us a reason for ‘that enigmatic smile everyone bangs on about … wind.’

Suranne Jones is not the only one enjoying herself. Daniel Anthony as Clyde yet again gets some of the best lines. I was particularly impressed with his reasoning that a highwayman released from a picture should be firing paintballs.

“Give me a second and I’ll put you in the picture.”

Mona Lisa, Mona Lisa’s Revenge, Part One

Of course, I couldn’t help but wonder whether this painting was one of the copies with ‘THIS IS A FAKE’ written on the board. There’s no mention of it here, as Sarah Jane was no longer travelling with the Doctor when he got embroiled in that art heist business with Scaroth but I am a little surprised they resisted having Mr Smith bringing it up in his analysis of the painting.

I’m a sucker for the kind of stories that involve mysterious pictures whose subjects move or come to life, so I was always going to like Mona Lisa’s Revenge. Throw in a bunch of puns, a bit of irreverance and Suranne Jones — and you have a sure-fire winner in my book!