Unearthly Times

The Sarah Jane Adventures

The Eternity Trap


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

I barely remembered anything of The Eternity Trap, which comes as something of a surprise after watching it again, as it’s a terrific slice of horror, full of jump scares and scary mansion tropes, while still remaining appropriate viewing for Doctor Who fans young and old alike.

“This isn’t sorcery, this is science.”

Toby, The Eternity Trap, Part Two

Clyde is on top form here, quipping his way around the ghostly goings-on while he and Rani investigate. Even Sarah Jane’s scepticism about the supernatural is tested for a time, although having seen Image of the Fendahl, I knew there’d be a science-fiction-y explanation for the ghosts in the end. (Alien tech and something about ‘existing at different frequencies’ are the suitably hand-wavy reasons given here.)

Just the one location, with no shots of Bannermen Road, Sarah Jane’s attic, and no involvement from Mr Smith (or the recently returned K9), make The Eternity Trap feel very much like a pared-down bottle episode — Sarah Jane and the gang (well, two-thirds — as there’s no Luke either!) turn up at a haunted house, have an overnight adventure, solve the mystery, then leave the next day.

No disrespect intended to any of the missing regulars, but The Eternity Trap is all the better for it, giving Clyde and Rani plenty to do, expecially once recurring guest star and bona fide national treasure Floella Benjaman goes missing at the hands of the ominously named Erasmus Darkening.

There’s nothing spectacularly original here, but it’s done so well you won’t really mind!