Unearthly Times

The Sarah Jane Adventures

The Gift


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

Just looking at the rash that flares up on anyone who gets infected by the Rakweed’s spores in The Gift is enough to make you itchy.

What is it about deadly flora and fauna in science fiction? Whether they’re Stephen King’s Weeds, John Wyndham’s Triffids or things from other worlds, there’s clearly something we humans don’t quite trust about our leafy neighbours.

Rakweed is not even Sarah Jane’s first encounter with a killer plant — the Krynoids of The Seeds of Doom provided a memorable foe for her and the Fourth Doctor back in the day. Naturally, she’s far too pre-occupied with Luke’s rapidly worsening health to be spending time recalling that particular adventure in The Gift.

“We’re nothing like the Slitheen: we’re much, much worse.”

Tree, The Gift, Part Two

It’s nice to see another family from Raxacoricofallapatorius. Even if the Blathereen are ultimately revealed to be related to our oft-returning Slitheen, having them ‘fart themselves to death’ was a nice touch after all the flatulence humour they’ve given us over the years.

Still, for me, after a run of excellent stories, The Gift is perhaps a bit of a dip in quality to that of the earlier Series Three episodes, although no hour spent in the company of Sarah Jane and the Bannerman Road gang is truly a wasted one.