"Some things are worth getting your heart broken for."
--Sarah Jane Smith
In light of tomorrow's Sarah Jane Adventures' season five premiere (which is not availible *cough* legally*cough* outside of Britain), I decided to post a review of "School Reunion," which marked the return of Elisabeth Sladen to the show for the first time since the charity special "Dimensions in Time" in 1993.
The plotline is fairly simple--an alien race uses schoolchildren to break the code of divinity--which allows a greater focus on the characters. Instead of frantic running or ducking Dalek blasts (although they run too!), viewers are treated to such beautiful scenes as Sarah Jane recognizing the TARDIS, the Doctor and Sarah talking, and Sarah's spat with Rose.
The climax of the plot is beautiful too--Mr. Finch offers the Doctor the power to rewrite reality. Not only is this tempting because of the Time Lords, but because he could have his companions with him "throughout eternity. Never age, never wither, never die."
But Sarah Jane--the one with the most to lose--pulls him back.
The universe has to move forward. Pain and loss, they define us as much as happiness or love. Everything has its time, and everything ends.
Originally intended as a one-time story, this episode sparked the spin-off Sarah Jane Adventures, as well as return appearances in the season four finale and the End of Time farewell tour.
I've watched this episode many times since April--and it makes me cry a little more every time. It also inspired me to go back and watch the classic series, beginning with Sarah Jane's first adventure "The Time Warrior." I have since seen every episode featuring Sarah Jane (except Dimensions in Time). She is undoubtedly my favorite companion.