Doctor Who returns for its second series this Saturday, starting on BBC1 at 7.15pm. Seems strange typing that, having followed the programme for most of my life and yet been without almost any new Who on TV from 1989 until last year. Now the show is white hot, the most popular it's been as a pop culture icon since 1964. Like a lot of Who fans who suffered through the slings and arrows of the 16-year gap, this second coming doesn't seem quite real. I guess we should simply enjoy the ride while it lasts this time.
The new block of 13 episodes includes the return of Elisabeth Sladen as Sarah Jane Smith, the first human character from the original series to appear in the new version. By a happy coincidence - and it was no more than that, believe me - the last of my Sarah Jane Smith audio dramas is due out on CD sometime between now and April 29, when SJS returns to Doctor Who in the episode School Reunion.
The penultimate SJS audio, Fatal Consequences, effectively paid off an awful lot of plot threads the stories had been setting up. The last in this series, Dreamland, resolves the cliffhanger left from its predecessor, before setting off in a new direction, as Sarah Jane goes boldly into... But that would be telling. Suffice to say, SJS comes face to face with the greatest dilemma of her life, and what she decides will have far-reaching effects.
I've no idea how Dreamland will be received by its listeners. The first of the new SJS audios, Buried Secrets, got an extremely positive response in most quarters, while Snow Blind was thought to be good, but not great. Fatal Consequences has easily been the most popular of the series. Now I'm worried that Dreamland will be a big let-down. Then again, if its predecessors had flopped, I'd be worried whether Dreamland could turn around perception of the series. Basically, I'm always worried. I cried twice while I was writing Dreamland. Hopefully it'll engage the audience's emotions too - time will tell.
Got to stop typing now. My head's spinning like dervish thanks to some lurgy I've acquired in recent days. Urgh, fell like crap...