While I had been looking forward to finally seeing The Sarah Jane Adventures after reading all the positive reviews since its debut in the UK, I was surprised at just how much I ended up enjoying it. It certainly wasn't cerebral, life-changing television, but it was nice, light adventure fare (duh, hence the title), and actually kind of pleasant. As much as Torchwood tries to establish itself as the decidedly more adult end of the Doctor Who spectrum, Sarah Jane embraces the more family-friendly side of things, but without watering down the content too much or, more importantly, talking down to its audience. In fact, in terms of content, it's probably closer to The Tomorrow People than traditional Doctor Who (and considering a kid with extraordinary abilities and a talking alien computer both play a part in the proceedings, they're actually cribbing quite a bit from Tomorrow People, if you think about it).
But all influences (intentional or otherwise) aside, The Sarah Jane Adventures was a fun hour of television, and they'll definitely have me back for the weeks to come. It's kind of refreshing to see an aspect of the revised Who universe that I'd actually be able to watch with my son.
(And you know, it's funny, when I was pondering this write-up the other night, I was going to mention that I enjoyed that SJA actually seemed to embrace it's spin-off status and actually refer to the Doctor outright, rather that bury connections in sly references the way they do on Torchwood, and then on the Torchwood episode that aired Saturday night on BBC America, they finally mentioned the Doctor by name! Well, I thought it funny, anyway.)