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Secrets of the Stars
Series: The Sarah Jane Adventures

TV story

Series Number: 9
Enemy: Martin Trueman
Setting: Acton, Ealing, London, 2009
Writer: Gareth Roberts
Director: Michael Kerrigan
Producer: {{{producer}}}
Broadcast: 20th October - 27th October 2008
Format: 2X30 minute episodes
Prod. Code: {{{production code}}}
Previous Story: The Day of the Clown
Following Story: The Mark of the Berserker
"But this time, Sarah Jane Smith... you will lose."
Martin Trueman

Secrets of the Stars is the third serial in Series 2 of The Sarah Jane Adventures.



Astrologer Martin Trueman causes a stir with his uncanny insights and predictions. While Sarah Jane doesn't believe in astrology, she does believe that all is not as it seems with Trueman. Around her, people are falling under Trueman's sinister spell and even Mr Smith doesn't understand what's going on.



Part 1

A young woman, Cheryl, is paying a regular visit to her astrologer, Martin Trueman. When she confides that she is spending her rent money to see him, however, Trueman breaks down and confesses that he is a con artist. As he stands by his window, unable to face her, he is hit by a shooting star... and suddenly, he's found a renewed belief in astrology.

Some time later, Rani and her mum have dragged Mr Chandra, Luke, and Clyde to Martin Trueman's astrology seminar at East Acton New Theatre. Sarah Jane has come, too, thinking she might do a story on Mr Trueman. Before entering the auditorium, each of them fills out a card with his or her birthday and gives it to Cheryl, who is now working as Mr Trueman's assistant. Luke, who was not really "born", does not have a birth date, a fact that seems to trouble him.

Mr Trueman begins his show by naming a random date and asking those born on that date to stand. Clyde stands, despite his stated intention not to; he is unnerved, but Sarah Jane reassures him that it's a trick of persuasion. Mr Trueman selects another audience member and, to the astonishment of all, correctly divines her life story. Sarah Jane can just convince her friends--and herself--that Trueman is just using established cold reading techniques... until Trueman selects her, and reveals an impossible amount of knowledge about seemingly ordinary Sarah Jane's extraordinary travels, more importantly about The Doctor.

Stunned and intrigued, Sarah Jane stays after the show for a chance to talk to Trueman alone. She demands to know the source of his uncanny knowledge, but he insists that astrology alone is responsible for his success. When he concludes the interview by warning Sarah Jane against opposing him, she has no choice but to leave, as baffled and as unnerved as when she met him.

Clyde has also stayed behind; but, unlike Sarah Jane and Luke, he has wandered off and encountered Cheryl. After meeting her, he suddenly seems to gain a new sense of purpose and direction, and stoically sets off to meet Sarah Jane and Luke back at 13 Bannerman Road... where he threatens to kill them, while Mr Smith stands idly by and insists that "nothing is happening".

Part 2

People hypnotised to protect Martin Trueman

Sarah Jane and Luke manage to talk Clyde out of threatening them, a feat Sarah Jane attributes to Clyde's intrinsic goodness overriding any hypnotic techniques Trueman may have used.

The group of friends continue their discussion of Trueman. Mr Smith gives them some background on astrology: a belief system widespread throughout the galaxy, he claims (though obviously the star signs vary from planet to planet), and, in his opinion, it is mere superstition. It is a physical impossibility for "imaginary patterns in the sky" to affect reality, as the computer puts it. Luke theorises that, if that is the case, then maybe the Ancient Lights Trueman speaks of are from another universe... the one that existed before Event One.

Mr Smith interrupts the theorising to patch through a television programme: somehow Mr Trueman has managed to take over the airwaves and broadcast one of his astrology talks. This lecture/demonstration features a large twelve-pointed star, each marked with a different sun sign. As the programme progresses, Trueman lights up the points of the star one by one, giving him control over people born under that sign.

He begins with those born under the sign of Gemini, a group that includes Rani's mum. The investigators return to the theatre to stop the broadcast, but the possessed Children of Gemini threaten to stop them. Clyde bluffs his way through by making up horoscopes.

The Ancient Lights create a portal through to the theatre. Trueman reveals that Luke's theory on the Ancient Lights is true: in the previous universe, he claims, they used to control all lifeforms. The Ancient Lights survived the Big Bang and needed Martin Trueman to rule the world because he was the 'Chosen One'. Sarah Jane tries to talk him out of it, but he will not listen.

Rani and Luke try to shut down the broadcast by flicking the mains switch off, but the Ancient Lights have protected it with a sort of force field. As they struggle to find a way through, Trueman's wheel reaches the sign of Aries--and Rani, an Aries, comes under Trueman's control.

Of the twelve sun signs on Trueman's wheel, only Taurus now remains. Sarah Jane is a Taurus, but cannot think of what she and Luke can do with only seconds remaining before she, too, falls under Trueman's control.

Luke has an idea: since he was not born, he theorises, he doesn't have a sun sign. He won't be under Trueman's control under any circumstances... so he is the only person able to destroy Trueman's wheel. Doing so severs the connection with the Ancient Lights and prevents their entry into the universe. Sarah Jane pleads with Trueman to leave the theatre and escape with them, but Trueman will not. He cannot bear to return to his former life and instead chooses to become one with the stars.

As the friends celebrate back at Sarah Jane's house, the unaware Earth authorities begin what the investigators know will be a fruitless search for Trueman. Luke decides that, since he was able to use his lack of a birthday to save the universe, he will take today's date as his own equivalent of a birthday.


Production crew

  • Co-Producer - Phil Ford
  • 1st Assistant Director - Steffan Morris
  • 2nd Assistant Director - Anna Evans
  • 3rd Assistant Director - Sarah Davies
  • Location Manager - Johnathan Allott
  • Production Co-Ordinator - Phillipa Cole
  • Continuity - Frances Mable
  • Script Editor - Gary Russell
  • Focus Puller - Steve Rees
  • Grip - Clive Baldwin
  • Boom Operator - Jeff Welch
  • Gaffer - Mark Hatchings
  • Stunt Co-Ordinator - Abbi Collins
  • Supervising Art Director - James North
  • Standby Art Director - Ellen Woods


to be added

Story notes

  • The story was originally going to use the Mandragora Helix, and act as a sequel to The Masque of Mandragora. However, it was decided that "Mandragora had to change too much, and was too easily defeated, in order to fit this plot" and a new foe was created instead. (DWM: Special Edition - Sarah Jane Smith)
  • This was the first episode of The Sarah Jane Adventures in which the Doctor appeared in some fashion, though it was in flashbacks from School Reunion and Journey's End. The TARDIS could also been seen in the background of one of the flashback scenes.
  • This is the third story in a row to involve a significant 'mind control' theme.
  • The French newscaster says:
La situation est très confuse. Personne ne sait ce qu'il se passe, ni qui pourrait être cet étrange Anglais.
The situation is very confused. No one knows what is going on, or who the strange Englishman could be.
  • The French crawl reads:
...ont été hypnotisé suivant une émission télévisée imprévue. Ceux qui ont été touchés par l'émission commencent maintenant à agir...
...have been hypnotised during an unplanned television show. Those who have been affected by the programme are now beginning to...


  • Episode 1 - 518,000 (CBBC channel)
  • Episode 2 - 505,000 (CBBC channel)


to be added

Filming Locations

to be added

Discontinuity, Plot Holes, Errors

  • If Trueman took over all the channels, how did the news programmes get on the air? This was after.
  • What if people are not watching the television at the time? The TV was just for relaying instructions, he could take them over across the world without it, as seen when Rani is taken over - she is not watching TV at the time.
  • Trueman didn't mention two other star signs, Virgo and Aquarius. He could have mentioned them when the camera is on something else. E.G. He says a star sign then it shows Luke and Rani running up some stairs. When the camera is back on Trueman, the Aquarius symbol is lighting up.



As of September 2009, no novelisation of this story has been announced for publication, although other episodes have been adapted.

DVD and Other releases

This story, along with the rest of Series 2, is scheduled for release on DVD on 9th November 2009 (UK) and 10th November 2009 (North America).[1]

See also

to be added

External links

to be added

The Sarah Jane Adventures Series 2
The Last Sontaran  • The Day of the Clown  • Secrets of the Stars  • The Mark of the Berserker  • The Temptation of Sarah Jane Smith  • Enemy of the Bane

Mini-episode: From Raxacoricofallapatorius With Love

This article uses material from the "Secrets of the Stars" article on the Dr Who wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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