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The Day of the Clown
Series: The Sarah Jane Adventures
TV story
Series Number: 8
Enemy: Odd Bob the Clown
Pied Piper
Elijah Spellman
Setting: Ealing, London, October 2009
Writer: Phil Ford
Director: Michael Kerrigan
Broadcast: 6th October - 13th October 2008
Format: 2x30 minute episodes
Prod. Code:
Previous Story: The Last Sontaran
Following Story: Secrets of the Stars



The new girl on Bannerman Road, Rani Chandra, is being haunted by a sinister clown -- does it have anything to do with the local children that have gone missing? When Clyde's friend Dave disappears, the trail leads them to a strange circus museum- and the legend of the Pied Piper.



Part 1

A new family is moving into number 36 Bannerman Road, the house formerly occupied by Alan and Maria Jackson. Luke Smith still misses Maria, even though she's keeping in touch by e-mail. His mum Sarah Jane sympathises, and reminds him that Maria will visit England before too long; she'll be at her mother's wedding. But, as Luke notes, it's not the same.

New friend, Rani

There's a new girl at Park Vale School, the boys' comprehensive: clever and inquisitive Rani, who wants to be a journalist. Clyde is smitten--even forgetting his odd sightings of clowns, always just out of the corner of his eye--until he notices that there's also a new head at the school: humourless Mr Chandra, who is determined to improve the students' scores and put an end to the recent rash of child disappearances... and who is not impressed with Clyde, the class clown. Clyde doesn't make it to lunch before receiving a summons to the new head's office.

While he is waiting by Mr Chandra's office, Clyde has another clown sighting. He tries to laugh it off, but he is shaken when his friend Dave ducks into a small art closet for supplies... and doesn't come out. Moreover, the art closet is empty; Dave has vanished into thin air.

Sarah Jane brings the new family some tea and biscuits, in the guise of a welcoming gesture, but in reality, when Gita Chandra's back is turned, she preforms a scan, due to Clyde's earilier remark, to check that no alien "residude" remains from the Jacksons' previous inhabitancy. Only Gita Chandra is there--her husband and daughter are at school, she explains--so the two women share tea, and Gita describes her family. She is thrilled to learn that Sarah Jane is an investigative journalist, as her daughter Rani wants to become one herself.

Clyde and Luke are walking home from school when Clyde sees another clown. Though Luke doesn't see anything, the boys give chase; they encounter only Rani, who has also been seeing clowns. Rani is quick to wonder if there is an extraordinary or supernatural explanation behind the disappearances, and the three teens are deep in discussion when they reach Bannerman Road... and discover that Rani's dad is Mr Chandra. He is not pleased to see his daughter walking home with Clyde, whom he has pegged as a troublemaker, though he is delighted that she has also made friends with Luke, one of Park Vale's most gifted students.

Luke goes to help Rani unpack. In Rani's room, the two continue their discussion of the missing children. The mention of clowns jogs Rani's memory: suddenly, she remembers taking a ticket to see a circus museum from a man outside the Tube. Rani quickly decides to investigate, and Luke feels he has no choice but to follow.

Clyde and Sarah Jane have independently discovered the same thing: all the missing children had received tickets to the same circus museum, and only children with tickets were seeing the clowns. They elect to visit the clown museum as well.

The Pied Piper wears red, yellow, and blue motley... just like Odd Bob the Clown.

Spellman's Magical Museum of the Circus is run by strange Elijah Spellman, who shows them around and leads them to a room filled with clown mannequins. Clyde spots a picture on the wall: an old watercolour painting of a man wearing red, blue, and yellow--just like the mysterious ghost clowns he'd been seeing. Sarah Jane explains that the figure depicted is the Pied Piper, a legendary figure out of European folklore who was purported to steal children.

Elijah Spellman agrees: he reveals that he is the Pied Piper and the mysterious clown, and he has come for more children. Nor will he tolerate discovery--with a word, he vanishes, and the clown mannequins come to life and threaten Sarah Jane and Clyde.

They run to the entrance, where they meet Luke and Rani, and discover that--while Sarah Jane's sonic lipstick is effective against the clown mannequins--the Pied Piper has trapped them in the building...

Part 2

Spellman continues to frighten Sarah Jane Smith by revealing insights on her childhood whilst Clyde, Luke and Rani attempt to escape from the museum. Luke and Clyde manage to get outside whilst Sarah Jane remains terrified inside the circus. Rani's phone starts to ring and she is forced with a dilemma as Mum appears on the screen. While the phone rings, Spellman freezes. After a few seconds of though, she decides to decline the call and run out of the circus. Sarah Jane follows and the crew get inside Sarah Jane's car to drive back to Bannerman Road.

Once there, Sarah Jane gives Rani a choice of living across the road and not interfering with Sarah Jane's life or alternatively going with Sarah Jane and experiencing a whole new world of adventure. Rani opts to join Sarah Jane and says she will explain to her mum that she is completeing some work experience with Sarah Jane. Sarah Jane, Rani, Luke and Clyde go into Sarah Jane's house, where Rani is amazed by the alien gadgets and gizmos in Sarah Jane's attic, particularly alien supercomputer Mr Smith. The new team quickly determines that the history of the Pied Piper is traceable to a meteorite that fell to Earth in 1283. The extrasolar meteorite originated from the Jeggorabax Cluster, a region of space known to house entities that fed off of emotions. To confirm this, Mr Smith says, he will need a sample of the meteorite. Fortunately, it is on loan from the University of Munich to the Pharos Institute.

Back at Sarah Jane's home, Luke confronts Sarah Jane about her apparent fear of clowns. Why should his mum, who has seen some of the strangest things in the universe, be frightened of clowns? Sarah Jane explains that she was frightened of a clown marionette owned by her Aunt Lavinia, when she was a child; a trauma intensified because it was one of the few times she missed having parents she could call on for comfort.

Sarah Jane then visits the Pharos institue and steals a piece of meteorite to give back to Mr.Smith but whilst there, Spellman appears and tells Sarah Jane that families will perish at the deaths of a nation of children.

Meanwhile, at Park Vale School, a host of red balloons falls from the sky. As the children grab them, they seem to lose free will, and mindlessly walk out of school towards Spellman's museum. Sarah Jane renembers how when Rani's phone range earilier, Spellman froze. She gets Mr Smith to ring all the childrens' mobile numbers--breaking the spell--but Spellman kidnaps Luke and imprisons him in the hall of mirrors. Currently he is sleeping with the other missing children who Odd Bob has caught.

Sarah Jane demands her child back, but Spellman correctly deduces that she is still afraid of him, and reveals that he has been responsible for her lifelong fear of clowns. She and Spellman face off, unaware that Rani and Clyde have entered the building secretly.

Clyde faces Spellman, unafraid, and begins to tell jokes. The humour loosens the grip that fear has on Sarah Jane, which in turn weakens Spellman--who feeds on fear--further. Spellman weakeans to the extents that Sarah Jane can force him back into the fragment of the meteorite, which she puts into an alien box which nothing can escape from.

Rani is a little shaken by her odd experiences, but vows to help Sarah Jane, Luke, and Clyde in their adventures.


Production crew

to be added


Foods and Beverages

Story notes


  • Episode 1 - 514,000 (CBBC)
    • 0.5 million (BBC 1)
  • Episode 2 - 443,000 (CBBC)
    • 0.7 million (BBC 1)

Myths and rumours

  • The introduction of Rani sparked fan-forum speculation as to whether there is any connection between her and The Rani, the recurring villain of the Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy eras. Other than having the same name, no connection has as yet been in evidence.

Filming Locations

to be added

Discontinuity, Plot Holes, Errors

  • Luke says that they have saved the world 12 times, but this is incorrect as this is the number of overall episodes (not counting Invasion of the Bane) rather than stories, which is 6 (SJA: Revenge of the Slitheen - SJA: The Last Sontaran). He may have been referring to off-screen adventures, or the events of [{DW]]: [[The Stolen Earth / Journey's End and in some times they have save it more than once in a single episode SJA: The Last Sontaran and Invasion of the Bane does add to the count for Luke
  • Why is Rani so surprised when Sarah Jane mentions aliens, after everything that has happened in Doctor Who - Autons, the Slitheen spaceship, the battle of Canary Wharf, the Adipose spaceship, ATMOS, Dalek spaceships, planets in the sky and all the things that have happened in Torchwood. Government cover-ups making the public believe otherwise, such as terroists, chemical hallucintions, etc. Even if she believed aliens existed, it is likely that she would still be skeptical that the woman across the street fights them all the time. Also it has often been remarked throughout the various Whoniverse series that humans will believe anything except for what's right in front of them.
  • In the frame, Luke hangs two fingers over Maria's head to look like she has 'bunny ears'. How can Luke do this if he doesn't understand the concept of jokes? Luke probably got this off someone, seeing as some people were helping him get used to the world plus it has been over a year and a halfsince his 'birth'.
  • The Chandra's house has changed from being 12 Bannerman Road (SJA: Invasion of the Bane) to 36 Bannerman Road. Furthermore, why is number 36 Bannerman Road opposite number 13?



Main article: The Day of the Clown (novelisation).

A novelisation was released by Penguin Character Books on 5th November 2008. It is to date the last Series 2 story to be so adapted.

DVD release

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 "The Day of the Clown" article on the Dr Who wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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