Doctor Who: Sarah Jane Smith and General Kudlak by Character Options

Today’s entry is a little late, (technically it’s yesterday’s entry) but with good reason. I scrapped what I had originally planned in favor of something different because of the sad news we got earlier this week. Elizbeth Sladen, best known for her portrayal of The 3rd/4th Doctor’s companion Sarah Jane Smith, passed away on Tuesday at the age of 63. It’s really hard to believe since she seemed so young in spirit and full of life when in front of the camera. She always had a special place in this Whovian’s heart, as the very first episode of Doctor Who I’d ever watched was The Hand of Fear and her presence as The Doctor’s companion was as much a part of Who for me than anything else. And at the young age of about 12, I’m not ashamed to say I had quite the crush on her as well. I was thrilled when she came back to reprise her role in the current series and equally happy to see her get a well-deserved and successful spin-off, especially since the orginal attempt, K-9 and Company wasn’t so successful. While I can’t say I was a huge fan of The Sarah-Jane Adventures, the fact that she was in it was enough to get me to watch it.

Despite this being Doctor Who week, the figures we’re looking at today are technically part of the short-lived Sarah-Jane Adventures line, also made by Character Options. These figures came in sets of two, which featured a different version of Sarah and one of the aliens from the show. This set came with the Uvodni General, Kudlak from the two-part episode, Warriors of Kudlak. The figures came packaged together in an oval, tube-like box with a deco reminiscent of the series and photos of Sarah and Kudlak on the front.sjskud1

Sarah comes in a cream colored jacket with a red top, blue jeans and boots. The likeness isn’t one of CO’s best efforts, but I can see some resemblance. I think if they had gone for a more serious expression rather than the broad smile, it would have turned out a lot better. I’m guessing the outfit is from the episode in question, but it’s been a while since I saw it so I can’t vouch for it one way or another.

Sarah has fairly standard articulation for CO Who figures. Her head turns, her arms rotate at the shoulder and have hinged elbows, her legs rotate at the hips and have hinged knees. She also has swivel cuts in her biceps and thighs. She comes with her purse. And yes, this is probably the only figure among hundreds of action figures in my collection that came with a purse. Good on you, Sarah Jane! Unfortunately, I have no idea where it is now.

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Kudlak represents an alien species called the Uvodni, which have not before been seen in the Doctor Who universe, which is pretty cool. SJAfeatured a fair share of Doctor Who aliens crossing over, so there’s always a chance the Uvodni may show up again in Doctor Who proper. Kudlak’s species basically look like humanoid insects with big heads. The makeup was really well done for Kudlak in the series, and he translates very well to action figure form, as the detail in the head sculpt is impressive.

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Kudlak features a sculpted red trenchcoat. I’m not sure if that’s the latest fashion trend on his home planet, but I tend to think it was just something he wore while on Earth. It’s sculpted in soft plastic, but it pretty much hampers Kudlak’s leg articulation. CO did a nice job detailing all the chains and straps on his boots, though. In terms of useful articulation, Kudlak’s head turns, his arms rotate at the shoulders, have hinged elbows and swivels in the biceps. Kudlak came with some kind of alien device, but it seems to have gone the way of Sarah’s purse.

The Sarah Jane Adventures figures go for a lot less than a lot of Doctor Who figures. The sets of two usually run around $15, so in terms of the Doctor Who line, that’s almost like getting two for one in a lot of cases. The entire reason I bought this set was to get Sarah, but Kudlak was a nice bonus and a really great looking figure to boot!

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[I realize that a passing look at a couple of action figures if hardly the send off, Elizabeth Sladen deserves, but toys are what we look at here, and so it seemed oddly appropriate. Either way, I loved you in all you did, Elizabeth, and somehow watching those old episodes of Who will be just a little bit sadder an experience, at least for a little while. In fact, I’m off to watch The Hand of Fear now and shed a tear or two. -FF]