The Empty Planet, part one

Original Airdate: Nov 1, 2010


SARAH JANE: Mister Smith, maximum scan.
MR SMITH: Locator sweep in operation.
(Clyde enters with a tray.)
CLYDE: Tea's up. What's going on?
RANI: Mister S just picked up an alien energy trace, just for a second, and then it vanished.
SARAH JANE: Somewhere in all of that.
CLYDE: And what is all of that?
SARAH JANE: Transmissions from radio, TV, satellite. That's every signal, every energy source on the planet. It's the sound of the Earth.
CLYDE: Bit noisy, aren't we?
MR SMITH: I'm afraid I can't locate the energy trace, Sarah Jane.
RANI: Okay, then what kind of alien energy is it?
MR SMITH: I regret I do not have that information, Rani.
SARAH JANE: Leave it to me. You've got school tomorrow morning. You go home and get some sleep.
CLYDE: I just made teas.
SARAH JANE: Good, because this could be a late one. Come on, hop it.
RANI: What if it's an invasion?
CLYDE: So the world gets blown to smoky bits and we weren't there to stop it because it was a school night?
SARAH JANE: Go on, home. If I need you, I'll shout, don't you worry.
(Clyde and Rani leave.)
SARAH JANE: Keep scanning for that energy trace, Mister Smith. Let me know the moment you locate the source. I hate not knowing.

[Chandra home]

(Rani lends Clyde a disc.)
RANI: There you go. I want it back in one piece, though. I know what you're like.
CLYDE: Night, then.
RANI: Oh, we've got to have Great Expectations finished by tomorrow.
CLYDE: I might start it.
RANI: Start it? It's five hundred pages.
CLYDE: I can skim it. Any book, you can read the back cover, page seventy three and the last chapter, pretty much get the gist.
RANI: Hmm. Very good. Enough to give you a string of Ds. Brilliant plan. See you at school then.
CLYDE: If we don't get invaded. (to the sky) Come and have a go, then, if you think you're hard enough.
RANI: Night.

[Rani's room]

(She is reading Great Expectations when there is a knock on the door.)
RANI: Come in. Hi, Dad.
RANI: What do you want?
HARESH: Just to catch up. Haven't seen you at all today.
RANI: Here I am. Oh, I'm really quite enjoying this, actually.
HARESH: I read that book when I was your age.
RANI: What, for school or just because you wanted to?
HARESH: Both. I really loved school.
RANI: Yeah, so much you never left. I really have got to get to the end by tonight.
HARESH: Oh, am I being chucked out?
RANI: Night.
HARESH: Bookworm.

[Clyde's room]

(Clyde is drawing a comic strip featuring Shansheeth when he gets a knock on the door.)
CLYDE: Yeah?
CARLA: Early night for me, nothing on telly. I want to sleep. Have you got to read this?
CLYDE: I've done it. Some bloke gets mucked around by women. Big deal.
CARLA: Let's have a look. Oh, that's good. Where do you get your imagination from? Not from me, certainly not from your dad.
CLYDE: I just like drawing. You know, Mrs Pittman reckons I could be a comic strip artist.
CARLA: Go for it. You know, I used to worry you'd turn out like your dad, full of chat but drifting.
CLYDE: Oh, thanks, Mum.
CARLA: I'm just saying, I had you wrong. I'm sorry. There's a lot more to you than there ever was in him. Or me.
CLYDE: Don't put yourself down and don't get soppy, please.
CARLA: My son's a genius, I'm allowed to be soppy. Night.
CLYDE: Night.
(Carla leaves.)
CLYDE: A genius. I like it. That'll do.

[Chandra home]

(Rani turns off her light and goes to sleep. Sometime during the night, the whole planet goes silent. Rani's phone alarm goes off. She switches on the radio but gets only static, so she puts on her dressing gown and leaves her room.)
RANI: Morning. Mum, are you doing breakfast? Mum? Dad? Dad? Mum? Wakey, wakey, it's gone seven.
(Her parent's bed is rumpled, but empty. Rani dresses.)
RANI: Mum? Dad?

[Outside Sarah Jane's home]

(Bannerman Road is eerily quiet when Rani rings Sarah Jane's doorbell. The Nissan Figaro is in the driveway.)
RANI: She must be in. Sarah Jane?
(Rani gets the spare key from under the plant pot and lets herself in.)
RANI: Sarah Jane?


RANI: Sarah Jane? Mister Smith, I need you.
(No response. His screen is blank.)
RANI: Mister Smith? Where are you?
(She tries her mobile phone.)
RANI: Come on, Clyde. Come on, Clyde. Come on, come on.
(No signal. Rani picks up Sarah Jane's sonic lipstick and leaves.)

[Bannerman Road]

RANI: Hello? Hello? Hello! Hello? Mrs Frazer? Hello?
(But the house with the open door is empty of life. Suddenly there is a crash, and a dog with a lead attached runs across the road.)

[Chandra home]

(Rani tries all the television channels. All static.)
RANI: Please don't let me be the only one.
(Knocking on the door.)
RANI: Oh, Clyde! I thought it was just me. What's happened?
CLYDE: Where's Sarah Jane?
RANI: Where's everybody?
CLYDE: I ran over to Finny's house, but he wasn't there. There's nobody around. Nobody.
RANI: Sarah Jane's car's still there, but when I went to the attic, no sign of her.
CLYDE: What about Mister Smith?
RANI: He's gone blank, like he's not even in there any more. And no mobile signal.
CLYDE: Yeah, I tried calling Luke, but there was nothing. And I called you. Of course I called you. I called you first.
RANI: Oh, okay.
CLYDE: And I tried 999 and the European one, 112. That's supposed to work after everything goes down. Still nothing.
RANI: Perhaps, if everyone's just suddenly gone, then maybe everyone's going to suddenly come back.
CLYDE: Maybe, but we can't rely on that. We can't just sit here and do nothing.
RANI: It's so good to see you. I thought I was going mad.
CLYDE: If we are, we're both going mad together.
RANI: So what are we going to do?
CLYDE: Hold on, it might just be round here.
RANI: No, I checked. There's no TV, no internet, no radio, nothing.
CLYDE: It could be something blocking the signals in this area.
RANI: Listen. Really listen.
CLYDE: This is really freaking me out. This is big, this is too big.
RANI: So what are we going to do, back to the attic?
CLYDE: Yes. No! We'll head into town. There must be somebody.
RANI: Right. Come on.

[Rooftop car park]

(Looking east over London towards Canary Wharf.)
CLYDE: There's nobody. It's the whole world.
RANI: Everybody's gone.


RANI: Last night, the energy trace Mister Smith picked up. It must be something to do with this.
CLYDE: It's a bit of a coincidence if it's not. I'm so glad you're here.
RANI: Sarah Jane'd be more use to you.
CLYDE: And better use to you than me. She'd be working things out, calculating stuff.
RANI: Hang on, your mum just disappeared?
CLYDE: I didn't actually see it happen. She was saying something and then she just suddenly stopped. I looked up and she wasn't there.
RANI: Right, so, I mean, if everyone suddenly disappeared the same way, just like that, well, then there should be cars crashed everywhere.
CLYDE: Yeah, there should be planes falling out of the sky. We're right near Heathrow, there's always tons of them circling about up there.
RANI: There aren't any now. There are no cars in the middle of the road. Just parked cars at the side.
CLYDE: So it's like, when everyone went, whoever or whatever took them also took all the planes and cars, all the moving vehicles.
RANI: Like they didn't want to damage anything or hurt anybody. Is that good? It's certainly weird.
CLYDE: Weird compared to what? Look, I'm starving and I don't think straight if I'm hungry. Do you want to get some breakfast, do something normal?


(Open newspapers and part eaten meals on the tables.)
CLYDE: I've left some cash on the counter for when everyone comes back. If they come back.
RANI: We're thinking everyone's disappeared. What if everyone's dead? What if there was a ray or something beamed at Earth and we weren't affected but everyone else got blasted?
CLYDE: What about the planes and the cars? It doesn't make sense. And we're not going to panic.
RANI: I wasn't panicking.
CLYDE: You were. So was I. Like you said, we've got to do a Sarah Jane. We've got to stop, think and work it out.
RANI: What do you think I've been sat here doing? First thing, everyone's gone except us.
CLYDE: And animals. There are still animals.
RANI: What's so different about us?
CLYDE: And why's Sarah Jane gone? If anyone round here's different, I reckon it's her.
RANI: Yeah. Maybe they just want us.
CLYDE: Or they don't want us. Hold on. Why are aliens more likely to single us out more than anyone else?
RANI: Duh. Because we know Sarah Jane. Thinking isn't getting us anywhere, we're just going round in a big circle.
CLYDE: Exactly, we need logic, we need brains, we need Luke. How long will it take to get to Oxford?
RANI: Hey, we're staying put. If he's around, he'll come down to us.
CLYDE: But what if he's up in the quad thinking, maybe if I stay put they'll come up to me?
RANI: What if he's not there at all? What if it's just the two of us left in the whole wide world?
CLYDE: Like Adam and Eve.
RANI: Yeah. No! There's got to be someone else. There's got to be.

[Street market]

RANI: All right, where do we start?
CLYDE: Back to the attic. If anything's happens, it's going to happen there.
RANI: If anything ever happens again.
(A box of oranges falls over.)
CLYDE: Hello?
RANI: It's probably just a cat or something.
(Some empty boxes fall over. The door to Bonmarché closes.)
CLYDE: Come on.


RANI: Where'd it go?
CLYDE: There. Stop! Come on.

[Behind the shop]

(A figure runs around a corner. Rani sonicks the locks off some bicycles.)
RANI: One second.
CLYDE: But this is stealing.
RANI: We'll bring them back. Always wanted a go with that.
CLYDE: Why do you get the cool bike? This one's all soggy pink.
(It is a girl's bicycle, with lowered crossbar.)
RANI: Does it matter?

[Outside a block of flats]

CLYDE: We've got to find out who it is.
RANI: There.
(A bicycle with its wheel spinning has been abandoned.)
CLYDE: It was a kid. He's gone. Hello? Hello?
RANI: Hey. Come on.


RANI: Please stop. We're not going to hurt you.
CLYDE: He's through there. Oh, it's locked.


(Rani sonicks their way in.)
CLYDE: Hello?
RANI: Don't be afraid. You're the only other person we've seen. Hello?

[Gavin's room]

RANI: Hello.
GAVIN: What do you want? Get away from me. How did you get in here? Stay away.
CLYDE: It's okay, it's okay. We're not going to hurt you.
RANI: We are so glad to see you. Oh, sorry. I know, girl in your bedroom.
GAVIN: Where's everybody gone? Did you do this? Why did you follow me?
RANI: Let's all calm down. I'm Rani, this is Clyde.
GAVIN: Gavin.
RANI: I'll go make us a cup of tea, yeah?


RANI: I don't blame you, really, being scared.
GAVIN: I'm not scared.
RANI: Your mum and dad. They just disappeared?
GAVIN: They're my aunt and uncle. My mum died years ago. Never knew my dad, he ran off when I was little.
CLYDE: You and me both, mate.
GAVIN: Lynne, my aunt, she just vanished. I knocked all the doors, there was nothing there, so I went into town.
CLYDE: That's exactly what we did. You got any better biscuits?
GAVIN: How did you get in here? I locked the door.
RANI: Long story. Can you keep a secret?
GAVIN: Yeah.
RANI: Sonic lipstick. It's alien technology.
GAVIN: You're aliens? What?
CLYDE: Rani.
RANI: No, but we've met aliens, fought aliens.
CLYDE: Why are you telling him this? Remember rule number one.
RANI: Gavin has got a right to know. He needs to know, if anything happens to us.
GAVIN: Don't wind me up.
RANI: It's true. Is it any weirder than what happened today?
GAVIN: Aliens took everybody? That's impossible. This is mad.
RANI: But it's happened, and there's just the three of us left, and we have got to work out why.
GAVIN: My aunt said there's no such thing as aliens.
CLYDE: Your aunt likes rubbish biscuits. So, aliens. Have you ever met any, seen any?
GAVIN: What, me? No. What are you talking about?
RANI: There must be a reason why there's only three of us left.
GAVIN: Now you think I'm an alien? You're weird. This is like some stupid kids' game we're playing. I'm not stupid, there are no aliens.
(A semi-musical blaring outside. Clyde and Rani look out of the windows.)
CLYDE: What's that? Trumpets?
(Everything is shaking.)
CLYDE: What's this now? Is that like a generator?
RANI: Could be a signal. That trumpet noise, getting our attention.
CLYDE: It could be anything. It could be a stardrive powering down.
RANI: That alien energy source Mister Smith picked up.
CLYDE: No surrounding noise, but it comes through clear.
RANI: Gavin, have you ever heard anything like this before? Gavin?
CLYDE: Where's he gone?
RANI: We're idiots. He must be terrified.

[Outside a block of flats]

CLYDE: The bike's gone.
(The fanfare again.)
RANI: It's coming from the High Street.
CLYDE: Right, let's take a look.
(Clyde picks up the boy's bicycle this time.)
RANI: That's my bike.
CLYDE: Does it matter?


CLYDE: We've lost it and we've lost Gavin.
RANI: Weird alien noise, terrified kid and what do we do? Run to the window and start talking all Star Trek. We must have looked really normal.
CLYDE: Is Gavin normal, though?
RANI: What do you mean?
CLYDE: Well, this morning, when I was alone, I thought I was the only one left. It was horrible. If I'd seen anyone else, even if it was Chris Moyles, I would have run towards them, not away, like Gavin did. Wouldn't you?
RANI: Yeah, But when you were that age, sixth form kids looked big and scary.
CLYDE: I'm not big and scary. And that flat, apart from one photo, was there anything that said a kid lives here? No kids' DVDs lying around, no photos of them with him. And his room, it was like a cell. No computer games or anything. Isn't that weird?
RANI: Then we should feel sorry for him, not start judging him. He lives a really rubbish life, and what's our first reaction? Oh, maybe he's an alien. What are we?
CLYDE: Are we sure he isn't?
RANI: No. I don't know and neither do you. Just leave it.
CLYDE: Oh, so you're in charge?
RANI: Yeah, I think I probably should be.
CLYDE: Well, I've known Sarah Jane longer than you> I've got more experience.
RANI: What, so it's like the army now? We've all got ranks and you're second in command, sir?
CLYDE: Look, we need a plan of action.


(Clyde pours himself a drink.)
CLYDE: Right, from now on, if we get split up, we meet back here, yeah?
RANI: What, your headquarters, sir? Yes, sir.
(Clyde puts money in the till.)
CLYDE: Oh, look at me, honest Injun. Never would have done that before Sarah Jane. Okay, I'm sorry.
RANI: Biggest crisis ever and it's just us. Not the time traveller, not the boy genius, not the supercomputer or the mega-dog. Us.
CLYDE: Hey. We are vital team members.
RANI: What, the two kids with no reason to be there? The hangers-on? We're both just really nosey, so we got into Sarah Jane's life.
CLYDE: She warned us off, gave us the choice to go back and forget it all.
RANI: Maybe she was right. Maybe today's the day it all comes back to bite us on the bum.
CLYDE: Do you think that if it wasn't for Sarah Jane and our thing that we'd have been mates?
RANI: I dunno. Maybe. Maybe not. It's not the usual way to grow up, though, is it? Fighting aliens. Defending the Earth.
CLYDE: Don't see much of my old gang any more. They're like, I met this hottie in Whispers in Acton. What am I supposed to say? I was fighting the Pied Piper of Hamelin? I love it, though.
RANI: Yeah. With Sarah Jane, half the time I'm terrified and the other half I'm really happy.
CLYDE: I'm leaning towards terrified right now.
RANI: None of this makes sense. If they're clever enough, if they're powerful enough to magic, teleport away, everybody.
CLYDE: If that is what they've done.
RANI: Well, let's say it is. Let's say they've got rid of everyone so they can invade, take over Earth for themselves. Then where are they? And why haven't they come to get us?
CLYDE: Don't tempt fate. I'm not like Sarah Jane, I believe in fate. What if aliens have decided to start the human race again, just beginning with you and me?
RANI: Clyde, seriously, shut up.
(An point downwards red triangle appears on the television screen. with alien script across it.)
RANI: What is that?
(Clyde's phone bings.)
CLYDE: It's on here too.
RANI: Yeah, and mine. There it is again.
CLYDE: Yeah, and a lot closer.


RANI: Clyde.
(They run over to a computer shop.)
RANI: It's on every screen. What does it mean?
CLYDE: It's got to be something to do with that noise. It's definitely coming from up there somewhere.
(As they cross the top of the alley behind Bonmarché, someone runs across. Rani turns down it.)
RANI: Gavin? Gavin! Gavin, is that you?
(A red one-eyed robot comes up behind her. She tries to climb over a metal fence. Meanwhile, a similar yellow robot comes up behind Clyde.)
CLYDE: No. Don't, please.

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