The Man Who Never Was


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The Man Who Never Was

Serial Code

Series 5 – E/F

First Transmitted


Final Ratings



Season Five DVD Cover


Sarah Jane complete DVD


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Elisabeth Sladen (Sarah), Anjli Mohindra (Rani), Daniel Anthony (Clyde), Tommy Knight (Luke), Alexander Armstrong (Mr Smith), John Leeson (K9), Sinead Micheal (Sky), Ace Bhatti (Haresh Chandra), James Dreyfus (Harrison), Edyta Budnik (Adriana), Peter Bowles (Lionel Carson), Dan Starkey (Plark), Jason Mohammad (Newsreader)


Written by Gareth Roberts
Directed by Joss Agnew
Produced by Brian Minchin


The Man Who Never Was is a two-part episode of the Sarah Jane Adventures. It is the third and final story of the fifth and final series, making it the final story of the series as a whole

Part One

A woman who works as a cleaner watches the commercial for the SerfBoard at Serf Systems. Walking, she suddenly hears an odd noise coming from a lift. There, a mysterious figure snatches her.

Luke returns home from university and he meets Sky for the first time. Sarah Jane, Clyde and Rani are also happy to see him. Luke also realises that his old room is now Sky’s and as he mentions the fact that it is no longer his room, Sky feels guilty. Luke explains that K9, along with having a dog whistle to call him, could not leave Oxford and as Mr Smith expresses his delight, Rani jokes that they could replace Mr Smith with the new SerfBoard. Sarah Jane reveals that she has been chosen to see a run through of the speech that Joseph Serf (the creator of the SerfBoard) will present. She takes Luke and Sky with her to the run through and she bumps into Lionel Carson, her old or, who has a dislike of computers. As the run through gets under way and Joseph Serf is giving his speech, Luke and Sky notice Serf’s face suddenly glitch. Once Sarah Jane and Lionel have received a Serf Board, Lionel takes an odd liking to the board, Luke and Sky tells Sarah Jane what they saw.

Sarah Jane and Sky return home while Luke stays to see if anything suspicious happens. They get Mr Smith to display the video of the speech and it is confirmed that Joseph Serf glitched. As they go through his past, they discover that Joseph Serf was in a skiing accident and was never seen again. This leads Sarah Jane to believe that the real Joseph Serf died in the skiing accident and the one that was seen in the run through was a hologram. Sarah Jane organizes an interview with Joseph Serf by using cryptic wording which suggests she knows that Serf is a hologram. Sarah Jane and Sky go to meet Luke and in the attic Clyde and Rani scan the Serfboard to uncover anything alien about it, it is just a cheap, ordinary laptop computer. Sarah Jane plans her interview with Joseph Serf and his bodyguard Harrison is admant on staying with them. As Sarah Jane discovers the truth that Joseph Serf is a hologram, Luke and Sky go into a basement and discover that an alien race is controlling the Joseph Serf image. Sarah Jane, with no other options, finally wafts her arms through the hologram. Harrison then targets an alien weapon at her. Meanwhile, the aliens notice Luke and Sky and enclose around the two.

Part Two

The aliens, called Skullions, warn Luke and Sky to flee. In order to buy time for Sarah Jane’s escape, Sky pulls a trigger in the control room, momentarily malfunctioning the Serf hologram. Harrison, who has some sort of connection to the Skullions, pulls out his pen and presses a button, temporarily torturing the Skullions via collars on all of their necks. Sarah Jane, Luke, and Sky are all captured. Harrison reveals that he bought the enslaved Skullions from a Chinese black market after their ship crashed in China. Though the SerfBoard has nothing special about it, the Serf image has a hypnotic setting controlled by the Skullions that can make viewers want to buy the product, mainly targeted at the audience of the upcoming launch, both live and televised, making Harrison rich. He then separates Sarah Jane from the Children, placing her in a locked room with the custodian.

In another room, Luke and Sky converse, especially about Sky thinking Luke misses his old room. Plark, a Skullion , comes in, giving them water. Luke offers some water for the alien, but he refuses for it will burn, and explains the Skullions can only drink citric juices. Though K9 will not be able to hear the sounds, Luke uses his dog whistle to contact Mr Smith in Morse code, telling Clyde and Rani to grab Harrison’s pen.

The custodian, Adriana, tells Sarah Jane what she saw and how the Skullion who grabbed her earlier was punished by the guards before she was thrown into the room. Agreeing to the plan, Adriana screams, pretending to be abused by Sarah Jane. A security guard then enters and trips upon a wire. Sarah Jane and Adriana escape, locking the guard behind them. They arrive where Luke and Sky are imprisoned and free them.

Before the broadcast of the SerfBoard, Harrison warns the Skullions of their punishments should they make a mistake during the launch: the punishment of death. To emphasize Harrison’s”message”, he sprays water on the Skullions.

Clyde and Rani, after receiving Luke’s message through Mr Smith, take the identities of Trevor and Janet Sharp, a married couple stranded at an airport due to a computer malfunction engineered by Mr Smith. At the launch, Clyde manages to switch pens with Harrison without him noticing Clyde did so.

Sarah Jane calls Mr Smith, telling him to contact a rescue vehicle from Skultos. The Skullions run up towards the roof. Unfortunately, Harrison forcibly takes his pen back from Rani. Stalling, Luke and Sky try to control the hologram but fail to operate it correctly. Harrison then presses the button on his pen and initiates the level 10 maximum punishment causing the Skullions immense pain. Luke and Sky use the Serf hologram’s hypnotic power to compel the audience to grab the pen and smash it. After Lionel smashes the pen underfoot, Serf tells the audience the SerfBoard is rubbish, sending them home with the job to tell others about the ridiculous SerfBoard. The Serf hologram then tells Clyde and Rani to go to the roof, which Harrison overhears. On the roof, the rescue spaceship arrives. As the Skullions head for the beam, Harrison runs after them in anger and grabs on to Plark, resulting in the ship beaming both him and Skullions up. Adriana, who now has no job, is given by Sarah Jane a business card pertaining to UNIT and a recommendation that UNIT could use someone like her.

Back home, Luke finally accepts that it is Sky’s room and she walks in on him hanging up a picture drawn by Clyde, titled, “Sky’s Room”. As a final montage of her past adventures in the series play, Sarah Jane voices over:


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