The Sarah Jane Adventures was a show I grew up with. Just like stuff from your childhood always changes who you are as a person, and warps you to become who you’re going to be when you’re older, Doctor Who and Sarah Jane Adventures did that to me. They provided a grounding upon which I’ve built who I am, and upon which I’ve grown as a person. It’s almost like they are a part of me – and so Sarah Jane adventures is a show that is so precious to me.
So, of course, when I sort of ended up doing this SJA writing fanfic thing, I could never say no. And I decided to have a go with Mrs Wormwood, but I wasn’t sure why. Then it was difficult thinking of what I was going to do it about and everything, and so I eventually decided that I was just going to write a love letter to the show I grew up with. I was going to embody my story within the story.
And that’s why the story is split into two distinct halves. There’s part 1, where the wicked witch appears, and kidnaps our hero, and prepares to kill loads of people, but everything is fixed, within the last minute, by the brave and courageous youngsters saving the day, and saving little Melody! And then there’s part 2, where the time for evil deeds and brave acts and fairytales is over with, and it’s just two people, talking about who they are, and their place in the world, and how neither of them is good, or bad, they’re both just… people.
And this quite distinct structure is because it’s my relationship with the show – part 1 is a story, with heroes and villains, that I would’ve delighted myself in back in 2007 and 8. And part 2 is me now, reflecting back on the show I loved so much, and reflecting on who I am, and how that story ties into me today.
So at its heart, The Motherhood Masquerade is a story about growing up. The story grows up between parts 1 and 2. Sarah Jane and Wormwood grow up. They talk about how the world around them has grown up, just as the world always does for everyone. And then they forgive. They accept that they’ve grown up, and they reconcile.
Family is something else that’s so important here, because it’s about Sarah Jane and her family as well, and her motherhood to all of the children she’s adopted/mentored over the years. Again, Sarah Jane was a mother to all of us who watched the show, she was a mother to millions of children across the country, and so it’s also about Lis Sladen, and her relationship with the audience she inspired. And, of course, as we head towards the finale, another story that involves family quite a bit, (doing a little bit of teasing now, haha!), I think it’s good that this story decides to examine, before the tumultuous pummelling you’re in for by Miss Lance next week.
It is a reflection of Sarah Jane Adventures past. Series 5B and Series 6 of this wonderful fanfiction adventure are the real ‘rounding off’ series of the Sarah Jane Adventures, before we begin a brand new adventure, and so this story takes care to look back on the show’s history. Of course, who better to do that with than Mrs Wormwood, who could arguably be considered Sarah Jane’s equivalent of the Master? There were links, with things like Beth crashing the bus, the final scene in the garden, etc, all of which tie back into Invasion – as well as other links, back to previous parts of the show.
And that’s mostly it – it’s a reflective piece, on childhood and adulthood, and on stories and the real world, and it’s something that although I think is far from perfect, I’m proud with the ideas that I put in there. I really hope you all enjoyed reading it as much as I did putting it together.
1. The opening line is ““Hello Melody.”
2. That’s a strange name for a magazine.
3. **** are powerful.
4. “It was like the beginning of a horror movie.”
5. She keeps a framed picture!
6. “Zoe ran back into the room to see that Sarah Jane’s cousin had grown a tentacle.”
Writer of The Motherhood Masquerade.