The very popular Sarah Jane Adventures that screened on CBBC for four series is to return for a fifth and controversial sixth series.
Three episodes of the fifth series were completed before Elisabeth Sladen, who played Sarah Jane Smith, fell ill and tragically died. A further three episodes will be constructed using previously recorded clips of Sarah Jane, before work on a controversial sixth series begins in Autumn staring the children from the series operating without Sarah Jane.
"Luke is at University," said Russel T. Davies, who conceived, wrote, produced and directed the series, but is too ugly to appear in them. "We have used this premise to construct the sixth series that will take place in Oxford."
Early scripts for the series have been compared to a live action Scooby Doo. K9, the robotic dog from the series, takes the part of Scooby, whilst the Maria Jackson role will be reprised by Yasmin Paige, taking the role of Velma. Rani, played by Anjli Mohindra takes the Daphne role, whilst Clive Langer, played by Daniel Anthony, is to become Fred.
"This does mean that Luke is taking the part of Shaggy," said Davies. "Because this isn't a live action Scooby Doo, Luke is a clever clogs not a cowardly custard."
Also unlike Scooby Doo, the aliens and monsters that the kids will encounter will not be revealed as criminals inside suits, but instead be real aliens and monsters. Russel T. Davies would not be drawn on whether or not each episode would finish with the immortal line: "And I'd have got away with it if it hadn't been for those pesky kids."
"I told you," said Davies. "It's not Scooby Doo."
A name for the new series has not yet been agreed. It may be called The Sarah Jane Adventures still, or it might be called Scooby Luke.