Recap: The Sarah Jane Adventures S 5 E 3 E 4 The Curse Of Clyde Langer

Clyde gets cursed by a totem pole, turning all his friends against him.

Part 1

The story begins with live trout raining from the sky. When Team Sarah Jane investigates, Mr. Smith finds a Native American totem pole at the local museum connected to a legend which involved raining fish. Supposedly, the totem pole houses Hetocumtek, an alien that impersonated a god and tried to enslave the people of the Great Plains.

Sarah Jane, Clyde, Rani, and Sky go to the museum to investigate. Outside the museum, a homeless girl asks Clyde for change, which he gives her. Inside, Sarah Jane scans the totem pole but finds nothing unusual. Clyde, defying the "Do Not Touch" sign, touches the totem pole and gets a splinter.

The next day, Clyde interacts with Sarah Jane, Rani, Luke, his mother, and other friends. All of them treat him normally at first but turn against him when they read or hear his name. His mother kicks him out of the house and Sarah Jane complains about him to the police, saying that she is being harassed. Clyde realizes that his name must be cursed somehow. Clyde is left alone in the rain until the homeless girl he helped earlier comes to help him.

Part 2

Clyde wakes up in a tent city of homeless people where he meets Ellie Faber, the homeless girl who helped him. He introduces himself as "Enrico Box" to avoid using his cursed name. Ellie tells Clyde that she ran away from home two years ago to escape her mother's new husband. She also tells him about the "night dragon," a creatures that the superstitious homeless believe has been homeless people disappear.

Ellie guides him through the world of London's homeless population, teaching him to panhandle and taking him to a soup kitchen. She introduces him to an old homeless woman who claims to tell the future with tea leaves. When the old woman accurately realizes that Clyde is cursed, Clyde tries to leave to avoid putting Ellie in danger. However, Ellie convinces him to stay.

Meanwhile, Sky is trying to figure out why Carla, Sarah Jane, and Rani turned against Clyde so suddenly. When she sees Clyde's name glowing on a letter, she realizes that his name is somehow causing this. Carla, Sarah Jane, and Rani have all been suddenly crying without knowing why.

Sarah Jane is called back to the museum by the curator after a security guard claims he saw lightning come out of the totem pole. Scanning the totem pole again, she finds that Hetocumtek has awakened inside and advises the curator to close the exhibit.

Sky returns to the attic and forces Sarah Jane and Rani to think about their sudden irrational hatred of Clyde. Sky remembers that Clyde pricked himself on the totem pole which is now beginning to awaken. Sky suggests that Sarah Jane and Rani say his name to break the curse. After a few tries, Sarah Jane and Rani say Clyde's name and free themselves from the curse.

Back on the street, Clyde shows Ellie a sketch he made of her. He suggests becoming a street artist in order to earn them money and get them off the street. Thrilled at the idea, Ellie leaves to get them a cup of coffee to celebrate. While she is gone, Sarah Jane finds Clyde and tells him to get in her car. Clyde tries to wait for Ellie, but Sarah Jane says there is no time. The totem pole is awakening and they need Clyde to stop it.

Back at 13 Bannerman Road, Mr. Smith teleports the totem pole into the attic, which begins moving and sends a tree branch crashing through a window. Clyde declares to the totem pole "My name is Clyde Langer!" Hetocumtek vanishes, defeated.

Clyde returns to the street corner where he left Ellie. With the help of his friends, Clyde searches the city for her but with no luck. They happen upon a poster with Ellie's name on it, advertising her as a musician. Clyde realizes that "Ellie Faber" was not her real name, just a name she got off a poster. A truck with the words "Night Dragon Hauling" on the side passes by and a homeless person explains that the Night Dragon offers to take a homeless person anywhere, giving them a second chance.


  • All Myths Are True
  • Artistic License Religion: totem poles are a phenomenon of Native American culture in the Pacific Northwest, not the Mojave Desert (California and Arizona). And neither of those regions is anywhere near the Great Plains (US Midwest, Canadian Prairies), the stated home of the shaman who cast the curse.
    • That said the totem pole is actualy alien in origin and the shaman in question was trying to get it a long way away from people so that may have been deliberate.
  • Continuity Nod: Yet another nod to that "French Revolution" book. In Clyde's room we can see his winning artwork from "Mona Lisa's Revenge" by his bed.
  • Curse: Yep.
  • Darker and Edgier: Compared to the average episode.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: The totem pole.
  • Gray Rain of Depression
  • Hand Wave: Mr Smith managed to hack the transmat system of a passing alien ship so he could move the totem pole into the attic.
  • Hate Plague: one-man version.
  • Hurricane of Puns: Clyde, surprised aren't you.
    • "This smells fishy"
    • "You'll have to cast your net pretty wide"
    • Though this does disappear once things start going really downhill for him.
  • Line-of-Sight Name: Enrico Box, which Clyde gets from an Enrico's pizza box. He realises at the end of the episode that "Ellie" took her name from a poster.
  • Mad Oracle: Mystic Mags, doubling as a shoutout to Mystic Meg from the British National Lottery and The Sun newspaper.
  • Magical Native American: The cursed totem pole is of Native American origin.
  • Tempting Fate: "There really shouldn't be anything sinister about a totem pole." Really Sarah Jane, you should know better
  • Very Special Episode: Deals with homelessness. Plus once you get past the dodgy CG with the totem pole this is one of the more deadly serious episodes the series produced.
    • Not to mention it's heavily implied that Ellie ran away from home because her stepfather sexually abused her.