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Recap / The Sarah Jane Adventures, S4 E1&E2: "The Nightmare Man"

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A being called the Nightmare Man haunts the dreams of Luke, Clyde, and Rani, preying on their insecurities.

Luke is recording a message on a camera, that he is being haunted by a being called ‘The Nightmare Man’, saying that the end of the world is coming, and it’s his fault.

One year before: Luke is discussing with his mother about going to Oxford University one year early, Sarah Jane questions if this was the right time to tell her. Turns out they’ve both been strapped to a bomb. A very green Slitheen enters the room, and taunts them about how they’re about to be blown up. Suddenly, Rani, Clyde and K-9 enter the room. K-9 deactivates the bomb and Clyde flings a bucket full of vinegar at the Slitheen, causing him to explode, covering the gang in green goo.

Results Day: Luke has successfully passed his subjects, much to the joy of his mother and friends.

Four days to go: Luke, who is feeling anxious, is packing his things. Sarah Jane comforts him, telling him that being nervous is a normal part of starting something new, reminding him how nervous he was when he started high school. Luke reminds her that they were attacked by Slitheen, who turned the sun off.

Sarah Jane takes Luke to the garage, and show him her car, which she had done up and has given to him as a present for uni. Luke wonders why Sarah Jane seems to be in a hurry to get him to leave. Sarah Jane replies with a rousing speech that before she met Luke, she was alone and that he gave meaning back to her life and that she is afraid of losing him. She tells him that Bannerman Road would always be his home, and that she will always be there for him.

That night, Luke has a nightmare in which Sarah Jane and K-9 are discussing how relieved they would be when he is gone, and a mysterious hand trails up Luke’s back. He awakens to the sound of sinister laughter.

Three days to go: Luke tells Rani that he had a nightmare, which is strange because Luke can’t dream, because the Bane never engineered him to be able to do so. At school, Rani asks Clyde if he will visit Luke, who hasn’t seen him for a few days, Clyde declines, saying that he has football practice, while really he’s stubborn because he is going to miss Luke.

At night, Luke goes to sleep again, and has another nightmare. Sarah Jane and his friends are taunting him, calling him names. A door opens and a sinister voice calls to him, telling him that he feeds on Luke’s nightmares. Luke awakens with fright again.

Two days to go: Luke tells his mother that he had a nightmare, and she immediately asks Mr. Smith to scan him, who detects no abnormalities. Clyde messages Luke, asking him to meet up after school.

At the school, Luke enters a darkened room, and suddenly the lights turn on. Clyde, Rani and the entire class are there, and have thrown him a farewell party. Luke urges Clyde to dance with Rani, who reluctantly accepts. Luke sits down and doses off.

In his dream, the party is eerily quiet, and the Nightmare Man finally materialises, introducing himself to Luke. The Nightmare Man tells him that his mind is powerful, and is allowing him to control Luke, making him unable to tell anyone of his existence. Rani manage to wake him up, and he tries to tell her about his nightmare, but he is unable to speak a word about it.

Night has fallen again. Luke is in his room, trying to send Maria a message about his nightmares. He tries to type the Nightmare Man’s name, but his hands refuse to work, and he falls asleep again.

This time, he’s in the attic and Sarah Jane enters with a boy named Josh, who she intends to replace him with. The Nightmare Man taunts him again, telling him that he’s being forgotten. Sarah Jane and the others burn pictures of Luke in a rubbish bin outside. The Nightmare Man appears again, roasting a marshmallow on a stick over the fire. Luke demands to know what he wants, and The Nightmare Man replies that he wants to gain corporeal form through Luke’s mind, and then plunge the entire world into eternal sleep so that he can feed on their nightmares forever.

Final day: Sarah Jane, Clyde and Rani are having a small get-together to celebrate Luke. That night, Luke uses a camera to record a message about the Nightmare Man, because he can’t tell anyone else, which brings us back to the beginning of the episode. He’s trying to stay awake, but the Nightmare Man manages to urge him to sleep. This gives the Nightmare Man passage into the real world, and strands Luke in a black void.

End part one.