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Recap / The Sarah Jane Adventures S 4 E 3 E 4 The Vault Of Secrets

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Androvax returns to Earth, searching for the last of his kind.

Part 1

Androvax is back. Having escaped from Judoon prison, he returns to Earth and breaks into an abandoned asylum, where he tries to open a door with an "access disk" only to discover that two disks are required. He is chased from the asylum by a trio of Men in Black androids, led by a Mr. Dread.

Gita and Haresh attend a meeting of BURPSS, a UFO research society led by Ocean Waters and her friend "Minty." After the meeting, Gita sees Androvax sneaking onto Sarah Jane's property and sends Haresh to investigate. There he runs into Sarah Jane, Clyde, and Rani. After Haresh leaves, Sarah Jane does a scan for aliens and finds that Androvax had taken over Rani's body during the conversation. Sarah Jane and Clyde chase Androvax into the attic, where Androvax releases Rani and asks for Sarah Jane's help. Mr. Smith places Androvax in a containment field and finds that Androvax is dying, having been bitten by an alien snake while escaping from Judoon prison.


Androvax says that before the death of his planet, 100 members of his species escaped on a ship in cryogenic sleep. While Sarah Jane distrusts Androvax, she is willing to help him save the last of his species.

That ship is now stored in a hyperdimensional vault and he needs Mr. Smith's help to open it. The ship was locked away by a group called the Alliance of Shades, which worked to prevent human awareness of aliens. The Men In Black served the Alliance by wiping the memories of humans who encountered aliens.

Gita, Ocean, and Minty come to Sarah Jane's house to scan for alien activity. Sarah Jane sabotages their equipment with the sonic lipstick and she, Rani, and Clyde leave to investigate the asylum. There they find several newspaper clippings, one of them showing that Ocean Waters was abducted back in 1972. The Men In Black likely erased her memories after her encounter. After they return to the attic, Androvax says that if they want to learn anything from Ocean Waters, he will have to enter her body to find her lost memories. He promises to only do it with her permission. Clyde volunteers to let Androvax enter his body and they leave for Ocean's house.


They go to Ocean's house, where they find her and Minty. When Sarah Jane asks her about Mr. Dread, Ocean says she remembers him and a bright green light, but no details. The access disk which Sarah Jane is carrying starts beeping and a similar disk, hung around Ocean's neck, begins beeping too. Sarah Jane suggests that Ocean was given the disk for safekeeping. Androvax!Clyde grabs both disks. The Men In Black then break into Ocean's house.

Part 2

Mr. Dread explains that if the Veil ship is released from the vault, its engines will cause a chain reaction that will destroy the Earth. Androvax flees and runs into Gita. He leaves Clyde's body and takes over Gita's, which slows the effects of the snake venom in his system. Mr. Dread knows that Androvax is heading for the vault, where his associates are waiting. He is willing to kill Androvax as well as Gita if it will save Earth.


After sabotaging his vehicle, Sarah Jane, Rani, and Clyde beat Dread to the asylum, where they split up to search for Gita and the vault. Rani and Clyde find Androvax and trick him into leaving Gita's body. However, Androvax manages to take over Sarah Jane's body. Now he has both disks and makes his way to the vault.

Rani and Clyde stick Dread into his storage chamber, deactivating him and meet Androvax!Sarah Jane at the vault. Pretending to be Sarah Jane, Androvax claims that the Veil ship can be released without destroying the Earth. Androvax and Clyde insert the disks. The Vault opens to reveal hundreds of space ships. Androvax leaves Sarah Jane's body and closes the vault door behind him, taking one disk so that the door cannot be reopened. He activates the Veil ship, which begins shaking the Earth apart.

They reactivate Mr. Dread and suggest using the transmat device that teleported all the ships into the Vault to teleport the Veil ship into space, where it would be safe. As the equipment has no power source, Mr. Dread must use his own power cell to teleport the ship into space, using up 450 years of power in two minutes. With the Veil ship safely in space, Mr. Dread erases Gita's memories in a flash of green light. She no longer remembers space aliens, Ocean, or Minty.


  • Arm Cannon: The Men in Black habe the ability to remove their hands and produce a blaster, which shoot green laser blasts. An organic being would be incinerated if the laser hit a living target.
  • Body Surf: Androvax is also portrayed in this story by Elisabeth Sladen, Mina Anwar, Anjli Mohindra, Daniel Anthony and Sophie Benjamin. They portray Androvax when he is possessing their characters' bodies.
  • Bond, James Bond: Mr. Dread introduces himself in a manner similar to 007.
  • Canon Immigrant: The Alliance of Shades and their robot Men In Black first appeared in the Doctor Who animated special "Dreamland".
  • Continuity Nod: At the beginning, Sarah Jane jams the signal of a NASA Mars rover to keep them from discovering an ancient and deadly civilization. A pyramid appears over the horizon just before Mr. Smith jams the signal, so this is likely a reference to the Osirians from "Pyramids of Mars".
  • Deadpan Snarker: Mr. Dread. "That hurt" and "This is not in my job description."
    • Also this exchange between Mr. Dread and a motorist.
    Driver (after Sarah Jane has just disabled Mr. Dread's car): You ought to get a new motor, mate.
    Mr. Dread: Thank you. I'll take this one.
    (Dread rips off the door of the motorist's truck, to latter's horror.)
    Mr. Dread: Goodbye.
  • Expy: The Men In Black androids strongly resemble the Agents from The Matrix.
  • Fun with Acronyms: "We at BURPSS believe in letting it all out."
  • Gasshole: Luke told Clyde that his university friends live off of baked beans and curry. Clyde says it must be like living with Slitheen.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: The Men In Black.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Mr. Dread has hypnotic green eyes that induce this when he removes his sunglasses.
  • The Men in Black: The Alliance of Shades. While they used to collect evidence of aliens and erase memories, they are now mostly defunct and only guard the titular vault.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Mr. Dread.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Mr. Dread sacrifices most of his lifespan to transmat the Veil ship into space and uses the very last of his power to wipe Gita's memories of alien encounters.
  • Sequel Episode: To both "Prisoner of the Judoon" (the return of Androvax) and "Dreamland" (the return of Mr. Dread).
  • Shout-Out: To Will Smith and Men in Black, Terminator, and The X-Files. The vault is hidden in St. Jude's asylum, named after the setting of Takin' Over the Asylum which starred David Tennant.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: "Impressive."


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