“I saw amazing things, out there in space. But there’s strangeness to be found wherever you turn. Life on Earth can be an adventure to. You just need to know where to look.”
On the planet Earth in a barely decorated room a young girl watches a television advert for a new fizzy drink called Bubble Shock. As her father begins to place sealed up boxes in the room she turns off the television and walks outside, where her mother is ordering the removal men around.
As the girl, Maria, turns to go back into her house, she sees a car turning into the house across the road. A middle-aged woman steps out of the vehicle and Maria says hello, receiving a flash of a smile in return as the woman walks inside her home.
Back inside, the boxes are mounting and soon the removal van is driving away. In the kitchen Maria’s mother claims that it is time for her to leave, much to her daughter’s distress. As she makes to depart for her own home she tries to convince Maria that she will soon settle into this new area, but the young girl does not appear to be convinced.
Outside she clambers into her car, asking Maria’s dad to make sure the cheque he owes her is received soon. Left together Maria and her father walk back inside, where soon she is furnishing her room with ornaments and photographs, whilst the Bubble Shock advert continues to play on her televisions set, the children in the ad shouting; “Bubble Shock: Contains Bane!”
Maria turns off the set and clambers into bed, but some time later she is awoken by red and purple lights glowing through the windows of the house. Venturing downstairs she opens the front door to see the lights emanating from the house across the street, and makes her way into the garden, hiding behind a bush.
There she sees the woman from the street that morning standing before a beautiful floating creature, a strange device grasped tightly in her hand. The creature remains for a few moments longer before flying high up into the air and fading from view, as the woman holds out the hand-held computer, as if to guide her.
Maria rushes out of the garden then back into her house, and the next morning she sits in the kitchen, the fizzy drink advert again filling the screen of a nearby television set. Poking at her breakfast she asks her father how she would be able to tell if she was going mad, and what she should do if she saw something she knew couldn’t be possible.
Before he can reply there is a knock at the door and his daughter rises from the table to answer it. Behind it stands a girl whom introduces herself as Kelsey, and who after confirming that Maria has a broadband Internet connection invites herself inside.
Flicking through the channels on the television she warns Maria that in order to fit in at school she will need to get some music-related channels, and then offers her a bottle of Bubble Shock, but Maria claims she doesn’t like it. Kelsey then asks if she wants to go into town and upon hearing that Maria has no money she tells her that they can take the Bubble Shock bus, a free service that takes guided tours around the Bubble Shock factory.
Soon they are outside but Maria’s father catches them, and to embarrass her, doesn’t let his daughter leave without giving him a kiss. Kelsey explains that the previous occupants of the house left after going mad, claiming they kept seeing aliens. This greatly interests Maria but Kelsey scoffs, instead turning to leave.
They see the woman from the house on the opposite side of the street and after Maria says hello she replies with something of an icy shoulder. Maria’s father strides across the street to say hello properly, introducing himself as Alan Jackson. The woman replies by explaining that she works from home and hopes that the new family will not make too much noise. Then realising her rudeness she introduces herself as Sarah Jane Smith, but Kelsey cuts in by announcing her and Maria’s departure to catch the Bubble Shock bus, which interests Sarah a great deal. She hurriedly runs to her car and speeds away, leaving Alan alone on the street, somewhat bewildered.
As the two young girls arrive at the bus stop they see Sarah speeding past, and Kelsey explains that she is the local mad woman, a lonely journalist. Before Maria can find out more the Bubble Shock bus arrives, a large orange vehicle full of people. The two friends step inside where free samples of the drink are handed out. They sit down as Maria admits that she can’t stand the popular energy drink, and Kelsey claims that she must be one of the 2% on whom the product doesn’t work.
They discuss the ‘organic’ nature of the drink and soon Sarah Jane is following the bus in her car. They approach the factory gates and Sarah parks out if sight, watching as the passengers are herded into the factory. Checking on a modified wristwatch, which begins to bleep strange signals, a triumphant look comes across her face. “I knew it”
Inside the factory a hansom young tour guide observes as the visitors are taken through a security scan, the information of which is beamed into a control room-cum-laboratory elsewhere in the factory, transmitted into a strange figure writhing on an operating table beneath a blanket, under the watchful eye of an austere-looking woman, who claims that he is almost mature. “Mother will be pleased”.
Elsewhere, Sarah begins making her way into the factory, opening a side door with a strange device held within a lipstick case. However trouble is lurking and on the other side of the door two guards are waiting for her. Her details are passed onto the austere woman via her receptionist and upon hearing her name she tells her to welcome the intruder into her office.
The tour begins and the young guide tells the visitors to turn off their mobile phones. He welcomes them to the main production area and then hands out free samples, the visitors taking bottles from a large trolley. He picks out Maria, who has not taken anything, and tosses her a bottle, claiming soon the 2% whom dislike the product will be overcome; the whole world will be drinking Bubble Shock. Maria looks at the bottle, but puts it back in the trolley; she’d rather have a cup of tea.
In the office of Mrs Wormwood, the severe looking woman from the lab, Sarah is presented with a cup of tea as she explains that she wasn’t breaking in, she wanted to see someone in charge, as has been her unrequited interest for the past month. As the two talk the journalist begins to make notes, remarking the presence of the name ‘Wormwood’ in the bible; a star that fell to Earth and polluted the water.
Urging her to move on Mrs Wormwood listens as Sarah remarks at the speed of which the company has received permission from the EU to market a new foodstuff. Mrs Wormwood insists they are simply satisfying the essential human need to eat and drink and then explains that the chemical known as Bane is an ancient ingredient, and is not at all surprised when Sarah claims her scientist acquaintances were unable to analyse the product. She offers Sarah a bottle of Bubble Shock, doing her best to tempt her. Sarah claims she would rather die than drink it, and then persists to discuss the erratic nature of the Bane chemical, claiming it reacts like no substance on Earth.
Elsewhere Davy the tour guide continues his demonstration, as Kelsey sneaks away to phone one of her friends. Back in the office Mrs Wormwood welcomes the publishing of Sarah’s story about Bubble Shock, but claims her insinuations of Bane being alien will lead to claims of insanity being made against her.
Hurrying her visitor out she quickly enquires as to Sarah’s marital status, claiming her lonely life is wasted. She tells her secretary Lesley to show her out but Sarah has the last word, asking what planet she comes from. “Nice try” she replies and Lesley leads the writer away to the elevator, receiving orders through her earpiece to kill her. Sarah however is one step ahead and as Lesley moves to strike she knocks her out, before running off to escape.
Kelsey wanders around the factory, finding herself in the strange control room. She tries to turn on her mobile phone but receives a visible shock, and as the various machinery begins to clatter she runs for her life. Alarms sound and smoke billows across the factory floor. Davy hurries his tour group out and in the laboratory the figure beneath the blanket awakens; it is a young boy.
Arriving in a corridor, Kelsey screams out in terror as a strange creature reveals itself to her from the roof above, a giant eyeball surrounded by green tentacles. Maria hears her screams and rushes to find her, as Lesley returns to inform Mrs Wormwood of Sarah’s escape.
Davy arrives to find Kelsey cowering in fear. He has her mobile phone destroyed then addresses the creature in the ceiling; the precious Bane Mother. Elsewhere Maria tries not to be discovered by the guards and attempts to use her phone, only for the machinery to go awry again. In the laboratory the young boy detaches himself from operation table and runs off, eventually bumping into Maria. Repeating everything she says to him he runs away once more, only this time with the young girl in tow.
Davy attempts to keep the situation under control but Mrs Wormwood is not impressed; arriving in the laboratory she discovers the Archetype has escaped.
The young boy and Maria try to find a place to hide and conceal themselves in the ladies lavatories, leading the boy to reveal he has no understanding of the gender divide. Sarah, who is continuing her flight from the factory, soon joins as Mrs Wormwood and Davy continue their search, soon arriving at the same location
They enter, only to find the three captives have escaped through a window, into the car park where Sarah uses her sonic lipstick to open the gates. Maria protests that Kelsey may still be inside the factory, but Sarah has no time to wait. They speed away in the car as Mrs Wormwood and Davy return to the office, where Kelsey is being held.
Back at her house Sarah takes the Archetype inside, telling Maria to go back home. She protests, confessing to seeing the alien in Sarah’s garden the previous night. The journalist warns her that her own life is dangerous, and she will not risk other people’s lives. For her own sake she must stay away.
Maria rushes home and returns to her bedroom in tears, whilst back at the factory Mrs Wormwood is getting nowhere with Kelsey, who continues to chatter. She draws a comparison in intelligence to Sarah Jane, using the information from the factory scanners to outline the presence of Artron energy in her DNA, evidence of travelling through the space-time vortex.
Kelsey overhears and tells them where Sarah lives. Mrs Wormwood turns off her image translator, forcing the girl to scream as an unseen alien form overcomes her. Soon she is unconscious and Mrs Wormwood, back in human form, manages to search her mind to locate Sarah’s home and takes away the memories of Kelsey’s harrowing experiences at the factory. She dispatches Davy to take her home, and also to deal with Sarah Jane.
As the Archetype sits in Sarah’s home he marvels at the oddities that decorate the cosy living room, and as Sarah enters with a tea tray she ponders at the fact he appears not to have a name or any memory prior to running through the factory with Maria. After claiming not to have a home he asks if he can live with Sarah, but she vetoes the idea.
He becomes confused by concept of food and drink, but is interrupted by a strange voice calling for Sarah from upstairs. Sarah closes the living room door and tells him it is nothing, warning him never to go upstairs. She then proceeds to scan him with her watch, which detects him as a normal human boy…who was born 360 minutes ago.
Davy and Kelsey arrive back at Bannerman Road, and once the young girl is gone the tour guide marks his target; Sarah’s home. Kelsey returns to Maria’s house but ignores her friend’s questions. Whilst Davy patrols the building on the opposite road, Sarah begins to realise that the boy from the factory may never have been born; instead he appears to have been grown.
Davy prepares himself as Kelsey to Maria that it was he who brought her home, causing her to run and warn Sarah. However they are too late; Davy has discarded his human form and is rushing towards them; a giant slug with many large tentacles and a single bulging eye. Sarah guides the three children upstairs as he breaks down the door, following them as they ascend.
Sarah rushes up into the attic and returns with an oddly shaped aerosol, spraying the creature until it drops down on the stairs, reverting to human form. Davy flees from the house as Sarah laments using the last of the devices in her hand, before proceeding to examine a trail of slime left on the floor.
Maria claims it is too late for her not to get involved, and thanks Sarah for saving them, a sentiment she returns with a warming smile before noticing that Kelsey has wandered into the attic. The others follow and she orders them not to touch anything.
Realising that they have seen too much for her to stop them, and that no one would believe them if they were to reveal what they have seen, Sarah begins to confess more about her life. She explains that aliens fall to Earth all the time; some get lost like the one Maria saw the previous night, some crash land and others wish to invade.
Maria confesses she believes her before asking if Sarah works alone; to which she explains that the government are aware of alien life and some secret organisations are set up to deal with it, although unlike her they tend to resort to violence as a solution.
Explaining how she began to deal with such matters Sarah explains she once met a man called the Doctor, whom she travelled with in space and time, but their time came to a sudden end; and she had no-one left to talk to. Years later she met him again and although they had both changed she began to realise that she could continue the life she had with him alone on Earth.
Maria asks if aliens run the Bubble Shock factory, but Kelsey dismisses the idea. A sudden bleeping rings out cutting her off and Sarah rushes over to a concealed safe elsewhere in the room. She opens it to reveal a magnificent view of space, explaining that it is a black hole created by a scientific group in Switzerland, but it has gotten out of control and could consume the Earth if not sealed off.
She has sent her pet robotic dog K-9 to deal with the problem and although Kelsey scoffs Sarah rejoices at seeing her friend again, having been away for over a year. The dog explains that he must move on, leaving Sarah alone once more.
At the Bubble Shock factory Davy is scolded for his failure by Mrs Wormwood, who reverts to her true form and turns on him; claiming he will become food.
Back at Sarah’s house Maria examines the various alien objects decorating the room, and as Sarah ponders more about the Archetype’s origins, he notices that her watch is detecting something. Realising he is right Sarah traces it to a bottle of Bubble Shock Kelsey has brought in, realising the Bane in each bottle is an alien entity.
After Kelsey moans that Sarah is not taking action, she concurs by calling for someone called Mr Smith. Suddenly a section of the wall drops away to reveal a giant computer, which houses the voice that called to Sarah earlier. It links her to Mrs Wormwood’s office in the factory.
As the link establishes, Sarah claims that she has uncovered the Bane’s identity, and asks them to leave the Earth alone, or else she will act. Mrs Wormwood is not phased and severs the link, leaving Sarah somewhat disenchanted. Unlike her adversaries she has no weapons or plans, which is what makes her different.
In the factory Mrs Wormwood announces that events have escalated, it is time for the war on mankind to begin. She calls for the Bane Mother to open her mind and convert the humans containing Bane. The ceiling opens above her and the Bane mother, the creature Kelsey saw earlier, reveals itself.
All over the world people drinking Bubble Shock begin to change. An orange aura floats around them and they appear to loose control over their own bodies; including Maria’s dad. Back in the attic Kelsey struggles to remain standing. Suddenly she stands upright and holds out the bottle of Bubble Shock. “Drink It.”
Sarah and the others run from the house as Maria warns her father to stay in the house. It is too late; he is already under the control of the Bane. Mrs Wormwood meanwhile continues to call out: “All those who have not taken Bane must be converted.”
Sarah hurries Maria and the Archetype into the car, and as they speed away she tells them not to panic. Swerving through he streets of people under the Bane’s influence they eventually arrive at the factory, wherein Mrs Wormwood calls for the newborn Bane to join her.
Outside Sarah ineffectively warns Maria to stay in the car and then locks the gates against the crowd of people marching toward the factory. She tries to open the main doors of the building but a deadlock seal stops her. Now stuck in the car park Sarah calls upon the Doctor to help and then suddenly has an idea.
Mrs Wormwood continues her eulogy but a strange noise interrupts her. Suddenly the Bubble Shock bus crashes through the walls of the factory and as Sarah, Maria and the Archetype step outside, Sarah emphasises her previous warning, only to be confronted by the Bane Mother overhead.
Mrs Wormwood welcomes the return of her laboratory creation and she explains that the Archetype is the sum of all human weakness, strength and knowledge; grown to discover how to overcome the 2% of people who didn’t drink Bane. However now their plans have advanced he is no longer needed. She reaches for a ring on her finger and when she presses it the young boy stumbles to the ground.
Sarah begs her to stop but Mrs Wormwood claims he is dying; and soon the others will join him. “The time of man is over. And the time of Bane is come”. She claims Sarah has failed, led to this end by her lonely life. Maria cuts in and claims she is no longer alone; she has her.
Reaching into her pocket she produces her mobile phone and aims it at the Bane Mother. The signal rings out but Mrs Wormwood claims it is too tiny to make a difference; it has only angered the Bane Mother. Sarah warns that she should have stayed on the bus, but Maria states she is glad she didn’t.
As the Bane Mother descends the Archetype staggers to his feet, producing the alien signalling device Sarah used to send home the alien that Maria saw in the garden; a million times more powerful than Maria’s phone.
Remarkably, he remember the frequency Mr Smith used to call Mrs Wormwood back in the attic, and recites the very long code before activating the frequency and aiming it again at the Bane Mother. This time it has a greater affect. Mrs Wormwood protests as the Bane Mother begins to die, and orders the Archetype to stop. But it is too late, he is human now and the Bane have no control over him.
As the factory fills with smoke and the Bane Mother cries out in agony, Sarah and the others stagger for safety. Eventually they reach the car park but they are not the only ones to run for cover. Mrs Wormwood positions herself on a service elevator and as she is lowered below ground she calls out.
“Until the next time…Miss Smith”
Fire rips through the factory building and showers of sparks fly out from all directions. Sarah and her new found friends rejoice at their victory, literally jumping for joy as smoke billows into the sky.
Some time later, news reports announce that the government are refusing to comment of the afternoon’s events, instead withdrawing stocks of Bubble Shock from the shops and having scientists claim the unusual human activity as a chemical imbalance of the brain caused by a leak at the factory.
Maria returns home to find her father safe and sound and is joined by Sarah, who introduces herself properly and then claims that the Archetype is her adopted son. Before she can tell them his name Maria’s mother arrives, rather confused by the visitors. Somewhat rudely she bids them farewell and the duo leave, followed by Maria who sneaks away as her parents talk about the money owed between them.
That evening, under a blanket of stars, Maria joins Sarah in her garden and they toast their victory with ordinary lemonade. Sarah asks what has happened to Kelsey and her young friend explains she is now putting all of her experiences down to hallucinations.
The Archetype joins them, now dressed in ordinary clothes, and Sarah shows her young friends the official adoption papers Mr Smith has produced. Maria notes that the young lad still needs a name, and as the suggestions pour in Sarah finds the right one; Luke.
Maria asks if Sarah has a partner at all, and she claims that there was only ever one man for her, but after him nothing compared.
“When I was your age I used to think…’oh when I’m grown up I’ll know what I want, I’ll be sorted’. But you never really know what you want. You never feel grown up, not really; you never sort it all out. So I thought ‘I can handle life on my own’. But after today, I don’t want to.”
As Luke and Maria look up in the sky at a distant light flying up amongst the stars, Sarah continues:
“I saw amazing things, out there in space. But there’s strangeness to be found wherever you turn. Life on Earth can be an adventure to. You just need to know where to look.”