Warriors of Kudlak
Roots: The plot is remarkably similar to both Toy Soldiers and Winner Takes All. Space Combat 3000 is inspired by Laser Quest and other laser tag games. The name may be inspired by 2000 AD or Camelot 3000. The main character on the Combat 3000 poster looks like the original version of Marvel Comics' Nick Fury. Brandon is playing a game based on Space Invaders, and Lance uses the arcade handle Halo.
Clyde mentions Luke and Obi-Wan from Star Wars and Captain Kirk from Star Trek.
Goofs: Clyde, Luke, and Maria are all fairly new to their school, so it's really odd for Clyde to describe Lance as having been there for “only two months”. [Clyde might not feel new. Alternatively this story is several months after Eye of the Gorgon,]
The scores from the laser tag game are clearly visible (albeit blurred) in the background before the game starts. And how does Player 12 manage to be both 3rd and 7th?
The recruitment drive seems very small scale – just five sites isn't going to net very many warriors, so it's pretty odd that Kudluk thinks he's making any difference to the war.
Given that the war has been over for a decade, where exactly have the other children been sent?
Sarah says that Lance might be the first human man on Mars. Has she forgotten the events of The Ambassadors of Death, where there were some very public manned Mars landings?
Technobabble: Electromagnetic pulse trace. Kohonen net. Entanglement shells. Cybergon download. Transdimensional energy dispersal. Synchronous data scraping in eleven dimensions.
Dialogue Triumphs: Grantham: "Are you going to beam yourself up to the Uvodni ship and take them on with your lipstick?"
Continuity: Luke has been studying humour, and has better reflexes and hand to eye co-ordination than most kids. Maria has a lot of bags, but thinks that you can never have too many.. She also thinks that Ealing gets too much rain. Clyde's dad ran off with his Aunt Melba. Alan is good at DIY. Sarah knows how to construct a device that can convert trace energy into solid matter. Their classmate Lance Metcalf started at school two months ago, and was given the nickname “the corporal”. His dad had been killed in action in Iraq.
Cibrianite Flux is a material. Touching two items made of it without protection (like gloves) and you complete an electroneurological circuit which will put you out cold for an hour.
Entanglement shells can be created by terraforming or by some transmat technologies, which also create very short localised storms. This form of transmat can induce nausea.
The Uvodni come from a planet in the Spiral Cluster of the Dragon Nebula, 34,000 light years away from Earth. They were part of a planetary alliance that fought against an aggressive species called the Malakh in the Ghost Wars of the Horsehead Nebula. The Uvodni continued to fight after the other worlds had been crushed. General Kudlak was injured in a battle 20 years ago and left the front lines. After hundreds of years of war. the Uvodni Emperor announced an armistice 10 years ago. At least one of the computers in the chain of command refused to accept this.
Combat 3000 has been set up in Manchester Brighton, Leeds, and Inverness.
Mr Smith often communicates with the computers of alien ships passing through the solar system. Two months ago, this included a Zantoxian trade vessel which contained data on General Kudluk.
Links: Sarah's comment about aliens having kidnapped people from Earth for decades could be a reference to The Time Warrior, Terror of the Zygons and/or The Android Invasion. Sarah mentions UNIT. Her reference to Mars is probably an allusion to Pyramids of Mars.
Location: Ealing, and a spaceship in Earth orbit. [A Saturday and a Tuesday in school holidays.]
Unrecorded Adventures: Sarah mentions having had UNIT training [presumably during a gap within Season 11 - it's likely to have been required for her access to UNIT HQ].
The Bottom Line: “Welcome to the unique gaming experience that is Combat 3000.”. Luke's continuing attempts to learn about humanity and fit in are interesting, but otherwise this is a bog-standard SJA story. Which still means it's quite good, but it just doesn't stand out in any particular way.