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The Shopkeeper along with his companion, a parrot called Captain, were self-described "servants of the universe", who took more direct approaches to putting the universe in order than the Doctor. The mysterious Shopkeeper attracted Sarah Jane Smith to his shop in order for her, Clyde Langer, and Rani Chandra to find three special objects for him to save time itself. He and his parrot were capable of teleportation and opening time windows, but he was "forbidden" to travel through them himself.
In November 2010, the Shopkeeper, who refused to state his age, told the Ealing Echo that there was an alien in his shop. When Sarah Jane Smith, Clyde Langer, and Rani Chandra saw the paper, they went to the Shopkeeper's shop. He revealed that it was a ploy to get them there to send them through a time window to find three objects throughout history. Sarah Jane was sent to 1889, Clyde was sent to 7 June 1941, and Rani was sent to 19 May 1553. As he monitored their progress, he became increasingly anxious, noting to his parrot Captain that when the sand timer ran out they would be trapped in the past forever.
When the sands expired, he tried to close the time window but it would not shut. If left open it would destroy the entire planet. He watched as Rani and Clyde obtained their objects and returned. Sarah Jane returned empty-handed, but Angela Price, the granddaughter of Sarah Jane's companion in the past, gave her the final object and the Shopkeeper took it, and with the others closed the time window. He then bade farewell to the Bannerman Road gang, saying Captain's work was done, and he and the parrot teleported away.
In 2011, he returned to drop off a baby at Sarah Jane's house. This child was initially a weapon created by Miss Myers of the Fleshkind to destroy every single Metalkind in existence. The Shopkeeper felt that the child (named Sky Smith by Sarah Jane) would be safest with Sarah Jane. When the ordeal with Miss Myers was over, he and the Captain appeared in Sarah Jane's attic to confirm it was he who dropped Sky off. He explained that it was his duty to "put things in the right places" and after Sky expressed the desire to stay with Sarah Jane, he and the Captain teleported away telling the former time-traveller she would find out exactly who he was in good time.