RIP Sarah Jane Smith

Right from the very beginning, the companions in Doctor Who were our (the viewers’) representatives on the voyage.

For me growing up, the archetype for this character was Sarah Jane Smith, played by Elisabeth Sladen. She was there just as I got into the show. The innumerable repeats of 70s episodes in Australia during the 80s and 90s, as well as her repeat visits (right up to David Tennant’s final scenes in 2009) just cemented her position.

As Doctor Who Executive Producer Steven Moffat said:

I once showed my son Joshua an old episode of Doctor Who, in which Lis appeared. “But that’s Sarah Jane,” he said, confused “In old Doctor Who. From years ago. How come she always look exactly the same?”

Overnight it’s been announced that Elisabeth Sladen passed away from cancer.

A couple of months ago we lost Nicholas Courtney, The Brigadier. So this is the second childhood icon of mine to go this year.

Sarah Jane returned in her own TV show, Sarah Jane Adventures. In this clip from last year, just after farewelling Jo Grant, she name-checks other Doctor Who companions who are apparently still fighting the good fight.

RIP Elisabeth Sladen, 1948-2011.

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7 Replies to “RIP Sarah Jane Smith”

  1. I was out making breakfast and didn’t have the radio on, but John (my partner) suddenly yells out “Sarah Jane’s Died!” (it was actually on 774 news). I wondered what on Earth he was talking about, and a quick check of my regular Who related forums revealed the horrible truth. And all of a sudden I found myself balling my eyes out. Rarely have I shed a tear over someone who I never even met, but like Daniel, Lis Sladen was with me from a very early age, and to have her back in recent years was just wonderful. Now to have her taken away from us at such an early age it’s just soul destroying. Reading through the various blogs and Who related news pages reveals we certainly aren’t alone, everyone is just as upet.

    She certainly will never be forgotten.

  2. I’m shocked and my kids are crushed. Despite poor access to the Sarah Jane Adventures on FTA they are big fans and have worn their DVD’s out.

    What is interesting is that Series 5 has been “postponed” not “cancelled”. There is no Sarah Jane without Elizabeth Sladen.

  3. @Leese, rumour is that some of SJA season 5 had been filmed, some not. I wonder what they can salvage, and if Clyde and Rani will get to say “goodbye”.

  4. I’m not sure if this is 100% true, but apparently eps 1-4 and 11-12 of Season 5 were filmed and in the “can”, apparently so that Tommy Knight (who plays Luke) could take part. If this is true, then I’m sure we’ll get to see them. SJA never ended on a cliffhanger because I think they were never sure if it was coming back or not, it mostly ended with a monologue from Sarah Jane whilst looking up at the stars and I would hope if 11-12 were finished, that this is how we will see her one last time.

  5. Having been running errands all day, dealing with a massive severe weather that made me sit in our basement all night I just signed onto the Internet and all of a sudden my significant other calls out ‘Sarah Jane has passed away’ I feel crushed, I never got to grow up watching Doctor Who, my first introduction to her was when the Doctor and Rose were investigating the weirdness at the school and I Loved her ever since, and then looked forward to every time she showed up in Doctor Who after that, she was strong, Smart and just amazing I’m sure the actress held many of those traits.

    It’s sad the people we lose but we will never forget you Sarah jane Smith.

  6. I’m not sure why but she had a larger impact than other Dr. companions, at least for me anyway, I hope she passed without too much pain.

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