Tuesday, April 19, 2011
My Sarah Jane
picture by Andy's Art on Facebook
Some people will always remember where they were when they heard Michael Jackson died. I was in the library today, not doing anything in particular when the Facebook page “Doctor Who and the Tardis” posted the news that Elizabeth Sladen, who played Sarah Jane Smith in “Doctor Who,” died of cancer.
She wasn’t the first companion I saw—that honor goes to Amelia Pond. But from the day I saw her in “School Reunion,” I realized that there was more to the Doctor than I’d seen in the revived series. He had a history, a past, and she had been part of it. She was my bridge into the Classic Series—I started watching John Pertwee and Tom Baker just to see her. Now the Fourth Doctor is one of my favorites.
Her role in the new series was amazing too. Besides “School Reunion,” her other appearances in The Stolen Earth/Journey’s End and The End of Time were amazing. Even the brief TV clip about her saving the hospital in Turn Left was a tearjerker, because it was so real.
Even though her spin-off “The Sarah Jane Adventures” was intended for children, I found it just as inspiring as the parent series. Several of the episodes, especially “The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith” could have gone toe to toe with NuWho favorites and ties. Her character was a great, identifiable woman. Not all of us will travel with the Doctor, but we can all look for adventure in our own lives.
I saw amazing things, out there in space--but there is strangeness to be found, wherever you turn. Life on Earth can be an adventure too... you just need to know where to look.
Sarah Jane Smith regularly tops polls for the favorite companion, and it’s obvious to fans why. She has a sense of adventure, quick-thinking, and a refusal to give up. For all these things, we will miss her. Our Sarah Jane.