Sunday, October 20, 2013

50 Years of Who - Until We Meet Again, Sarah

For years, when various polls were conducted asking fans who their favourite travelling companion of the Doctor was, the answer would come back Sarah Jane Smith. There was just something about the intrepid feminist journalist that all viewers loved. Played with incredible warmth and charm by Elisabeth Sladen, Sarah Jane made her debut in Jon Pertwee's final season as the Doctor. But it was her remarkable chemistry with Tom Baker that made her a British TV institution. So much so, in fact, that when she left the series in 1976, it was front page news. The Fourth Doctor had called her his "best friend" and there's little doubt that it was true. Enjoy her terrific farewell scene from the closing moments of 1976's The Hand of Fear:

She had returned to the series in 1983 for the 20th Anniversary The Five Doctors (as well as having a spin-off that lasted only one episode in 1981), but her return to Doctor Who in 2006 introduced a whole new generation to Sarah Jane Smith in the episode School Reunion, this time alongside David Tennant's Tenth Doctor:

The popularity of that appearance led to a new spin-off children's series called The Sarah Jane Adventures, with further cross-overs during the Tennant era and into Matt Smith's era as the Doctor. The series ran for 5 seasons until Sladen's untimely death in April of 2011 at the age of 63. The companion against which all others are measured, she is missed.

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