My Sarah Jane
I grew up watching Doctor Who and Sarah Jane Smith was my hero. Therefore writing this article is bittersweet, bringing back happy memories of watching Sarah Jane’s adventures and the sad knowledge there’ll be no more (actress Elisabeth Sladen died April 2011, after a short battle with cancer
For those who are new Whovians, Sarah Jane was a feisty, independent young woman who didn’t fall in love with the Doctor. In fact she was his best friend before Donna, and the two characters are very similar in that both stood up to the him.
Given Sarah Jane was around in the early ’70s, this was a pretty big deal. Gone were the stereotypical helpless damsel in distress – Sarah Jane often got herself and the Doctor out of danger.
Of course, Elisabeth appeared in the new series alongside David Tennant and Matt Smith, as well as having her own show. Here, Sarah Jane investigated alien threats while raising an adopted son. She was shown to be nurturing and loving, and she always gave the aliens an “out”. However, if they didn’t accept this (which was more often than not
she wouldn’t hesitate to remove the threat by any means possible.
Like her character, Elisabeth was a strong woman. Few knew about her cancer and she gave no sign of suffering on-screen. That made her death a sudden shock that rippled beyond the Who fandom, making news headlines. I was greatly saddened and part of me still cannot believe she’s gone. Then again, in a very real way she’s still with us.