She would have Been 69 Today
Today, Feb 1st, is the birth date in 1946 of the best companion ever, to this day, Elisabeth Sladen’s Sarah Jane Smith. Lis would have been 69 and probably getting ready for Series X of The Sarah Jane Adventures if she was up to it, if the most tragic thing of all had not happened almost 4 years ago when she passed away in April 2011.
The character of Sarah Jane Smith was introduced in The Time Warrior, in which she posed as Lavinia Smith (her aunt), in order to infiltrate a high-security research base. The two lead actors (Sladen and Pertwee) had an inimitable dynamic. Whereas most companions from that era acted with obedience towards the Time Lord, Sarah Jane – an ardent feminist with a journalistic outlook on life – was always inquisitive, autonomous and authoritative. Such a drastic redefinition of the companion figure didn’t just impact the stories, but gave female viewers a new kind of a role model to look up to – the kind who doesn’t bow down to masculine authority or give in to what she knew was wrong. Sarah Jane Smith was the start of a whole new era of radical change to the series’ (and television as a whole’s) lead female.
I just watched the Time Warrior again just a few weeks ago and it’s still a great episode, especially for Lis who is wonderfully different from any companion there had been and she is still my favorite (even with the “strong” female characters of the modern era) companion of all time.
She carried on be her form of “The Doctor” in The Sarah Jane Adventures for 5 seasons and it was the most popular show in the history of the channel all 5 years!
Now’s that’s power.
The danger of pathos is the draining effect it has on optimism. Especially here, where there’s so much to celebrate about the character of Sarah Jane Smith. And for every tear that’s been shed, I like to imagine that we can each look back on our favourite adventure with her and smile.
I think I will go watch “School Reunion” after writing this in tribute to her. Maybe all of us Who fans should. Remind yourself just how good Lis was and what a loss her death was in 2011.
The character, the actress, they were so human and so good how could she not be the very best.
Posted on February 1, 2015, in Uncategorized and tagged BBC, companion, Doctor, Doctor Who, doctorwho, DVD, Elisabeth Sladen, fandom, History, regeneration, Sarah Jane Smith, School Reunion, TARDIS, The Doctor, The Sarah Jane Adventures, The Time Warrior, Time Lord, Tom Baker. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.