Sarah Jane Smith was my hero
Sarah Jane Smith was my hero. I first started watching Doctor Who in the 1970s to find out how she got on in her adventures with the Doctor. (Well to be honest I sat on the stairs and listened to most of the programme because back then Doctor Who was too scary to watch all the way through!)
When I was a bit older, I watched all her episodes of Doctor Who repeatedly on video. To me she was the perfect person to share adventures with. She was always brave, even when she was afraid. Plus I liked the fact she sometimes teased or challenged the Doctor and other characters. And I loved her clothes and her make up too.
My particular favourite story from the 1970s is Pyramids of Mars. Sarah Jane played a key role in defeating Sutekh. Watch it to find out how, but there is a photo below which shows her determined side to good effect!
In the mid-1990s, I was lucky enough to meet Elisabeth Sladen, the actress who played Sarah Jane Smith. I was visiting a friend in Liverpool and when I arrived at Lime Street station I bumped into another friend Paul (from the Cult TV Society), who told me to wait a few minutes and he would introduce me to Lis Sladen as he was about the escort her to a book signing.
Lis was very lovely and friendly and looked pleased when I told her how much I enjoyed watching all her episodes of Doctor Who. I’m afraid I probably gushed rather a lot, but I feel so grateful that I have that memory to look back on.
Then of course, Sarah Jane turned up in a 2006 episode of Doctor Who called School Reunion. In fact the whole episode was really about Sarah Jane and what happens to companions after the Doctor has left them behind. It was beautifully done.
Even better, Sarah Jane got her own tv show called The Sarah Jane Adventures. It could have been naff but was actually fantastic. A really good quality tv programme, aimed at children but entertaining and intelligent enough to be enjoyed by an adult such as myself. I loved it.
A year ago, I heard the sad news that Lis Sladen had died. It seemed like people who had watched Doctor Who in the 1970s and children who had recently watched The Sarah Jane Adventures were all united in shock and sadness that Sarah Jane would be no more.
This is the tribute programme that was broadcast on CBBC on 23rd April last year. It made me cry when I first saw it, and still makes me cry now. But it contains some lovely Sarah Jane moments so is worth watching.
I enjoyed watching the final series of The Sarah Jane Adventures, which was broadcast last autumn. I felt sad that there would be no more new Sarah Jane Adventures, but also that she left on a high note and that I can rewatch all the episodes again, just like I did with those 1970s Doctor Who episodes.
Sarah Jane Smith was my hero and I miss her.
Photo from the SFX Website