Lady Summerisle (strange_complex) wrote,
Lady Summerisle
strange_complex

Goodbye, Sarah Jane Smith

The news of Diana Wynne Jones' death less than a month ago was at least expected. The news of Elisabeth Sladen's death today was not. In common with most people, it seems, I had had absolutely no idea that she was even ill, let alone terminally so. Indeed, she always seemed to be all but untouched by the passing of the years. So I'm still having trouble even believing that the news about her death is true.

She was one of Doctor Who's outstanding stars, bringing a perfect combination of warm enthusiasm and very human bravery-in-the-face-of-fear to her role as Sarah Jane Smith. She certainly caught my attention three years ago, when Robot was one of the first episodes I saw at the start of my systematic exploration of Classic Doctor Who. "Frankly awesome" was my verdict on her Sarah Jane that day, and since then I have sought out all of her many appearances in Doctor Who, The Sarah Jane Adventures and even K-9 and Company, and written about my enthusiasm for all of them at length. It's really difficult to imagine the Whoniverse now without her.

So thank you, Elisabeth Sladen, for everything which you put into the role over the years. Thank you for making Sarah Jane into such a real and well-rounded character, even when the writers and directors you were working with didn't think that it was important. And thank you for making the most of the opportunities when they did. I don't envy the many, many parents out there who are going to have to explain to their children tomorrow morning why there won't be any more episodes of Sarah Jane Adventures now. But thank you for what we've had, and I hope you knew how much we all appreciated it. :-(

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Tags: doctor who, obituary notices, sarah jane
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