With only four days left until the premiere of the new season of Doctor Who, it was a huge shock to read of the death of Lis Sladen. Better known as Sarah Jane Smith, Lis was originally a companion of the Third and Fourth Doctors, but more recently appeared in several Tenth Doctor episodes, as well as in her own spin off series The Sarah Jane Adventures.
I didn’t watch the Third and Fourth Doctor episodes when they first came out, due to not having been born, and I have to admit to not watching them on repeat because…. I’m terrified of Tom Baker *ahem* So my first real encounter with Sarah Jane was in School Reunion with David Tennant and a guest appearance from the deliciously evil Anthony Head (Repoman, yum!). Even though I wasn’t that familiar with the character, her performance as the abandoned companion was absolutely perfect, I even cried when the stupid robot dog died! The strength of her performance has actually encouraged me to try to get over my fear of Tom Baker and revisit the earlier series. I’m glad I did.
Along with the recent death of Nicholas Courtney (who played The Brigadier) this is a sad loss for the Doctor Who fandom, its just fortunate that the new series continues to introduce fresh awesome talent that might eventually fill the gaps.