Wednesday, April 20, 2011

May Your Travels now continue for Eternity, Good Bye Sarah Jane

Elizabeth Sladen died early Tuesday, 19 April 2011, after a months-long battle with cancer. Elizabeth was most famous for playing Sarah Jane Smith, One of the most beloved "Companions" of Doctor Who ever.

I really think Elizabeth was the first "woman" I ever had a crush on. I remember staying up late on Saturday Nights, popping up some popcorn, pouring a glass of Mountain Dew from the Two Liter in the Fridge, and sitting down in front of the TV I usually watched it on the small TV that we had hooked up to be the screen for our Commodore 64 computer, so I could use headphones and not keep Mum awake. This was back before we had cable so it was a ritual for me to start about an hour early to make sure the Antenna was turned just right so I could pick up the PBS station from State College Just right. Having to sit through the Political Round table discussions that were always on before hand actually helped give me a love of politics that exists to this day. But then, usually just as I got it right, 11pm on the Dot, Doctor Who would begin. I watched it this way for years, and the episodes with Sarah Jane were always my favorites. When she left the series after 4 years in the episode entitled "The Hand of Fear" I actually stopped watching for a whole month! Now understand that when her shows were originally shot I was not even born yet, these were all repeats, and they would show 2 or three episodes at a time. I would be up till 2 or 3 in the morning, and have to deal with Mum the next day complaining about me sleeping all day. Come to think of it, I started calling my Mom "Mum" because of Doctor Who.

Doctor Who and Sarah Jane were Mine, and Mine alone. I did not know any other person who watched it. My Family certainly did not. Even My Father who I used to stay up late with to watch "Star Trek" never warmed to the show. No one at school had even a clue as to what it was. Doctor Who was mine and Mine alone. But Sarah Jane was just not the Doctor's "My Sarah Jane", she was mine too. I think Sarah Jane was the first companion to really be the Doctor's Equal. She stood up to the Daleks and Davros beside the Doctor, not behind him. In fact she was there at the Genesis of the Daleks, and not even that horror could dampen her spirit. Elizabeth's Spirit was what made Sarah Jane be SARAH JANE SMITH, the woman who could Stand up to the Daleks and UNIT and still have a smile on her face and the love of the Doctor and fans.

When BBC revived Doctor Who in 2005 it was decided early on that Sarah Jane would have to come back as well, and Come back she did alongside David Tennant, the 9th Doctor in the episode entitled "School Reunion". The Episode, the story line and Elizabeth proved so popular that soon a Spin Off Series was Launched. The Sarah Jane Adventures. Though geared for a younger Audience it has become a favorite of all Doctor Who fans young and Old, and will finish with the 4th season that is now showing in the United Kingdom.
I got to Meet TommyKnight, who plays Luke Smith, Sarah's Son on SJA at the Doctor Who convention I attended last year. While there I signed up and got picked to join a group of 12 other people who had coffee and tea with Tommy in an informal setting. Several of the Questions had to do with how it was working with Elizabeth.. You could hear the love in his voice as he described what a wonderful person she was, funny, charming, professional and caring to the young actors she works with. He summed it all up by saying he loved her like a second Mum.

He's not the only one.

So Goodbye Elizabeth, Goodbye My Sarah Jane.


mamawas said...

Hi Brian,
Those crystal clear childhood memories rush emotions through all of us. The exacting Saturday night ritual from your boyhood was just magical to share.
Thanks for your faithfulness to the blog,

Kimi said...

I am so happy you dedicated an entire blog to her. She was an amazing woman and actress. I remember being a small child and watching Doctor Who with my own mum and sister, getting to stay up late and listening to other people who sounded like my mum. Having a female hero, who stood up and was strong, and beautiful, and intelligent was absolutely incredible for a young girl. My family was so happy to see her make a come back, and then to get her own spinoff! Loved the Sarah Jane Adventures. My family was devastated when I called them to tell them she had passed. She was always our favorite companion. RIP Elisabeth. you will be missed.

Margrita said...

When someone we love passes away,
We ache, but we go on;
Our dear departed would want us to heal,
After they are gone.

Grief is a normal way to mend
The anguish and pain in our hearts;
We need time to remember and time to mourn,
Before the recovery starts.

Let's draw together to recuperate,
As we go through this period of sorrow;
Let's help each other, with tender care
To find a brighter tomorrow.

Lindy said...

I just wanted to stop by to wish CB and his staff a Happy Easter. Thanx for all the info you pass on to us. Have a good weekend...don't forget church.