It is with great sadness that we at Zeitgeeks must inform you, our readership, that the immensely talented beauty known as Elisabeth Sladen (known to those in Doctor Who fandom as Sarah Jane Smith) has left this mortal coil after enduring a long and grueling battle with cancer.
She, perhaps the best companion our revered Doctor has ever had, will always be remembered for not only having the looks but the attitude and intelligence that few others possessed. Elisabeth imbued the character of Sarah Jane with such spirit, such life and provided not only Tom Baker's Doctor a fitting foil but also, in the latest incarnations, David Tennant a chance to work along side this consummate professional.
The BBC announced earlier today that there will be a special tribute to our Sarah Jane following the premiere of the sixth series' first episode. There will also be a dedication to her placed at the beginning of the episode as well.
I am a new convert to the Cult of Who but in my short time enjoying his adventures I have feasted. I have taken in as much as possible without spending the buckets of cash necessary to purchase the infintesimal amount of DVD packages available for classic Doctor Who. Netflix has definitely served to supplement my obsession and, well, other sources have provided as well. The Sarah Jane Adventures, a spin-off of the original show, was more kid friendly but nonetheless featured Elisabeth Sladen as not only a lovely woman but a daring reporter and adventurer.
I say all of this just to give you an idea of why I have been affected the way I have by the loss of dear Sarah Jane. She not only provided years of entertainment to fans worldwide, but also showcased that in a genre traditionally dominated by males that the writers of Doctor Who weren't afraid to showcase a strong central female figure such as Sarah Jane. I loved her performances, especially in the "School Reunion" episode of Series 2 of Davies/Moffatt's run. There was just magic in that episode and, honestly, even after watching it four to five times it gets me every time.
We will never forget you, Sarah Jane Smith. You will always be our favorite companion. We will mourn your loss, dear Elisabeth, but your work will live on forever as a testament to your grace. Thank you so very much, Elisabeth. El Jefe de Santo weeps in remembrance of thee, mi amor.