Goodbye my Sarah Jane

Elisabeth Sladen died yesterday at the age of 63, yet another victim of cancer. She played the role of Sarah Jane Smith, a companion to the third, fourth, and 10th doctors. She had also travelled with the 11th. Of all of the companions that have come and gone over the years, she is usually remembered most fondly. I’ve certainly never known anyone that actually disliked the character.

She was the first of the newer style of female companions. Before her, the girls were mostly there as plot devices. They mostly got into trouble and screamed a lot. Lis Sladen paved the way for real characters for women in the show. More importantly, she was very likable and easy to cheer for. I’ve never heard a negative thing about Elisabeth Sladen, never heard the stories of pettiness, backstabbing, and ego that seems to be par for the course with many actors.

I’m assuming that she had a rather fast acting cancer since absolutely no one saw this coming. She was still filming as recently as December and had agreed to do some more audio plays for Big Finish this year. I think it was the abruptness of it all that is causing so much grief among fans, I know it is for me. Earlier this year, another beloved actor from Dr. Who, Nicholas Courtney died. He was older and in poor health, I doubt many were surprised when he passed away. But Lis Sladen? Impossible, she looked great, she had been working, and you could tell there was so much more for her to do. We’re going to miss you Lis…

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