It’s been nine years since Elisabeth Sladen, the dearly missed actress who brought one of Doctor Who’s most iconic companions to life, passed away. Now it’s time for the Whoniverse itself to say goodbye to her too.
As part of the ongoing Doctor Who social media rewatch parties that have been taking place during the novel coronavirus pandemic, former Doctor Who showrunner Russell T. Davies released a brand new story marking the anniversary of Sladen’s death yesterday. It finally brings about something we never really wanted to consider ourselves: that it was time for Sarah Jane Smith to have passed on in the Doctor Who universe as well as in our own.
Set at Sarah Jane’s funeral, and narrated by Jacob Dudman, the affair serves not just as a final farewell to the beloved character, but likewise a farewell to her last contribution to Doctor Who: The Sarah Jane Adventures, the Children’s BBC spinoff series that launched after Sarah Jane returned to the revived Who in 2006's “School Reunion.” It gives updates on her adopted alien son Luke (Tommy Knight), his best friends Clyde (Daniel Anthony) and Rani (Anjli Mohindra, who recently made her own return to Who as a new villain for the 13th Doctor!), and even original Sarah Jane Adventures co-star Maria (Yasmin Paige).
There are...special guests. You will cry.
You may cry a lot.
It is a fitting farewell not just to a character that touched the lives of Doctor Who fans across generations, but an actress who meant so much to the people she worked with while doing so—whether it was battling the Daleks, Sontarans, Morbius, and so many other monsters alongside Tom Baker’s Doctor, or if it was saving the day alongside her own family in The Sarah Jane Adventures.
Who knows. Maybe Rani’s right in her belief that, perhaps somewhere out there, the Doctor came back to give his Sarah Jane a final trip that may never end. But if this goodbye to her, it is perhaps a fitting end for a Doctor Who legend.
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