Opinion no image

Published on October 11th, 2007 | by Nick Brown

My Sarah Jane

Sometimes we read reports in newspapers and, try as we might, we can’t quite bring ourselves to completely believe what we’ve just read. How about these for headlines…?

‘Lord Lucan Spotted Riding Shergar’

‘London Bus Found On Moon’

‘Elvis Alive And Working In Tesco’

‘Alien Abducts Scientists And Sends Them Back In Time’

Yet at least one of these is true…

Sarah Jane Smith first met the Doctor when, as an investigative journalist, she posed as her aunt Lavinia, a respected virologist, to infiltrate a research facility that had been placed under the protection of the United Nations Intelligence Taskforce (UNIT). Checking out reports that eminent scientists had gone missing, she gained access to the Doctor’s makeshift laboratory, hid inside the TARDIS and found herself being transported back to medieval England. There she met the Sontaran warrior Linx who had been kidnapping the missing scientists in the hope that they would be able to help him mend his wrecked space ship.

After defeating Linx, Sarah Jane joined the Doctor on his adventures, meeting up with some of his fiercest enemies including Daleks, Cybermen, Zygons, Morbius and Sutekh the Destroyer. She also saw him regenerate from his third body into his fourth.

Sarah Jane was different to any of the Doctor’s previous companions. Whereas up until then they had all been slightly in awe of the Doctor and seen him as a kind of father figure, especially her immediate predecessor Jo Grant, Sarah Jane saw the Doctor as more of a friend. With the exception of Susan who was, after all, the Doctor’s grand-daughter, she seemed more at home in the TARDIS and they gave the impression that they were a couple of mates traveling through time and space rather than Time Lord and assistant.

More often than not it was Sarah Jane’s own sense of adventure that landed her in trouble. Her attitude was that she would confront her enemies head on rather than cower back and wait for the Doctor to sort things out.

Sarah Jane left the TARDIS crew when the Doctor was summonsed back to Gallifrey at a time when aliens were not allowed within the hallowed walls of the Time Lord citadel.

She did, however, visit the Doctor’s home planet when she was illegally taken out of time by means of the Time Scoop and dumped in the Death Zone by the renegade Borusa. There she encountered four of the first five of the Doctor’s incarnations as well as some old friends and enemies including Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart and the Cybermen. With Borusa’s plan foiled, the Time Lords returned the Doctors and their companions back to their respective time zones. They also presumably wiped their memories of the events on Gallifrey as, when Sarah Jane encountered the tenth Doctor some time later, no mention was made of that adventure. She did, though, tell the Doctor that she had waited for him to come back for her to pick up where they left off but, due to his non-appearance, assumed that he had been killed.

As well as being emotional reunion for her, the meeting with the tenth Doctor also produced an interesting confrontation with Rose Tyler, his companion at that time. Both visibly jealous of the other, they spent a lot of time trying to out-do each other…

“I’ve met the Daleks,” Sarah Jane would boast. “Well, I met the Emperor Dalek,” Rose would counter. “Living mummies,” offered Sarah Jane, “Werewolves,” replied Rose. “The Lock Ness monster,” threw in Sarah Jane, etc, etc.

They did, however, come to their senses and when it was time to go they parted as friends. Sarah Jane even turned down the chance to travel in the TARDIS again.

Her sense of adventure reawakened, with the help of some presents from the Doctor, including an upgraded K9, a watch that scans for alien life forms and a lipstick shaped sonic screwdriver, she began investigating alien activity on Earth from her home.

Sarah Jane Smith will always be one of the Doctor’s fondest remembered companions. Having met and traveled with all sorts of weird and wonderful people – including computer wizards, mathematical geniuses, Time Ladies, sailors, 18th century soldiers, etc – she appears to hold a special place in his hearts. His final words to her testify to that…

“Good-bye, my Sarah Jane.”

Images by Vendetta

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