To remember how amazing Sarah Jane Smith was
One of the sad things about Elisabeth Sladen’s cruelly premature death in April of this year, is that it denied her the chance to tell the full, uninterrupted story of working on the longest running science fiction TV show of all time.
She was one of very few people who had intimate working knowledge of Doctor Who in its ‘70s pomp, made guest appearances in the ‘80s, and got to bring her role as Sarah Jane Smith back to glorious life in the Russell T Davies era. If anyone’s had tales to tell, it would’ve been her.
Well, if it’s any consolation, you might like to know that Elisabeth had handed in the first draft of her autobiography, shortly before she died.
The book covered her entire life, from the early days in Liverpool, to working in the theatre, and of course her time on Doctor Who, playing Sarah Jane Smith opposite first Jon Pertwee, then Tom Baker and then, after returning to the theatre and jobbing TV work, her eventual return to the show, and The Sarah Jane Adventures.
The good news is, with the help of her husband Brian Miller, and daughter Sadie, the redrafting work that Elisabeth had been too poorly to complete has been done. Aurum Publishing will release her memoirs, on November 7.
We all love a good awards ceremony, don’t we? Especially when our affections are split between two equally worthy nominees, as they will be at the TVChoice Awards, which take place in London on September 13.
Current Time Lord Matt Smith is up for Best Actor for his role on Doctor Who, of course. But get this! The other nominees include David Tennant for the BBC drama Single Father, Sherlock’s Benedict Cumberbatch, Colin Morgan for Merlin. Wow! Doctor Eleven is battling Doctor Ten, Sherlock Holmes and Merlin the wizard for supremacy. That’s less a nominations list and more a long row in a pub between geeks.
And that’s not the last split loyalty we shall have to endure; Karen Gillan is nominated for Best Actress, and so is Elisabeth Sladen. So Doctor Eleven’s best companion is pitted against Doctor Four’s.
Doctor Who is also, slightly less controversially, nominated for Best Family Drama, alongside Merlin, Casualty and Waterloo Road.
Radio Times has announced that, as a tribute to the late Elisabeth Sladen, a classic four-part Doctor Who story will be broadcast on BBC Four in May.Radio Times broke the news via its Twitter feed: “Confirmed - BBC4 will show Doctor Who: The Hand of Fear as a tribute to Elisabeth Sladen on Mon 9/Tue 10.”Sladen, who was much loved by viewers of the 48-year-old science-fiction television drama series, had been suffering from cancer and died, age 63, on 19 April.A brief description of the episodes is given in the Doctor Who Guide, which reads: “Sarah becomes possessed by a mysterious stone hand found buried deep in a quarry. The hand is a remnant of Eldrad, a member of an ancient Silicone based civilisation. With Sarah’s help Eldred is reborn and desperate to return to her home planet, but all is not as it seems.”
Writing in the Radio Times, Patrick Mulkern sums up Sladen’s legacy thus: “Elisabeth Sladen, as the gutsy Sarah Jane Smith, set the benchmark for all subsequent Doctor Who companions. Without her, there would be no [current companions] Amy Pond and no River Song.”
Fans of the actress Elisabeth Sladen who died earlier this week following a battle with illness have launched a JustGiving site to raise money for Cancer Research UK.
The group was set up by fans of the Doctor Who actress in memory of her and to raise money for research into cancer. The actress’ death earlier this week came as a shock to her thousands of fans who have been quick to pay tribute to her. Many of Sladen’s co-stars and colleagues, such as Tom Baker and David Tennant, have also paid tribute to her. The Justgiving site launched in memory of her has so far raised over £4,000 pounds with donations continuing to be received all the time.
BBC America’s Doctor Who this weekend will remember beloved franchise alumna Elisabeth Sladen, who passed away on Tuesday at the age of 63, following a long fight with cancer. A spokesperson for BBC America tells TVLine that Sladen’s passing will be acknowledged during Doctor Who ‘s Season 6 premiere, airing this Saturday at 9/8c.
RIP Elisabeth Sladen, you will be missed :’(
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Rest in peace, Sarah Jane.
“Goodbye, my Sarah Jane.”
Never meet your heroes’ wise people say. They weren’t thinking of Lis Sladen.
Sarah Jane Smith was everybody’s hero when I was younger, and as brave and funny and brilliant as people only ever are in stories. But many years later, when I met the real Sarah-Jane - Lis Sladen herself - she was exactly as any child ever have wanted her to be. Kind and gentle and clever; and a ferociously talented actress, of course, but in that perfectly English unassuming way.
There are a blessed few who can carry a whole television show on their talent and charisma - but I can’t think of one other who’s done it quite so politely. I once showed my son Joshua an old episode of Doctor Who, in which Lis appeared. “But that’s Sarah Jane,” he said, confused “In old Doctor Who. From years ago. How come she always look exactly the same?” It’s not a comfort today, of course, but children will still be saying that fifty years from now.