Wednesday, April 20, 2011

RIP Elisabeth Sladen 1 February 1948 – 19 April 2011

My heart dropped yesterday when I learned of the passing of actress Elisabeth Sladen, aka "Sarah Jane Smith" of Doctor Who fame. She was 63.

Sarah Jane was an extraordinarily popular character in the Doctor Who universe, and yes, of course, she is my favorite of the Doctor's many companions. To the preteen boy who had such a serious crush on her, she was much more too.

I found her beautiful and sexy, intelligent and adventurous. Perhaps more importantly - for the first time in my life I appreciated an intelligent woman determined to forge her own place in the world. Compare Sarah Jane to the shallow, deferential characters who, university degrees or military rank be damned, would melt into a sniveling mess of Victorian womanhood at the first sight of trouble. She would have none of that, and that wee bit of '70's feminism that snuck into her characterization did me a world of good.

And in those childhood daydreams of a life spent traveling the globe, getting in bar fights in Singapore and stopping the Russians from invading the West, I must admit it didn't hurt to imagine a woman like Sarah Jane at my side . . .

When she rejoined the cast of Doctor Who in mid '00's I was overjoyed - and found her no less attractive as she approached sixty.

RIP Elisabeth. You will be missed.


Fred Oftencold said...

Oh no! I hadn't heard about this.

Just recently, I looked up her Dr. Who spin-off The Sarah Jane Adventures, and was delighted to see that it was still running after three or four years in the UK.

To reprise a role after thirty years, and to have it become so popular is certainly a fine tribute to the impression the younger Elisabeth made on us.

SpartanVII said...

Oh my! This is the first I've heard of her passing. I loved her in the orignal Doctor Who series. She was my favorite of the doctor's companions too. I was so glad they brought her into the new series as well. I'll miss her!

SpartanVII said...
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