Today, a wonderful and well-loved actress and writer, Elisabeth Sladen, left this world as a result of cancer. To some, she may just be another name in the sea of those lost to death--but to fans of Doctor Who, she is so much more.
Elisabeth Sladen played the role of Sarah Jane Smith, journalist, in both the old Doctor Who series and the new Who. She stayed alongside the Third Doctor (played by Jon Pertwee) and the Fourth Doctor (played by Tom Baker) for three and a half seasons before signing off. She appeared in several episodes later in the series, as well as a number of audio books.
In 2006, Sladen made a new entrance into the revived Doctor Who series in the episode "School Reunion" with the Tenth Doctor (David Tennant). Following this, she became the star of a show focused around her, the Sarah Jane Adventures, a spin-off of Doctor Who.
And now, I give you a tribute to Elisabeth Sladen, AKA Sarah Jane Smith:
The psychic paper didn't tell him everything. Just three words-- "Sarah Jane Smith." That was all.
The Doctor leaned across the consol and pondered the message. Was Sarah Jane in trouble? Was she happy? Getting married again, for real? Well, only one way to find out. He slammed a lever down and clung to the railing for dear life. The TARDIS spun about the Time Vortex, wheezing and groaning, until she finally settled down with a bump.
"Oi, now, where are we?" He glanced at the video feed on his screen. From the far corner, he could just make out a nice, family home further on down the street. "Perfect! Amy, Rory? Come along, Ponds! I'm taking you to see an old friend of mine!"
Two sets of footsteps clambered down the hall, one of them sounding slightly drunk. "Doctor?" Amy's voice came from the depths of the TARDIS. "What was that?"
"Just landed. Come on!" He straightened his bowtie and opened the TARDIS doors.
They all marched down the street, the Doctor in front, and Amy and Rory poking at each other behind him. The Doctor's hearts fluttered with the prospect of meeting Sarah Jane again. Last time--last time, they had almost died, again. "Now," he said, glancing back at Amy and Rory, "we're going to see a dear friend of mine. Her name is Sarah Jane Smith. She's a journalist."
Amy raised an eyebrow. "Ooo, a journalist? Doctor, you're branching out."
"Amy! It's not like that! It's just that she used to travel with me, that's all. I want to see her again. Been a while." He stopped in front of her house and gazed at the massive number of cars in the driveway. "Does anyone else have a bad feeling about this?"
"What? No, maybe she's having a party," Rory suggested.
"Right." The Doctor scampered up to the front porch and rang the doorbell.
A young man with a tear-stained face answered the door. He stared at the little group for a second, then flung his arms around the Doctor and sobbed. "You came! You came!"
The Doctor paused, gulped. "What's wrong? Luke, would you tell me what's wrong?"
"It's Mum! She died!"
His hearts skipped two beats each. Sarah Jane--no, it couldn't be. "What? No, can't be. That's not--"
Luke grabbed his arm and practically dragged him into the house. There, sitting right in the front room, was a large casket. An open casket.
"Oh, my dear Sarah Jane Smith," the Doctor whispered, approaching the casket. He reached out and touched her cheek. It was cold, so cold, and he felt tears dripping down his own cheeks. "I'm sorry. So sorry."
Without conculting him, his mind launched into a recap of all the adventures they'd had together. His regeneration, the ark in space, Gallifrey, the school... It all came rushing back to him. "Sarah... Sarah..."
He found he couldn't say anything else.
There wasn't anything left to say.