When I was much younger, I watched Doctor Who. The Doctor I grew up on was Jon Pertwee. I enjoyed most of the Doctors except Davidson's who seemed to just show up on a planet, everyone would get killed off and he would pop back into the Tardis and head tot he next planet to wipe out...
We all know the Doctor's had tons of companions. Sarah Jane Smith was the first one I saw. She bridged the earthbound Pertwee Doctor to Baker's off to explore epic run. She was smart, inquisitive, not the typical helpless screaming female companion that most were before her. Granted she did scream from time to time but she always summoned up her courage and continued on.
I've had a crush for Sarah Jane since I was 16. It wasn't just the character that drew me in, but also the actress. She was a delightful pixie to watch in action. We grew together, both of us maturing and despite those that followed in her footsteps, none caught my full eye like she did.
When Elisabeth Sladen left Doctor Who, I was a bit saddened but it was all part of life. I was overjoyed though when she returned to the new series in School Reunion. A quite fitting title as I was reunited with an actress and character that inspired me and that I adored. I was super duper happy that she got spun off into her own very well written and enjoyable show, The Sarah Jane Adventures. I watched each one, just so happy to watch Elisabeth in action. Older, wiser, yet just as daring if not more so. She was tough enough to stand on her own against the aliens that had menaced her and the Doctor yet tender and caring enough to take in and raise Luke. It wasn't so much the character that touched my heart so deeply as it was the depths that Elisabeth brought to the role.
I've loved watching the series, been buying the DVDs to show my support. Then today, I see this bit of news: Elisabeth Sladen dies, aged 63 Tuesday, April 19 2011, 3:50pm EDT and I feel like I lost a dear friend. I never met her yet loved her. I'm at a loss for words. I wish her husband and daughter the best and will include them all in my prayers.
Goodbye my darling Sarah Jane. Farewell my lovely Liz.