I want to inform you that this shall be known as one of our soft and precious anthems! I welcome you to treasure it as much as I do~

So now I’m picturing this alternate universe where K9 and Company got picked up to series and we got to see seasons worth of Sarah Jane having fabulous 1980s adventures, building up a whole network of friends and allies and contacts and enemies, her faithful tin hound always at her side. Aunt Lavinia would drop in now and then, and Brendan would visit in school holidays, and Ian Marter would’ve been a very special guest star from time to time, with Sarah roping Harry in on her escapades whenever he’s available, and he’d bring with him tantalising hints about what he’s been up to in between, on missions variously with NATO and MI5 and back at UNIT or even just with the Navy, and they’d be the perfect best friends, getting into scrapes and enjoying wacky hijinks and commiserating one another on their disastrous love lives, always flirting with the idea of, but never quite actually, getting together, and it would’ve been funny and dramatic and silly and touching by turns…

…come on, we all know it would’ve been amazing!

Sarah Jane Smith and the Vengeful Tractor

Sometimes I get a little upset when I think about Sarah Jane’s personal history with tractors.

Gareth Roberts knows his Classic Who, but I wonder whether he knew exactly what he was doing when he wrote “The Temptation of Sarah Jane Smith” and established that Sarah Jane’s parents were killed when their car hit a stalled tractor in the middle of the road. 

Because in “Planet of the Spiders,” Sarah Jane and Mike Yates are driving to the meditation retreat when they are almost run over by a hallucinatory tractor. They have to swerve off the road to avoid it. Which means Sarah Jane was almost killed the same way her parents were, and that must have rattled her quite a bit.

AND THEN in K-9 and Company, Sarah Jane is speeding down country roads in search of Brendan when how should her enemies attempt to stop her meddling? Why, by running her off the road with ANOTHER TRACTOR. That’s THREE DEADLY TRACTORS scattered throughout her life. And those are only the ones we know about! It would be funny if it weren’t distressing. (It is a little funny.)

I can only imagine that Sarah Jane eventually moved out of the country and into Ealing to avoid more encounters with this particular instrument of her personal trauma. The tractors, clearly, were out to get her.


Today we celebrate the life of Elisabeth Sladen!

Elisabeth Clara Heath-Sladen(1 February 1946 – 19 April 2011) was an English actress best known for her role as Sarah Jane Smith in the British television series Doctor Who. She was a regular cast member from 1973 to 1976, alongside both Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker, and reprised the role many times in subsequent decades, both on Doctor Who and its spin-offs, K-9 and Company and The Sarah Jane Adventures.

Sladen was interested in ballet and theatre from childhood, and began to appear on stage in the mid-1960s, although more often as a stage manager at this time. She moved to London in 1970 and an appearance in the police drama Z-Cars led to her being selected for a part in Doctor Who. She stayed as a regular cast member alongside Pertwee and Baker until 1976. She subsequently starred in other roles on both television and radio, before semi-retiring to bring up a family in the mid-1980s.

She returned to the public eye in the 2000s with more Doctor Who related appearances, which culminated in taking a regular lead role in The Sarah Jane Adventures. The show earned the Royal Television Society 2010 award for Best Children’s Drama. She also made regular guest appearances on the main television series, and provided voice-over commentaries for its releases to DVD.

Sladen died of cancer on 19 April 2011. Her death made national and international news headlines, and major television stations and newspapers paid her tribute.