As some of you are already aware, I’m a great big sci-fi TV geek. I grew up watching Star Trek, Space 1999 (Shut up. I was twelve and I knew Martin Landau was awesome decades before he played Bela Lugosi!), Twilight Zone (not to be confused with sparkly vampires), and scads of other shows related to the theme.
There is one show I adore, however, to which I came quite late in the game. I refer, of course, to Dr. Who.
Sure, Who is big business now, but in the early eighties in California? You had to be in the know and glued to your local PBS station. And my local PBS station didn’t carry it. It was Mr. Twistie who introduced me to the Doctor and his many companions over many iterations when we first started dating, and one of his local PBS stations ran adventures late on saturday nights.
The first Doctor I met (and fell hard for) just happened to be Doctor #4, Tom Baker. And when I met him, his companion (one of many he had during the seven years he played the role) was Sarah Jane Smith, played by the fabulous, fearless, ridiculously pretty Elisabeth Sladen. Sarah Jane, a reporter by trade and by nature, was a perfect companion for a cosmic wanderer and do-gooder. Her restless nature took to travel like a duck takes to water, and her strong instinct for a good story meant she got herself into plenty of hot water for the Doctor to save her from.
Sarah Jane Smith was every inch as dear to me as the Doctor and his insanely long scarf.
When Dr. Who was resurrected, I was thrilled. But one episode in particular brought me joy. My dearly loved Sarah Jane, still chasing a good story after all these years, happened upon the same mystery as the Doctor, at that point played by David Tennant.
Sorry, David, but move aside. I wanted more Sarah Jane and K-9!
And then came The Sarah Jane Adventures where I got to focus on her. My cup brimmethed over!
If you, like me, are wanting to do something in her memory today, consider giving a donation to a cancer-related charity… or knitting your own Tom Baker scarf. Not only is it fashionable and warm, it will sop up the tears quite effectively.