My various contacts in Facebook concerning 'Doctor Who' were all a-buzz with reports that Elisabeth Sladen, best known in Toobworld as Sarah Jane Smith on 'Doctor Who' and 'The Sarah Jane Adventures' has died. And within the last half hour, the BBC Online has confirmed the news.
Earlier, the Doctor Who News page accepted a "tweet" from Doctor Who Magazine to be official confirmation and they have posted an obituary for her.
I was holding out hope it was nothing more than an internet rumor run rampant until I could find a more established source for confirmation. And then I saw the BBC headline. I haven't been this resistant to news of a celebrity death since a burned body was found at Jack Cassidy's home back in the 1970's. I refused to believe it could be him until positive identification could be made of the remains.
I always thought Elisabeth Sladen was my "first" Companion, and you never forget your first. However, I can only remember "Robots Of Death" when I first started watching on the old WOR in NYC. And that was a Leela story. (I have claimed in the past that my first 'Doctor Who' story was "Brain of Morbius". That could be true. As I think more 'pon it, I do remember seeing "The Hand Of Fear", a storyline not long after, during that same period in my life.)
Still and all, somehow I finally saw episodes with Sarah Jane Smith and I lost my heart to her. And for someone like me, that's not an easy thing to accomplish when your competition is running around in a jungle bikini......
In May of 2007, Sarah Jane Smith was inducted into the TV Crossover Hall Of Fame, and that was even before 'The Sarah Jane Adventures' came along. I think of all the Doctor's Companions over the years, Sarah Jane truly embodies the very best of this very select group.
It's always sad when a favorite celebrity dies, but at best it was after a very long, full life; that it was "their time". Elisabeth Sladen was far too young for that sort of thinking. I don't think I could have ever prepared for this news, not at this point in her life.
Bleep you, Cancer.
So, if this story proves to be true, then I can only repeat those closing words of Red Skelton:
"Good night, and may God bless."
“The universe has to move forward.
Pain and loss, they define us as much as happiness or love.
Whether it’s a world, or a relationship…
Everything has its time. And everything ends.”
Sarah Jane Smith