Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Elisabeth Sladen

When I was very small, I used to watch Doctor Who. Tom Baker played the Doctor, Ian Marter played Harry, and Elisabeth Sladen played Sarah Jane Smith, who was kind of like all your nice primary school teachers rolled into one. After a while Ms Sladen left Dr Who, but she went on to appear on a TV programme for small people called Stepping Stones. After a while she stopped appearing on that as well and largely disappeared from the television. Some years later she showed up in a not-very-good Dr Who spin-off called K9 and Company, before returning to make occasional appearances on non-canonical nu-Dr Who.

Ian Marter died some years ago. And today I read that Elisabeth Sladen too has died, aged 63. Here is her last appearance on Doctor Who.


Andrew Farrell said...

I'm sure you enjoy your iconoclasm, but you might at least mention that, due to this non-canonical show, she had at the time of her death finished four series of The Sarah Jane Smith Adventures - as Tom points out elsewhere, an action and adventure show where the heroine is a 63-year old woman is quite a feat.

ian said...

I'm sure you enjoy being rude.

ian said...

I've not seen this Sarah Jane Adventures and was barely aware of it before she died. It has run to several seasons? Marvellous. But Lis Sladen is important to me from when I saw her on television when I was very small; some nu-Who spin-off could be as good as it liked but it would not have the same impact on me.

Andrew Farrell said...

That is a fair point - I am being rude, and you have my apologies.

Have you watched any of the new Doctor Who? I seem to recall that a few years ago that you had not (not that this should have an effect on those view of yours to which this fact is irrelevant, of course)

ian said...

ah no worries, I can be oversensitive.

I have seen some nu-Who... four episodes of the first season and then probably at most that from all of Tennant (including the truly dire Christmas Special with Kylie Minogue). And then last saturday I saw the first of the new season.

I think new Dr Who is quite good, but it's not as good as a lot of people think it is. A couple of things seem to hold it back - 1. an annoying combination of over-archness and taking itself too seriously 2. the fact that every story seems to be set on Earth (or certainly way more than was the case in the past) 3. a slightly soap opera sensibility about how the characters relate to each other and 4. sometimes ropey pacing in the self-contained episodes.

ian said...

I thought the most recent episode had its moments, but I was suffering my parents giving it a running commentary.