What struck me about Lis was her grace. She welcomed me, educated me, and delighted me with her tales and adventures on Doctor Who. And she also seemed to have a quality of youth that not many people retain as they go through life. Her grace and kindness will stay with me because she had such qualities in abundance and shared them freely. I will miss her, as will the world of Doctor Who and all the Doctors that had the good pleasure to work with Lis Sladen and travel the universe with Sarah Jane.
I just can’t believe that Lis is gone. She seemed invincible. The same woman who enchanted my childhood, enchanted my time on Doctor Who and enchanted generations who have watched her and fallen in love with her – just like I did. I feel very honoured to have shared a TARDIS with Sarah Jane Smith, and I feel very lucky to have shared some time with Lis Sladen. She was extraordinary.
Sarah Jane dead? No, impossible! Impossible. Only last week I agreed to do six new audio adventures with her for Big Finish Productions. She can’t be dead. But she is: she died yesterday morning. Cancer. I had no idea she was ill; she was so private, never wanted any fuss, and now, gone. A terrible blow to her friends and a shattering blow for all those fans of the programme whose lives were touched every Saturday evening by her lovely heroic character, Sarah-Jane Smith. … Those sweet memories of happy days with Lis Sladen, the lovely, witty, kind and so talented Lis Sladen. I am consoled by the memories. I was there, I knew her, she was good to me and I shall always be grateful, and I shall miss her.
The BBC have announced that there will be a special tribute programme broadcast this coming Saturday, called My Sarah Jane. It is due to be shown on the CBBC channel at 6:45pm, directly after Doctor Who finishes on BBC1 and before Doctor Who Confidential on BBC3 at 7:00pm.
They have also announced that there will be a text tribute, on screen at the start of the episode
B.W reporter Imran
It’s with great sadness that we announce the tragic death of Elisabeth Sladen. Lis had secretly been fighting cancer for quite some time. She died on 19th April.
She is survived by her husband Brian Miller, and daughter Sadie.
Lis was born in Liverpool in 1948, Elisabeth Sladen showed an interest in acting from an early age; she joined the Liverpool Playhouse repertory company.
In 1973 she was cast as the replacement companion Jon Pertwee’s, 3rd Doctor. Following in the footsteps of popular companion Jo Grant played by Katy Manning.
Her debut story was The Time Warrior and stayed for a further 3 golden years of Doctor Who alongside Tom Baker, an era including the story that always tops fan polls, Genesis of the Daleks.
Despite choosing to leaving the show in 1976, she returned to the role for the 1981 pilot, K9 and Company.
Sladen was re-united with “her” Doctor, Jon Pertwee, in the 1983 20th anniversary celebration The Five Doctors, and again during the early 90s for the two radio stories The Paradise of Death and The Ghosts of N-Space, written and produced by Barry Letts – the two would also be joined by another, Who legend, Nicholas Courtney as the Brigadier.
In 2005, a discussion with the revived Doctor Who’s head writer and long-term fan of hers, Russell T Davies, led to a guest appearance in the second series adventure School Reunion, which re-united Sarah and K9 with the 10th Doctor.
The character, and Sladen’s performance, was popular and led to her own spin-off series, The Sarah Jane Adventures; the CBBC series continued on from her re-introduction in Doctor Who as an independent investigator of alien activity. The series won over a whole new generation of fans, It is also a testament to the strength of the show that it has been graced by the appearance of the both the Brigadier (Nicholas Courtney), and the Doctor himself in both his Tenth incarnation in The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith (and David Tennant’s final performance as the Doctor), and Eleventh in the form of Matt Smith in Death of the Doctor – where Sladen performed with the actress she had taken over from, back in 1973, Katy Manning, aka Jo Jones
The series itself has gone on to win awards, including the Royal Television Society award for Children’s Drama last month.
At the time of her death there are still three stories of The Sarah Jane Adventures to be aired.
Her autobiography, Who’s That Girl is due out later in the year.
Torchwood writer Jane Espenson has announced that John de Lancie will be joining the cast of the new series of Torchwood: Miracle Day. John de Lancie is probably best known for his role as Q, in Star Trek: The next generation
It hasn’t yet been announced which character De Lancie will play, but, it won’t be Q. Which is a shame really
B.W Reporter Martyn
Executive Producer Steven Moffat will be a guest on Graham Norton’s Radio 2 show on Saturday, 23rd April, just a few hours before the launch of the new series.
Moffat will be on the show around 1130 UK Time.
Radio 2 is available worldwide on the BBC iPlayer.
Graham is asking for emails to put to Moffat during the programme, which can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
“After his last appearance he’d been saying, ‘I think now that David’s left as the Doctor, I would have to leave the Master’.
“He later pulled me aside and said, ‘I didn’t mean that!'”
The new series of Doctor Who starts on April 23 on BBC One at 6pm