Elisabeth Sladen Rip

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Elisabeth Sladen Rip

Post by Mykilus on 20th April 2011, 07:11

Elisabeth Sladen (Sarah-Jane) has died this evening at the age of 63.
it seams to be complications brought on by a bought of cancer...

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Re: Elisabeth Sladen Rip

Post by rogartheranger on 20th April 2011, 10:15

I heard the sad news at gaming this evening and needless to say I am completely shocked. Lis Sladen always seemed to be in such good health with the looks of someone half her age that I simply can’t get my head around the news that she had been fighting cancer and has now passed away so suddenly at just 63 years of age. I was only just getting my head around the fact that Nick Courtney has gone last month, and so to now lose ‘Sarah-Jane’ too is just awful.

Sarah-Jane wasn’t just any companion – she was for many (and myself included) the quintessential Doctor Who assistant and someone who has been still closely associated with the show 38 years after making her debut appearance opposite Jon Pertwee in ‘The Time Warrior’ (Dec 1973). Following a strong first year with Jon Pertwee, she famously went on to forge a legendary partnership with Tom Baker between 1974-76 appearing in many of the series most famous serials such as The Ark in Space, Genesis of the Daleks, Terror of the Zygons, Pyramids of Mars, The Brain of Morbius and The Seeds of Doom. She was simply brilliant and a refreshing change from the traditional screaming assistant that viewers had been watching up to that point – always brave, resourceful, and inquisitive, with great onscreen chemistry with Pertwee and Baker.

After 5 years away from the show, she returned to reprise her role as Sarah-Jane in the first ever Doctor Who spin-off production ‘K9 and Company’ in 1981. A couple of years later she was back again for the 20th Anniversary Special, ‘The Five Doctors’, which saw her reunited with the Third Doctor with the added opportunity to meet Doctors 1, 2 and 5. Although the series was later rested in 1989, she continued her association with guest appearances in the 1993 Children in Need Special, 'Dimensions in Time', together with the BBC Radio Productions ‘The Paradise of Death’ (1993) and ‘The Ghosts of N Space’ (1996), which saw her reunited with the Third Doctor, the Brigadier and UNIT. More recently Big Finish commissioned a series of spin-off audio adventures for Sarah Jane in the early noughties and so she has rarely been away from the series even when the parent-series was no longer being broadcast.

Following the return of Doctor Who to our TV screens in 2005, I was over the moon to hear the news that she was to return for a guest appearance with the Tenth Doctor in the episode ‘School Reunion’. The success of this episode led to Russell T Davies rewarding Lis with her own series “The Sarah Jane Adventures” which has been in production since 2006. Further guest appearances would follow in Doctor Who with the 2009 Dalek episodes, ‘The Stolen Earth/Journey’s End’, before she made a final cameo appearance to wave goodbye to the Tenth Doctor in ‘The End of Time part 2’ on News Years Day 2010.

In the meantime, The Sarah-Jane Adventures had now clocked-up ‘4 series’ and 47 episodes, two of which famously teamed her up with the Doctor himself, in “The Wedding of Sarah-Jane” (with David Tennant) and more recently Matt Smith in “Death of the Doctor”, which I believe means she has managed to co-star with an impressive tally of 7 incarnations of the Doctor. The Sarah Jane Adventures series has proven to be hugely popular with fans young and old, and currently holds the record for achieving the highest viewing figures on the CBBC channel. It also recently won this year's Royal Television Society Award for best children's drama. I understand that a 5th Series had been commissioned and that 6 episodes were filmed last year with a further 6 due to follow in 2011. I am not clear whether she managed to film these final episodes prior to her death, but it will no doubt prove to be a very poignant moment when we sit down to watch these later in the year.

In the last few hours there has been various tributes paid to Lis which I have reproduced below:-

Controller of CBBC Damian Kavanagh said tonight: "I'm deeply saddened and shocked by the news of Lis' untimely death. Lis brought joy, excitement and a sense of wonder to her many fans in her role as Sarah Jane Smith. She was adored by our young audience and I know all of them will miss her as much as I will."

The creator of The Sarah Jane Adventures Russell T Davies said: "I absolutely loved Lis. She was funny and cheeky and clever and just simply wonderful. The universe was lucky to have Sarah Jane Smith; the world was lucky to have Lis."

Steven Moffat, Doctor Who's Lead Writer and Executive Producer said: "'Never meet your heroes' wise people say. They weren't thinking of Lis Sladen.
"Sarah Jane Smith was everybody's hero when I was younger, and as brave and funny and brilliant as people only ever are in stories. But many years later, when I met the real Sarah Jane - Lis Sladen herself - she was exactly as any child ever have wanted her to be. Kind and gentle and clever; and a ferociously talented actress, of course, but in that perfectly English unassuming way.
"There are a blessed few who can carry a whole television show on their talent and charisma - but I can't think of one other who's done it quite so politely. I once showed my son Joshua an old episode of Doctor Who, in which Lis appeared. "But that's Sarah Jane," he said, confused "In old Doctor Who. From years ago. How come she always looks exactly the same?" It's not a comfort today, of course, but children will still be saying that fifty years from now."

Keith Jones, Director, BBC Cymru Wales, said: "The Sarah Jane Adventures has been one of the most successful children's programmes on television in recent years - and without Elisabeth Sladen it would not have happened. A brilliant presence on screen and on set, she brought the excitement and energy of the Doctor Who family of programmes, of which we are very proud at BBC Wales, to a whole new generation. She will be missed by all at BBC Wales who worked with her."

Roger Carey, who represented Lis for many years, said. "She was not just a client, but a dear friend. She was so positive about life and her natural energy was intoxicating. She couldn't believe her luck when her career was resurrected in her own series."

To finish my tribute, I was thinking back to a recent interview in Doctor Who Magazine and how she recalled being proud of her time with the series and spoke of the ‘goodness’ Doctor Who had brought her life. When asked for her favourite line she chose the touching final words spoken by the Third Doctor:-
“A tear, Sarah Jane? No, no, don't cry....”

Goodbye Lis, you'll be deeply missed :-(


Last edited by rogartheranger on 21st April 2011, 08:29; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Elisabeth Sladen Rip

Post by Digger on 21st April 2011, 04:09

She will be sadly missed!
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Re: Elisabeth Sladen Rip

Post by Renny on 21st April 2011, 07:55

Nicely said, Chris.

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Re: Elisabeth Sladen Rip

Post by rogartheranger on 21st April 2011, 08:26

The BBC will be broadcasting a special tribute program called "My Sarah Jane: A Tribute to Elisabeth Sladen." The show is due to be shown on the CBBC channel this Saturday at 6:45pm, directly after Doctor Who finishes on BBC1 and before Doctor Who Confidential on BBC3 at 7:00pm.

"Elisabeth Sladen created one of Doctor Who's best loved and most enduring characters, Sarah Jane Smith. For over 35 years she brought the feisty, compassionate journalist to life, creating a figure that was adored by audiences of all ages - truly a heroine whose appeal had no boundaries.

This 15 minute programme is both a tribute and a celebration of Elisabeth Sladen. It brings together stories from friends and colleagues and draws on a rich archive of material to remind us of Sarah Jane's journey, from companion to the Third Doctor to the central character in CBBC's award-winning The Sarah Jane Adventures."

In addition the BBC has also confirmed that there will be a dedication to Elisabeth Sladen at the start of Saturday's episode of Doctor Who.


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Re: Elisabeth Sladen Rip

Post by Renny on 21st April 2011, 19:24

The dedication is only right. Good that the BBc has made the effort.

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