It’s such sad news to hear that Elisabeth Sladen has passed away, aged 63. Sladen made her mark in Who history as the greatest assistant, accompanying Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker aboard the TARDIS. After reprising her much-loved role in ‘The Five Doctors’ and the ‘School Reunion’, Russell T Davies created her own spin-off show, The Sarah Jane Adventures. A fifth series was scheduled later this year, but now production will never be completed.
Here are some tributes from her Who family:
‘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.’ – Russell T Davies, Sarah Jane Adventures creator
”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.’ – Steven Moffat, Doctor Who showrunner
‘Elisabeth Sladen Matriarch of Dr Who – I loved my time on the Tardis with her. I am proud to have worked with such an icon of the sci fi world. Your Dr Who family are very sad and will miss you and your beautiful smile. RTD (Russell T. Davies) called me this morning when I woke up. She lived in my flat in Cardiff when she was filming SJA. She was a delight. Can’t tell you how sad I am.’ – John Barrowman, Torchwood