20 April 2011

When you hear the words 'Doctor Who Companion' for the majority of us it is Elisabeth Sladen's face you see. Her portrayal as Sarah Jane Smith has forever cemented itself in Doctor Who fandom as a textbook female Doctor Who companion.

Her chemistry with Tom Baker was unmatched, and her reactions to the many evils she faced were amazing - in particular, her delivery of the line "Doc-tor" as she trembled her lips in that unforgettable Sarah Jane style.

Who could forget her triumphant return in 2006 alongside David Tennant in the Series Two story; School Reunion. Of course her character, and indeed Lis herself had aged a little since we last saw her on our screens, but everything was there from her mannerisms to her delivery of dialogue.

I think we all owe a particular thanks to Russell T. Davies for not only bringing her back into Doctor Who (twice) but for giving Sarah Jane her very own series, so that a whole new generation of fans could fall in love with her character.

When the terribly sad news came in last night of her untimely passing, we asked you to get in touch with some of your thoughts, memories and messages about Lis and her portrayal as Sarah Jane Smith.

Here are just a few together with some Doctor Who celebrity Tweets and messages:

Kris Schultz via DWO Facebook

"My prayers are with Elizabeth's family, friends and fellow fans. I love her portrayal of Sarah Jane Smith and will miss her very much."

Rob Carpenter via DWO Facebook

"A tear Sarah Jane ? I believe there will be many tonight :(("

Christopher Joseph Kerr via DWO Facebook

"First Sir Nicholas Courtney and now Lis. Im genuinely both shocked and shaking. Tears? Yes but tears are good. Will she be forgotten? No!"

Richard Teta via DWO Facebook

"When Doctor Who started to be broadcast here in South Florida, Sarah Jane was the companion. Seeing her reprise the role in the new series and The Sarah Jane Adventures was like re-visiting part of my childhood. Thank you so much, Elisaabeth. God Bless. A tear, Sarah Jane?"

doctorwho2013 via DWO Twitter

"We send our love to Elisabeth Sladens family she will be surely missed from all doctor who fans in the north east UK.XX"

bergie72 via DWO Twitter

"So sad about Liz Sladen. First Dr Who ep was Robot. Its been hard to top Dr #4 and Sarah Jane as fave doc/companion pair since."

jennnlovesyou via DWO Twitter

"She taught me the most important lesson I've ever learnt: some things are worth getting your heart broken for."

jimmyboulton via DWO Twitter

"Elisabeth Sladen was the best of them all. A true great in the world of Doctor Who, completely irreplaceable."

Patrick Sanders via DWO Email

"I had just finished watching Lis Sladen crying her way through the end of "Planet of the Spiders" when I heard she had sadly died. I put it on Facebook and it was amazing the response - shock, sadness and am outpouring of love from fans who remembered her in the 70s, new fans of new-Who, and parents who watch SJA with their children. I think Lis Sladen's great feat was that she made Sarah Jane Smith feel like a personal friend - when the Doctor calls her "my best friend" you believed she could be yours too. A lot of children of all ages will miss her very much."

Dale Who via DWO Email

"I was fortunate enough enough to meet Lis twice at conventions; and she was very friendly and we chatted at some length about how much she loved that Sarah was still held in high regard long after her leaving the TARDIS (the first time round!).  I'm of the generation who grew up watching Lis in Doctor Who; and it was always a pleasure to see her back in the role for cameo appearances such as The Five Doctors, K-9 and Company and later on, School Reunion.  When The Sarah Jane Adventures started on CBBC I fell in love with the character all over again; Sarah had lost none of her magic and even looked just as glorious as she had in 1976.  I'm deeply saddened by Lis' passing and hope that her family, friends and fans, both young and old, can find some comfort in knowing that in the world of Doctor Who at least, Sarah Jane will live on for ever."

Mark Scott via DWO Email

"A real shock to hear the news.She will be much missed by Who fans. Sympathies to her family and friends."

Celebrity Tributes to Elisabeth Sladen:

Colin Baker via Twitter

"Very sad to hear of the death of Lis Sladen. Great sympathy for her husband and daughter. She was far too young to be lost to them."

Nicola Bryant via Twitter

"I'm so sorry to have to say I've just had a call to say Liz Sladen has died. It's too much to take in, but it's true. How tragically young."

Murray Gold via Twitter

"Elisabeth Sladen enchanted three generations, never seeming to age, tire or cloud. RIP"

Mark Gatiss via Twitter

"'A tear, Sarah Jane?' Farewell to the wonderful, irreplaceable Lis Sladen. The best.x"

Gareth Roberts via Twitter

"Can't really find the words. Goodbye, our wonderful wonderful Lis."

Stephen Fry via Twitter

"What terribly sad news about Elisabeth Sladen - her Sarah Jane was part of my childhood. Deepest sympathy to her family."

Elsewhere on the internet:

2|Entertain - clips featuring Elisabeth Sladen on the Classic Doctor Who YouTube Channel.

BBC News - a touching tribute to Elisabeth Sladen that includes a contribution from Russell T. Davies.

Sky News - a tribute to Elisabeth Sladen on their website.

The Sun - news item citing Elisabeth Sladen as the 'Greatest Dr Who Girl Ever'.

[Sources: DWO; TwitterYoutube; BBC News; The Sun; Sky News]

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