“I have learned that life on Earth can be an adventure, too. You never know what you might find!”
Sarah Jane Smith was one of the most influential figures on me growing up, as a media representation of a professional working woman, as well as the “girl reporter” archetype.
In 1970s Doctor Who, the role of the female co-star evolved to someone who was a proper partner to the Doctor, if not entirely his equal. These included “Actually I have a doctorate too” Liz Shaw, “I got better marks at school than the Doctor” Romana, “I can rescue myself with skeleton keys” Jo Grant, and “I will stab you in your sleep” Leela.
But Sarah Jane Smith was the first Doctor Who companion who balanced an outside job with her TARDIS adventures. When we met her in “The Time Warrior,” she was investigating the same missing scientists plot as the Doctor and UNIT—indeed, for a good part of the story, she considers the Doctor a suspect.