Sarah Jane Smith

Sarah Jane Smith was a perfect foil for the Doctor. Brave, clever, feisty and funny, she was also able to gently poke fun at the Time Lord, even teasing him that after living for 750 years he’d soon be middle-aged! But she remained one of his most resolute and loyal companions… No wonder he once called her ‘my best friend’!

Fact titleFact data
Also known as:
Lavinia Smith
First Appearance:
Farewell Appearance (in Doctor Who):
Key Story:
The Third, Fourth, Tenth and Eleventh Doctors

Sarah Jane and the Doctor didn’t get off to the best of starts… She was operating as an undercover journalist when they met, impersonating Lavinia Smith in order to infiltrate a group of scientists, hoping to get a good story and find out why so many of them were vanishing. The Doctor saw straight through her pretence but showed very little interest in the young reporter, dashing off to the middle ages in order to trace the source of the disappearances. Little did he know that Sarah had sneaked aboard the TARDIS… He unwittingly whisked her back several centuries, landing her slap bang in the middle of an adventure with a Sontaran and primitive feuding forces. But Sarah wasn’t fazed for a moment, quickly galvanising the locals into an attack on the villainous Irongron and even preaching ‘women’s lib’ to the startled cooks in his castle!

The universe has to move forward… Pain and loss - they define us as much as happiness or love."

Sarah initially believed the Doctor was responsible for the missing scientists but gradually accepted he was simply trying to help. The realisation was a turning point and she became fiercely loyal to the Time Lord, accompanying him on adventures to Peladon, Spiradon and Metebelis Three. During his battle with the terrifying ‘Giant Spiders’, the Third Doctor’s body became riddled with radiation and he was forced to regenerate. Believing him to be dead, Sarah was distraught, shedding a tear over his apparently lifeless body before he changed and the Fourth Doctor emerged…

Whereas previous companions had been suspicious of a ‘new’ Doctor, Sarah took to his fresh, different persona immediately. She was joking with him in no time and although the Fourth Doctor could be erratic and alien, he showed Sarah his more caring side, taking the time to comfort her when Kettlewell’s robot was destroyed, for instance. For her part, Sarah was soon gently chiding him as if nothing – and no-one – had changed. When he announced he was leaving in the TARDIS despite the Brigadier’s demands to remain on Earth, she declared, ‘Doctor, you’re being childish!’ and he replied, ‘Well, of course I am! There’s no point in being grown up if you can’t be childish sometimes. Are you coming?’ Did he really need to ask?

Adventures with Davros, Daleks, Cybermen and Zygons followed. Sarah’s friend, Harry, travelled with them for a while but he opted to keep his feet on ‘terra firma’ when the chance arose to stay with UNIT back in Britain. Sarah didn’t want to stop traveling with the Doctor, however, and it looked as if she might never leave the TARDIS until the fateful day that the Doctor was hit by a psychic summons from his own people… The Time Lord received a message forcing him to return to his home planet and as it was forbidden to take humans to Gallifrey, he dropped Sarah back on Earth and the two old friends parted company…

The Doctor never forgot her and even sent her a gift – a version of K-9 that was to prove remarkably useful.... Sarah teamed up with the Third Doctor again, ironically on Gallifrey, but following that brief reunion it was many years before their paths next crossed, at Deffry Vale High School. As with their very first meeting, Sarah was on a story but soon became embroiled in the Doctor’s adventures. At the close of this one she elected to remain on Earth but happily, she was soon by her friend’s side again, battling Daleks and unimaginable odds, just like old times! Her final encounter with the Doctor was with the Eleventh Doctor, but by that point, a great deal had changed for the former time-traveller. She had a son called Luke, many new friends and she had rediscovered her zest for life! And by now, Sarah Jane was having adventures of her own