Sladen’s work covered several decades and included appearances in British TV staples like Z Cars and Coronation Street but it was her role as Sarah Jane Smith that she’s best known for. Ms Smith was a companion to the 3rd and 4th Doctors, and also appeared, in “The Five Doctors”, with the 2nd and 5th Doctor, as well as Richard Hurndall’s version of the 1st Doctor. Her character also appeared in one failed spin-off, K9 and Company.
During the 2000’s the character was revived. First in a series of audio adventures from Big Finish and then eventually appearing in “School Reunion” with the 10th Doctor. She was then spun-off into her own TV series, The Sarah Jane Adventures, where she spent four series fighting Slitheen, Sontarans and others. During this time she was reunited with the Brigadier, the 10th Doctor, and met the 11th Doctor and Jo Grant.
Sladen and her character of Sarah Jane Smith were beloved by millions around the world, and her death comes as a great shock to many of us who wasn’t even aware she was ill. Following on the heels of Nicholas Courtney’s death earlier this year, Who fandom has really been shaken. My thoughts are with her and her family and coworkers.