‘Doctor Who’ Fans Honor Elisabeth Sladen After Release of ‘Farewell, Sarah Jane’

Former “Who” showrunner Russell T. Davies reunited Sarah Jane’s friends on ninth anniversary of Sladen’s death for an epilogue to “The Sarah Jane Adventures”

It has been nine years since Elisabeth Sladen, known to millions of “Doctor Who” fans as Sarah Jane Smith, passed away. Now, Whovians finally have a chance to say goodbye as former “Who” showrunner Russell T. Davies released a 15-minute audio epilogue for “The Sarah Jane Adventures,” the spinoff series that featured the beloved TARDIS companion.

Narrated by Jacob Dudman, who has played the Doctor in several audio dramas, the epilogue reveals that Sarah Jane had died alongside Sladen. All of her friends from Bannerman Road are there at her funeral, including Clyde Langer, Rani Chandra, and her adopted son Luke. Her funeral is also attended by two fellow companions of the Doctor, Jo Grant and Ace, played once again by Katy Manning and Sophie Aldred.

Tommy, Clyde and Rani were all allies of Sarah Jane in her fight to protect Britain and Earth from evil forces while the Doctor was off traveling through time and space. They joined the Whoniverse when “The Sarah Jane Adventures” launched on CBBC in response to overwhelming praise to Sladen’s return to “Doctor Who” for the first time in 23 years. Once an investigative journalist whose reporting led her to cross paths with the Doctor in the 1970s, Smith had become a formidable planetary defender in her own right with the help of an extraterrestrial computer, Mr. Smith, and the former robot companion of the Doctor, K-9.

“The Sarah Jane Adventures” lasted for five seasons and saw special cameos from “Doctor Who” leads David Tennant and Matt Smith during its run. Sadly, Sladen’s death in 2011 caused the show’s fifth season to be cut unceremoniously short. With all of Britain on lockdown because of the coronavirus pandemic, Davies took the extra time to write a proper send-off to Sarah Jane and the woman who played her.

“Sarah Jane is the one that told me that Sanjay was looking at me… in that way,” Luke says. “And she’s the one who told me to go and talk to him. And now we’ve been married for five years. That’s the greatest gift she ever gave me.”

Along with releasing “Farewell, Sarah Jane,” Davies also gathered fans for a livetweet rewatch of “Journey’s End,” one of the final episodes of his run as head writer of “Doctor Who.” Sladen and the rest of the “Sarah Jane Adventures” cast appeared in the episode as all the characters from the show’s past four seasons teamed up to help the Doctor stop Davros, the creator of the Daleks.

Watch “Farewell, Sarah Jane” in the clip above.