As I’m a new Doctor Who fan, I first met Sarah Jane Smith in the series two episode “School Reunion” and I immediately liked her a lot and that only grew over seeing her in more Doctor Who episodes and leading the spinoff children’s TV show The Sarah Jane Adventures which is fab.
I think Sarah Jane is used in “School Reunion” really well because she acts like almost a cautionary tale for both Rose and viewers like me who were young and hadn’t watched Doctor Who before the revival. You got to see that companions get older, the Doctor leaves them behind and doesn’t even mention them again. Companions see and do amazing things throughout time and space and then they’re back on Earth and have to go back to a normal life when what they’ve been used to for months or years is anything but normal. Sarah Jane is the future for Rose, whether she likes it or not and she is an example of how the Doctor moves on and while companions may be able to sped their life with him, he can’t spend his life with them.
I love how inquisitive Sarah Jane is. After her travels with the Doctor she becomes a renowned journalist, investigating things that seem unusual partly in the hope it’ll allow her to meet the Doctor again – which eventually it does. Sarah Jane is loyal and confident and she becomes quite the pacifist over time. Her pacifist nature actually helps her sometimes as enemies consider it a weakness and a sign of naivety when it makes her strong and clever as she has to think of solutions that are more unorthodox.
I love Sarah Jane’s relationship with the variety of characters she meets in both Doctor Who and The Sarah Jane Adventures. She’s very caring towards her young neighbours, Clyde, Maria, and Rani, and acts as a mentor figure to them and her adoptive children Luke and Sky. I especially love her relationship with Luke as before he came along, she’d been quite alone, with just a robot dog (K-9) and a super alien computer (Mr Smith) for company and she’d been so focused on her work and defending the planet in any way she can. Luke helps Sarah Jane come out of her shell a bit more and start making more human connections and their mother/son relationship is one of my favourites.