First off, thanks to all of you who wished me well in getting over the creeping crud which infested my body. It was good to be back among the normal people today…Or at least as normal as things get at work.
It was one of those days, though: a mix of trying to dig out from the one day I missed (50+ e-mails yesterday…really?), plus today’s add-ons. But then there was the startling news that broke first on my Twitter feed, and then was confirmed through the normal media…
At home and at work, I’ve got part of one computer screen devoted to a stream of the Twitter feeds I subscribe to. It’s more handy at work, where I can just scan it as things go by to see what’s going on in the world. I can kind of grab the headlines that I want and ignore the rest to leave for later.
But this afternoon, a tweet came across saying that Elisabeth Sladen had died. The teenager in me died a little with her. She was probably the best known of the companions through all of the many years of the TV show “Doctor Who.” She made her first appearance with the third doctor, stayed on through a little of the fourth doctor, then left the show. But she was so well remembered that the new incarnation of the show, relaunched six years ago, brought her back a couple of seasons ago along with K-9, the robot dog the Doctor had built. Her reappearance in the role was so successful that the BBC gave her a kid-focused Doctor Who spin off show.
The tweets kept spreading after that first announcement. And then frustrated tweets trying asking for official word if it was true or not. Then finally the word came: the 63-year-old British actress had died as a result of cancer.
I never liked her character when she was originally on the show: I felt she was too innocent, too prone to crying and fear. Yet with this announcement, I felt sad about it. Several other actors from the show have died over the years, but this one is bigger, somehow. As I said, she is probably the first of the Doctor’s companions people will think of when you ask them to name one. And I guess they’d be right: next to Romana, she had the greatest impact and brought something to the role that others hadn’t. So I guess I was wrong in my long-time assessment of her character: maybe she was too emotional, but that might have just been the point.
So while I won’t cry for her passing, I will miss seeing her character in new episodes of the show. Since the relaunch, there has been a reassuring nod and embrace of the past, and seeing Sarah Jane back just made it all feel right…Much more right than seeing the Daleks again.
See you tomorrow.