Short thoughts on Doctor Who, disc by disc (originally published June 2012)

The Time Warrior

Tonight’s soundtrack: Manowar, “Black Wind, Fire And Steel”

I hope you’re hungry, folks, because we’re really packing the trough at Medieval Times tonight! You like scripts? We’ve got one by brave Sir Robert “Double Team” Holmes! How about monsters? None other than Ye Olde Sontarans, making their first appearance! As a special treat, we’ll also reveal a new logo, new credits, and, wait for it… the name of the planet of the Time Lords! But that be not all! Get ready to clap yon hands in favor for our special guest, Lord Jeremy Bulloch, veteran of the Star Wars - your very own Boba Fett!

Or, y’know, realize that all that is less than dust, hardly even trivia, in the light of Elisabeth Sladen’s smile.

It’s tempting to just drop ye mic there and exeunt, confident that tears will rise in the right eyes. Well… we’ve a few words left in the nightly count, and maybe not everybody knows everything.

The Time Warrior is Sarah Jane Smith’s first story. Sarah, played by Elisabeth Sladen, is the most universally loved character in the history of Doctor Who1. She’s the model companion, the Acme - accept no imitations. Contemporary of the viewers, best friend to the Doctor, scared and brave at the same time, curious, resourceful, eager to be about in the Universe, sweet as pie, hard as nails, and played by a wonderful human being.

If Sarah Jane Smith did not exist, we would have to invent her.

1 According to a quick poll I’ve taken around my home office. The Chinese Punching Ghost puppet wanted to hold out, but I reminded him of the “Yes, I know you’re a Time Lord” scene in Pyramids of Mars.