It’s been nine years since Elisabeth Sladen, the dearly missed actress who brought one of Doctor Who’s most iconic companions to life, passed away. Now it’s time for the Whoniverse itself to say goodbye to her too.
As part of the ongoing Doctor Who social media rewatch parties that have been taking place during the novel coronavirus pandemic, former Doctor Whoshowrunner Russell T. Davies released a brand new story marking the anniversary of Sladen’s death yesterday. It finally brings about something we never really wanted to consider ourselves: that it was time for Sarah Jane Smith to have passed on in the Doctor Who universe as well as in our own.
Elisabeth Sladen and Ian Marter, who played Sarah Jane and Harry on Doctor Who, have sadly passed away at this point, but Big Finish has now confirmed that Sadie Miller and Christopher Naylor will play the roles in Return of the Cybermen, alongside the returning Tom Baker as the fourth incarnation of the Doctor.
There are many missing Doctor Who stories—and some have even found new life getting remakes as audio dramas or even animated episodes. But Big Finish’s latest adventure for Tom Baker’s Doctor is a peculiar one: It’s an unseen version of a story we actually got.
But it’s actually radically different to the story that was originally pitched by Gerry Davis, the co-creator of the Cybermen, as “Return of the Cybermen.”
Despite dozens of heroes from across time and space venturing in and out of the TARDIS doors, not a lot of Doctor Who’s companions have actually left via the grim exit of death itself. You might cast your mind back to someone like Adric, but the first companion kill goes back much further…and is about to come back to haunt not just one Time Lord, but two.