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20 April 2011 @ 09:06 am
Skynet & Sarah Jane  

Last night at 8:11pm, according to Terminator: the Sarah Connor Chronicles, Skynet was supposed to become self-aware. Judgement Day is tomorrow.

Instead, yesterday Elisabeth Sladen, who played Sarah Jane Smith on Doctor Who and on The Sarah Jane Adventures, died of cancer. This is not quite as bad as Judgement Day, but since it happened in the real world instead of a fictional one, it’s quite awful.

I’m not an old-school Who fan. Although, in the way of geeks, I certainly knew who Sarah Jane Smith was, the first time I met her was in “School Days”, when David Tennant–who is an old-school Who fan–playing the Tenth Doctor, saw the girl he’d left behind thirty years ago as an adult woman still carrying on saving the world, just as she had when she traveled with the Doctor.

Ten’s expression of delight and poignancy and pride and the sheer power of memory sweeping him just about broke my heart in that moment, which is really some pretty good acting. And it made me love Sarah Jane the way he did, which means that I was actually shocked last night when Lis Sladen’s name started trending on Twitter. I’m terribly sorry for her friends and family, and I’m sorry for all of us Who fans, too. She was awfully young, and it’s a damned shame.

The other thing I noticed, though, is that three of the ten trends on Twitter were Sarah Jane, Elisabeth Sladen, and Skynet. Pure geekery, shaping the popular topics on an international social network with over a billion users. Never doubt that the geeks have won.

(x-posted from the essential kit)
The Bellinghmanbellinghman on April 20th, 2011 08:35 am (UTC)
There was also The Sarah Jane Adventures - a charming YA spinoff of DW, which had SJ assisted by a trio of (initially) schoolchildren solving puzzles and saving the world. Liz Sladen played the mother figure to the youngsters very nicely, being the adult who accepts them as equals, being knowledgeable without ever being patronising.
The Bellinghmanbellinghman on April 20th, 2011 09:45 am (UTC)
And yes, Skynet is in existence. (But it has been for quite a few years now.)
Kari Sperringla_marquise_de_ on April 20th, 2011 10:10 am (UTC)
I am an old Who fan (far less sure about Nu-Who) and while I never hugely liked Sarah-Jane as a character, it's sad news about Elisabeth Sladen, who was by all accounts a lovely person.
Trent the Uncatchableknappenp on April 20th, 2011 05:26 pm (UTC)
I had such the crush on Sarah Jane. I'm glad the producers got the new series off the ground, and I'm sorry she's gone. :(
Andrea Blytheblythe025 on April 20th, 2011 07:21 pm (UTC)
I loved that moment, in the show, too. It was amazing acting.

And I'm very sad to hear she's gone.
Geek of Weird Shit: fireygows on April 20th, 2011 07:55 pm (UTC)
Aha. That explains all the Skynet references I kept running into online yesterday.
cedunkleycedunkley on April 21st, 2011 02:13 am (UTC)
Wow. Sad news. She will be sorely missed. I have her Sarah Jane Chronicles in my netflix queue for a little while. Time to move them up to the top. She was always one of my favorite Companions.