Elisabeth Sladen’s professional acting career began in the early 1970s with minor roles in Coronation Street, Z Cars and Some Mothers Do ‘Ave’ Em. Although she would throughout her life work on an eclectic mix of projects, it will be as one much loved time-travelling journalist that she will always be remembered, Sarah Jane Smith.
Sladen began her portrayal Smith in 1973, acting initially as a companion to Jon Pertwee, the third Doctor, and continuing by the side of Tom Baker, the fourth Doctor, until 1976.
In the 1980s and 1990s, Sladen reprised the role on several occasions for special episodes and spin-offs of Doctor Who, before winning the hearts of a whole new generation of fans in the Children’s BBC series The Sarah Jane Adventures from 2007.
This interactive timeline uses video, photographs and original transmission dates to illustrate just what a rich and prolific part Elisabeth Sladen and Sarah Jane Smith played in the history of the Doctor Who franchise.