Oh my lord in heaven.
My first start on Doctor Who was with the 4th - someone was wonderful enough to have been putting ALL of the old episodes up on youtube, and I watched through a massive portion of them in the greatest of bliss. Then reality happened, Youtube found them out, and they were bumped off.
But I was able to watch through the wonderfulness that was #4 and Sarah Jane Smith. IMO, Sarah Jane is the best companion the Doctor has ever had. She was loyal, kind, considerate, helpful, and an all-around best friend to the Doctor…and there was something there. Sure, the show wasn’t quite into the aspect of a romance for the Doctor, BUT…there WAS something between Sarah Jane and #4. Very much unspoken, yet very much the elephant in the room.
Hence the fact why I find Sarah’s departure from the Doctor’s side to be one of THE most tragic partings in all of TV’s history in general. They went through SO much together, so many scrapes and near-fatal happenings and hilarious times…so many deep talks and fond looks.
AND HE DOESN’T EVEN HUG HER GOODBYE.
He gets a message from Gallifrey, saying to come home at once. Back then, humans couldn’t go to Gallifrey, so he had to leave Sarah behind. As it turns out, Sarah was feeling a bit under-appreciated at the time, and had threatened to leave; she even packed her bags then and there! But she comes darting back out, saying it’s all a joke, that she forgives the Doctor, and they can keep traveling…only to see him sadly regarding her, steeling himself to break the news. Normally, the 4th Doc is such a spunky spaz and always grinning or rushing about in his eternal madcap ways; this time, it’s apparent that this is one of the hardest things he’s ever had to do. He looks so tired and eternally sad as he tells Sarah she can’t come with him anymore, and will take her home.
And Sarah takes it all as a true companion would: she nods while blinking back tears, grabs her things (still packed), says goodbye to her ultimate best friend, and walks out of the TARDIS. Without getting or enforcing a hug.
That 2nd gif - where she nods slightly and leaves, and he’s still sitting there, watching after her - is the moment where you realize that there could have been more. THERE SHOULD HAVE BEEN. But no.
On the lighter side, when Sarah gets off and the TARDIS disappears, she realizes that the Doctor has brought her home to England…but on the opposite side of the town where she lives. A very typical #4 thing to do. :D
Thank goodness for the reunion episode with #10 - I nearly died with joy because of it. Despite the fact that Sarah can’t travel with him again and gets left behind for a 2nd time, she at least gets that hug she’s waited for at long last.
Amy Pond had to wait fourteen to see the Doctor again. Sarah Jane Smith had to wait 30+, and in the end still had to be left behind. But she’s there, stalwart and trustworthy and loving as ever, ready to take care of her Doctor just like in the old days.
Best companion ever? Oh yes, I definitely think so.
RIP Elizabeth Sladen - despite his decisions then and later on, I think you were the Doctor’s favorite, too.
(Source: until-the-next-time, via flapperorslapper)