Random Ramblings of a Dilusional Depressive with Megalomanic Mania (and a soft spot for cute chicks in short skirts).
Saturday, 14 January 2012
The original Sarah-Jane
How it could have been: nearly 40 years later, the secret of who was originally cast as Doctor Who's Sarah Jane Smith has been revealed. It was April Walker, best known for myriad guest roles in Fawlty Towers, The Two Ronnies and Yes, Minister.
Pictured above left is Jon Pertwee in the 1973 story The Time Warrior, which introduced Sarah Jane Smith. Then, above right, is April Walker in a Two Ronnies sketch, The Attractive Barmaid, from the same year.
Doctor Who producer Barry Letts cast Walker when Katy Manning left the role of Jo Grant, the Doctor's previous companion, and she worked in rehearsals for The Time Warrior. But allegedly the pairing of Pertwee's Doctor and Walker's Sarah Jane didn't work: she was a tall and more obviously strong character, along the lines of Pertwee's first companion, Liz Shaw (Caroline John).
It's believed that Pertwee was unhappy with the decision but it would ultimately have been Letts who recast the role. Walker was reportedly paid for both The Time Warrior and the rest of that series.
Changes during production are not common but they do happen: the most famous is perhaps the replacement of Eric Stoltz with Michael J Fox for Back to the Future. Unusually, that was quickly revealed, even if footage of his filming has been harder to find. But for BBC drama fans, the remaining question is over Dr Rose Marie in A Very Peculiar Practice: Barbara Flynn knows who she replaced during filming but still won't say.
Lis Sladen always refused to reveal April Walker's name, too. But the news has been divulged now on a DVD release of Invasion of the Dinosaurs, the second story with Sarah Jane.
More to the point, what's it all about? Me? Well no, not really. (OK, just a bit) But Who. Who? Doctor Who. What? No, not Doctor What, although he's here somewhere as well (or will be). Doctor Who, the typically British and uniquely odd BBC TV time-travelling series, which started way back in 1963 and is still going strong today. Blending the old and the new, aiming to bring you all the stuff you didn't know and even the stuff you didn't know you needed to know... and more! And me? A mad manic megalomaniac... with a dash of delusional paranoia, the ups and downs of a flip-flop, oh, and a constant headache...
All illustrations used on this site are probably the copyright of the respective artists or publishers. They are used here within the context of Fair Use and promoting the work of the artist or published material, and no infringement of copyright is intended.
This site is for megalomaniacs, nutters, fans (whovians, not rotational cooling devices - although they are also welcome) and flip-flops. It is not-for-profit but fun and stupidity.
All text on this website, for what it´s worth, is the intellectual copyright of the owner. Please feel free to quote, link and acknowledge, but please don´t steal, rob or plagarise (not that I expect anyone would want to copy this cr*p).
I am obviously not responsible for the content of external websites linked through this site. In fact I deny responsibility for anything, so please don´t blame me...