Portraying The Doctor's companion on Doctor Who can be a great gig. The role can open doors for actors, immortalizing them with fans and creating a cottage industry of convention appearances for life. But that doesn't mean playing a sidekick on the long-running British sci-fi show is easy.
"When I started Doctor Who, I wrote down things the character would be for me," said Sladen, who played Sarah Jane for several years in the '70s before reprising the role, first in a pilot for 1981's failed Who spinoff K-9 and Company, then in the current version of Who and now in the kid-friendly The Sarah Jane Adventures. "I wanted her to be smart and feisty. Since I never considered Doctor Who a sci-fi show but a character-driven story with some adventure, that saved me from just rolling into a character who was the little girl who needed saving."
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