Sunday, March 18, 2007

A Little Thing Called "Canon"

Of all the companions ever to have graced our screens in "Doctor Who" none has ever enjoyed such a shelf life like Sarah Jane Smith. Not only did the companion star in over 20 adventures as a regular companion (and subsequentguest appearences too) but she's the only companion - besides Captain Jack Harkness - ever to have earned a spin-off series. It's no wonder then that her life is complicated; and that's before I mention the dreaded word "canon".

You see, us fans we're a peculiar bunch - who want to fill in every available plot hole, and make sense of the things that we don't understand. For Sarah Jane, this has resulted in a number of different time lines,which include the likes of BBC Books, which not only hook her up with hippy girl Samantha Jones, but then kill her off on the streets of Hong Kong.

There's also the Big Finish audios, which contradict all this. Chosing to continue from where "K9 and Company" left off (but minus k9, I'm afraid) the audios show Sarah Jane as an adventurer - who's had (gasp!) romances, and (double gasp!!!) even a family. The big question is, where do all these "extra" adventures fit into the canon of Sarah Jane Smith?!?

Look at her return in "School Reunion" last year, that refused to confirm either way if the Big Finish audios did exist in some capcity. Even "The Sarah Jane Adventures" refuses to pigeon-hole her off screen antics. With Russell T Davies promising us the chance to revisit Sarah Jane's childhood during the SJA series, does this mean we'll contradict the Target "Companions of Doctor Who" novels, which claimed that Sarah was orphaned as a kid?

At the end of the day, it doesn't really matter. I've never understood fandom's anal attempts to categorise every last inch of Doctor Who. I mean, who decides what canon is? And why should it matter? Just enjoy all these Sarah Jane adventures for what they are; a chance to revisit a character we all thought (worried) we'd left behind in 1976.

Sarah Jane's back - forget canon for a change, and just smile at that thought.
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