Digging the Smith, for two generations.town, I knew exactly who i wanted to be. Sarah Jane Smith. While I had plenty of other sci fi sheroes to admire, it was exactly what Sarah Jane wasn't that made her so awesome. She didn't need to be a princess, a fighter pilot from a long lost off shoot of humanity, or from the future to rock. She was a regular old 20th century human woman, diminutive like I knew I would turn out to be, who had the balls of the UNIT soldiers she rubbed shoulders with and the brains to hold her own with the centuries old alien she traveled with. What little girl *wouldn't* want to be her.
But Sarah left the Doctor and I grew up.
Then Russell T Davies showed his true brilliance by putting my favorite actress in the world back where she belongs, in the spotlight, dealing with aliens. Like me, she's a mum. And my youngest wants to be her son, Luke. While Andrew's life is busy, it's the same dull normal life Sarah Jane keeps telling Luke she wants him to live- suburbia, schoolwork, sports practice, cleaning his room. Of course he wants to be Luke. Wouldn't the Slitheen, or the Bane, make all that more exciting/
And you know what? I still want to be Sarah Jane. Look at her. She's 64! May I look that good at 54! And I wouldn't mind if my mini van's destination was occasionally investigating alien incursion...
Update: Today, April 19 2011, we have learned that Elisabeth Sladen has passed away. I'm not sure I have anything eloquent to add to all that will be said about her, I just want to say thank you, Liz, for being so much to so many. Godspeed.