Well it seems that today Elizabeth Sladen passed away. She played the role of Sarah Jane Smith on Doctor Who in the mid 1970’s , made a reprise of the role in (I think) 2006 in the new Doctor Who along side David Tennant. Not long after that, CBBC started a new series called the Sarah Jane Adventures, and if I understand everything correctly, the most current season is airing now.
I can remember when I was a kid sneaking up late at night (past 11pm) to watch Star Trek, and the occasional Doctor Who (by the time it came on I was pretty much ready to sleep). Where we were living at the time, let’s just say Sci-Fi was not something you would ever see during the regular hours. So all I got to see where the Doctor Whos that were in syndication, and broadcast late at night.
At the time, the episodes were shown in a fairly randomized way. As such I saw many Doctors, but without the background, made it hard to follow. But I did see Sarah James with at least two of them, so she grounded my Doctor Who experience. So while most people remember their first Doctor (mine was either Tertwee or Baker, not sure) I do remember my first companion, Elizabeth Sladen, Sarah Jane.