You see this woman right here?
This woman was one of the most important companions to ever appear on Doctor Who: Sarah Jane Smith.
Why was she so important?
Because she never stopped asking questions. She was always the consummate investigative journalist. She never caved to the Doctor and acted like someone who needed to be saved. There were times that she DID need to be saved, god knows, but she didn’t mope around and wait for the Doctor to do it. She tried her damndest to escape on her own, and tried until they knocked her unconscious. She was independent. She was brave. When the Doctor left her behind, she moved on and never stopped asking questions about things. She saved people without the Doctor’s help, and on top of all that, she was a good mother to her adopted son Luke and protected him and his friends with the fierceness of an angry mother bear.
Without Sarah Jane before them, we wouldn’t have had Rose, Martha or Donna in the present, or Ace immediately preceeding them. She was, in my opinion, the original badass female companion.
The woman who played this magnificent person, Elisabeth Sladen, died today. Rest in peace, Elisabeth. You were, in the words of the Ninth Doctor, fantastic.