Death of the Doctor

Death of the Doctor is a two-part story of The Sarah Jane Adventures which was broadcast on CBBC on 25 and 26 October 2010.[2] It is the third story of the fourth series. A cross-over story with Doctor Who, story involves UNIT informing a skeptical Sarah Jane Smith that The Doctor has allegedly been found dead. The episode features actress Katy Manning reprising her role as Jo Grant for the first time since The Green Death and a guest appearance by Matt Smith as the Eleventh Doctor. Exposition at the end of the episode provides updates on the lives of numerous companions from the "classic era" who had gone unaddressed in the revived era. This story was the last to feature Sarah Jane and the Doctor together on-screen.

21 – Death of the Doctor
The Sarah Jane Adventures story
Directed byAshley Way
Written byRussell T Davies
Script editorGary Russell
Produced byBrian Minchin
Phil Ford (co-producer)
Executive producer(s)Russell T Davies
Nikki Wilson[1]
Production code4.5 and 4.6
SeriesSeries 4
Running time2 episodes, 25 minutes each
First broadcast25 October 2010 (2010-10-25)
Last broadcast26 October 2010 (2010-10-26)
← Preceded by
The Vault of Secrets
Followed by →
The Empty Planet
List of The Sarah Jane Adventures serials


Part 1Edit

UNIT forces, led by Colonel Karim, converge on Sarah Jane's home, and inform her, Rani and Clyde that the Doctor is dead. Karim explains that members of the vulture-like race, the Shansheeth, found the Doctor's body and have brought it to Earth for a proper ceremony, to be held at the secured UNIT Base 5 underneath Snowdon. Sarah Jane is skeptical, knowing of the Doctor's ability to regenerate, but agrees to go along with Rani and Clyde.

At UNIT Base 5, the three are initially surprised to see what appear to be Graske aliens, a species they had difficulties with before, but learn that they are really Groske, a blue cousin species to the Graske and working peacefully to maintain the base. Karim explains that after the ceremony they plan to launch the Doctor's body into space using a rocket built by the Groske. As they tour the now-sealed facility, Clyde feels energy coursing through his hand, recognising it as the same artron energy he felt when he accidentally touched the dematerialising TARDIS during the events of The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith. The group later meets another of the Doctor's former companions, Jo Grant, now married and going by Jo Jones, along with her grandson Santiago. Sarah Jane and Jo discuss the possibility of the Doctor's death, and agree that this may be a trap set up by one of the Doctor's enemies, while Rani and Clyde make quick friends with Santiago.

Rani, Clyde, and Santiago are met by the lead Groske, who tells them there is an increase in artron energy in the area and leads them through an air vent to where the Shansheeth have stored the Doctor's body as well as the TARDIS. They overhear the Shansheeth's plot to capture Sarah Jane and Jo and use a Memory Weave to drain their minds, before the Shansheeth discover their presence. The group locate Sarah Jane and Jo and warn them, just as Clyde feels more surges of artron energy. Suddenly, Clyde's body is replaced with that of the Doctor in his latest incarnation, the Eleventh Doctor. Once Sarah Jane and Jo recognise the stranger as the Doctor, he explains he used the artron energy to swap places with Clyde from a world 10,000 light years distant. The Shansheeth catch up to the group and fire a beam of energy at the Doctor—assuring that they will have the death of the Doctor, after all.

Part 2Edit

As he is struck by the energy, the Doctor's body is replaced with Clyde's, temporarily confusing the aliens and allowing the group to find safety. The Doctor swaps places with Clyde again, then holds onto Sarah Jane and Jo before performing another swap, taking all three back to the alien world. With their help, the Doctor is able to repair the device that he has been using to perform these exchanges, allowing them to return to Earth without displacing Clyde's body.

Meanwhile, the teenagers and the Groske determine that for the Shansheeth plan to have worked, they needed help from someone in UNIT. Using the air vents, they learn that Karim is working with the Shansheeth. Their plan is to recreate the TARDIS key from Sarah Jane's and Jo's memories, such that the Shansheeth can use the time machine to stop death across the universe by interfering with timelines and Karim can leave Earth as there is nothing left for her here. Karim discovers the group's presence in the air vents and heats them up. The Doctor, Sarah Jane, and Jo return to Earth, but as they go to rescue the children, Sarah Jane and Jo are captured and secured in place. The Doctor safely rescues Clyde, Rani, Santiago and the Groske. They find the room where Karim and Shansheeth are preparing to use the Memory Weave on the Doctor's former companions, but are unable to open the sealed door with the Doctor's sonic screwdriver.

As the Memory Weave starts to pull the memories of the TARDIS key from Sarah Jane and Jo, the Doctor gets the idea to overload the machine. He shouts through the door for Sarah Jane and Jo to recall all their memories of their time with him, and encourages the children to do the same. The Memory Weave is overwhelmed and begins to self-destruct, which will kill everyone in the room. Sarah Jane and Jo free themselves and, realising that the coffin brought by the Shansheeth for the Doctor can protect them from the blast, close themselves inside. Karim and the Shansheeth are killed in the explosion, which blows the door off. The Doctor, Clyde, Rani, Santiago and the Groske are relieved to find Sarah Jane and Jo safe.

After assuring the threat is over, the Doctor uses the TARDIS to return the group back to Sarah Jane's home and says his goodbyes before leaving. Jo and Santiago say their goodbyes and depart as well. Rani and Clyde inquire about the Doctor's other companions, whom Sarah Jane has researched and learned many have gone on to do great things for the human race. She reflects that with their legacy and memories, the Doctor will surely never die.


  • When Clyde asks the Doctor how many times he can change, he states that he can change 507 times, contrary to the original twelve. Davies subsequently explained that this was a joke, both on the Doctor's part and on his.[3]
  • Conversation between Sarah Jane, Jo, and the Doctor gives the current whereabouts of several past companions:
  • When Rani reminds Sarah Jane of their past encounter with the Mona Lisa, the Doctor responds with, "what do you mean the Mona Lisa?". The Doctor had previously dealt with the Mona Lisa himself in the Doctor Who serial City of Death.


In some of Sam Watts' music, vocals were provided by Jodie Kearns, wife of Doctor Who and Torchwood writer James Moran.[4][clarification needed]


Part 1 achieved combined final ratings of 1.40 (0.92/0.48) and Part 2 achieved combined final ratings of 1.43 (0.96/0.47).[5]

The story was repeated on 25 December 2010 as one full story where it achieved an overnight rating of 1.40 million on BBC One.[6]

Home mediaEdit

Released as part of The Complete Fourth Series, (Season in America) on DVD, Blu-ray is a UK exclusive. This story was released on the Special Edition DVD of Doctor Who story The Green Death, including an audio commentary by Russell T Davies and Katy Manning,[7] and re-released on The Complete Matt Smith Years on Blu-ray on its bonus disc.


Death of the Doctor
AuthorGary Russell
SeriesThe Sarah Jane Adventures #11
Published25 November 2010
BBC Children's Books
Preceded byThe Nightmare Man 

This was the eleventh and final Sarah Jane Adventures serial to be adapted as a novel. Written by Gary Russell, the book has only been published as an E-book on 25 November 2010.[8]


External linksEdit