Russell T Davies On Jo Grant’s Return In The Sarah Jane Adventures
He was never tempted to make her a drug addict, apparently
Classic Doctor Who companion Jo Grant, played by Katy Manning, makes a return to the Whoniverse in a new story of The Sarah Jane Adventures, written by Russell T Davies. In the next issue of SFX, on sale next Wednesday, we have a major feature on the the show’s new series (including an interview with Matt Smith, who’ll be putting in an appearance on the show) and here’s a little taster of what you can expect:
“For the first time ever, I went and watched old stuff,” Russell T Davies confesses. “We used to bring back monsters and I didn’t actually go and watch the old tapes, partly because I think the way you remember them is just as powerful as what they actually were. But I did go back and watch the end of ‘The Green Death’ [Jo Grant’s final story]. And I think it’s really important to preserve the absolute beauty of what [producer] Barry Letts and [script editor] Terrance Dicks did there.”
Back in 1973, Jo left the Doctor to marry idealistic ecologist Professor Jones, joining him on a trip up the Amazon in search of a fungus that could end world hunger. In spin-off adventures, her life took a different path, but Davies was determined to remain faithful to her TV last hurrah.
“We talked about it a lot beforehand,” says Davies. “I know there’s a feeling that she’d have got divorced, and there was a theory that she’d be living on her own in Wales in a little cottage – some of the novels did this – and you think, ‘Nice idea, but actually that’s absolutely betraying the way we left her’. We left her with the promise of happiness, of adventure, of love and joy, and you can’t be cynical and undercut that by saying, ‘Oh, she’s a drug addict now! Her husband left her, she’s lonely, her life is bitter’. That’s just interfering with classic Doctor Who and rewriting what we were promised. So I was absolutely strict about that.”
The new series of The Sarah Jane Adventures starts in October.