With the Eleventh Doctor gone and the Twelfth Doctor arrived, now seems like the right time to upload this Fan Edit, hot on the heels of the End of Time, which featured the departure of the Tenth Doctor and the arrival of the Eleventh.
It’s a wonderful conceit to bring back Jo Grant, and the Doctor’s funeral is about the only circumstance under which you could justify her return. Katy Manning will forever be the silver medalist in the Companion Olympics but her turn as Jo Grant paved the way for Lis Sladen’s Sarah Jane, given how the latter was a reaction against the former. With Jo being Pertwee’s defencless fledgling, it wouldn’t have worked to replace her with another one and so, with the rising tide of “feminism” in came Sarah Jane, who was everything that Jo wasn’t.
Unfortunately for April Walker, she would have given us a Sarah who was just a bit too independent for Dr Jon’s liking, and so we got the lovely Lis instead, who gave the character the requisite vulnerability. The Third Doctor’s affection for Jo was obvious during their time together, whereas Tom and Lis were The Bisto Kids In Space, larking without any post-puberty problems complicating their relationship. You never got any sense that Tom’s Doctor felt the same level of affection for Sarah that his predecessor had for Jo, just that here were two best mates having adventures, they just happened to be a human girl and an alien bloke. Nothing to see here, move along.
That said the two characters of Sarah and Jo do share something in common, their love of the Doctor. But while the young and inexperienced secret agent Jo had a crush on an older man, the independent journalist Sarah had a friend without benefits, or at least she did until RTD retconned a bit of human/gallifreyan romance into School Reunion. I’m still not totally sure that Sarah hearted Dr Tom but then love isn’t always erotic or passionate, it can be paternal and platonic too as well as unspoken and unrequited.
On the evidence we have here we can see why we never got The Jo Grant Adventures but Sladen and Manning make a pretty good double act, and under other circumstances you can see how that might work again in the future but keeping it as a one off is probably the best thing.
Of course, with this being a Fan Edit, the gratuitous flashbacks are completely different, and all in Black and White, as I felt there weren’t nearly enough of them and tried to include something from every story the girls were in. Aside from those changes, this was a pretty straight forward compilation, with trims rather than wholesale cuts but it’s much nicer to have the two eps joined together.