On 13 July 1964, Andrea Yates and Sarah Jane Smith were together on a geography field trip with their school. Their teacher Miss Jeffers complained about them because they were fooling around in the coach and did not sit down. Andrea however was annoyed because they were only going to a "stupid old museum" and not to the pier. Meanwhile Sarah Jane started to read An Unexpurgated History of the Universe. Andrea told Sarah Jane that the book was uninteresting but that she wished that she was as clever as Sarah Jane. Andrea was only good at art but Sarah Jane got top marks in every class. When Sarah Jane told Andrea that she was so good because she was reading such books as An Unexpurgated History of the Universe, Andrea told her this price was too high for good marks. Then Miss Jeffers gave a handout to the class. They should answer all of the questions on the handout within the next three hours. When their classmates went into the museum Sarah Jane and Andrea sneaked off and went to Westport. They went to the amusement arcade played several games and won some coins. Then they talked about their future. Andrea wanted to make loads of money, marry Ringo Starr and move to Saint-Tropez or she wanted to live with a handsome fella and a semi in Purley. Sarah Jane wanted to become a journalist and to explore the world. She wanted to see everything there was to see and more. Then Andrea Yates suggested to go to the pier. Sarah Jane was worried because it was shut down for repairs, but Andrea convinced her that it was fun to go there.(PROSE: Whatever Happened to Sarah Jane?)
Andrea died on 13 July 1964 at the age of thirteen while she and Sarah Jane were visiting the pier. After a brief encounter with a bizarrely dressed girl who claimed to be from the future, at Andrea's insistence the two entered an out-of-bounds area. A railing gave way, causing Andrea to fall to her death. (TV: Whatever Happened to Sarah Jane?)
Just before Andrea fell, the Trickster — travelling through time to find a key moment in history that would allow the random destruction of Earth decades later — offered her a chance to switch places with Sarah Jane. The desperate girl agreed and a new timeline was created in which Sarah Jane died in Andrea's place. The Trickster then gave Andrea a Verron puzzle box which made her forget about her deal with him, but she remembered what happened to Sarah Jane.
Andrea became an artist and eventually moved into 13 Bannerman Road across the street from Alan Jackson and his daughter, Maria. Indeed, no-one else remembered her until Maria, who had been been protected from the Tricker's meddling thanks to a second Verron puzzle box given to her by Sarah Jane, remembered Sarah Jane and challenged Andrea.
Andrea renewed her agreement with the Trickster, which resulted in Maria being taken out of time. This time Alan had the puzzle box. He remembered his daughter and retrieved her from Limbo. With meteorite K67 threatening to destroy Earth and Sarah Jane the only person able to save the world, Andrea repudiated her earlier agreement. (TV: Whatever Happened to Sarah Jane?)
With her deal with the Trickster taken back, Andrea apparently returned through time to the point when she originally died, with her and Sarah Jane's places switched back. She asked Sarah Jane to remember her, before falling to her death and restoring the original timeline.
Behind the scenes
- Writer Gareth Roberts had no idea that there was a real Andrea Yates, an American woman who drowned her own children in 2001. He has said that if he had known about the tragedy, he would have come up with a different name for the character.