On 18 August 1951, the day of the Foxgrove village fête, Barbara and her husband Eddie drove off in their car, leaving their three-month-old baby Sarah Jane Smith behind in the street. Barbara and Eddie subsequently died when their car crashed into a tractor that had broken down in the road. Sarah Jane was subsequently reared by Eddie's sister, Lavinia.
Sarah Jane and her son Luke travelled from 2009 to meet Barbara and Eddie. Sarah Jane decided to save them by deactivating their car so they would not be able to leave. However, while this change in and of itself had no major effect on the timeline, meddling with history near an unstable rift in time caused the rift to open, allowing the Trickster to fully materialise on Earth and conquer the world.
After Sarah Jane returned to 1951 Foxgrove from the alternate timeline her parents' survival had created, Barbara soon worked out who Sarah Jane was after hearing her real name and witnessing the Trickster begin to manifest. Barbara and Eddie decided to restore the original timeline by sacrificing themselves to save Sarah Jane's world. (TV: The Temptation of Sarah Jane Smith)
Behind the scenes
- Barbara Smith is not the first parent to sacrifice themselves to the "correct" version of history after having met an adult version of their child soon after giving birth. Pete Tyler made the same choice, for instance, in Father's Day.
- Thanks to some good intra-series continuity planning, both Barbara Smith and her actor made their debut not in The Temptation of Sarah Jane Smith, but in a well-placed photograph in The Mark of the Berserker.