Sara Kingdom was a Space Security Service (SSS) agent who turned against Mavic Chen, the traitorous Guardian of the Solar System. With the help of the First Doctor and Steven Taylor, she defeated Chen and his secret allies, the Daleks. The price of victory was, however, her own life. (TV: The Daleks' Master Plan)
Early life and career Edit
At the age of 7, (AUDIO: The Sontarans) at the foundation of the Space Security Service, she was chosen by Colonel Marc Forest and the artificial intelligence Compuvac as an agent in charge of the organisation's field operations.
As a woman, she was chosen for the first mission of the agency and she was sent to Barzilla to divert the plans of the Golden Dalek from Earth to that planet by spreading the news of its gold mines among the Dalek spies. The trap worked, the Dalek forces were annihilated by their enemy alliance and she was praised for the success of the mission. (PROSE: The Outlaw Planet)
Trained and efficient, Sara had the strength of ten men. She was sent to Vara to rescue the kidnapped Professor Lomberg and prevent him from being forced to give the Daleks the formula of a metal for a new outer casing which would have made them unstoppable. She sneaked into the Dalek slave camps, found the Professor and helped him to give the Daleks a wrong formula, causing the explosion of the camp and foiling the Daleks' plans. (COMIC: Sara Kingdom: Space Security Agent)
She was charged with investigating the leak of confidential information that the Daleks were using to attack Earth strategic bases, discovering that the new Dalek Emperor was able to read the thoughts of Earth's defence scientists through radio waves. She made up a plan that employed the scientists as bait for the Emperor, while human forces attacked and wiped out the Emperor's fleet. (COMIC: The Brain Tappers)
Sara, with fellow SSS agents Jason Corey, the humanoid robot Mark Seven and her brother David Kingdom, encountered the Daleks in a brief confrontation early in her career. David went missing at the end of the mission. (AUDIO: The Destroyers)
Mark Seven had written a file about the mission, which Mavic Chen consulted when he and Bret Vyon unexpectedly met Sara in 3999; she was supposed to be stationed on Venus at the time. Sara received a surprise promotion from Chen at this time. (AUDIO: The Guardian of the Solar System)
Adventures with the Doctor Edit
On Earth the following year, Sara was briefed by Chen and was told that Bret was a traitor. In an experimental testing facility, she found the Doctor, Steven Taylor and her brother, the last of whom she shot to death. Sara would have done the same to the Doctor and Steven, but all three were accidentally transferred from Earth to Mira by cellular transportation. There she learnt, to her horror and grief, that her unquestioning obedience had not only led her to unjustly kill her brother but had prevented Vyon from warning Earth of the Dalek plot. Deciding to help the Doctor, they stole a Dalek spacecraft and set off back to Kembel. While on board, they managed to create an exact copy of the taranium core. Arriving back on Kembel, Sara was more than displeased to see Chen allied with the Daleks. She then escaped after handing over what Chen believed was the taranium core, with the Doctor and Steven in the TARDIS, taking the real taranium core with them.
With Steven and the Doctor, Sara took a short, stress-free trip to (in Sara's terms) long-ago Earth. (TV: The Daleks' Master Plan, PROSE: The Little Drummer Boy) After spending Christmas Day on Earth, Sara and the others spent six months having other adventures before once more getting involved with the issue of the Daleks and Chen. (PROSE: The Mutation of Time) Shortly after celebrating Christmas, a ship tried to land inside the TARDIS and Sara had to explore a desert island in order to discover where the TARDIS had gone after it crashed. Whilst exploring the island she fell off a cliff and broke her arm. She was relieved when it was revealed that the desert island was actually the TARDIS emergency systems. When Natalie Lang tried to pilot the TARDIS, they landed in Berlin. Sara was captured by policemen, though later managed to escape. (AUDIO: The Anachronauts)
The travellers discovered the TARDIS kept landing on Christmas Day in various different years throughout Earth's history. Eventually they ended up in France in 1914 and while Steven and the Doctor celebrated the Christmas truce with the troops, Sara discovered a small boy called Robert. Not only had Robert been following them through time, but he was a time machine in human form. Inside, Sara and her friends found the real Robert, now an adult, unconscious. The ship malfunctioned and Robert was desperate to see another Christmas, the time before his brother died. Luckily the Taranium core de-aged Robert and, once the Doctor shut down the ship, they took Robert home. (PROSE: The Little Drummer Boy)
They visited 3999, where Sara met Vyon and had an audience with Chen, which finally explained why she had been promoted in that year. (AUDIO: The Guardian of the Solar System) On a world covered in water, they encountered a set of miners who had survived an earthquake in the mine. Here they were attacked by a tentacled creature. (AUDIO: The Drowned World) After further travels in the Doctor's TARDIS, (AUDIO: An Ordinary Life, PROSE: The Little Drummer Boy) they came upon a house in Ely that granted wishes; after the adventure, a copy of her mind lived on inside it for thousands of years. (AUDIO: Home Truths)
They later landed in London in the 1950s, where they were ejected from the TARDIS with the Doctor unconscious. She didn't like what she saw when there was an attack on Joseph Roberts' house, due to him being Jamaican. After the Doctor and the TARDIS vanished she spent her time with Audrey Newman learning about life in 1950s England. Audrey later tasked Sara with looking after her daughter. When the Doctor reappeared, she found out what was going on and helped to destroy it. (AUDIO: An Ordinary Life)
The TARDIS once again landed in France during the First World War, this time in 1916. The Doctor, Steven and Sara soon discovered, to their horror, the Battle of the Somme was overdue by a month. With the help of Captain Steadman they found a great number of soldiers buried under ground. The Doctor theorised time was trying to compensate for the losses that should have already happened and thought a sinister presence may be influencing events but he and the others left before he could be certain. (AUDIO: Men of War)
Sara recognised the asteroid belt which the Doctor had landed the TARDIS in. She found the surroundings interesting. She met Ellis and Gage and devised a way to attack the Sontarans to rescue the Doctor and Steven. She convinced the Doctor to help as she would have a different history. She hypothesised that the Sontarans could survive in lava and didn't want to leave Gage after he was shot. She later helped the Doctor to give medical attention to Gage. She found it weird that the natives couldn't see them. Sara, the Doctor and Steven helped other SSS agents fight the Sontarans. She was tortured by Slite to get the Doctor to open the TARDIS. After that, the TARDIS detected an unidentified time machine following them, leading them to return once more to the struggle against the Daleks. (AUDIO: The Sontarans)
The Daleks turned against Mavic Chen (who intended to betray them) and killed him. The Doctor had returned to Kembel to activate the Time Destructor to finally stop them. The Doctor ordered his companions back to the TARDIS for their protection. However, Sara followed him, not knowing the nature of his plan but concerned that it might fail. She was caught in the field of the Time Destructor and, being a human rather than a Time Lord, aged to death. As Steven and the Doctor watched helplessly, Sara died, her remains ageing to dust. (TV: The Daleks' Master Plan)
Undated events Edit
In his seventh incarnation, on the ruined planet Adeki, the Doctor thought that he had found Sara among others of his companions alive again and desperate to leave in the TARDIS. He learnt that one of a race of shape-shifting Gwanzulum had used his sentiment in order to manipulate him into helping it escape the dead world. (COMIC: Planet of the Dead)
Later, while in a Hell-like world composed of the Seventh Doctor's mind, Ace met an eerie, ghost-like recreation of Sara along with other companions of his who had died because of him. Ace did not recognise her. (PROSE: Timewyrm: Revelation)
On the Space Security Service Station 7, the Eleventh Doctor told Tranter that he had worked with Sara and Bret, prompting the station commander to comment that he had impressive credentials and must have started fighting the Daleks at a very young age. (COMIC: The Only Good Dalek)
The copy of Sara's mind left behind in the house in Ely lived on into an age of Earth's history in which advanced technology had become almost non-existent. An academic named Robert befriended her, interested in hearing stories from her past. Eventually, Robert wished to take her place as the entity inhabiting the house and the alternate Sara was given human form as an older woman. Robert drew the Doctor's TARDIS back to the house and allowed Sara to choose whether to join with the Doctor (in a later incarnation) or to remain on Earth. (AUDIO: Home Truths, The Drowned World, The Guardian of the Solar System) This version of Sara later joined Steven, Ian Chesterton, Polly Wright and Nyssa in being abducted by Borusa, utilising a Time Scoop, to an alternative version of the Death Zone on Gallifrey. There she met the Fifth Doctor and once again battled the Daleks as well as the Sontarans. (AUDIO: The Five Companions)
Sara was by turns aggressive, independent and ruthless in her pursuit of what was right, a single-mindedness that blinded her to the larger implications of her orders. She used to be ruthless and lacking concern for any casualties among the Dalek slaves (COMIC: Space Security Agent) or causing riots on other planets (PROSE: The Outlaw Planet) for the sake of her missions. Meeting the Doctor changed that, and she turned her formidable skill and intellect to the defeat of the Daleks. (TV: The Daleks' Master Plan)
Behind the scenes Edit
- In two recent interviews about her involvement with the character, Marsh has firmly and consistently maintained that Sara was not actually a companion. (DOC: From Kingdom to Queen, AUDIO extra features: The Drowned World) Despite this, over time she has come to be regarded as one in official BBC listings, reference works, and most recently by her inclusion in The Companion Chronicles series. The earliest occurrence being her brief appearance in archival footage of companions for Resurrection of the Daleks. Novelist John Peel established Sara as having spent at least six months travelling with the Doctor in the continuity of the Target novelisations. Sara was not the last character whose status is controversial, and she was joined by numerous "one-off" companions featured in the 1996 TV movie and post-2005 specials.
- The DVD documentary Girls! Girls! Girls! - The 1960s (included on the 2008 release of The Rescue/The Romans) indicates that the character of Sara Kingdom was inspired by the character of Catherine Gale on The Avengers (coincidentally, a series created by one of the originators of Doctor Who, Sydney Newman). Marsh's physical similarity to Diana Rigg has led some to erroneously state that the inspiration was another Avengers character, Emma Peel, but Rigg had not yet made her first appearance on the series when the serial was in production.
- Terry Nation planned to feature Sara Kingdom in an American spin-off series. Had it gone into production, the series would have concentrated on an anti-Dalek task force. Some of the concepts which would have featured in the show appeared in The Dalek Outer Space Book (in which she was featured in a short story and two comic strips). Sara appeared in the pilot script written by Nation, entitled The Destroyers. When plans for the spin-off fell through, Nation adapted his ideas and characters for The Daleks' Master Plan.
- Jean Marsh had earlier appeared in Doctor Who, playing King Richard's sister Joanna in The Crusade. She returned to the programme in the 1989 story Battlefield, playing Morgaine, coincidentally alongside Nicholas Courtney as Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart (Courtney had played Bret Vyon in The Daleks' Master Plan).
- Despite the character's brief tenure, there have been some spin-off works including her. John Peel, who novelised The Daleks Master Plan for Target Books, intentionally introduced a gap of several months in his adaptation into which such stories could be inserted. Most recently, Jean Marsh has reprised the character for three instalments of Big Finish Productions' The Companion Chronicles audio drama line. These stories take place between instalments of The Daleks' Master Plan and reveal that Sara has survived as an apparition.