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IndexTimey-wimey detector → Timeline - Sarah Jane Smith
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This page lists appearances of Sarah Jane Smith in the order she experienced them. This timeline is based upon observations of the Doctor Who universe and the events that occur during each of these stories. From these observations we have attempted to build a concise timeline. It is assumed that for each novel, comic, audio or television series, their published, broadcast or numbered order is the order they occur in.

Fan sources like the Doctor Who Reference Guide should not be used solely as a source or considered a "true" timeline for stories.


Any story with her and the Third Doctor travelling together must be before TV: Planet of the Spiders. Any story with the Fourth Doctor and Harry Sullivan must be after TV: Robot and before TV: Terror of the Zygons, though due to the nature of travel throughout season 12, any story featuring TARDIS travel with Harry (other than TV: The Ark in Space) must take place after TV: Revenge of the Cybermen. Any story with just Sarah Jane and the Fourth Doctor must be after TV: Terror of the Zygons and before TV: The Hand of Fear. Any story featuring K9 Mark III must be after TV: A Girl's Best Friend and before TV: School Reunion.

Any story with Maria, Luke and Clyde on her team must be after TV: Revenge of the Slitheen and before TV: The Last Sontaran. Any story with Clyde and Rani must be after TV: The Last Sontaran. Any story with K9 Mark IV defending the black hole must be between TV: Invasion of the Bane and TV: The Mad Woman in the Attic. Any story with K9 freely around in Bannerman Road must be after TV: The Mad Woman in the Attic and before TV: The Nightmare Man. Any story with Luke at Oxford with K9 must be after TV: The Nightmare Man. Any story with Sky must be after TV: Sky.

Series basics[]

Sarah Jane's adventures can be broadly be divided into these various eras;

  • Her travels with the Doctor (original to television)

Her setup of allies can be further divided into:


Early Life[]

Set on 18 August 1951. Sarah Jane is a newborn baby.
As a child.
As a child, about 8 years old.
Sarah Jane is about 12 years old.
As a teenager.

Travels with the Third Doctor[]

The Doctor meets Sarah Jane Smith, who becomes a reluctant stowaway aboard the TARDIS.
Set immediately after The Time Warrior, with the Doctor returning Sarah home. She decides to officially join the Doctor's company.
Sarah Jane doesn't know much about the Doctor's origins.
The Doctor tells Sarah Jane about Gallifrey and the Time Lords.
The Doctor has been trying to get Sarah Jane to Florana since they left London in Invasion of the Dinosaurs, but has failed to get her there several times already.
The Doctor and Sarah are traveling to Florana for a holiday, setting this almost immediately after Invasion of the Dinosaurs. Sarah Jane has her first encounter with the Daleks.
The TARDIS is still recovering from the energy drainage sustained in Death to the Daleks.
The Doctor and Sarah finally make it to Florana, setting this after Death to the Daleks.
Set after Death to the Daleks.[source needed]
The Doctor is driving the "Whomobile", setting this after Invasion of the Dinosaurs. The Doctor and Sarah have been absent from UNIT long enough for it to have been infiltrated by the Remoraxians. Liz, Sarah Jane and the Brigadier are kidnapped Adam Mitchell, leading directly into Endgame.
The Doctor joins with his other incarnations to rescue his friends from Adam and the Master, and assists the other Doctors in saving their companions as well.
Set seven weeks after Invasion of the Dinosaurs.
Sarah has already been to a number of alien worlds.
Sarah mentions her vacation in Sicily, setting this after The Ghosts of N-Space.
Sarah Jane and the Doctor have just left Peladon, setting this after The Monster of Peladon.
Set immediately after Alien Bodies, with the Doctor and Sarah intending to return to Earth. The Doctor discovers a door within the TARDIS that leads to his eighth incarnation, who attempts to warn him of Faction Paradox. The TARDIS lands on the planet Dust during the War in Heaven, on the same day when I.M. Foreman's Travelling Show arrived and the Faction Paradox warships approached the planet, leading directly into Interference: The Hour of the Geek.
The Doctor defeats the Remote invasion, and resolves the apparent paradox of Foreman's original encounter with his future selves. However, due to the interference of Faction Paradox, the Doctor is shot by Magdelana Bishop, and begins to regenerate into his next incarnation.
The Eighth Doctor was uncertain which timeline would become real. Compassion initially told Fitz Kreiner that the Doctor's visit to Dust and the War in Heaven had been unwritten from history. (PROSE: The Ancestor Cell) However, when the Eighth Doctor eventually regained contact with the greater universe, history had been rewritten so that Gallifrey had never even existed, (PROSE: The Adventuress of Henrietta Street) suggesting that the War had not been erased but actually continued and ended in some other way. (PROSE: The Book of the War, The Story So Far...)
Sarah is wearing the leather jacket seen in The Monster of Peladon.
Set between The Monster of Peladon and Planet of the Spiders, with the Doctor feeling morbid after his brush with death on Peladon.
Set after The Monster of Peladon.[source needed]
Sarah recalls meeting Aggedor on Peladon, setting this after The Monster of Peladon.
Set after The Monster of Peladon.[source needed]
Set shortly before Planet of the Spiders.
Confronting the Great One of the Eight Legs, the Doctor receives a lethal dose of radiation, but is able to escape in the TARDIS. After the TARDIS finally lands back at UNIT HQ, the Doctor is able to regenerate into his next incarnation with assistance from K'anpo Rimpoche.

Travels with the Fourth Doctor[]

Set immediately after Planet of the Spiders, with the Doctor's regeneration stabilising. Though he intends a fresh start by leaving UNIT behind, the Doctor accepts Sarah's offer to let her travel with him. UNIT doctor Harry Sullivan follows them into the TARDIS.
Harry is taking his first trip in the TARDIS, setting this directly after Robot. The TARDIS crew arrive at the Nerva Beacon due to Harry fiddling with TARDIS, and volunteer to beam down to Earth to do repairs, leading directly into The Sontaran Experiment.
The TARDIS crew fix the faulty equipment on Earth and beam back to the Nerva Beacon.
Set immediately after The Sontaran Experiment. The Time Lords intercept to transmat beam and give the Doctor a Time Ring and a mission on Skaro, where the Doctor meets Davros and witnesses the creation of the Daleks.
The Doctor, Sarah and Harry are scattered across the Adelphine Cluster due to temporal disruption interfering with the Time Ring, setting this immediately after Genesis of the Daleks. The Doctor claims to be 748-years-old.
The Doctor, Sarah and Harry are still using the Time Ring, setting this shortly after Genesis of the Daleks.
Just as they retrieve the TARDIS from the Nerva Beacon, the TARDIS crew receive a summons from the Brigadier, leading into Terror of the Zygons.
The TARDIS still needs time to recover from the solar flare radiation from Revenge of the Cybermen.
The Doctor is attempting to travel to Scotland, but the TARDIS is knocked off course and arrives on the Zephyr instead.
The Doctor and his companions expect to find the Loch Ness on exiting the TARDIS, setting this shortly before Terror of the Zygons.
The Doctor, Sarah and Harry are wearing their costumes from Terror of the Zygons. The TARDIS is knocked off course after an attempt to get to Scotland. After returning Godric to the arthurian times, the TARDIS makes its way to Scotland, leading into Terror of the Zygons.
Ending leads directly into Terror of the Zygons.
The TARDIS crew make it to Scotland, and Harry decides to remain on Earth with UNIT.
Set immediately after Terror of the Zygons, with the TARDIS having just left Loch Ness for London.
The Doctor claims to have travelled over 30,000 years to get to the 17th century, implying that this takes place immediately after Planet of Evil. The Doctor is blamed for the Great Fire of London, setting this before Pyramids of Mars.
Sarah and the Doctor are still wearing the clothes they wore in Planet of Evil.
The Doctor and Sarah are still trying to get back to London.
Set immediately after Pyramids of Mars.
The Doctor is wearing a burgundy coat, and Sarah observes that he has been moody as of late, setting this shortly after Pyramids of Mars.
The Doctor and Sarah make it to London after leaving for it in Terror of the Zygons, and enduring side-tracks during Planet of Evil and Pyramids of Mars.
The Doctor and Sarah Jane return to UNIT HQ, and base themselves on Earth, with the Doctor staying at a cottage and resuming use of Bessie, (COMIC: Death Flower, Return of the Daleks) while Sarah Jane continues working as an investigative reporter. (COMIC: The Hoaxers) However, they frequently take side trips, and are often accompanied by Harry. (PROSE: A New Life, The Hospitality on Hankus)
The Doctor and Sarah Jane both comment on getting used to the Doctor's new face.
The TARDIS is captured by a Renegade Time Lord called Shazar, however, with the Time Lords' help, the Doctor is able to retrieve his ship.
While working with UNIT, the Doctor does research into Richard III for his book, Doctor Who Discovers Historical Mysteries. (AUDIO: The Kingmaker)
The Doctor and Sarah leave UNIT HQ to take a trip in the TARDIS. The Brigadier is not happy and questions Harry on their whereabouts.
Though the book's blurb places this between Planet of Evil and Pyramids of Mars, the Doctor and Sarah aren't trying to get to London.
The Doctor and Sarah have faced Sutekh, and the TARDIS has its primary interior, setting this between Pyramids of Mars and The Masque of Mandragora. The Doctor claims the Brigadier will be angry if he returns without Sarah, and Sarah is excited to see the look on Harry's face when they tell him they met his great-grandparents.
Sarah recalls the events of The Android Invasion.
The Doctor alludes to the recent events of Terror of the Zygons and The Android Invasion.
The Time Lords take control of Bessie, and send the Doctor on a mission to defeat the Daleks on the planet Ercos.
The Time Lords direct the TARDIS to a synthetic jungle inside a space station.
The Time Lords direct the TARDIS to a vineyard in Italy so that the Doctor can save some art treasures.
The Doctor complains about the Time Lords "messing about with the TARDIS", setting this after the comic stories set between Return of the Daleks and Treasure Trail, where the Time Lord had been doing so.
Sarah refers to the recent events of The Brain of Morbius.
Set shortly after The Brain of Morbius.
Set a few days after Treasure Trail.
Sarah understands that it takes time for radio waves to travel between Mars and Earth, setting this after Pyramids of Mars.
Sarah claims it is Christmas in her time period.
The novelisation states that Sarah has been the Doctor's special assistant for two years.
Set between The Seeds of Doom and The Masque of Mandragora. It has been one month from her perspective since Sarah Jane has seen Harry.
Set between The Seeds of Doom and The Masque of Mandragora.
The Doctor and Sarah go back in time to save the Eighth Doctor after he fails to kill a dictator as a baby.
The Doctor begins using the secondary control room in the TARDIS.
The Doctor is using the secondary control room, setting this after The Masque of Mandragora.
Sarah recalls the events of The Masque of Mandragora.
The Doctor is using the secondary control room, setting this after The Masque of Mandragora.
The Doctor is using the secondary control room, setting this after The Masque of Mandragora.
The Doctor and Sarah attend the coronation of Elizabeth II.
Sarah is wearing her Andy Pandy clothes, setting this shortly before The Hand of Fear.
Sarah decides she has had enough of life in the TARDIS, and the Doctor receives a summons from Gallifrey, forcing him to leave Sarah behind.

After the Doctor[]

Set in 1979. Sarah recalls the events of Old Flames.

Living in Moreton Harwood[]

Set in 1981.
Sarah believes the Doctor did not live past his fourth life, until K9 tells her that he did regenerate, setting this before The Five Doctors.

Return to London[]

Set in May, 1983.
In 1990, Sarah Jane meets the Seventh Doctor for the first time.
Sarah remembers meeting the Master in The Five Doctors.
Set in 1995.
Sarah has K9 Mark III and is struggling with writer's block.
Set in 1996. K9 is still working.
Set in 1997. Sarah is killed at the end of the story. However this was orchestrated by the Council of Eight and was undone when the Eighth Doctor defeated them in Sometime Never...
K9 is beginning to break down.
Sarah Jane meets up with Tegan Jovanka, Liz Shaw, Jo Grant and Ace McShane. She is a published author who has turned her adventures with the Doctor into novels.
K9 shuts down.
Set in the 21st century. Sarah is a journalist.

Natalie Redfern and Josh Townsend[]

A new K9[]

Set during School Reunion, while the Tenth Doctor and Sarah Jane are repairing K9.

Bannerman Road gang begins[]

Set in August 2008. Sarah Jane meets Maria Jackson and adopts Luke Smith, who was "born a thirteen year old boy" due to being made artificially by the Bane. K9 has been guarding a black hole for "a year and a half".
Set in September 2008, shortly after Invasion of the Bane. A new school year has started at Park Vale Comprehensive School, and Maria and Luke, who is now "fourteen", befriend Clyde Langer, who joins the Bannerman Road gang while foiling a plot by the Slitheen family. Sarah Jane begins letting Luke call her his mother, at Clyde's urging.
Luke has been experimenting with jokes, and asks Clyde about girls after receiving his first kiss. Luke, Maria and Clyde go into space for the first time.
Sarah Jane fights the Trickster for the first time. Alan fights a Graske and demands answers from Sarah Jane, leading directly into The Lost Boy.
Set five months after Invasion of the Bane at the most. Despite the initial shock, Alan gives Maria his blessing to continue having her adventures with Sarah Jane. Mr Smith reveals himself to be a Xylok with intentions of destroying the world, but he is rebooted into a benevolent being by the Armageddon virus. Sarah Jane meets Celeste Rivers at the Pharos Institute, and Clyde meets K9 for the first time.
Set in 2009, between May and June. With Maria and Alan in Cornwall, and Clyde staying to protect his mother, Sarah Jane and Luke join with Torchwood Three, Martha Jones and Harriet Jones on the Sub-Wave Network to summon the Tenth Doctor and Donna Noble to Earth after it is moved to the Medusa Cascade by the New Dalek Empire. Leaving Luke under Mr Smith's protection, Sarah Jane goes to find the Doctor, only to be ambushed by the Daleks, leading directly into Journey's End.
Sarah Jane is saved by Mickey Smith and Jackie Tyler, and they are taken to the Crucible, where the Metacrisis Tenth Doctor destroys the Daleks. Luke, Mr Smith and K9 then assist in returning the Earth to its proper location, and Sarah Jane returns to them. Luke is still "fourteen".

After the Dalek invasion[]

Maria and Alan move to Washington, DC in America six weeks after the Bannerman Road gang defeat Commander Kaagh of the Tenth Sontaran Battle Fleet. Alien life is now common knowledge on Earth, implying a setting after Journey's End. While Chrissie's hair is noticeably longer, she implies that Alan has only recently moved to Bannerman Road.

Rani joins the gang[]

Set in October 2009. Rani Chandra moves into 36 Bannerman Road and becomes a part of Sarah Jane's gang during their fight with the Pied Piper. While it has been a "while" since the disappearance of Park Vale Headmaster Greg Blakeman in Revenge of the Slitheen, Headmaster Haresh Chandra observes that Luke has shown impressive results over the "past year", but it is unclear if he is referring to the year date or the school year. Maria notes in an email that it "feels like only yesterday" that she left Bannerman Road. According to Luke, the Bannerman Road gang has saved the world "twelve times".
Set at least a whole year after Invasion of the Bane, and shortly after The Day the Clown, with Rani not having had time to apply for work experience due to moving.
Mr Smith recalls the recent events of The Lost Boy.
According to Martin Trueman, Rani has still only "just moved house", setting this shortly after The Day of the Clown. Luke is given an official birthday.
Rani and Luke experience time travel for the first time when the Trickster tries to manipulate Sarah Jane into preventing her parents' deaths in 1951, only for them to sacrifice their lives to stop him. Clyde recalls the events of Whatever Happened to Sarah Jane? as happening "last year", and he helps Krislok the Graske escape his enslavement by the Trickster.
As Luke would recount in Sarah Jane's Alien Files: Episode 3, the events of The Last Sontaran are still a recent affair. When Mrs Wormwood and Kaagh return for revenge, Sarah Jane visits Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart for the fist time in a "long time" to get his help in retrieving the Tunguska Scroll from the Black Archive. When Wormwood betrays Kaagh when she tries to find Horath, Kaagh drags her into anther dimension. UNIT do not know about Luke's origins, and Clyde shows an interest in joining them. Kaagh destroy the sonic lipstick, but Sarah Jane reveals that she has a spare.
Rani appears to already know K9.

Recording the Alien Files[]

When Rani is contacted by her old friend Samuel Lloyd, who she had told of her adventures with Sarah Jane, the Bannerman Road gang travel to Danemouth, where they help power Ship with the black hole K9 Mark IV is guarding, closing the singularity and allowing K9 to return to 13 Bannerman Road. Luke, who is now roughly "fifteen", has fully grasped the concept of deception, and Sarah Jane is told she will soon be reunited with the Doctor.
K9 has returned to 13 Bannerman Road, setting this after The Mad Woman in the Attic.
Sarah Jane nearly marries Peter Dalton as part of a plot concocted by the Trickster. The Tenth Doctor arrives to foil his plans, meeting Clyde and Rani for the first time, as well as meeting Luke in person for the first time since Journey's End.
Sarah Jane prevents the Slitheen-Blathereen family from poisoning the world with Rakweed. Luke is still only "fifteen".

Luke's final adventures[]

Sequel to Monster Hunt.
Sequel to The Gift.
Sarah Jane meets the Tenth Doctor again, and has a photograph of them from her wedding, setting this between The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith and The End of Time.
Rani recalls meeting the Doctor, setting this after The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith.
Set during November 2009.
Set during November 2009.
Shortly after Christmas 2009, Luke is saved from being struck by a car by the Doctor, who quickly leaves without speaking a word. Sarah Jane senses that he is about to regenerate when they lock eyes.
Though Luke has only just started Sixth form, setting this near September 2010, he takes his A levels a year early and leaves for Oxford University with K9.

After Luke left for university[]

Sarah Jane begins recording her Alien Files in more detail for use of future defenders of Earth. She mentions how Luke has left for Oxford.
Despite the cracks in time removing all memory of alien life to the public, Gita still recalls the events of Prisoner of the Judoon. However, her memories of aliens are erased by Mister Dread after Gita comes face-to-face with Androvax again. Luke has settled into Oxford, but Sarah Jane is still coping with his absence.
Set in 2010, at least six months after February. The events of School Reunion took place "about four years ago", and Luke has still only "just left for university". UNIT is now aware of Sarah Jane having Mr Smith in her attic. When the Claw Shansheeth fake the Doctor's death, Sarah Jane meets Jo Grant at the staged funeral, and the pair help the Eleventh Doctor foil their plans. Sarah Jane has not seen the Doctor since The End of Time, and has her first meeting with his eleventh incarnation.
Set on 23 November 2010. The Bannerman Road gang meet the Shopkeeper for the first time, and he sends Sarah Jane to help a paranormal investigator in 1889.
Sequel to Return of the Krulius. The Krulius has a photo from the events of Death of the Doctor.
Luke visits from Oxford to help save Sarah Jane from a Qetesh called "Ruby White".
Sarah Jane meets Chris Johnson while investigating alien activity at the BBC Television Centre.
Sarah Jane investigates a fossilised Silurian egg at the Pharos Institute with Clyde and Rani. (TV: SJAF 6)
Sarah Jane catches up with the Eleventh Doctor, mentioning that she intends to meet with Luke in "twenty minutes", though Sky goes unmentioned, implying a setting before Sky. The Doctor hands her a fez, instructing her to deliver it to Clyde for him as a gift.

Adopting Sky[]

The Shopkeeper leaves a Fleshkind bio-weapon baby with Sarah Jane for safekeeping, and, after she is aged up to a 12-year-old, she is adopted as "Sky Smith".
Set "barely a month" after Sky.
Luke and Sky meet face-to-face for the first time, and come to embrace each other as siblings.

Later life[]

In 2017, Sarah Jane and Jo visit the Twelfth Doctor at St Luke's University. Sarah Jane is now living on her own at 13 Bannerman Road, with Luke, Clyde, and Rani having long since "flown the nest".
Sarah Jane has a granddaughter named Lily.
After Sarah Jane passes away, both her friends, and friends of the Doctor, attend her wake on a spring day, and repel a final attack from the Trickster. Though no date is given, Luke has been married to his husband for five years, and Jo is still alive, which would set this before 2028. Going by how little Luke, Rani and Clyde have aged, it is implied that Sarah Jane died in 2020, the year the story was released.

Awaiting Placement[]