Maria Jackson was a teenage girl who lived in 36 Bannerman Road after moving, following the separation of her parents. She assisted Sarah Jane Smith and her friends in combating alien menaces and protecting the Earth from natural threats originating from space. After discovering what her neighbour's life was really like down the street on 13 Bannerman Road, she was the first child who became acquainted with Sarah Jane among what would be come a close-knit group. Maria eventually moved again when her father got a major job offer to work in America, but continually remained in touch with her old gang, even as some of them also left Bannerman Road to pursue their own goals.
Before Sarah Jane Smith
One year before Maria met Sarah Jane Smith, she lived together with her parents, Alan and Chrissie Jackson, in a house. Maria loved the house and her school. Chrissie however thought that Maria's school wasn't a good school. She didn't approve of Maria's friends. According to Chrissie, they were holding Maria back. In 2007, Maria, Alan and Chrissie went on holiday together. Maria enjoyed the holidays very much. Many photos were taken. Maria kept some of them in her room. (PROSE: Invasion of the Bane) Even though Maria loved her mother, she always got on better with her dad. He understood her (PROSE: Revenge of the Slitheen) and she could always depend on him in a crisis. (PROSE: Invasion of the Bane) When Maria was thirteen, her parents divorced.
Meeting Sarah Jane Smith
In 2008, Alan and Maria moved to Bannerman Road in Ealing. The first night in her new home, Maria made the life-changing discovery about her neighbour, Sarah Jane Smith, whom she saw talking with a glowing, winged alien. The next day, she and a new friend, Kelsey Hooper, went to the Bubble Shock! factory where Maria learned she was one of the 2% who didn't drink Bubble Shock! When Kelsey used her phone, it triggered the Bane's alarms which awakened their artificially created human child, "the Archetype". Maria escaped the factory with Sarah Jane and the Archetype. On their return to Bannerman Road, Sarah Jane told her to forget everything she had seen and go live her life like a normal person.
They were joined by Kelsey, and then Davey, a disguised Bane who unmasked and tried to kill them. After Davey was defeated, Maria went upstairs to Sarah Jane's attic, where she was told the truth about the universe: aliens came to Earth all the time. She met Mr Smith, Sarah Jane's alien supercomputer and K9 Mark IV, her robot dog who was stuck beneath Switzerland trying to repair a black hole so the Earth wouldn't be sucked in. She, Sarah Jane and the Archetype banded together to defeat the Bane invasion and blow up the Bubble Shock! factory. On naming the Archetype that Sarah Jane adopted, Maria replied, "I like Luke". (TV: Invasion of the Bane)
Adventures with Sarah Jane, Luke and Clyde
A week later, Maria and Luke went to their first day at Park Vale Comprehensive School, They met Clyde Langer, who had also just started. Sarah Jane, investigating the company who built the science block, told Maria and Luke to look around look for something suspicious. Clyde tagged along. They found two of the teachers and a student had disguised themselves as Slitheen, and the family were using transducers across the world to absorb power from the Sun so they could sell the Earth. Clyde then joined Luke and Maria in the fight against the Slitheen.
After discovering the Slitheen's weakness, vinegar, Maria went back to Park Vale to kill Glune Fex Fize, who was disguised as their head teacher Mr Blakeman. The Slitheen captured Maria and she saw the capacitor start to overload. The Slitheen reset it, but Luke then damaged it with his mother's sonic lipstick. Most of them escaped, though Kist Magg Thek and Florm Rox Fey were killed. (TV: Revenge of the Slitheen)
While the team were investigating claims of sightings of a ghostly nun at Lavender Lawns, the local nursing home, Chrissie temporarily moved in with Maria and Alan, causing further problems in the family. At Lavender Lawns, an old lady gave Luke an ancient talisman, the key to a portal in space and time. The nuns were hiding an age-old creature, a Gorgon. They kidnapped Luke and Clyde and took the Gorgon and Maria to Sarah Jane's house, where the Gorgon turned her father into stone. Having got what they came for, the nuns and the Gorgon left.
Mr Smith told Maria and Sarah that Alan's original form was retrievable until 16:00. The Gorgon — a parasite inside the Abbess — chose Sarah Jane as its next host. Just as the Gorgon began to transfer itself, Maria arrived and used a mirror to revert the transfer and turn the Gorgon — and Abbess — to stone, freeing the nuns of their mind-control. Maria disconnected the talisman and the portal shut down forever. The talisman brought her father back to flesh-and-blood and Chrissie left, reuniting with Ivan. (TV: Eye of the Gorgon)
Maria helped defeat Uvlavad Kudlak and discovered why children went missing all over the country because they were taken by an H2O scoop at Combat 3000. She left Earth for the very first time and saw Earth on the Uvodni warship in space with Sarah Jane. (TV: Warriors of Kudlak )
When several people in Ealing, including the mother of her school mate Julie started to steal gold Maria helped Sarah Jane to investigate. Together they went to the Auriga Clinic. There Maria was being injected with gold, while Sarah Jane talked to Francis Augur. Back at the attic of 13 Bannerman Road Mr Smith scanned Maria's body and told Sarah Jane that the gold would automatically be gone within a few days. That night, however Clyde and Luke saw Maria leaving for the Auriga Clinc. She was in some kind of cataleptic state, not fully aware of her environment, and unable to respond to stimuli. She didn't react when Luke and Clyde were calling her. The following morning Maria seemed to be completely normal and couldn't remember that she had left her house. Sarah Jane later found out that Maria was under the control of the Keratin, who controlled her through the gold injection. The Keratin used Maria to spy on Sarah Jane. Sarah Jane did not want to worry Maria and did not want to let the Keratin know that she had found out about their control of Maria's mind, which could endanger Maria's life. Sarah Jane told Clyde and Luke not to mention the Keratin or Maria's nightly visit of the Auriga Clinic towards Maria. The next night Sarah Jane and Luke followed Maria to the Auriga Clinic. Maria and the other people who were controlled by the Keratin wanted to take away the oceans of the planet Earth to get the gold of the ocean. The Keratin wanted to use the gold to be able to control the whole universe. Sarah Jane later pressed a patch with lithium citrate on Maria's neck and Maria got free of the Keratin's mind control. The Keratin were killed by salt water and couldn't invade Earth any longer. (AUDIO: The Glittering Storm)
Maria, Clyde, Luke, Sam, Mr Bradbury and Sarah Jane went on a school trip to the Stone Whisperers. There the alien Ravage started to take control of Luke's mind. Maria supported Luke when he fought a mental battle against Ravage and helped Luke expelling Ravage from his mind. (AUDIO: The Thirteenth Stone)
Mr Smith was monitoring a meteorite that passed a radar blindspot and prepared to send it back. Sarah Jane handed Maria a puzzlebox a Verron soothsayer had given her the previous week. The Trickster had been making a deal with Andrea Yates in 1964 to swap places with her friend. When the deal happened, Maria awoke in a world where she never befriended Clyde, Sarah Jane had died in 1964 and Mr Smith was never installed in 13 Bannerman Road's attic. The Trickster had guided away Maria's various encounters with aliens so that he could feed on the chaos of the meteorite strike.
The Trickster's Graske servant, Krislok, captured Maria, and sent her to Limbo causing her to be erased from Earth's timeline. There she encountered Sarah Jane, who told her about the day Andrea died. Alan captured the Graske and got Maria back, and she assisted in helping Andrea go back to her rightful place, so that the timeline returned to normal and Mr Smith could prevent the meteorite from hitting Earth. (TV: Whatever Happened to Sarah Jane?)
However, in the process, Alan stumbled in on the existence of Sarah Jane's activities. Maria told him about her adventures and the things she had seen. He decided that they were moving away, concerned for his daughter, but Alan recanted and decided to stay in their old home when Maria convinced him that not all aliens were evil. Maria and Alan then helped defeat the Slitheen and the rogue Mr Smith. (TV: The Lost Boy)
A Sontaran farewell
Alan later received a letter inviting him to work in America, at the head office of CapitolSys Technologies. Maria was distraught at the implications, despite Alan telling her that the decision was not just his to make.
At Goblin's Copse, Maria found Kaagh, the last of the Sontarans that had attempted an invasion of Earth earlier that year. He planned to use the Tycho Project radio telescope to take control of Earth's satellites, and steer them to crash into nuclear stockpiles on Earth, triggering nuclear annihilation. He did so using mind control on the Tycho.
Maria, not sure that Luke would be able to synthesise the gas in time, decided to ask Mr Smith for more information on defeating Sontarans. As Mr Smith was still in Ealing, she called her dad and asked him to contact the computer, unaware that he would be followed into Sarah Jane's attic by Chrissie.
When the plan to deactivate the telescope had failed, all appeared lost until Chrissie burst into the observatory and attacked Kaagh's probic vent with her high-heeled shoe, allowing Luke to deactivate the telescope. Maria then used the gas to knock out her mother, having Alan take her home and pretend that she had dreamt everything about Kaagh.
Six weeks later, Maria came up to the attic to say goodbye to Mr Smith and have one last look before she left. The next day, Maria and Alan said their goodbyes to Sarah Jane, Luke, and Clyde, as they left for their new life in America. (TV: The Last Sontaran)
Life in America
Chrissie and Ivan planed to marry. Alan, Maria, Luke, Clyde and Sarah Jane were invited to their wedding. Maria and Alan wanted to come to the wedding and wished to see their friends from Ealing there again. (TV: The Day of the Clown)
Maria and Alan were later contacted by Luke and his new friend, Rani, who asked for help identifying an alien pendant. (TV: The Mark of the Berserker) Later, Maria was involved in helping aliens hide from the American government. One of the races she encountered was the Zodin, whom Sarah Jane had also met. (TV: The Mad Woman in the Attic) Soon after, Maria was invited to Sarah Jane's wedding, but could not attend because she was taking exams. (TV: The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith)
In September 2010, Maria congratulated Luke, through a social network, on being accepted to the University of Oxford. He attempted to tell her about the Nightmare Man, but was unable to. (TV: The Nightmare Man) Before Luke left he threw two farewell parties. Maria and Alan couldn't come to his farewell party however they sent holographic postcards and for Luke it seemed like they were there as well. (PROSE: The Nightmare Man)
Maria eventually got a statue in her honour, like other members of Sarah Jane's gang, for defending Earth. (PROSE: The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith) At some point, Maria and Ceol had drinks on the south bank of the Thames. (PROSE: Now or Thereabouts) In 2059, Luke and Rani visited Maria in America. (TV: The Mad Woman in the Attic)
In a parallel world, Maria investigated the Royal Hope Hospital with Sarah Jane, Clyde and Luke. As the oxygen gradually ran out it caused everyone in the hospital, including Sarah Jane, to suffocate. Maria, Luke and Clyde were feared dead as well. (TV: Turn Left)
Andrea Yates' world
In this timeline, Maria and her father still lived at 36 Bannerman Road; however, as Sarah Jane died in 1964, they had never known her, nor did they know Luke because he was never created. Clyde and Maria barely knew each other. (TV: Whatever Happened to Sarah Jane?)
This timeline was created after Maria was erased from reality and sent to Limbo by Krislok. She never existed in this reality since Alan and Chrissie never had a child. (TV: Whatever Happened to Sarah Jane?)
Maria had a tolerant and patient personality, but was also very inquisitive, which resulted in her stumbling across Sarah Jane meeting an alien. (TV: Invasion of the Bane) Her parents' divorce made her somewhat moody, and she was much less worldly-wise and trendy than Clyde. (TV: Warriors of Kudlak , Whatever Happened to Sarah Jane?) However, she was also a lot kinder and braver, telling Sarah Jane to let Kaagh kill her in order to save Earth. (TV: The Last Sontaran)
Sarah Jane was a mentor and close friend to Maria. Sarah Jane considered Maria to be the one person she trusted more than anyone else in the world. (TV: Whatever Happened to Sarah Jane?) She also mentioned that to her Maria was the daughter, that she had always wanted. (TV: The Last Sontaran) Even after moving to America, Maria retained a closeness with Sarah Jane, Luke and Clyde that sparked a degree of jealousy in Rani. (TV: The Mad Woman in the Attic)
Behind the scenes
- Although Maria technically left the series in The Last Sontaran, each story for the remainder of series 2 included some on-screen reference to her, with Maria herself guest-starring in the second part of The Mark of the Berserker. Maria was again referenced several times in series 3, 4 and 5 though she did not appear.
- Maria's birthday was intended by the writers to be some time in the last week of August. She had to be fourteen before 1 September to be in year 10 with Luke and Clyde. (TV: Revenge of the Slitheen)