Early life and career edit
Sara had two brothers, both fellow SSS agents — David Kingdom and Bret Vyon, the latter of which the Doctor also encountered on Kembel. (TV: The Daleks' Master Plan, AUDIO: The Destroyers) Trained and efficient, Sara had the strength of ten men. (COMIC: Sara Kingdom: Space Security Agent) She was a high-ranking and original member of the SSS. Her initial assignment placed her in charge of the organisation's field operations. (PROSE: The Outlaw Planet)
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. (AUDIO: The Destroyers) Mark Seven wrote a file about the incident, 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, she was briefed by Chen, and was told her brother was a traitor. In an experimental testing facility, she found the Doctor, Steven Taylor and her brother, the last 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 also had prevented Vyon from warning Earth of the Dalek plot. She joined the Doctor in his fight.
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 Kingdom 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) 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) After further travels with the Doctor, 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) After that, they once more returned to the struggle against the Daleks on several worlds and time periods.
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 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'd found Sara Kingdom among others of his companions alive again and desperate to leave in the TARDIS. He learned 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 Kingdom among his companions who had died because of him. Ace didn't recognise her. (PROSE: Timewyrm: Revelation)
The copy of Sara Kingdom'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, AUDIO: The Drowned World, AUDIO: 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, where 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. 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. Novelist John Peel established Sara as having spent at least six months travelling with the Doctor in the continuity of the Target novelisations. Sara would not be the last character whose status is controversial, and she would later be 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 a comic strip story, Sara Kingdom: Space Security Agent, appeared). 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 would return to the programme in the 1989 serial 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.