Saturday, January 9, 2010

Companions: Sara Kingdom

Affiliated with.....First Doctor
Home planet.........Earth
Home era............4000
Appears in..........The Daleks' Master Plan
Portrayed by........Jean Marsh

Sara Kingdom is a Space Security Agent, the sister of Bret Vyon, another agent who is aiding the Doctor in trying to defeat the Daleks. Told that Vyon is a traitor by Mavic Chen, the Guardian of the Solar System (who was in league with the Daleks) and ordered to kill whoever is working with him, she shoots her brother and is about to do the same to the Doctor and Steven when they are transported across space to the planet Mira. There she learns, to her horror and grief, that her unquestioning obedience has not only led her to unjustly kill her brother, but also that by doing so she has prevented Vyon from warning Earth of the Dalek plot. She then joins the Doctor in his fight, briefly travelling in the TARDIS to several different locations in space and time as the Doctor and Steven try to return the ship to Kembel for a final confrontation with Mavic Chen and the Daleks.

When the Doctor activates the Time Destructor — a device that accelerates time — as part of his plan to stop the Daleks, he orders his companions back to the TARDIS for their protection. However, Sara follows him, not knowing the nature of his plan but concerned it might fail. As a result, she is caught in the field of the Time Destructor as it rapidly ages everything around it. While the Doctor, being a Time Lord, can withstand the effects, Sara, being human, cannot. As Steven and the Doctor watch helplessly, Sara ages (and is portrayed as an old woman by May Warden) and dies, her remains aging to dust.

Sara is 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 changes that, and she turns her formidable skill and intellect to the defeat of the Daleks.

Jean Lyndsey Torren Marsh (born 1 July 1934) is an English actress, occasional screenwriter, and co-creator of the television series Upstairs, Downstairs and The House of Eliott.

Marsh received an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for her performance as Rose Buck in Upstairs, Downstairs in 1975.

Marsh was born in Stoke Newington, London, England, the daughter of Emmeline Susannah Nightingale Poppy (née Bexley), a bar employee and dresser for the theatre, and Henry Charles John Marsh, an outdoor maintenance person and printer's assistant.

Marsh made many appearances on British and American television programmes in the 1950s and 1960s, including The Twilight Zone, playing a robotic companion in the episode "The Lonely" (1959), The Wonderful World of Disney (1961), Gideon's Way (1965), I Spy (1967), The Saint (four episodes between 1964 and 1968) and UFO (1970).

She has appeared several times in the BBC series Doctor Who. She first appeared alongside William Hartnell in the 1965 serial "The Crusade" as Lady Joanna. She returned later that year as companion Sara Kingdom in the 12-part serial "The Daleks' Masterplan". Although the character was killed off at the end of that serial, Marsh reprised the role of Sara Kingdom in the audio plays "Home Truths" in 2008, and "The Drowned World" in 2009. She would also appear in the 1989 television serial "Battlefield", as well as the 2007 audio play "The Wishing Beast". Marsh was featured as Bertha Mason Rochester in the George C. Scott-Susannah York version of Jane Eyre, directed by Delbert Mann. The film was released theatrically in the United Kingdom in 1970 and shown in the United States on NBC Television in 1971.

With Eileen Atkins she created the British period drama Upstairs, Downstairs, and played the role of the house parlourmaid Rose Buck for the duration of the series, from 1971 until 1975. The program was popular in various parts of the world including the United States; Marsh received an Emmy Award for her role in 1975, and was nominated for the same award in 1974 and 1976. She also received two Golden Globe nominations for this role.

After several guest roles in television, she played a regular supporting role in the television series of 9 to 5 in 1982, however the series was not a success.

In film she had a featured role in Alfred Hitchcock's Frenzy (1972) and played Mrs. Grey in The Eagle Has Landed (1976), the villain in the fantasy films Return to Oz (1985) and Willow (1988). Marsh and Eileen Atkins created a second television series The House of Eliott, which was produced during 1991 and 1992. This time, Marsh did not act in the series, but she did write some of the episodes. In 1994, she starred in a villain role in the Nickelodeon re-make of The Tomorrow People, and appeared in the television productions of Fatherland and The Pale Horse.

From 2000 until 2002, Marsh appeared in the The Ghost Hunter, and in 2007 she played in the West End stage revival of Boeing Boeing at the Comedy Theatre. She also made an appearance in the 2007 BBC adaptation of Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility. She appeared as Lizzie in Babycow Production's, Sensitive Skin in 2005 and 2007 alongside Joanna Lumley. She appeared in an episode of BBC Four's Crooked House in December 2008.

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