- "You know why he's here? He's not paid or anything. He likes it. He gets off on it."
- ―Sgt. Sally Donovan to John Watson about Sherlock Holmes [src]
Sally openly dislikes Sherlock Holmes, like many of the other police officers, occasionally referring to him as 'Freak', usually to his face. When she first meets John Watson she warns him against associating with Sherlock, calling him a psychopath. She speculates that one day he will get so bored that he will be the one murdering instead of catching the murderers. She feels that he "gets off" on crime as he seems to enjoy what he does, even though he does not get paid for it. However, John chooses to ignore her.
Sally is involved in an affair with Anderson, which Sherlock reveals in front of everyone while he is insulting Anderson, criticising the state of her knees.  When introducing John to Sally, Sherlock refers to her as 'an old friend', but later states that he "[doesn't] have friends".
Later, she (along with Anderson) came to believe that Sherlock was involved in a kidnapping; because the kidnapped girl screams when he enters the room. She also begins to feel suspicious about how fast Sherlock was able to figure out how and where the children were taken. It is arguable whether or not that evidence was conclusive enough for an arrest. This was all part of Jim Moriarty's plan to defame Sherlock, by breaking the trust that New Scotland Yard had in him.
Sally is still working for Scotland Yard with Lestrade after Sherlock's return to London and it is revealed that he faked his death. Unlike Anderson, Sally has kept her job.
After Sherlock's return she is seen again in "The Sign of Three" where she is working on a police case with Greg Lestrade against the Waters family, a family of bank robbers. They fail to get a conviction even though they had evidence each time. They decide that they need to catch the family in the act in order to get them and start setting up the trap. A while later, during the family's next crime, they have them surrounded and are about to move in for the arrest, when Lestrade leaves to help Sherlock.
While she is highly loyal to Lestrade and Scotland Yard, Sally is extremely antagonistic towards Sherlock Holmes. She insulted him and labelled him as a psychopath. Sally also tried to warn John about him and believed he was a liar and a cheat when Jim Moriarty tried to turn the world against Sherlock. 
After Sherlock's return from the fall and his name is cleared, her attitude towards him lessens, although she is still less than happy when Sherlock drags Lestrade away from the biggest collar of his career.
- Sally was portrayed by Zawe Ashton in the "Unaired Pilot", where she was a uniformed police constable.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Moffat, Steven (writer) & McGuigan, Paul (director). (25 July, 2010). "A Study in Pink". Sherlock (2010). Series 1. Episode 1. BBC One.
- ↑ Gatiss, Mark (writer) & McGuigan, Paul (director). (8 January, 2012). "The Hounds of Baskerville". Sherlock (2010). Series 2. Episode 2. BBC One.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 Thompson, Steve (writer) & Haynes, Toby (director). (15 January, 2012). "The Reichenbach Fall". Sherlock (2010). Series 2. Episode 3. BBC One.