Derek Martinus 1931-2014Bookmark and Share

Friday, 28 March 2014 - Reported by Marcus
Veteran Doctor Who director Derek Martinus has died at the age of 82.

Derek Martinus was a BBC drama Director, responsible for 26 episodes of Doctor Who.

His first story was the premier of the third season of the series, directing Willam Hartnell in the 1965 story Galaxy Four. He stayed on to look after the single episode story Mission to the Unknown, which is unique in the series for not featuring either The Doctor or any of his companions.

Martinus returned to the series the following year, looking after The Tenth Planet which not only saw the arrival of the first Cybermen, but the departure of the First Doctor, giving Martinus a chance to direct the first ever regeneration scene.

He directed Patrick Troughton in The Evil of the Daleks in 1967, the story which saw the introduction of a new companion in the form of Victoria Waterfield as played by Deborah Watling. Later in the year he got the chance to introduce the public to another iconic monster, this time The Ice Warriors .

Martinus's final story for Doctor Who was in 1970 when he took the series into colour with the first Third Doctor story, directing Jon Pertwee in Spearhead from Space, the only classic Doctor Who episode to be shot entirely on film.

Martinus started his career in the theatre, where he continued to work after meeting his Swedish wife Eivor, to whom he was married for 50 years. They worked together on many productions and she translated many of the stage plays he directed. His theatre credits include Ben Jonson's Volpone, Caryl Churchill's Mad Forest, Harold Pinter's The Homecoming and Stephen Lowe's The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists for different theatres in Sweden.

As a Director his other work included Crown Court, Angles, Z Cars Penmaric and two episodes of Blakes 7. He worked on several children's TV programmes including The Paper Lads and Dodger, Bonzo and the Rest, both of which won the Pye Award for best children's drama. He directed TV shows The Black Tulip, What Maisie Knew, A Legacy and A little Princess.

Martinus studied at Yale Drama School and worked as an actor, before turning his attentions to a career as a director. He had a minor role in the first Carry On film, Carry on Sergeant which starred William Hartnell.

Derek Martinus' family told the BBC he died on Thursday evening having suffered from Alzheimer's for many years. His daughter Charlotta Martinus, who later joined the BBC as a documentary maker, paid tribute to her father
He was a legend, just an absolute legend. He taught me how to love, live and laugh, he was just such an amazing man.

It was an amazing childhood to be living among the Doctor Who paraphernalia. We used to go down and watch Doctor Who being made and see the Daleks, and even get inside the Daleks. Having those famous people walk through your door... Jon Pertwee would come for tea.

Ten years after he left, everyone used to say to me, 'Are you really his daughter?'. He was really inspirational for me and my sister Pia who is a doctor. He was a leader of men and he inspired everyone.
Martinus is survived by his wife, two daughters and three grandchildren.

FILTER: - Obituary - Classic Series