Robert Banks Stewart 1931-2016Bookmark and Share

Friday, 15 January 2016 - Reported by Marcus
The writer and producer Robert Banks Stewart has died at the age of 84.

Robert Banks Stewart is best known to Doctor Who fans as the creator of the Zygons, but his body of work encompassed far more than the shape shifting body snatchers, creating some of the most loved series on British Television.

Born in Edinburgh, Banks Stewart started his profession life as a journalist, but his interests always lay in television scripts. In the 1950's he worked for both Pinewood Studios and Thames Television providing scripts for series such as Danger Man, The Human Jungle, Top Secret, The Sweeney and The Avengers. He wrote 5 episodes of Arthur of the Britons for HTV.

In 1975 he was asked to write for Doctor Who and came up Terror of the Zygons, as story that went on to be one of the most fondly remembered of the original series. The Zygons would return for the show's 50th Anniversary special in 2013, their success ensuring a full return in the most recent series of the show.

Due to the triumph of Zygon script he was asked to write the six part conclusion to the series, coming up with The Seeds of Doom, introducing the Krynoid and the deranged horticulturist Harrison Chase.

In 1979 he created the detective series Shoestring. Set in Bristol the series was a major success for the BBC, toping the ratings and running for two series. When leading actor Trevor Eve declined to stay with the show, Bank Stewart created another series, Bergerac, set this time on the island of Jersey and starring John Nettles as the eponymous detective and recovering alcoholic who liked to drive his vintage sports car while solving crimes. The series would run for 9 years and would feature Louise Jameson as Jim Bergerac's girlfriend Susan Young.

In the 1980's he became a producer, working on the first series of Lovejoy. In 1991 he produced and adapted, H. E. Bates' novel The Darling Buds of May for ITV, which gained one of the highest ratings for a new series in the history of British Television. Banks Stewart was instrumental in casting the unknown Catherine Zeta Jones in the role of Mariette.

Robert Banks Stewart died at home on Thursday after suffering from cancer. He is survived by three sons from his second marriage and a daughter from his first.