As we approach the 60th Anniversary of Doctor Who, revisit the story of Doctor Who, the occasional series written for the 50th Anniversary, explaining the origins of the programme.

Episode 4 - An Unearthly Series - The Origins of a TV Legend: First published 25 Jul 2012

Bernard Holley 1940-2021Bookmark and Share

Monday, 22 November 2021 - Reported by Toby Hadoke
Bernard Holley. Photo: Chuck Foster

The actor Bernard Holley has died at the age of 81.

Bernard Holley became a household name during his 277 episode stint as PC Newcombe in the groundbreaking and popular police series Z-Cars. He later played in another mold-shattering police drama, The Gentle Touch (1982-84), as Detective Inspector Mike Turnbull - the partner of central character Maggie Forbes (played by the late Jill Gascoine). He also joined Gascoine on the spin-off series CATS Eyes (1984).

His other credits included two roles in Doctor Who: Peter Haydon in one of the show’s all-time classics, The Tomb of the Cybermen (1967), and as Axos in The Claw of Axos (1971) opposite Jon Pertwee: a role he reprised opposite Colin Baker on audio for Big Finish. 

He was a familiar face on British screen for over 50 years, debuting on TV soap The Newcomers in 1966 and still working in the past decade on shows like Doctors and Casualty. He was also a reader on children’s favourite Jackanory between 1974 and 1991 and was an in-demand voice-over man, his warm tones heard on countless adverts and documentaries. 

His longtime friend, BAFTA-winning producer Clive Doig, says 

From Z-Cars to Just for Men Bernard was a face and voice instantly recognisable. I first worked with Bernard when he played the burglar on The Phoenix and the Carpet, recorded in 1976. We struck up a lasting friendship and Bernard became part of my reparatory company in shows like The Deceivers and Eureka. He was always my closest friend in Kew - although he had many brothers of his own, Bernard and I were like brothers.

His friend, Coronation Street actor Toby Hadoke said

He was an actor whose easy naturalism that he made small screen acting look easier than it is, It’s no surprise he made TV his home so early on and that directors went to him again and again. He was always totally believable, communicating a lot by doing very little and he had a natural warmth and charm that made him easy to watch and a likeable performer. He was such a reliable and welcome presence I think everyone thought they kind of knew him.

He had been in ill health for some time and passed away on the morning of November 22nd. He is survived by his wife Jean, to whom he was married for over 50 years, and their son Michael, grandchildren Marley and Isla, and five brothers and two sisters.

FILTER: - Obituary

Clifford Rose 1929 - 2021Bookmark and Share

Saturday, 6 November 2021 - Reported by Marcus
Clifford Rose (Credit: Chuck Foster)

The actor Clifford Rose has died at the age of 92.

Clifford Rose appeared in the 1981 Tom Baker story Warriors' Gate where he played Rorvik the captain of the privateer ship that transported the time-sensitive Tharils.

He was most famous for his powerful portrayal of Standartenführer Ludwig Kessler, the ruthless Gestapo officer, in three series of Secret Army.

Clifford Rose was born in  Herefordshire in the West Midlands of England. After studying at King's College London he sought a career as an actor appearing in repertory theatre and later as a founding member of the Royal Shakespeare Company. 

His first television appearance was in 1959, in the adaptation of Arnold Bennett's Hilda Lessways. Many character appearances followed including roles in Roads to Freedom, Elizabeth R, Callan, Justice, The Pallisers, How Green Was My Valley and The Devil's Crown.

In 1977 he was cast as Sturmbannführer Ludwig Kessler in Secret Army, the series detailing the work of the prisoner evasion lines that helped British pilots escape from occupied Belgium during World War II. It was a powerful multi-layered performance that explored the ruthlessness of the German commander as well as his personal qualities as he fell in love with a Belgium woman. 

His performance saw the character return in his own spin-off series, Kessler, exploring the fate of the character after the end of the war, 

He later played SS General Hans Kammler in the miniseries War and Remembrance and appeared in Fortunes of War and played Judge Critchley in Alan Bleasdale's drama GBH.

Film roles included parts in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and The Iron Lady, and he had a small role as the Dean of Windsor in The Crown.

He was the winner of the Clarence Derwent Award 2009 for his performance in The Chalk Garden at the Donmar.


FILTER: - Obituary

Bob Baker 1939 - 2021Bookmark and Share

Friday, 5 November 2021 - Reported by Marcus

The film and television writer Bob Baker has died at the age of 82.


Bob Baker wrote some of the best-loved stories from the classic Doctor Who era, co-creating the Doctor's beloved robot dog K-9.  He was the screenwriter behind the acclaimed Wallace and Gromit series of films. 

Born in Bristol in the west of England in 1939, Bob Baker initially trained as a monumental stonemason, chiseling other peoples' words onto gravestones. 

In the early 1960's he teamed up with writing partner Dave Martin and together they wrote several stage plays before moving into television, working on popular series such as Z Cars.

In 1971, they were commissioned for their first story for Doctor Who. The Claws of Axos was the first of nine stories over eight seasons.

For the third Doctor, they wrote The Mutants and The Three Doctors, the story that marked the tenth series of Doctor Who and which introduced the character of Omega. 

In 1975 they were back writing for the fourth Doctor. Over the next four years, they would contribute The Sontaran Experiment; The Hand Of Fear; The Invisible Enemy; Underworld; The Armageddon Factor and Nightmare of Eden.

It was The Invisible Enemy which saw the arrival of K-9. The robot dog was originally intended for this story only, but the producer Graham Williams made a late decision to have him join the Doctor in the TARDIS where he stayed for the next four years. 

The character was written out of Doctor Who in 1981 but featured in a pilot for a new series K9 and Company, where he starred alongside Elisabeth Sladen as Sarah Jane Smith.  In 2006 K-9 met the Tenth Doctor in the story School Reunion. and would feature in the Doctor Who Spinoff The Sarah Jane Adventures. In 2010 a new K-9 TV series was made in Brisbane, Australia.

Other TV work by Bob Baker included the Children's TV Hits Into the Labyrinth and King of the Castle. For adults he contributed scripts for Bergerac and Shoestring as well as Public Eye and Call me Mister

Baker was a very successful, screenwriter becoming closely associated with the productions of Ardman Animations, writing, with their creator Nick Park, award-winning shorts such as The wrong Trousers, A Close Shave, and A Matter of Loaf and Death. In 2006 he co-wrote the feature film The Curse of the Were-Rabbit which won the British Acadamy Alexander Korda Award for Best British Film. 

In 2013 Baker wrote his autobiography entitled K9 Stole My Trousers with help from Laurie Booth.

Bob Baker is survived by Marie, his wife of thirty years, and his children and Grandchildren





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Michael Ferguson 1937-2021Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, 19 October 2021 - Reported by Marcus
Michael Ferguson (Credit: Chuck Foster)

The Director Michael Ferguson has died at the age of  84.


Michael Ferguson directed 21 episodes of Doctor Who, working on the series since its beginning in 1963 through to the 1970s. He later went on to work on EastEnders, responsible for a revival in the fortunes of the Soap. 

Michael Ferguson was born in South London in June 1937. After training as an actor at Lamda he worked with Theatre Centre, a touring company visiting schools. 

He joined the BBC in 1963 working in Television as an Assistant Floor Manager, the person responsible for keeping control of the Studio Floor and assisting the director.

The first programme Ferguson found himself working on was a brand new Science Fiction series called Doctor Who. He was engaged for the second story now known as The Daleks. As the AFM he was responsible for waving the Dalek sucker seen at the end of Episode One, The Dead Planet, and thus became the first person in history to play a Dalek.

Ferguson soon was promoted to Director, working on the popular soap Compact. It was as a Director he returned to Doctor Who in 1966, directing The War Machines, as a story that involved location filming around Fitzrovia in London. 

In 1969 he was given a chance to direct the Second Doctor in the six-part story, The Seeds of Death. one of the first stories to be released on BBC Video. 

He directed two stories with the Third Doctor, The seven-part Ambassadors of Death in 1970, and the four-part Claws of Axos the following year. 

As well as Doctor Who he directed many classic BBC programmes such as Z-Cars, Paul Temple, Colditz, Flambards, The Sandbaggers and The Glory Boys

By the late 1980s Ferguson was working as a producer on the ITV series The Bill. It was his success in revamping the police series that let the head of BBC ongoing drama, Peter Cregeen, offer him the position of Executive Producer on EastEnders.

The soap had been declining in popularity after its initial success, but the changes Ferguson made revived its fortunes. He introduced new characters, such as the Mitchell brothers and new storylines which caught the public imagination. 

After two years he moved onto Casualty, before returning to ITV and The Bill.

After retiring in 2003  he taught screen acting at the Actors Centre in London.

Michael Ferguson died on 4 October 2021. He is survived by his second wife Jana Shelden and his daughter with his first wife Tracy. 


FILTER: - Obituary

Tony Selby 1938-2021Bookmark and Share

Monday, 6 September 2021 - Reported by Marcus
Tony Selby (Credit: Chuck Foster)

The actor Tony Selby has died at the age of 83.

Tony Selby had a long and illustrious career spanning more than 70 years and appearing on Stage, on Television and in Films. 

He played the role of Sabalom Glitz in three Doctor Who stories. In 1986 he appeared alongside sixth Doctor Colin Baker in the first section of the Trial of a Timelord season, The Mysterious Planet. The character returned for the conclusion to the season in The Ultimate Foe

The following year he returned to the series, this time appearing with Seventh Doctor Sylvester McCoy in Dragonfire


Born in London in 1938, Selby trained at the famous Italia Conti Stage School.  One of his first TV appearances was in the TV play Mencius Was a Bad Boy appearing as Pig at the age of 13. Over the next 70 years he would be a constant presence on TV with appearances in programmes such as Compact, No Hiding Place, The Wednesday Play,  Shine a Light, Z Cars, Catweazle, Ace of Wands, Minder, Crown Court, The Good Life, Moody and Pegg, Jack of Diamonds, Hideaway, Mulberry, Love Hurts, The Detectives, The Bill and Dream Team.

One of his most memorable roles was as Corporal Marsh in the ITV sitcom Get Some In! about life in National Service. He appeared in EastEnders playing Clive Mitchell. 

On the stage, he appeared in the original production of Edward Bond's controversial play Saved at the Royal Court Theatre.

Film work included roles in Adolf Hitler: My Part in his Downfall and Alfie as well as an uncredited role in Superman

Tony Selby's death was announced by his management LCM Limited. In a statement, they said

With great sadness, we announce that actor Tony Selby passed away peacefully in London yesterday.

In a career spanning 70 years in theatre, film and TV, Tony was highly respected and loved by family, friends and colleagues.

His renowned sense of humour will be missed by us all.


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Jackie Lane 1941-2021Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, 23 June 2021 - Reported by Marcus

The actress and agent Jackie Lane has died at the age of 79

Jackie Lane appeared in 19 episodes of Doctor Who in the 1960s playing Dodo Chaplet a companion of the First Doctor William Hartnell.

Jackie Lane was born in Manchester, England.  After training as an actress she had small parts in soap operas. Compact and Coronation Street

In 1963 her agent put her forward to play the character of Susan in the new tea-time science fiction programme Doctor Who. Lane however withdrew from consideration on learning she would be expected to sign a year-long contract should she win the role. 

Three years later, with Doctor Who a huge success, the actress was offered the role of Dodo by producer John Wiles. Arriving at the end of The Massacre, the character travelled with the Doctor and his companion Steven, played by Peter Purves across four stories, The Ark, The Celestial Toymaker, The Gunfighters and The Savages.

Lane told Doctor Who Magazine about her time on the series

It was very friendly, although for Bill Hartnell has put up with a lot of cast changes over a short space of time. It was really beginning to get to him. We got on very well, although I wouldn't say I ever really knew him that well. 

Lane's contract expired after four months and it was not renewed by the new producer Innes Lloyd. The character disappeared from the series, without a goodbye, during the story The War Machines

Innes had definite plans for the series, which neither Steven nor Dodo fitted. I think I would have liked a dramatic ending. My farewell was a bit of an anti-climax. Still, I got my revenge. I now run a voice-over agency and Innes Lloyd once asked me to find him work. I reminded him that he had once sacked me from Doctor Who and said a very firm no. 

Soon after Lane left Doctor Who she retired from acting. She spent some time as a diplomatic Secretary working for the Australian Government and as an antique dealer before returning to the world of show business, this time as a theatrical agent.  In this role, she represented Tom Baker

A very shy woman, Jackie Lane was always reluctant to involve herself in Doctor Who fandom. She gave very few interviews about her time on the show but did make an appearance at the time of Doctor Who’s fiftieth anniversary.

Jackie Lane's death was announced by Fantom Films earlier today. 



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Damaris Hayman 1929-2021Bookmark and Share

Thursday, 3 June 2021 - Reported by Marcus

The actress Damaris Hayman, famous for playing Olive Hawthorne, the gloriously eccentric white witch of Devils End, has died at the age of 91.


Damaris Hayman had a long career in British Film and Television, playing mostly well to do, slightly eccentric, ladies. She made her TV debut in 1953 as Eliza in The Story of the Treasure Seekers

Her film debut came a year later in The Belles of St Trinian's, the first in the comedy series set in a Girls school. It was a world Hayman knew well having been educated at the exclusive  Cheltenham Ladies' College. Later moves included The Pink Panther Strikes Again

Many supporting roles on TV  included apperances in series such as The Citadel, Citizen James, Somerset Maugham Hour, Crossroads, Steptoe and Son, Z Cars, The Dickie Henderson Show, Beggar My Neighbour, Armchair Theatre, Ours Is a Nice House, The Onedin Line, The Morecambe & Wise Show, The Witches' Brew, The Small World of Samuel Tweet, The Dick Emery Show, The Basil Brush Show and One Foot in the Grave.


It was in 1971 she took on the role that endeared her to Doctor Who fans when she played Miss Hawthorne in the acclaimed Third Doctor story The Daemons. It was a perfectly pitched performance and one she was very proud of.  Her chemistry with Jon Pertwee and the cast helped ensure the story is one of the best-loved in the Doctor Who Universe 

In 2017 she returned to the character to appear in The White Witch of Devil's End, a spin-off story based on the character released by Koch Media.

Damaris Hayman died today, a couple of weeks short of her 92nd birthday. 


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Frank Cox 1940-2021Bookmark and Share

Thursday, 29 April 2021 - Reported by Marcus
Frank Cox

The TV Director Frank Cox has died at the age of 80.


Frank Cox worked on two early stories of Doctor Who.

In 1964 at the age of 23, he became Doctor Who's fourth Director, taking charge for the episode The Brink of Disaster, the second part of The Edge of Destruction, and an episode that involved just the four main cast members. 

He returned to the series later that year looking after the final two episodes of The Sensorites, Kidnap and A Desperate Venture. 


Doctor Who was one of the first programmes Cox worked on following completion of the BBC Directors training course. He went on to direct programmes such as The Revenue Men,  Mogul, Warship, Sutherland's Law, Softly Softly: Task Force, EastEnders and High Road

He also worked as a producer on many series throughout the 1980s and 90s

The last programme he directed was Taggart for STV

Frank Cox was married to the actress Bridget Turner, who played Alice Cassini in the 2007 story Gridlock. She died in 2014


FILTER: - Obituary - Series One

Mark Eden 1928 - 2021Bookmark and Share

Friday, 1 January 2021 - Reported by Marcus

The actor Mark Eden has died at the age of 92.

Mark Eden played the title character in the 1964 Doctor Who story Marco Polo. The seven-part story, completely missing from the BBC archives, was the first in which the Doctor met a famous figure from history. The character of Marco Polo, the famous Venician explorer, narrated the story which saw the TARDIS crew join the caravan of the adventurer as it travelled through the Gobi desert to Cathay and the court of Kublai Khan.

Mark Eden had a career of over 50 years in British Television with his first credited role in  1958 in the Sci-Fi story Quatermass And The Pit.

Eden decided to become an actor after falling in love with Shakespeare while a teenager. However, his career was delayed after contracting a serious illness in his twenties.

I contracted tuberculosis, spent two years in a sanatorium, worked on the fairgrounds, got married… in fact, I was almost 30 by the time I joined Everyman Theatre Group in Ramsgate,

The East Kent Times gave me a rave review for my first play and that was all the encouragement I needed.

He is best known in the UK for playing the villain Alan Bradley in the soap Coronation Street. He appeared for eight years leaving after his character was killed by a tram in Blackpool, in one of the most memorable scenes in Coronation Street history. The episode was watched by 21.4 million viewers. Eden later unveiled a plaque at the tram stop where the scene was filmed.

He appeared in the 1965 film Doctor Zhivago, as well as the TV show The Avengers  In The Prisoner he played Number 100 and had a role in The Newcomers. Other roles included parts in Z-Cars, Clouds of Witness, Murder Must Advertise, The Top Secret Life of Edgar Briggs, London Belongs to Me, Poldark, The Detective and Crown Court.

One of his last roles was playing BBC Executive Donald Baverstock in the 2013 docu-drama about the creation of Doctor Who, An Adventure in Space and Time

The actor, who had been living with Alzheimer's disease died early on New Year's Day. He is survived by his third wife the actress Sue Nicholls, his daughter Polly, his stepson Saul and grand-daughter Emma.

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In Memoriam - 2020Bookmark and Share

Friday, 1 January 2021 - Reported by Marcus
As 2020 draws to a close, Toby Hadoke has released his annual look back at those from the Doctor Who universe who we lost over the past twelve months.

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