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 7 - An Unearthly Series - The Origins of a TV Legend: First published 31 Jan 2013

Chris Boucher 1943 - 2022Bookmark and Share

Sunday, 11 December 2022 - Reported by Marcus
Chris Boucher

The writer Chris Boucher has died at the age of 79.

Chris Boucher contributed three stories to Doctor Who, all of which were transmitted in 1977 and starred the Fourth Doctor played by Tom Baker.

His first contribution was the story which saw the introduction of a new companion Leela played by Louise Jameson. The Face of Evil.  Leela was conceived as an intelligent but uneducated savage who would be educated by the Doctor. 

This story was followed by one of the most acclaimed stories in Doctor Who's cannon, The Robots of Death a 'whodunnit' set on a futuristic mining machine. Later in the year, his final story was Image of the Fendhal

Although Chris Boucher never wrote for Doctor Who again his contribution to British Television is impressive. Immediately after Doctor Who he became the Script Editor for the BBC's new science fiction series Blake's 7. It was a role he was recommended for by the Doctor Who script editor Robert Holmes. 

Boucher served as Script editor for the entire run of Blake's 7 and also wrote several stories including the dramatic final story which saw the deaths of all the main characters. 

He was the Script Editor for the second series of the detective series Shoestring show in 1980 before he moved on to the police series Juliet Bravo. Staying with police series he script edited the series set on the island of Jersey, Bergerac from 1983 until 1987.

In 1987 he created his own series combining his knowledge of both Police series and Science Fiction with Star Cops, seen by some as a replacement for Doctor Who. Nine episodes were made with a tenth being canceled due to industrial relations problems. 

Other work included episodes of The Bill for Thames Television and the Jim Davidson comedy Home James. He also wrote a number of Doctor Who books featuring the character of Leela. 

The death of Chris Boucher means that no writers for Doctor Who from the 1960s or 1970s now survive. 





FILTER: - Obituary - Classic Series

Shirley Coward 1934 -2022Bookmark and Share

Saturday, 10 December 2022 - Reported by Marcus
Shirley Coward (Credit: BBC)

Shirley Coward, the woman responsible for creating the first regeneration effect in Doctor Who, has died at the age of 88.

Shirley Coward was a Vision Mixer for BBC Television for over 30 years. She worked for the Corporation in the days when most programmes were either transmitted live or recorded 'as live'. 

At the time, the role of the Vision Mixer was vital as they were the person who operated the Vision Mixing desk, the piece of equipment which controlled which camera or video source was fed to the recording machine or transmitter. It's a role that has almost disappeared in TV drama but is still vital in live television programmes, such as Strictly Come Dancing and News programmes. 

Following a Camera script written the director, it was the Vision Mixer that set much of the pace of the programme, a job that demanded absolute accuracy. Many mistakes made in live television recordings could be glossed over but it was difficult to hide a cut to the wrong camera.  

Shirley Coward worked on many productions for the BBC including many episodes of Doctor Who, and in October 1966 she found herself rostered to work in the BBC studios at Riverside on the final episode of the first Doctor's final story The Tenth Planet

At the end of the story, William Hartnell collapsed before regenerating into Patrick Troughton.  No clear plan had been made as to how to achieve this transformation, with one thought being that Hartnell could just cover his face with a cloak before it was removed to reveal Troughton's face. 

Coward suggested to Director Derek Martinus, that they could take advantage of a fault on the second bank of her vision mixing desk, which was causing the incoming image to break up. By using this distorted effect, and mixing between banks of the Vision Mixer,  Coward could produce a much more spectacular regeneration effect.

In an interview for the BBC DVD release of The Tenth Planet Shirley Coward explained how the effect was achieved. 

It was my job to do the mixes so we had a fluent transition face from William Hartnell's face into Patrick Troughton's. The first I knew about it was when I arrived in the studio, but nobody was exactly sure how they were going to do it. 

They knew roughly what they wanted, they wanted one face to come through the other. It was a matter of the studio engineers and cameramen all trying out things. We discovered that the actors cheekbones matched, which helped us enormously.

We had William Hartnell on one camera and Patrick Troughton on another and through the B bank of the Vision Mixing desk, which was breaking up,  we could make Patrick's face break up and William's face break up

 I started with William Hartnell's face, absolutely straight on the A bank, then slowly mixed to the B bank where I had his face, exactly the same shot, breaking up. I then mixed on the B bank to Patrick's face breaking up and then mixed slowly back to the A bank where I had Patrick's face absolutely straight. 

Shirley Coward worked on at least 44 episodes of Doctor Who. As the woman who created the first regeneration, it was fitting she Vision Mixed the 25th-anniversary story, The Five Doctors, which saw the return of the First Doctor, albeit played by a different actor. 

Other productions she worked on include Bomber Harris, EastEnders, The River,  All Creatures Great and Small , Talking Heads, In Sickness and in Health, Three Up Two Down, Galloping Galaxies!, Dear John, )Tenko, Juliet Bravo, Titus Andronicus, Only Fools and Horses, Last of the Summer Wine, By the Sword Divided, The Two Ronnies, Rentaghost, Ever Decreasing Circles,  Aladdin and the Forty Thieve, Don't Wait Up, Just Good Friends, Butterflies, Dombey & Son, Yes Minister, Terry and June, To the Manor Born, To Serve Them All My Days, Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, The Enigma Files, Blake's 7, Secret Army, Rings on Their Fingers, Pennies from Heaven, Survivors, Blue Peter, The Tragedy of King Richard II, The Six Wives of Henry VIII and The Canterbury Tales

First Doctor Regenerates | William Hartnell to Patrick Troughton





FILTER: - Obituary - Classic Series

Maurice Roëves 1937 - 2020Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, 15 July 2020 - Reported by Marcus
The actor Maurice Roëves has died at the age of 83

Maurice Roëves appeared in the acclaimed 1984 Doctor Who story The Caves of Androzani, playing Stotz the mercenary hired by Morgus to smuggle arms.

Roëves was born in Sunderland in the North of England and brought up in Glasgow. In his twenties, while working in a flour mill, he became interested in amateur dramatics, leading to a course at Glasgow College of Dramatic Art.

Three months after getting a job as an assistant stage manager at Glasgow's Citizen Theatre he was playing lead roles such as Lorenzo in The Merchant of Venice. In 1966 he was cast as Martin in the film The Fighting Prince of Donegal which led to the television play Cock, Hen and Courting Pit

Many television roles followed including in Danger UXB, The Nightmare Man, Days of our Lives, Tutti Frutti, Rab C. Nesbitt, The New Statesman, Spender, Star Trek: The Next Generation where he played a Romulan captain, Vanity Fair and EastEnders.

He played Chief Superintendent David Duckenfield in the 1996 television film Hillsborough, in which his character patrolled the FA Cup semi-final in the Liverpool F.C. game where a crush led to the deaths of 96 fans.

In 2006 he starred in the BBC docudrama Surviving Disasters, portraying Sir Matt Busby in the story of the Munich air disaster.

He starred as Robert Henderson in BBC Scotland's drama River City.

His film roles include Oh! What a Lovely War, Ulysses, Hidden Agenda, the 1992 version of The Last of the Mohicans, the Judge Dredd movie and Beautiful Creatures .

Maurice Roëves death was confirmed by his agents Lovett Logan earlier today. He is survived by his wife Vanessa.





FILTER: - Classic Series

Earl Cameron 1917 - 2020Bookmark and Share

Saturday, 4 July 2020 - Reported by Marcus
Earl CameronThe actor Earl Cameron, the longest-lived actor ever to appear in Doctor Who, has died at the age of 102.

Earl Cameron appeared in the 1966 Doctor Who story The Tenth Planet, the final story featuring the First Doctor. He played Glyn Williams, one of two astronauts on the Zeus IV when it conducted an orbital atmosphere survey mission. He was the first Black actor to portray an astronaut on any film or TV series in the world.

Cameron is best known for his pioneering work becoming one of the first black actors to take up a starring role in a British film. He played Johnny Lambert in Pool of London, a 1951 British noir crime film and the first film to portray an interracial relationship.

Earl Cameron was born in Pembroke, Bermuda. As a member of the Merchant Navy, he sailed the world but found himself stranded in London when World War II broke out.

A ticket to the theatre excited his interest in acting and in 1942 he talked his way into a West End production of Chu Chin Chow. Further roles followed and in 1945 he toured with the Entertainments National Service Association (ENSA) to play to British armed forces personnel in India.

His breakthrough acting role was in Pool of London directed by Basil Dearden and set in post-war London. It involved racial prejudice, romance and a diamond robbery. He won much critical acclaim for his role in the film, which is considered the first major role for a black actor in a British mainstream film. Over the next 50 years, he made many feature films starring with actors such as Sean Connery in the James Bond movie Thunderball, and Sidney Poitier in A Warm December.

In Television one of his earliest major roles was a starring part in the BBC 1960 TV drama The Dark Man, in which he played a West Indian cab driver. In 1956 he had a smaller part in another BBC drama exploring racism in the workplace, A Man From The Sun. He appeared in the TV series The Prisoner as the Haitian supervisor in the episode The Schizoid Man. Other television work included Emergency – Ward 10, The Zoo Gang, Crown Court, Jackanory, Dixon of Dock Green, Neverwhere, Waking the Dead, Kavanagh QC, Babyfather, EastEnders, Dalziel and Pascoe, and Lovejoy.

In 2009 he was appointed a CBE in the Queen's New Year's Honours list. In 2012 he returned to his country of birth to open the Earl Cameron Theatre in Hamilton, Bermuda.

Earlier this year he became the longest-lived credited actor to appear in Doctor Who, overtaking Zohra Sehgal who died in 2014. He is one of four Doctor Who actors to have reached the age of 100.

Earl Cameron died on 3rd July 2020




FILTER: - Classic Series

Pip Baker 1928 - 2020Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, 14 April 2020 - Reported by Marcus
Pip BakerThe classic series writer Pip Baker has died at the age of 91.

Pip Baker, along with his wife and writing partner Jane, was one of the best-known writers from the mid 80's era of Doctor Who, writing eleven episodes for the series. Together they created the Rani, a female Time Lord scientist who was brought to life so vividly by the late Kate O'Mara, as well a creating the companion Mel.

Pip and Jane Baker began writing together in the 1960s working on the films The Painted Smile, The Break, The Night of the Big Heat and Captain Nemo and the Underwater City. On Television, they worked on the children's thriller Circus as well as episodes of Z-Cars and Space 1999.

In 1985 they were commissioned by producer John Nathan Turner to write for the first full series of the Sixth Doctor, Colin Baker, producing the story Mark of the Rani. The story was well received and the couple returned the following year to pen Terror of the Vervoids The third segment of the Trial of a Time Lord Season, envisaged as a whodunnit in space.

Later that year the couple were called in following the departure of the then Script editor Eric Saward, who left following a disagreement with Nathan Turner. Saward had withdrawn his script for the final episode of the season leaving the Bakers to come up with an alternative ending, without access to anything already written, and without creating anything which needed a new set to be built. They had just three days to come up with a script capable of concluding a season they had very little part in conceiving.

In 1988 Pip Baker told Doctor Who Magazine about some of the problems they encountered.
We went over to Eric’s empty office and talked it through – whether we could do it justice – not just because of the time period, as we had experience of that kind of speed on American series – but because we were being asked to wrap up thirteen episodes. If people have watched it that long, there’s an expectation that has to be satisfied – this has got to be it. We had three days in the end – two to write, and one to type up from out longhand, which we always write in, and collate everything.
After the transmission of the season, Phi and Jane Baker found themselves defending their scripts on the BBC's feedback programme Open Air, facing criticism from some fans including future showrunner Chris Chibnall.

The Bakers returned to Doctor Who at the start of the next season, introducing the seventh Doctor in Time and the Rani, a script which brought back their most enduring creation The Rani.

In the early 1990's they created the children's programme Watt on Earth which ran for 24 episodes on BBC One.

Jane Baker died in 2014. Pip Baker died this morning after being ill for some time following a fall.




FILTER: - Classic Series - Obituary

Honor Blackman 1925 -2020Bookmark and Share

Monday, 6 April 2020 - Reported by Marcus
Honor Blackman _ Terror of the Vervoids (Credit: BBC)The actress Honor Blackman, best-known for playing Bond girl Pussy Galore and Cathy Gale in The Avengers, has died at the age of 94.

Honor Blackman enjoyed a career spanning eight decades, appearing in many films and television series. She appeared in Doctor Who in 1986 playing Professor Lasky in the Sixth Doctor story Terror of the Vervoids.

Honor Blackman was born in East London in 1925, the daughter of a Civil servant. For a 15th birthday present, she was given acting lessons, a gift that would lead to her becoming one of the hardest working and most successful actresses of her generation.

Her film debut came in 1947 with a non-speaking part in Fame Is the Spur Other films include in 1948 Quartet based on short stories by W. Somerset Maugham and in 1950 So Long at the Fair in which she appeared with Dirk Bogarde. In 1958 she appeared in the film based on the Titanic disaster A Night to Remember.

Her breakthrough came in 1962 when she was cast as leather-clad crimefighter Cathy Gale in the hit British show The Avengers, playing alongside Patrick Macnee as John Steed. Her action role, which required her to learn judo, endeared her to the nation and with her distinctive dress sense, she quickly became a British icon. One side effect, a top ten single, Kinky Boots, recorded in 1964 with Macnee.

It was her performance in The Avengers which led to Albert R. Broccoli casting Blackman as Pussy Galore, opposite Sean Connery in the James Bond franchise, despite the show not being well known in America. He said, "I knew the Brits would love her because they knew her as Mrs Gale, the Yanks would like her because she was so good, it was a perfect combination".

Appearances followed in series such as Never the Twain, Bridget Jones's Diary, Jack and the Beanstalk: The Real Story, Casualty and even a stint in Coronation Street where she played Rula Romanoff

In 1990, she was cast in a regular role in the ITV sitcom The Upper Hand, playing the glamorous mother of the lead female character. Blackman expressed her fondness for the role, saying it "made women who’d just retired and felt they’d been put on the backburner realise they had a lot of life left to live".

Blackman was a political activist and a member of the Liberal Democrats. She was a committed republican declining an honour from the Queen in 2002, as she felt it would be hypocritical to accept.

Honor Blackman's death was announced today by her family.
It’s with great sadness that we have to announce the death of Honor Blackman aged 94. She died peacefully of natural causes at her home in Lewes, Sussex, surrounded by her family. She was much loved and will be greatly missed by her two children Barnaby and Lottie, and grandchildren Daisy, Oscar, Olive and Toby.

As well as being a much-adored mother and grandmother, Honor was an actor of hugely prolific creative talent; with an extraordinary combination of beauty, brains and physical prowess, along with her unique voice and a dedicated work ethic, she achieved an unparalleled iconic status in the world of film and entertainment and with absolute commitment to her craft and total professionalism in all her endeavours she contributed to some of the great films and theatre productions of our times




FILTER: - Classic Series - Obituary

David Collings 1940-2020Bookmark and Share

Monday, 23 March 2020 - Reported by Marcus
David Collings (Credit: The Old Vic)Actor David Collings has died at the age of 79.

David Collings had a number of memorable appearances in Doctor Who appearing in eleven episodes of the Classic series between 1975 and 1983.

His first appearance was in the Fourth Doctor story Revenge of the Cybermen. Collins played Vorus, leader of the guardians on Voga. His performance as the proud renegade, trying to assert his races sovereignty but nearly bringing about their destruction was a tour de force.

He returned to the series in 1977 playing Poul in the story The Robots of Death. A very different role Poul was an undercover agent for the Kaldor City Company, eventually succumbing to Grimwade's Syndrome, the fear of Robots.

His final appearance came in the fifth Doctor story Mawdryn Undead, playing the title character Mawdryn, desperate to get the Doctor to give up his remaining regenerations.

David Collings was born in Brighton in East Sussex in 1940. His first television appearance came in 1964, playing Raskolnikov in a live production of Crime & Punishment. Over the next thirty years, he was a regular of the British screen appearing in such programmes as Dr. Finlay's Casebook, Point Counter Point, The Possessed, Canterbury Tales, Elizabeth R, By the Sword Divided, Miss Marple: A Murder Is Announced, Sapphire & Steel and The Shadow of the Tower.

He played William Wilberforce in The Fight Against Slavery and Blind Pew in Treasure Island. In 1981 he appeared in the final episode of Blake's 7 playing Deva. He played Monkey in the late seventies adaptation of a Chinese folktale.

Film roles included Bob Cratchit in the classic 1970 film musical, Scrooge, as well as roles in The Thirty Nine Steps and The Outsider, while Radio listeners heard him as Legolas in the acclaimed BBC dramatisation of The Lord of the Rings.

In recent years Collins had worked for Big Finish appearing in several Doctor Who related productions.

David Collings died suddenly earlier today. He is survived by his children and by his wife, Karen Archer, who announced the death on Twitter.
I don’t if this is the right time, maybe no such thing anymore, but I feel I should share the news, for those who knew him, that our dear David Collings, actor, husband, father, died suddenly in the early hours of this morning. Perhaps we can celebrate him properly next year ...




FILTER: - Classic Series - Obituary

Nicholas Parsons 1923-2020Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, 28 January 2020 - Reported by Marcus
Nicholas Parsons (Credit: Keith Wynn/Spotlight)The actor and Game Show host Nicholas Parsons has died at the age of 96.

Nicholas Parsons played Reverend Wainwright in the 1989 Doctor Who serial The Curse of Fenric.

However he was best known as the host of the BBC Radio 4 panel game Just a Minute, working on the series since it was first broadcast on 22 December 1967. The show continues to be transmitted and Parsons has been heard in almost every edition.

Parsons was born in Grantham, Lincolnshire. He started his career while training as an engineering apprentice; he was found by Canadian impresario Carroll Levis, doing impressions and working in small repertory theatres in Glasgow.

Parsons made his film debut in Master of Bankdam in 1947. He continued his stage career in small parts in West End theatre shows, then did two years in repertory at Bromley, Kent and later Windsor, Maidstone and Hayes. After becoming a resident comedian at the Windmill Theatre in 1952, Parsons became well known to TV audiences during the 1950s as the straight man to comedian Arthur Haynes. After the pair appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1961, the partnership broke up at Haynes request allowing Parsons to return to the stage, before he became a regular on The Benny Hill Show from 1969 to 1974. After Haynes' sudden death, Parsons appeared as a personality in his own right, culminating in the long-running Anglia Television game show, Sale of the Century, broadcast weekly from 1971 to 1983.

He was the non-singing voice of Tex Tucker in the TV series Four Feather Falls at the suggestion of his then-wife, actress and voiceover artiste Denise Bryer. During the late sixties, he presented a satirical programme on Radio Four called Listen to This Space, In the late 1960s, he portrayed "David Courtney" on the short-lived American sitcom The Ugliest Girl in Town.

Nicholas Parsons died in the early hours of the 28th of January according to a statement issued by his agent Jean Diamond on behalf of his family.
He was with his beloved family who will miss him enormously and who wish to thank the wonderful staff at the Stoke Mandeville Hospital.
BBC director-general Tony Hall said:
Very few people have done so much to entertain audiences over the decades, and no one deserves to be called a broadcasting legend more than Nicholas Parsons. His charm, inventive intellect and ability to create laughs were unsurpassed. Our thoughts are with his family and all who knew him.
Mohit Bakaya, controller of BBC Radio 4, said
Nicholas Parsons was one of the greats, a first class broadcaster and an icon in the world of British comedy. Nicholas always brought his sharp wit, brilliant poise and warmth to everything he did - but particularly as host of Just a Minute where his excellence shone in each episode without hesitation, deviation or repetition.




FILTER: - Classic Series - Obituary

Classic Doctor Who Launches on BritBox on Boxing DayBookmark and Share

Friday, 20 December 2019 - Reported by Marcus
The biggest Doctor Who Classic collection ever streamed in the UK comes to BritBox in the UK from Boxing Day.

From 26th December, 627 pieces of Doctor Who Classic content will be available on the service. This tally is comprised of a mix of episodes, spin-offs, documentaries, telesnaps and more and includes many rarely-seen treasures. Subscribers will be able to access this content via web, mobile, tablet, connected TVs and Chromecast.

BritBox is the digital video subscription service created by the BBC and ITV. The service aims to bring the very best in past, present and future British programming and award-winning content to viewers all in one place for £5.99 per month in HD. It launched in the United States in 2017 and the United Kingdom last November.

129 complete stories, which totals 558 episodes spanning the first eight Doctors from William Hartnell to Paul McGann, form the backbone of the collection.

The collection also includes four complete stories; The Tenth Planet, The Moonbase, The Ice Warriors and The Invasion, which feature a combination of original content and animation and total 22 episodes. The unaired story entitled Shada which was originally presented as six episodes (but has been uploaded as a 130 minute special), brings this total to 28.

A further two complete, solely animated stories - The Power Of The Daleks and The Macra Terror (presented in HD) - add 10 episodes.

Five orphaned episodes - The Crusade (2 parts), Galaxy 4, The Space Pirates and The Celestial Toymaker - bring the total up to 600. Doctor Who: The Movie, An Unearthly Child: The Pilot Episode and An Adventure In Space And Time will also be available on the service, in addition to The Underwater Menace, The Wheel In Space and The Web Of Fear which have been completed via telesnaps. Spin-off drama K-9 And Company, and documentaries More Than 30 Years In The TARDIS and Doctor Who: Doctors Revisited complete the collection.

BritBox will also be curating special Doctor Who Classic collections, including ‘New to Who’, featuring one key episode from each of the first seven Doctors as an introduction to the uninitiated. Further collections will be devoted to the most memorable monsters, with Cybermen, Daleks, The Master and Sontaran each getting the limelight. Regeneration episodes have also been collated.

Boxing Day also marks the start of a longer-term collaboration with the BBC, with a shared vision of making BritBox the ultimate home of Doctor Who Classic content in 2020 and beyond, and ensuring the widest collection of content available is presented in the best possible format and quality.

Reemah Sakaan, Group Director ITV SVOD, commented:
BritBox becoming the first complete digital home of Doctor Who Classic creates a special opportunity for fans and streamers across the UK. We are looking forward to expanding the collection even further by working with the show creators to lovingly restore lost and previously unavailable episodes in the months to come and offering a truly exclusive experience.
Sally de St Croix, Franchise Director for Doctor Who at BBC Studios added
It’s thrilling to partner with BritBox and see all this amazing Doctor Who Classic content congregate in one place where subscribers can stream to their hearts’ content – some experiencing the show for the first time whilst others will simply be enjoying it all over again.




FILTER: - Broadcasting - Classic Series

Donald Tosh 1935-2019Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, 18 December 2019 - Reported by Marcus
Donald ToshThe writer and Script Editor Donald Tosh has died at the age of 84.

Donald Tosh was the last surviving writer from the era of the First Doctor. He served as Script Editor for 9 months, writing much of the 1966 story The Massacre of St Bartholomew's Eve, rewriting the original script supplied by John Lucarotti. Later in the year, he rewrote much of the script of Brian Hayes classic story The Celestial Toymaker.

Donald Tosh had a long career in British Television. He was working at Granada Television in Manchester when he was asked to commission a twice-weekly series to compete with Emergency Ward 10, then the most popular show on the air. His solution was a new project called Florizel Street, created by a young man called Tony Warren. This later changed its name to Coronation Street.

In the early 1960's he moved to the BBC, working for Donald Wilson, then Head of Serials at the BBC. Against his better judgement, he was asked to script edit the soap Compact.
A twice-weekly serial! It was the one thing I loathed and wanted nothing to do with. However, I did it for eighteen months and learned a great deal about scriptwriting. Eventually, I went back to Donald and he told me that there were a few things that he'd be quite happy to move me to. One was another twice-weekly serial, and I said, no way and then he suggested Doctor Who and also told me that John Wiles was going to take over as producer from Verity Lambert and I said, oh, yes, then certainly I'd like to work on Doctor Who, as I knew Johnnie, we got on very well, and I had a huge respect for his work.
He joined the show in the summer of 1965, staying until the spring of 1966 and overseeing the stories The Time Meddler, Galaxy 4, Mission to the Unknown, The Myth Makers, The Daleks' Master Plan, The Massacre of St Bartholomew's Eve and The Celestial Toymaker. While some scripts needed very little work, most needed major rewrites to get them into a form necessary for TV Production.

His most accomplished work was probably for the story The Massacre of St Bartholomew’s Eve., set in the French court of 1572. The script had been supplied by John Lucarotti, but on reading it Tosh realised it would need to be completely rewritten.
John sent in a script, and he hadn’t had any time to do his research, which was very unlike him. He had missed the whole point of the story, and everything else that was going in. It’s a period I know quite a bit about, so I had to go away and rewrite it from page one. Bill Hartnell was a good actor, and I wanted to give him something different to do. I gave Bill a doppelganger story where I got him to play the Abbot of Amboise, not just the Doctor. He had great fun doing it, as he wasn’t having to learn all the usual scientific lines, as he had to do as the old man. As a result of that, when he came back to playing the Doctor, his performance had really improved. I thought it worked brilliantly, and it’s one I’m still very proud of. It’s such a shame that the BBC no longer have it.
Tosh left the show in March 1966 after an argument over the scripts for The Celestial Toymaker, which had been rewritten while he was on holiday. He told the DWAS magazine The Celestial Toyroom, that he did regret leaving the series as quickly as he did.
I really always felt that I should have stayed on as story editor until after The Gunslingers, until after Donald Cotton was settled, but when I spoke to the new producer, Innes Lloyd, it became very clear to me that his idea of what Doctor Who should be and my idea of what Doctor Who should be were poles apart. So there was really no point in me trying to stay on. I could have done, but I suspect it would have lead to untold battles in the production office, which is very bad for any programme.
After Doctor Who worked on shows such as Sherlock Holmes and Ryan International, but left Televsion in the 1970's. He worked for a time for English Heritage and became Head Custodian of Sherborne Old Castle in Dorset.




FILTER: - Classic Series - Obituary