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.





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.
 




Philip Martin 1938-2020Bookmark and Share

Monday, 28 December 2020 - Reported by Marcus
Philip Martin (Credit: BBC Studios)

The writer Philip Martin has died at the age of 82.

Philip Martin was an acclaimed television writer who worked in British television for over forty years.

He contributed two scripts for Doctor Who, both during the era of the sixth Doctor.

His first was Vengeance on Varos in 1985. The script dealt with a world where torture and executions were broadcast live to peoples homes. Martin created the character of Sil for the story, played admirably by Nabil Shaban.

Sil proved so popular the character returned for Martin's second script for the series, Mindwarp in 1986. Part of the Trial of a Timelord series, the script also dealt with the departure of Peri, played by Nicola Bryant, from the series.

A third script, Mission to Magnus was never filmed when the show was put on hiatus in 1985. It was later novelised by Martin in 1990 and recorded by Big Finish. 

Philip Martin was born in Liverpool in the North West of England. His early work included scripts for Z-Cars. A play for today set in Birmingham's underworld was developed into a series, Gangsters

Later work includes Tandoori Nights, Star Cops, Virtual Murder and several episodes of Hetty Wainthropp Investigates.

In 2019 Martin revisited the character of Sil to much acclaim in an independent broadcast television series from Reeltime Pictures Ltd., Sil and the Devil Seeds of Arodor.

 

 





Jeremy Bulloch 1945-2020Bookmark and Share

Friday, 18 December 2020 - Reported by Marcus
Jeremy Bulloch (Credit: Robert Workman)

The actor Jeremy Bulloch has died at the age of 75.

Jeremy Bulloch appeared in seven episodes of Doctor Who. 

His first appearance was in 1965 when he played alongside First Doctor William Hartnell in the story The Space Museum. Bulloch played Tor, one of the  Xeron rebels.

He returned to the series in 1973 playing Hal the archer in the Third Doctor story The Time Warrior

Jeremy Bulloch was best known in science fiction circles for playing bounty hunter Boba Fett in the Star Wars franchise appearing in the films The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi.

Bulloch has a long career in film and television, first appearing at the age of 12 in a breakfast cereal commercial. As a child actor, he had many appearances in early television productions including roles in Billy Bunter of Greyfriars School and The Chequered Flag as well as the films Carry on Teacher and Spare the Rod

In the 1960's he appeared with Cliff Richard in the fun-filled musical Summer Holiday. and had a regular role in the soap opera Compact. Other roles included parts in George & Mildred, The Professionals, Agony, Jenny's War, Robin Hood, Casualty, The Bill and Starhyke. He appeared in the James Bond film Octopussy. 

In recent years he has been a regular at Star Wars conventions. 

Jeremy Bulloch died in hospital on Thursday from health complications following his many years living with Parkinson’s disease”, according to his agent.

He is survived by his wife, three sons and 10 grandchildren. 





Geoffrey Palmer 1927-2020Bookmark and Share

Friday, 6 November 2020 - Reported by Marcus

The actor Geoffrey Palmer has died at the age of 93

 

Geoffrey Palmer was best known for his appearances in sitcoms including Butterflies, As Time Goes By and The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin,

Palmer appeared in 5 episodes of Doctor Who. His first appearance was opposite the third Doctor in the 1970 story Doctor Who And The Silurians. He played Edward Masters, the  Permanent Under-Secretary to the Minister of Science who became infected with the Silurian virus and brought it to London. 

Two years later he appeared in the story The Mutants playing The Administrator who was assassinated on the instructions of The Marshal

His last appearance came over 30 years later in Voyage of the Damned, becoming one of a few select actors to have appeared in both the original and the revived series. He played Captain Hardaker, the captain of the space cruise liner Titanic. 

 

Geoffrey Palmer was born in London. After his National Service, he briefly studied Shipping Management at Streatham Technical College. He worked as an accountant before his girlfriend persuaded him to join the local amateur dramatics society. Eventually, he became assistant stage manager at Croydon's Grand Theatrespending several years touring.

In the 1950's he started appearing on television where he would be a fixture for the next forty years. Early appearances included a recurring role in The Army Game alongside first Doctor William Hartnell.  He played a property agent in the acclaimed Kitchen sick drama Cathy Come Home.

A major break came when he appeared in John Osborne's West of Suez at the Royal Court with Ralph Richardson. He acted in several major productions at the Royal Court and for the National Theatre Company and was directed by Laurence Olivier in J. B. Priestley's Eden End. He found the play and the experience tedious preferring the more immediate medium of television. 

 Roles in the sixties included Family Solicitor, Garry Halliday, Bootsie and Snudge, The Avengers, Emergency-Ward 10, Z Cars, George and the Dragon, Softly Softly: Task Force, The Expert and Out of the Unknown

In the 1970's he became famous for his many roles in sitcoms. His two most famous being the hapless brother-in-law of Reggie Perrin in The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin, and the long-suffering Ben Parkinson in Carla Lane's Butterflies. He had a memorable appearance in the Fawlty Towers episode The Kipper and the Corpse, playing the Doctor determined to have his breakfast despite a body being found in the hotel. 

Roles in the 1980s included parts in Hot Metal, Executive Stress, The Kenny Everett Television Show and Look at the State We're In!

For over a decade he played Lionel Hardcastle opposite Judi Dench in the sitcom As Time Goes By

He continued acting well into his eighties, playing the Head Geographer in the 2014 film Paddington. He is due to appear in the forthcoming Roald Dahl film An Unquiet Life, as Dahl’s Repton headmaster Geoffrey Fisher.

He was made an OBE in 2004 for services to drama.

He is survived by his wife Sally Green, with whom he had a daughter Harriet, and a son, Charles, who has directed six episodes of Doctor Who.





Frank Windsor 1928 - 2020Bookmark and Share

Friday, 2 October 2020 - Reported by Marcus


Frank Windsor as Inspector Mackenzie (Credit: BBC)The actor Frank Windsor has died at the age of 92

 

Frank Windsor appeared in two Doctor Who stories in the 1980s. In 1983 he played Ranulf Fitzwilliam in the Fifth Doctor story The King's Demons. In 1989 he returned opposite the seventh Doctor playing Inspector Mackenzie in the story Ghost Light.

Windsor was best known for his regular role in the early Police series Z-Cars.

Frank Windsor studied speech training and drama at the Central School of Speech and Drama. He regularly appeared on television from the mid-1950s mostly playing historical characters in series such as An Age of Kings.

His big break came in 1962 when he was cast as Detective Sergeant John Watt in the gritty police series Z-Cars. The series was set in Liverpool and dealt with the realities of policing a large city. In tone it was very different to anything that had gone before and made stars of many of its regular cast, including Brian Blessed, James Ellis, Stratford Johns, Jeremy Kemp and Colin Welland. He played the role for three years before moving onto the spin-off series Softly, Softly and Softly, Softly: Taskforce from 1966 to 1976.

Other roles included a part in the pilot episode of Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) and a role in The Avengers. His lighter side came out in the pilot episode of the situation comedy The Dustbinmen in 1968, and as Scoutfinder General in an episode of The Goodies. other TV credits included 1960s sci-fi A for Andromeda, and a 1985 adaptation of Charles Dickens' Bleak House. From 1987 to 1989 he starred in the comedy-drama, Flying Lady. 

He had regular roles in the BBC drama Casualty; the ITV drama Peak Practice; he played Major Charlie Grace in EastEnders

In  later years appeared in a number of television commercials advertising life-assurance policies for people over 50

Windsor died at his home in London on 30 September 2020. He is survived by his wife Mary. 

His death was announced by his agent. 

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of our much-loved client, Frank Windsor, at the age of 92. As per Frank's wishes and in keeping with Covid restrictions, there will be no funeral or memorial service, just a private cremation with his ashes being laid to rest with his beloved son David.

Windsor's son was killed in a car crash in 1987 at the age of 29. 

 

 

 

 





Diana Rigg 1938 - 2020Bookmark and Share

Thursday, 10 September 2020 - Reported by Marcus
Diana Rigg

The actress Dame Diana Rigg has died at the age of 82

During her long career, Diana Rigg had starring roles in The Avengers and Game of Thrones as well as appearing in the James Bond franchise. 

She played Mrs Gillyflower in the 2013 story The Crimson Horror alongside Eleventh Doctor Matt Smith.and her daughter Rachael Stirling. The episode had been specially written for her by Mark Gatiss who paid tribute to the actress.  

It was my great joy and privilege to have known Diana Rigg. From three slightly hysterical months at the Old Vic in ‘All About Mother’ to writing The Crimson Horror for Diana and her wonderful daughter Rachael. Flinty, fearless, fabulous. There will never be another. RIP

Diana Rigg was born in Doncaster, then in the West Riding of Yorkshire. She grew up in India where her father worked on the Railways before returning to England for her education. She studied at the Royal Acadamy of Dramatic Art alongside the likes of  Glenda Jackson and Siân Phillips.

Her first roles were on stage and for eight years she was a member of the  Royal Shakespeare Company.

After small roles on Television, her big break came when she joined the 1960's adventure series The Avengers playing Emma Peel. She was not the first choice for the role replacing Elizabeth Shepherd after two episodes, but she made the role her own and stayed for 51 episodes. A dispute with the producers over pay equality with Patrick Macnee, the male star of the show, meant she left the series after two years. 

Big Screen stardom came in 1969 playing Mrs James Bond opposite George Lazenby in the On Her Majesty's Secret Service

Many memorable TV appearances followed including playing Regan in a Granada Television production of King Lear opposite Laurence Olivier and playing Lady Dedlock in the BBC adaptation of Charles Dickens' Bleak House

In 1989 she played Helena Vesey in Mother Love for the BBC as role which gained her the 1990 BAFTA award for Best Television Actress.

In 2013 she joined Game of Thrones portraying Lady Olenna Tyrell, a witty and sarcastic political mastermind popularly known as the Queen of Thorns. Her performance earned her an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series. 

She appeares in the new series of All Creatures Great and Small, currently being shown on Channel Five. Last year she  appeared on Broadway in the Musical My Fair Lady, earning her fourth Tony nomination. 

Diana Rigg Rigg died earler today at her home in London after a short illness. 





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.




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




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 ...