Doctor Doctor Who Guide


On This Day (USA) - 9 December

The Ice Warriors: Five premiered on BBC One in 1967 at 5:24pm GMT, watched by 8.00 million viewers.

The Doctor and Victoria are held prisoner by the Ice Warriors who are preparing to fire their deadly sonic cannon at the Brittanicus Base.

The Androids of Tara: Part Three premiered on BBC One in 1978 at 6:21pm GMT, watched by 8.90 million viewers.

The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos premiered on BBC One in 2018 at 6:25pm GMT, watched by 6.65 million viewers.

On the planet of Ranskoor Av Kolos, a deadly reckoning awaits the Doctor and her friends.

Eric Saward will be 77 - 32 credits, including Script Editor for Castrovalva

Eric Saward was a scriptwriter and script editor for the BBC who worked on Doctor Who from 1981-1986

His career as a scriptwriter began with drama for radio while he was working as a teacher. Later he was able to cross into full-time writing. He was approached by then Doctor Who script editor Christopher H. Bidmead to submit some ideas to the series on the strength of a recommendation from the senior drama script editor at BBC Radio. He received a commission to write the story The Visitation. This in turn led to his appointment as script editor on the recommendation of Antony Root, who had briefly replaced Bidmead. In addition to his role as script editor, Saward also wrote the television stories Earthshock, Resurrection of the Daleks and Revelation of the Daleks.

Saward's other Who writings include the 1983 short story, Birth of a Renegade in the Doctor Who 20th Anniversary Special one-off magazine, published by Radio Times (and Starlog Press in the U.S.) and the 1985 radio play Slipback. He wrote the novelisations of The Twin Dilemma and Attack of the Cybermen, as well as those of The Visitation and Slipback, for Target Books' Doctor Who range. His two Dalek stories remain among the few never novelised, while Earthshock was novelised by Ian Marter.

Saward aroused controversy in 1985 because many of the stories of Colin Baker's first season in the role contained numerous scenes of graphic violence and darker themes, which many commentators felt was inappropriate for a programme aimed at a family audience (the season featured acid baths, hangings, cell mutation experiments, executions by laser, cannibalism, poisonings, stabbings, suffocation by cyanide and a man having his hands crushed). Unlike previous criticism of violence levelled against the series (for instance during the Philip Hinchcliffe era) this criticism came from members of the general public and some Doctor Who fans, as well as traditional critics such as Mary Whitehouse. BBC One controller Michael Grade publicly criticised the violence featured in Colin Baker's first season and claimed it was one of his reasons for putting the series on an 18-month hiatus between 1985 and 1986. Saward defended these scenes, claiming they were intended to be dramatic and intended to warn audiences against real-world violence. 

He did not always have a harmonious relationship with Doctor Who's producer John Nathan-Turner which gave rise to occasional tensions behind the scenes. Saward often complained at Nathan-Turner's insistence on not hiring experienced Doctor Who writers, which led to his having to work hard, not always successfully, on unsuitable scripts submitted by rookie writers. Saward also disagreed with Nathan-Turner's casting of Colin Baker as the Sixth Doctor. This came to a head during the production of The Trial of a Time Lord in the middle of 1986 and he resigned as Script Editor before the completion of production. Nevertheless, Saward's association with the show continued - in the 1990s he wrote linking narration for Doctor Who audio releases of missing episodes, and more recently he has appeared in interviews on DVDs of his serials and contributed a short story to the Big Finish Short Trips collection. He also writes for German radio drama.

Waris Hussein will be 83 - 8 credits, including Director for An Unearthly Child

Waris Hussein is a British-Indian television director and film director best known for his many productions for British television.

Hussein was born in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India, into a Saidanpur (Barabanki District) Taluqdar background, and grew up mainly in Bombay. He came to the UK with his family in 1946, when his father, Ali Bahadur Habibullah, was appointed to the Indian High Commission. After the independence of Pakistan in 1947, his father returned to Pakistan, but his mother, Attia Hosain, chose to stay in England with her children, and worked as a writer and as broadcaster on the Indian Section of the BBC's Eastern Service from 1949.

He was educated at Clifton College, and then studied English literature at Queens' College, Cambridge, where he directed several plays. His contemporaries included Derek Jacobi, Margaret Drabble, Trevor Nunn, and Ian McKellen, whom he directed in several productions, including a Marlowe Society revival of Caesar and Cleopatra. After graduating in 1960, he joined the BBC to train as a director. He also changed his name from Habibullah to Hussein: "It sounded like the King of Jordan then, but [later] turned out to be more like Saddam – and that doesn't help in life."

Hussein directed the first ever Doctor Who serial, An Unearthly Child, in 1963, although he was unsure about the effect directing televisual science fiction would have on his career. Looking back on the experience, he said "[I was] a graduate from Cambridge with honours, and you're directing this piece about cavemen in skins [..] 'I thought, 'Where have I landed up in my life?'"

In 1964 he returned to the series to direct most of the fourth serial, Marco Polo. He went on to direct many other productions such as a 1965 BBC television version of A Passage to India; the BBC serial Notorious Woman (1974); suffragette movement drama Shoulder to Shoulder (BBC, 1974); and the Thames Television serial Edward and Mrs Simpson (1978). The latter two productions saw him working once more with former Doctor Who producer Verity Lambert. He also directed for Thames the first story (a 4-parter) in the Armchair Thriller series.

His feature film A Touch of Love (1969) was entered into the 19th Berlin International Film Festival.Later theatrically released films include Melody (1971, also known as S.W.A.L.K), with Jack Wild and Mark Lester and Henry VIII and his Six Wives (1972) starring Keith Michell, Charlotte Rampling and Donald Pleasence. The latter film was based on the BBC serial about the Tudor monarch.

In the 1990s he directed several television movies in the United States.

In 1997 he directed Sixth Happiness, a film whose screenplay was written by Firdaus Kanga, the author of the semi-autobiographical novel Trying to Grow. Meera Syal, Nina Wadia, and Firdaus Kanga starred in the film.

In the 2013 BBC drama An Adventure in Space and Time, about the creation of Doctor Who, Hussein was portrayed by actor Sacha Dhawan.

He received a BAFTA award for Edward and Mrs. Simpson (shared with producer Andrew Brown), and an Emmy Award for the Barry Manilow musical Copacabana.

Biography from the wikipedia article, licensed under CC-BY-SA

Wendy Gifford will be 89 - credited as Miss Garrett in The Ice Warriors

Aubrey Danvers Walker (died 1978 aged 73) would be 117 - credited as Council Member in The Dominators

Aubrey Danvers-Walker was born in Sutton, Surrey, England; in 1911 he lived with his parents Charles and Lillian, and brother Cyril.

He was an actor, known for Dominic (1976), The Strange Case of Blondie (1954) and Volpone (1959). 

Sir Patrick Moore (died 2012 aged 89) - 2 credits, including Self in Children in Need (as Patrick Moore)(Related)

Sir Patrick Moore was a famous Earth astronomer.

He was mentioned (jokingly) by Rose Tyler when the Ninth Doctor asked her who she considered to be the ultimate expert in alien lifeforms.

The Doctor apparently met him at some point in the past, referring to him as "a devil" with the ladies. He was one of many experts holding a conference over the Internet when the Atraxi were threatening to boil the Earth. The Eleventh Doctor, after providing proof that he was a genius, showed the assembled experts how to create a computer virus that would alert the Atraxi to the position of Prisoner Zero.

Biography from the TARDIS Data Core article, licensed under CC-BY-SA