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On This Day (USA) - 21 March



Marco Polo: Rider From Shang-Tu premiered on BBC One in 1964 at 5:16pm GMT, watched by 9.40 million viewers.

Marco Polo will not accept that Tegana is plotting against him. Ping Cho returns the TARDIS key to Susan so that the travellers might escape. But Tegana has other plans.



The Ambassadors of Death: Episode 1 premiered on BBC One in 1970 at 5:16pm BST, watched by 7.10 million viewers.

Contact has been lost with Mars Probe 7. When contact is also lost with the recovery ship, UNIT is called in and the Doctor learns that someone is sending messages to the vessel.



Logopolis: Part Four premiered on BBC One in 1981 at 5:09pm GMT, watched by 6.10 million viewers.

Torchwood Declassified Series Two: Episode 11 premiered on BBC2 in 2008 at 9:50pm GMT, watched by 1.37 million viewers.

Fragments premiered on BBC Three in 2008 at 10:29pm GMT, watched by 0.72 million viewers.
 Birthdays
Natalie Gumede was 36 - 3 credits, including Ashley in Last Christmas

Natalie Gumede is from Burnley in Lancashire, best known for her role as Kirsty Soames in Coronation Street.

Her career got off to an early start when, at the age of eleven, she presented in that year's Children in Need. After graduating, from the Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts in 2003, she played China in the Ideal, made a guest appearance as Tania Coles in Emmerdale, and then was a regular in The Percussionists before the cobbles of Coronation Street beckoned in 2011, for which she won the NTA Award for Most Popular Newcomer. With her character sent to prison in 2013, Gumede went on to be a runner up in that year's Strictly Come Dancing, appeared in an episode of Moving On and Death in Paradise, and currently stars in online comedy series Sally The Life Coach.

Her father was the only president of the short-lived Zimbabwe-Rhodesia.



Bruno Langley was 37 - 3 credits, including Adam in Dalek

Bruno Langley is an English actor best known for playing Todd Grimshaw in the British soap opera Coronation Stree

Langley was born and grew up in Buxton, Derbyshire.He   attended Buxton Community School. He trained at the North Cheshire Theatre School in Heaton Moor

From 2001 to 2004, Langley played the character of Todd Grimshaw in the ITV soap opera Coronation Street as the first openly gay character on the show.

In 2005 he was cast as Adam Mitchell in the new series of Doctor Who, appearing in two episodes, "Dalek" and "The Long Game". 

He also filmed a small role in the feature film The League of Gentlemen's Apocalypse, released in June 2005, an episode of Dalziel and Pascoe, the little-seen film Halal Harry, and read Horace for BBC Radio 7.

In Spring 2006, Langley appeared in Life Imitates Art at the Camden People's Theatre. In 2006, he was seen in a production of A Taste of Honey which toured the UK extensively and played a short run at the Richmond Theatre.



Chris Chibnall was 50 - 53 credits, including Writer for The Hungry Earth / Cold Blood

Chris Chibnall is a British playwright, television writer and producer. 

Raised in Lancashire, he studied drama at St Mary's University College in Strawberry Hill, subsequently gaining an MA in Theatre and Film from the University of Sheffield. His early career included work as a football archivist and floor manager for Sky Sports, before leaving to work as an administrator for various theatre companies. From 1996 to 1999 he worked as administrator with the experimental theatre company Complicite (where he met his wife Madeline) before leaving to become a full-time writer.

Chibnall's first short play was produced as part of Contact Theatre's Young Playwright's Festival in 1988, directed by Lawrence Till. While studying at college, he wrote two plays which were performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. In 1998, he became Writer In Residence with GRiP Theatre Company, writing three full length plays, including Best Daze and Gaffer! and several short plays. Chibnall's successor as Writer in Residence was Matthew Broughton.

Chibnall took part in an attachment at the Royal National Theatre Studio in 1999, followed by a year-long attachment to Soho Theatre in 2000, which resulted in his play Kiss Me Like You Mean It, produced at Soho Theatre and directed by Abigail Morris. Its cast included Catherine McCormack, Jason Hughes, Marlene Sidaway and Harry Towb. The play was shortlisted for the Meyer-Whitworth Award, and has subsequently been produced in various venues around the world, including a successful three month run in Paris in 2004.

Gaffer! was revived at Southwark Playhouse in 2004.

Chibnall's first produced script for television was the successful monologue Stormin' Norman, starring James Bolam, made by Carlton Television for ITV.

In 2001 he was approached to develop the format for a drama series which became Born and Bred. A period drama set in the 1950s, the drama was part of a slate of popular drama series overseen by the new Head of Drama Jane Tranter, which also included Spooks and Cutting It. With a cast including James Bolam and Michael French, Born and Bred ran successfully on BBC One for four years from 2002 to 2005, with Chibnall serving as head writer and consultant producer (later executive producer), writing seventeen of its thirty six hourlong episodes.

Chibnall was the only writer other than the show's creators to write for both series of the double International Emmy award-winning BBC One police drama Life on Mars (2006-2007). He was part of the production team who accepted the 2007 BAFTA Audience Award onstage at the London Palladium.

During 2005, Chibnall was in charge of developing a proposed fantasy series involving the mythical magician Merlin for BBC One's early Saturday evening family drama slot. However, despite several scripts being written, BBC Head of Drama Jane Tranter eventually decided not to green-light the project, although it later emerged, without Chibnall's involvement, as Merlin (2008-2012). He was later to revisit the era with the creation of Camelot, an adult retelling of the Arthurian legend for the Starz network in 2011.

In 2005, Chibnall was appointed head writer and co-producer of science-fiction drama Torchwood. The series, a spin-off from the long-running Doctor Who, premiered on BBC Three in October 2006 to a then record-breaking audience for a digital channel in the UK. The programme went on to win "Best New Drama" at the 2007 TV Quick Awards and "Best Drama Series" at the BAFTA Cymru 2007 awards. The series has also been nominated for both Hugo and Saturn awards.  In the USA, the programme has been broadcast on BBC America and HDNet, to critical acclaim.  Chibnall wrote eight episodes during the first two series, including both series finales, and the premiere episode of series two. He worked closely with Russell T Davies across all aspects of the show's production.

While working on Torchwood, Chibnall also penned the 2007 episode 42 for the third series of Doctor Who. The series won the Writers Guild of Great Britain award for Best Series that year.

Chibnall is a long-time fan of Doctor Who, and appeared on the BBC discussion programmeOpen Air in 1986 as a representative of the Doctor Who Appreciation Society, criticising the quality of the series at the time.

In 2007, Dick Wolf and Kudos Film and Television selected Chibnall to become the show runner on ITV1's Law & Order: UK, a police procedural/legal drama based on the original US series. Chibnall was the lead writer and executive producer, writing six of the first thirteen episodes based on scripts from the US series. Chibnall was responsible for the overall creative direction of the UK show, including story selection, casting and post-production, working closely alongside other executive producers Jane Featherstone, Andrew Woodhead and Dick Wolf. The series premiered its first seven episodes in February 2008 to strong ratings and critical response. A further six episodes were transmitted, beginning in January 2009. ITV has commissioned a second run of thirteen episodes. Having set up the series, Chibnall made the decision to leave the programme after one series, to focus on other writing projects.

During 2011 he devised a detective drama for ITV, Broadchurch, a series he championed with the channel and was eventually produced and broadcast in 2013. Its critical success led to another series to be announced straight afterwards, with a third and final series due to air in 2016. The series has won a number of awards, including several BAFTAs. The programme also spawned an American remake, Gracepoint. Both the UK and US series starred David Tennant as the lead investigator.

On 22nd January 2016 it was announced that Chibnall would become the third lead writer for Doctor Who, taking over from Steven Moffat who steps down from the role after the tenth series; Chibnall's first series is expected to be produced during 2017 for a 2018 broadcast.

 

Some parts adapted from Wikipedia, licensed under CC-BY-SA



Timothy Dalton was 74 - 2 credits, including Lord President in The End of Time

Timothy Dalton is a British actor of film and television. 

He is best known for portraying James Bond in The Living Daylights (1987) and Licence to Kill (1989), as well as Rhett Butler in the television miniseries Scarlett (1994), an original sequel to Gone with the Wind. 

He played Rassilon in the 2009 Doctor Who two-parter The End of Time.

Other roles include King Phillip II of France in the 1968 Academy-award winning The Lion In Winter, Emily Bront�s Wuthering Heights (1970), Charlotte Bront�'s Jane Eyre(1983), Prince Barin in Flash Gordon (1980), Shakespearean films and plays such as Romeo and Juliet, King Lear, Henry V, Love's Labour's Lost, Henry IV, Part 1 and Henry IV, Part 2.



Michael Mundell (died 2003 aged 58) would have been 75 - credited as Jasko in The Invasion of Time

Hilary Minster (died 1999 aged 55) would have been 76 - 2 credits, including Marat in Planet of the Daleks

Hilary Minster was an English character actor.

He is best known for playing General Erich Von Klinkerhoffen in the sitcom 'Allo 'Allo! between 1984 and 1992. Other credits include Crossroads, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (TV series), and a semi-regular role in Secret Army as Hauptmann Muller.

He also appeared twice in Doctor Who, as the Thal soldier Marat in Planet of the Daleks (1973) and as an unnamed Thal soldier in Genesis of the Daleks (1975).

He also had a major part in another episode of a successful science fiction series playing Yagon in Achilles Heel, an episode of The Tomorrow People in 1978.



Roger Hammond (died 2012 aged 76) would have been 84 - 4 credits, including Doctor Runciman in Mawdryn Undead

Roger Hammond was an English character actor who had appeared in many films and television series.

He appeared in two Doctor Who stories: as Francis Bacon in  The Chase and Dr. Runciman in  Mawdryn Undead. 

He also portrayed Harold Withers in the Big Finish Doctor Who audio story BFA: The Eternal Summer.

Hammond's credits includes the Prince of Wales in The Duchess of Duke Street, Valence in A Dangerous Man: Lawrence After Arabia, and Cecil in A Good Woman. Hammond has also been cast as a clergyman several times, including as the Archbishop in Ian McKellen's Richard III, the Bishop de Cambrai in The Princes in the Tower, and as the Chief Augur in the HBO television drama Rome.



Tom Watson (died 2001 aged 69) would have been 88 - credited as Ramo in The Underwater Menace

Actor who appeared in the 1967 story The Underwater Menace



Peter Pratt (died 1995 aged 71) would have been 97 - 2 credits, including The Master in The Deadly Assassin

Peter Pratt was an English actor and singer who is best remembered for his comic roles in the Gilbert and Sullivan comic operas.

Pratt started his career in the chorus of the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company in 1945, moving up to small roles and then understudying Martyn Green, the principal comedian. From 1951 to 1959, he was the company's principal comedian, earning critical praise in the famous "patter" roles. After leaving the company, he moved on to a career in theatre, television, concert and radio, although he continued to perform the Gilbert and Sullivan roles throughout his career. 

One of his best-known television roles was as the second Master in Doctor Who.



Eric Francis (died 1991 aged 74) would have been 103 - credited as First Elder in The Sensorites

Actor who appeared in the 1964 story The Sensorites.

Also apeared in The Meaning of Life (1983), The Crimson Permanent Assurance (1983), Theatre of Blood (1973), The Shillingbury Blowers (1980).



Ian Stuart Black (died 1997 aged 82) would have been 105 - 4 credits, including Writer for The Savages

Ian Stuart Black was a novelist, playwright and screenwriter.

Both his 1959 novel In the Wake of a Stranger and his 1962 novel about the Cyprus emergency The High Bright Sun were made into films, Black writing the screenplays in each case.

He also wrote scripts for several British television programmes from the 1950s to the 1970s, including The Invisible Man and Sir Francis Drake (for which he was also story editor), as well as Danger Man (on which he served as associate producer) and Star Maidens.

He wrote three stories for Doctor Who and novelised all three stories for Target Books.

His final credit was for a half-hour supernatural drama called House of Glass, which was made by Television South in 1991.


 Deaths
John Cater (died 2009 aged 77) - credited as Professor Krimpton in The War Machines

John Cater played Professor Krimpton in the Doctor Who story The War Machines.

Also worked on BonekickersThe Last DetectiveMidsomer MurdersAlien AutopsyChuckleVisionBad GirlsThe BillThe Trial of the King KillersRoom 36CasualtyThe BriefDoctors and NursesDoctorsDown to EarthFogboundAnazaptaCrossroadsWhere the Heart IsThe ResidentsIn a Land of PlentyThe 10th KingdomGoodnight, Mister TomSilent WitnessBramwellRasputinSavage HeartsHarry's MadMidnight Movie2point4 ChildrenLove HurtsWycliffe and the Cycle of DeathJeeves and WoosterThe ChiefMaigretLipstick on Your CollarFull StretchThe Darling Buds of MaySitting PrettyCovington CrossHaggardAnglo Saxon AttitudesT-Bag's Christmas TurkeyPrisoner of HonorMinderScreen OneLovejoyLife After LifeDunrulinRuth Rendell MysteriesOne Foot in the GraveT-Bag and the Pearls of WisdomBergeracThe Return of ShelleyThe Woman in BlackAbout FaceShalom SalaamTicket to RideInspector MorseTurn on to T-BagHome to RoostTheatre NightA Dorothy L. Sayers MysteryCrazy Like a Fox: The MovieUnnatural CausesChance in a Millioneturn to Treasure IslandThe December RoseJack of DiamondsDeath of an Expert WitnessNumber 10Anyone for Denis?P.O.S.HThe SetbacksLittle Lord FauntleroyJust LizThe Other 'ArfAgonyThe Jim Davidson ShowRising DampThe GlumsThe House on Garibaldi StreetThe Famous History of the Life of King Henry the EightLeave It to CharlieThe Mill on the FlossNews from NowhereThe LosersBernieThe SweeneyRosieThe Duchess of Duke StreetThe SquirrelsI, ClaudiusNobody's HouseHappy Ever AfterCentre PlayA Touch of the CasanovasThe Naked Civil ServantWillow CabinsMadame BovaryThe Rough with the SmoothChurchill's PeopleThrillerFurther Up Pompeii!Late CallThe Confederacy of WivesSouth RidingNew Scotland YardCaptain Kronos - Vampire HunterGreat MysteriesFollyfootPlay for Today7 of 1Dr. Phibes Rises AgainAlcock and GanderZ CarsBudgieThe Abominable Dr. PhibesComedy PlayhouseThe Dick Emery ShowThe ExpertThat's Your FuneralRoads to FreedomDad's ArmyThe Mating MachineThe Black TulipUp Pompeii!LootCanterbury TalesDepartment SFraud SquadITV PlayhouseRogues' GalleryITV Sunday Night TheatreSoftly SoftlyDecline and Fall... of a BirdwatcherVirgin of the Secret ServiceThe Revenue MenThe Secret AgentNo Hiding PlaceMr. RoseWrite a PlayThe AvengersGirl in a Black BikiniThe BaronThirty-Minute TheatreTheatre 625OrlandoITV Play of the WeekArmchair TheatreTake a Pair of Private EyesSerjeant Musgrave's DanceThe Wednesday ThrillerThe Man in Room 17The Flying SwanDanger ManCraneThe VillainsThe Plane MakersDiary of a Young ManThe Hidden TruthDial RIXA Little Big BusinessBBC Sunday-Night PlayThe VictoriansITV Television PlayhouseOut of This WorldRichard the LionheartBBC Sunday-Night Theatre

He was married to Wendy Gifford.



John Franklyn-Robbins (died 2009 aged 84) - credited as Time Lord in Genesis of the Daleks

John Franklyn-Robbins was a British actor. 

He appeared in the 1975 story Genesis of the Daleks

His credits included: I, Claudius (TV), The Merchant of Venice (TV), The Shadow of the Tower (TV), The Dreamstone (TV), Vanity Fair (film), The Plague Dogs (film), Star Trek: The Next Generation episode, Preemptive Strike (TV), Terry Pratchett's Hogfather (TV). 

He is notable as being one of only ten actors to appear in both the Star Trek and Doctor Who franchises. 



Neville Barber (died 2002 aged 71) - 2 credits, including Dr. Cook in The Time Monster

Neville Barber played Dr. Humphrey Cook in the Doctor Who serial The Time Monster and Howard Baker in A Girl's Best Friend.