Anthony Read

Last updated 09 January 2020

Anthony Read (1935-2015)
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Anthony Read

Born: Sunday 21st April 1935
Died: Saturday 21st November 2015 (age: 80)


Anthony Read was a British script editor, television writer and author who was script editor of Doctor Who from 1978-1980.

He was active in British television from the 1960s to the mid-1980s, although he occasionally contributed to televised productions until 1999. 

In the 1980s, he launched a second career as a print author, concentrating largely on World War II histories. Since 2004 he has regularly written prose fiction, mainly in the form of a revival of his popular 1983 television show, The Baker Street Boys.

Read'searliest work was as a freelance writer for Z-Cars in 1962. He  graduated to writer/script editor of several other adventure-mystery series, like the anthological Detective, The Indian Tales of Rudyard Kipling and Peter Cushing's 1965 Sherlock Holmes vehicle. The remainderof the decade was spent on the adult drama, The Troubleshooters. 

By 1978, Read had been recruited to Doctor Who by producer Graham Williams. Read's biggest personal stamp on the long-running science fantasy show was shaping the "Key to Time" story arc, and the introducing the character of Romana. 

Read was instrumental in commissioning Douglas Adams as a Doctor Who writer, and for advocating the Hitchhiker's Guide author to be his replacement as script editor. His final contribution to Doctor Who was as scriptwriter for The Horns of Nimon. 

mmediately following his stint on Doctor Who in 1979, he contributed the scripts for the episodes Powers of Darkness and Out of Body, Out of Mind to the paranormal thriller series The Omega Factor

Together with Don Houghton, he co-wrote the fifth Sapphire & Steel television story, known informally as Dr McDee Must Die.In 1984 Read adapted the John Wyndham novel, Chocky, for Children's ITV. Its success led to two original sequels: Chocky's Children and Chocky's Challenge. In an interview for the DVD release of Chocky, Read revealed that the Wyndham estate considered his adaptation of Chocky to be the best adaptation ever produced from Wyndham's novels.

Read's biggest critical success of the 1980s, however, was 1983's The Baker Street Boys. The series garnered Read an award from the Writer's Guild of Great Britain.

During the 1980s, Read gradually began to replace his television work with a burgeoning career in print. He remains an active author as of 2009.