John Wiles

Last updated 09 January 2020

John Wiles

Born: Sunday 20th September 1925
Died: Monday 5th April 1999 (age: 73)


John Wiles was a television writer and producer, now best known for being the second producer of Doctor Who, succeeding Verity Lambert. 

He was credited as producer on four serials between 1965 and 1966, namely The Myth MakersThe Daleks' Master Plan (which lasted for twelve episodes), The Massacre of St Bartholomew's Eve, and The Ark. Only The Ark and three episodes of The Daleks' Master Plan still survive in the BBC's archives. 

Although Wiles had a good working relationship with story editor Donald Tosh, he found that he was unable to make many changes to the format of the programme. Attempts to make the series darker led to clashes with lead actor William Hartnell, who, as the sole remaining member of the original team, saw himself as the guardian of the show's original values. An attempt to give new companion Dodo Chaplet a Cockney accent was vetoed by Wiles' superiors, who ordered that the regulars must speak "BBC English". With Hartnell increasingly in poor health and hostile to Wiles, the latter sought a way to replace the actor. However, this was again opposed by Wiles' superiors. Wiles also disliked the lengthy The Daleks' Master Plan story which had been commissioned by the previous production team and which proved difficult to realise.

One of his few changes that lasted even a short time was to limit nearly all stories to just four episodes. In early 1966 Wiles resigned in frustration over his inability to steer the show in the direction that he wished, and Tosh resigned in sympathy. The tenure of the next producer, Innes Lloyd, coincided with a change in superiors and, consequently, Lloyd was able to both introduce a character with a Cockney accent (Ben Jackson) and replace Hartnell.

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