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  • An explanation of absence, and a couple of news bits

    Hello everyone, the Historian here. My apologies for our absence last week, and apologies in advance for this week. I’ve had what I will euphemistically refer to as a “family emergency” and have been called out of town. I assure you, though, that (barring the unforeseen) we will be back on 6 February with episode 4 of “The Space Pirates.” Lord help us all.

    And now, two news notes.

    Unfortunately, Barry Ingham has passed away. We’ve “seen” him as Paris in “The Myth Makers”, and actually saw him as the Thal leader, Alydon, in the Aaru movie of Doctor Who and the Daleks.

    A bit of very good news to follow the very bad–it’s been reported (I certainly haven’t heard it yet) that part of William Hartnell’s 1965 “Desert Island Discs” interview has been found! This would be one of the few interviews with Hartnell, during his time as the Doctor, to exist! I cannot wait to hear it!

    Once again, I apologize for the “radio” silence. As I said above, we will be back with a new episode on 6 February. Until then, I remain

    THE HISTORIAN



  • RIP Derek Martinus

    Hello all, the Historian here. I’ve just returned from the first day of the Emerald City Comic Convention and seen the sad news that Derek Martinus has died at the age of 82. Martinus directed a good number of the stories we’ve seen in the Project, although we were sadly only to get a general idea of his direction as many of his episodes are currently missing. His Doctor Who stories were:

    Galaxy Four
    Mission to the Unknown
    The Tenth Planet
    Evil of the Daleks
    The Ice Warriors

    And Jon Pertwee’s first story, Spearhead From Space, which falls just outside the range of the Project.

    We salute Mr. Martinus’ work and thank him for the hours of enjoyment he gave Doctor Who fans. Rest in peace, sir.



  • RIP Christoper Barry

    Hello everyone, the Historian here, with some sad news. One of the great directors of Doctor Who’s first fifteen years or so, Christopher Barry, has passed away. He was 88.

    Barry’s directoral career was large and long, and he directed at least one story for each of the first four Doctors. Of the stories that form part of the TARDIS Project, Barry directed about two-thirds of The Daleks (no, he was not responsible for “The Ordeal”), The Rescue, The Romans, The Savages (all for William Hartnell’s Doctor) and Patrick Troughton’s first story, The Power of the Daleks (for which there isn’t yet a wrapup post). He also directed the Jon Pertwee classic The Daemons…and the less classic The Mutants. For Tom Baker, he directed Robot (Tom’s first story), The Brain of Morbius and The Creature From the Pit.

    More than all of that, though, Christopher Barry was reported to be a real gentleman. And he became a familiar face and voice on Doctor Who DVDs, appearing in numerous documentaries and recording commentaries.

    Another of the greats who contributed to the most classic of the “Classic Series” is gone. The TARDIS Project salutes Christopher Barry. Our best to his family and friends.

    THE HISTORIAN



  • RIP Roy Skelton

    Hello all, the Historian here. Yes, I know this isn’t the post you might have been expecting (I’ll catch up soon! I promise!), but I wanted to note the sad passing of actor Roy Skelton, one of the not-sung-enough heroes of Doctor Who. He was the voice of the Daleks from 1967 until 1988 as well as voicing the Cybermen and multitudes of other creatures and appearing on-screen in the Third Doctor’s final adventure, “Planet of the Spiders.” As an odd coincidence, the TARDIS Project will be watching Skelton’s first work for the show this week (and I will hopefully catch up on things and blog about it by next week).

    Here’s a nice obituary of Mr. Skelton from the Doctor Who News Page. (Warning: mild spoiler for the current TP story buried in there.)

    RIP Mr. Skelton. Thanks for making so many monsters as scary and believable as they can be.

    THE HISTORIAN



  • Farewell Mr. Courtney…

    Word has come to me that Nicholas Courtney has passed away at the age of 81. Courtney was known for playing the rarely flappable Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart, acting opposite the First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth and Seventh Doctors. (And the Sixth in “Dimensions in Time,” for what that’s worth.) [EDIT: And the Eighth in audio adventures, which I'd forgotten.] Before that, insofar as Doctor Who goes, Courtney appeared as Space Security Agent Bret Vyon in “The Daleks’ Master Plan,” the story the TARDIS Project is in the middle of right now.

    I’m struggling for what to write here, to articulate what Nicholas Courtney and the Brig mean to both Doctor Who and, well, to me. He brought so much flair to the role, lighting up the screen. He made some of the silliest bits (“The Three Doctors,” anyone?) absolute fun. And not only in Doctor Who; I remember watching an old episode of “The Avengers” when I was a kid and being delighted to recognize “The Brig” (sans mustache) in a role.

    I guess what it comes down to is Nicholas Courtney did a lot to make a lot of Doctor Who fans very happy. He was reportedly a kind man, generous to fans and very funny. I wish I’d met him. And I’m sad that the Brig will never get to meet the Eleventh Doctor. The Doctor Who world will be sadder for his loss.

    Thanks, Mr. Courtney. But remember–this time when you see a chap with wings, belay that five rounds rapid!

    THE HISTORIAN



  • RIP John Scott Martin


    The Historian here. One of the biggest stars of Doctor Who you’ve probably never heard of, John Scott Martin passed away this January 6th. He probably appeared in more episodes of the show than any other actor, mainly playing various monster roles. He was most famous as a Dalek operator–indeed, it is fitting that we remember him at the same time the TARDIS Project is in the process of covering his first appearance on the show during the original Dalek serial.

    And so, we raise our flagons high to John Scott Martin, 1926-2009–the greatest Exterminator of them all!

    Until next time, I remain

    THE HISTORIAN

    The image is that of Mr. Martin “exposed” behind the scenes of the season four story “Power of the Daleks,” which we will get to! Eventually!