Terrance Dicks 1935-2019Bookmark and Share

Monday, 2 September 2019 - Reported by Marcus
Terrance DicksOne of Doctor Who's most influential writers Terrance Dicks has died at the age of 84.

Terrance Dicks's contribution to Doctor Who was immense. He wrote forty-five episodes of the series between 1969 and 1983 and was script editor from 1969 until 1975, steering the programme through one of its most successful periods, helping to cast both the third and fourth Doctors.

For a whole generation of fans, he was the man who brought the series to life through his Target novelisations. In the days before DVD's and Videos, the only way of reliving old episodes was through the Target books. Over 60 were written by Dicks and they enabled fans to experience stories shown years before many were born.

Terrance Dicks was born in East London shortly before the second world war. He studied English at the University of Cambridge before serving for two years in the British Army. On his discharge, he won his first writing job working as an advertising copywriter before writing radio play scripts for the BBC.

It was his friend and mentor Malcolm Hulke who got him his first job in television, helping with the scripting on the first series if the ITV adventure series The Avengers. He would later return the favour by commissioning scripts from Hulke for Doctor Who.

His work on Doctor Who began in 1968 as assistant script editor, rewriting much of the Brian Hayes story The Seeds of Death. Promotion followed and he was charged with writing out the second Doctor with the epic 10 part series The War Games.

In 1970 a new producer Barry Letts was appointed and thus began one of the highest regarded partnerships in the whole series run. Together they guided the series for five years, one of its most successful periods. Both men left the series at the same time as Jon Pertwee but not before casting the unknown Tom Baker as Doctor number 4.

His commitment to the series didn't end with the third Doctor. He wrote several more stories including The Brain of Morbius, Horror of Fang Rock and State of Decay. In 1983 he penned the 20th-anniversary story The Five Doctor's, the last script he completed for the television series.

He wrote two Doctor Who plays, Doctor Who and the Daleks in the Seven Keys to Doomsday in 1974 and Doctor Who - The Ultimate Adventure in 1989.

Away from Doctor Who he co-created the short-lived BBC science-fiction TV series Moonbase 3 and wrote for the ATV science-fiction series Space: 1999. He served once more as script editor to producer Barry Letts on the BBC's Sunday Classics strand, before succeeding Letts as the producer overseeing productions such as Oliver Twist, David Copperfield and Vanity Fair.

Tributes to Dicks have been paid from many associated with Doctor Who including current showrunner Chris Chibnall
The lights of Doctor Who are dimmer tonight, with the passing of Terrance Dicks. He was one of the greatest contributors to Doctor Who’s history, on screen and off. As writer and script editor, he was responsible for some of the show’s greatest moments and iconic creations. As the most prolific and brilliant adaptor of Doctor Who stories into Target novels, he was responsible for a range of books that taught a generation of children, myself included, how pleasurable and accessible and thrilling reading could be. Doctor Who was lucky to have his talents. He will always be a legend of the show. Everyone working on Doctor Who sends his family and friends our love and condolences at this difficult time.