Stairway to Heaven

#405

Bill Sellars has passed away.
Born on June 5 1925, Sellars directed on Doctor Who with The Celestial Toymaker.
Sellars was mostly a producer and other behind the scenes work included as production assistant on A For Andromeda which he also appeared in front of camera for and its sequel The Andromeda Breakthrough.
Sellars was married to June Bland, an actress who appeared in Doctor Who in Earthshock & Battlefield.
Sellars died on December 19 2018 at the age of 93.

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#406

June Whitfield has passed away.

Born on November 11 1925, June Whitfield had played Edina’s Mother in Absolutely Fabulous and turned up in the David Tennant Doctor Who swansong The End of Time playing Minnie, one of the Silver Cloak assembled by Wilf (Bernard Cribbins) to find the Doctor.
She was in both parts of The End of Time broadcast on December 25 2009 and January 1 2010 respectively.
Whitfield later reunited with Cribbin in the Midsomer Murders episode The Flying Club in 2014.

She was also in Coronation Street & Eastenders.

Other work included the Carry On films, Mirrorball, Marple, M.I. High, Jonathan Creek & The
Navy Lark radio series with Third Doctor Jon Pertwee.

She died on December 28 2018 which is in the middle of the ninth anniversary of these two The End of Time episodes.

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#407

Bob Einstein has passed away.
Born on November 20 1942. Einstein was a writer, actor, producer and director.

Among his acting work is in a segment in the Comedy Bang! Bang! episode Karen Gillan Wears a Black and White Striped Pullover and Coral Skirt playing Harvey Wrinkleman.

As indicated in the episode title it had my wife Karen Gillan in it with the description of what she was wearing here.

Einstein died on January 2 2019 just over a month after his 76th birthday.

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#412

Moris Farhi has passed away.

Born in 1935, Farhi had submitted in 1964 Farewell Great Macedon & The Fragile Yellow Arc of Fragrance for Doctor Who but neither script were produced for the TV series.
However they were eventually produced on audio by Big Finish.

Of his scripts that did made their way on television included Man in a Suitcase, Strange Report, Out of the Unknown, Return of the Saint & Into the Labyrinth.

Farhi had also been an actor and his work in this capacity included From Russia with Love, You Only Live Twice & The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes.

He died on March 5 2019 at the age of 84.

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#414

Shane Rimmer has passed away.

Born on May 28 1929, Rimmer had appeared in Doctor Who playing Seth Harper in The Gunfighters.

He was also in Coronation Street.

Rimmer was an alum of the worlds or productions of Gerry Anderson having been in Thunderbirds (as Scott Tracy), Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons, Joe 90, UFO, The Protectors, Space: 1999 & Firestorm.

Other work included Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, The Saint, Danger Man, Diamonds Are Forever, The Persuaders, Live and Let Die, SPY*S, Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope, The People That Time Forgot, The Spy Who Loved Me, Warlords of the Deep, Superman, Return of the Saint, Arabian Adventure, Superman II, Superman III, The Bourne Identity, Space Truckers, Batman Begins & Dark Shadows.

He died on March 29 2019 just a little less than two months before his 90th birthday.

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#415

Found out from DWM 537 that Sheena Marshe, Peter Sanders, David Billa and Salo Gardner have passed away.

Born in 1935, Marshe played Kate Fisher in The Gunfighters.

Her other work included The Prisoner.

She died in 2019 at the age of 83.

Sanders played Sita in The Space Museum.

Billa was an extra in 11 stories between The Savages & Revenge of the Cybermen.

Gardner was a Lazar extra in Terminus.

He also in the Doomwatch episode Friday’s Child playing Man in Court and the Blake’s 7 episodes The Harvest of Kairos playing Labourer and the penultimate episode Warlord playing Zondawi Citizen.

Other work included Thunderball, Casino Royale, Henry VIII and His Six Wives, Star Wars Episode IV – A New Hope, The Spy Who Loved Me, Superman II, Octopussy, Blackadder, Young Sherlock Holmes, Batman, Star Wars Episode I – The Phantom Menace, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Shaun of the Dead, Dorian Gray, The Wolfman, Clash of the Titans, Robin Hood, The King’s Speech, X-Men: First Class, Captain American: The First Avenger, Roald Dahl’s Esio Trot, Pan, Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens & Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them.

He died on December 2 2018 at the age of 82.

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#417

Edward Kelsey has passed away.

Born on June 4 1930, Kelsey appeared in Doctor Who in The Romans playing Slave Buyer, The Power of the Daleks playing Resno and The Creature From The Pit playing Edu.

All three stories were directed by Christopher Barry.

Outside of Doctor Who his work included Ivanhoe, The Wind in the Willows, Juliet Bravo, The Tripods, Dempsey and Makepeace, Campion, Danger Mouse (where he voiced Baron Greenback and Colonel K) & The Curse of the Were-Rabbit.

He died on April 23 2019, exactly six weeks before his 89th birthday.

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#422

Found out from DWM #536 the passing of L. Rowland Warne and Gillian James.

L. Rowland Warne was costume designer on Death to the Daleks, Planet of the Spiders, The Brain of Morbius & The Pirate Planet.

He died on January 20 2019 at the age of 89.

Gillian James was make-up artist and worked on The Smugglers, The Tenth Planet, The Power of the Daleks, The Highlanders, The Underwater Menace, The Moonbase, The Macra Terror, The Faceless Ones, The Evil of the Daleks &The Tomb of the Cybermen.

Outside of Doctor Who, her work included Out of the Unknown.

She died on January 18 2019 at the age of 87.

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#423

Stephen Thorne has passed away.

Born in 1935, Thorne was the original actor to play the villain Omega in Doctor Who when the character made his debut in the tenth anniversary story The Three Doctors.

Omega would return in Arc of Infinity which started the 20th season but Thorne did not reprise him and was instead played by Ian Collier.
Collier had earlier appeared in Doctor Who playing Stuart Hyde in The Time Monster which ironically was the story that preceded The Three Doctors.

When asked decades later by DWM why he did not return as Omega in Arc of Infinity, Thorne said that he either was not asked to return or was unavailable at the time.

In fact the DVD info text seemed to indicate that the production team went straight into casting a new Omega without first approaching Thorne.

Thorne however did reprise Omega for Big Finish in Gallifrey: Intervention Earth.

However it should be noted that this came after the death of Collier in 2008 as Big Finish had cast him as Omega in the story titled Omega with one key consideration in Collier’s favour being that it starred Peter Davison, the Doctor that Collier worked with in Arc of Infinity.

Thorne had three other roles in the Doctor Who TV series.
The first as Azal in The Daemons and after Three Doctors he was in Frontier In Space playing First Ogron

and briefly towards the end of the Fourth Doctor story The Hand of Fear playing Eldrad taking over this character within the story from Judith Paris.

Thorne later reprise Eldrad for Big Finish in Eldrad Must Die! which has him finally working alongside Peter Davison given what happened in the production of Arc of Infinity.

Outside of the TV series, Thorne reunited with Third Doctor Jon Pertwee (The Daemons, The Three Doctors & Frontier In Space) in the BBC Radio story The Ghosts of N-Space playing Maximilian Vilmius and reunited with Fourth Doctor Tom Baker in the BBC Audio episode The Circus of Doom.

Thorne had two other Whoniverse roles for Big Finish in the Sixth Doctor story The Guardians of Prophecy playing Malador and in the Jago & Litefoot episode The Bellova Devil playing The Club Secretary.

Thorne had one other work for BBC Audio as he read the novelisation of the First Doctor story The Myth Makers.

He was also in Eastenders.

Other work included The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe.

He died at the age of 84.

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#424

Paul Darrow has passed away.

Born on May 2 1941, Darrow had become well known for playing Kerr Avon in Blake’s 7.

He later reprise Avon in Blake’s 7 audio dramas including for Big Finish.
Like his fellow Blake’s 7 cast members he appeared in Doctor Who.

In his case he was in The Silurians playing Captain Hawkins, in Timelash playing Tekker and Guidance in The Next Life.
The Next Life was made by Big Finish before Darrow reprise Avon for them when they picked up the Blake’s 7 licence.

In another audio drama, Darrow played Kaston Iago in the Kaldor City series, a Doctor Who-Blake’s 7 crossover and Iago may or may not have been Avon in disguise.

He was also in Coronation Street.

Other work included The Saint, The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes, The Legend of Robin Hood playing the Sheriff of Nottingham, a reversal of Blake’s 7, a Robin Hood in space in which Avon was one of the rebels, The Strangerers, Die Another Day & Little Britain.

He died on June 3 2019 just over a month after his 78th birthday.

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