Stairway to Heaven


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Michael Pickwoad has passed away.

Born on July 11 1945, Pickwoad was production designer of Doctor Who between 2010 and 2017 encompassing the Eleventh and Twelfth Doctor eras.

He designed the Eleventh Doctor’s second TARDIS console room which made its debut in the 2012 Christmas Special The Snowmen and then the Twelfth Doctor’s console room which made its debut at the end of the first full Twelfth Doctor episode Deep Breath.

He also worked on all eight episodes of the short-lived Doctor Who spin-off Class.

Pickwoad was the son of actor William Mervyn (1912-76) who himself appeared in Doctor Who in the First Doctor story The War Machines playing Sir Charles Summer.

Michael Pickwoad’s daughter Amy had also worked on Doctor Who in her case as standby art director.

Outside of the Whoniverse, Michael Pickwoad worked as assistant art director including for The Man Who Haunted Himself, as art director including for A Hitch In Time (a time travel narrative like Doctor Who and starring Second Doctor actor Patrick Troughton again as a time traveller) & The Zany Adventures of Robin Hood.

Pickwoad’s other production design work included Withnail & I, Poirot, Marple, Lost In Austen, The Prisoner & A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

He died on August 27 2018 just a month and a half after his 73rd birthday.


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Jacqueline Pearce has passed away.

Born on December 20 1943, Jacqueline Pearce had appeared in Doctor Who in The Two Doctors playing Chessene.

When she appeared in Doctor Who she was well known to British audiences including Doctor Who fans for her regular role in Blake’s 7 years earlier playing the villain Servalan.

Jacqueline Pearce returned to the world of Doctor Who when she played Sherilyn Harper in The Fearmonger from Big Finish.

She would have more roles in the Whoniverse for Big Finish the most recent was as Cardinal Ollistra in the War Doctor and the Eighth Doctor: The Time War series.

Also for Big Finish she reprised Servalan when it picked up the licence to produce Blake’s 7 on audio.

Another Doctor Who audio role but for the BBC and not for Big Finish is Death Comes to Time playing Admiral Mettna

Outside of Doctor Who and Blake’s 7 her work included Danger Man, The Avengers, Don’t Lose Your Head, Man In A Suitcase, Callan, The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes, White Mischief, The Bourne Identity mini-series, Dark Season (1991) created by future Doctor Who showrunner Russell T. Davies, & Princess Caraboo.

She died on September 3 2018 more than three months before her 75th birthday.


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Amazing voice. Vale.


#391

Channel 10 reporting Ron Casey has died at the age of 89.


#392

Found out from DWM #529 that the following have passed away which I did not know beforehand:

Mark McBride, Ian Dow, Elaine Banham and Denise Harland.

McBride had been the stuntman van driver in Mawdryn Undead Part 1.

Other stunt work included The Avengers, The Eagle Has Landed, The Spy Who Loved Me, Superman, Superman II, Curse of the Pink Panther, A View To a Kill, Willow, Batman, The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, Patriot Games, Son of the Pink Panther & National Treasure: Book of Secrets.

On IMDb, Mawdryn Undead is listed under his Actor credits which also includes two episodes of Blake’s 7 in Time Squad playing 2nd Alien with this episode being incorporated in the compilation video The Beginning, and in Gold playing ZVP Guard.

McBride died earlier this year.

Dow was the lighting technician across Sylvester McCoy’s three seasons as the Doctor. For a behind the scenes person I once saw Dow in The Making of Doctor Who which looked at the making of Silver Nemesis and got included for Silver Nemesis – The Extended Version VHS release.

Unfortunately I read that this documentary was not included in Silver Nemesis’ eventual DVD release due to rights issue as it was made and broadcast by the New Jersey Network.

Dow died on January 24 2018 at the age of 75.

Born in 1942, Banham was a mediator extra in Planet of the Spiders.

Other work included Orlando as the said Orlando’s mother.

Banham died on April 12 2018.

Harland was a villager extra in The Awakening.


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#394

Lovett Bickford has passed away.

Born on April 8 1942, Bickford had worked on Doctor Who as the assistant floor manager for The War Machines & The Moonbase and then as director of The Leisure Hive.

DWM #191 later reported in 1992 that Bickford was not allowed to direct on Doctor Who again after The Leisure Hive because he gone severely over budget.

He died on July 28 2018 at the age of 76.


#395

Peter Benson has passed away.

Born on June 13 1943, Benson appeared in Doctor Who in Terminus playing Bor.

Most of Benson was for playing Bernie Scripps in Heartbeat in 235 episodes between 1995 and 2009.

Outside of Doctor Who his work included The Black Adder, Coronation Street & Merlin.

He died on September 6 2018 almost three months after his 75th birthday.


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Zienia Merton has passed away.

Born on December 11 1945, she appeared in Doctor Who in Marco Polo playing Ping-Cho and then in The Sarah Jane Adventures in The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith playing Registrar who officiated at the said wedding.

Marco Polo in 1964 and The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith in 2009 marked a 45-year gap between these two Whoniverse shows, the longest gap between appearances for any actor appearing in the Whoniverse.

She also appeared in Eastenders.

She was best known for her regular role as Sandra Benes in Space: 1999 (1975-77).

Eerily enough I saw her in Dempsey and Makepeace 1.7 Makepeace, Not War not so long before her death.

Other work included Strange Report, The Six Wives of Henry VIII, Jason King, Return of the Saint, Crime Traveller, Coronation Street & Wizards vs Aliens.

She died on September 14 2018 just less than three months before her 73rd birthday.

A Simple Tribute:


#398

Rick James has passed away.

Born on October 10 1939, James appeared in Doctor Who in The Mutants playing Cotton.

He was also in Blake’s 7 in the penultimate episode Warlord playing Chalsa.

He died on September 24 2018, just 16 days before his 79th birthday.


#399

Derrick Sherwin has passed away.

Born on April 16 1936, Sherwin was a producer of Doctor Who and was responsible with fellow producer Peter Bryant (1923-2006) for casting Jon Pertwee as the Third Doctor.
Before being producer, Sherwin worked on Doctor Who as story/script editor in the second half of the Patrick Troughton era and during this era wrote The Invasion which introduced UNIT and the first to feature Nicholas Courtney as Lethbridge-Stewart as a Brigadier (Courtney previously played him as a Colonel in The Web of Fear).

Sherwin only produced two stories on Doctor Who, the Troughton swansong The War Games and Pertwee’s first story Spearhead from Space.

The end of The War Games saw the introduction of the Time Lords, the Doctor’s people and became a permanent fixture in the series.

In the DVD commentary on The War Games, Sherwin says in discussion with Terrance Dicks who had co-written this story that Dicks was absolutely certain that Sherwin had created the Time Lords but Sherwin says he could not remember the Time Lords being his creation.

Sherwin’s second story as producer, the Pertwee debut Spearhead from Space became his last as Sherwin was persuaded by Bryant to join him on the production of Paul Temple (1969-71).

His two stories as producer marked the transition of the series from black and white with The War Games the last black and white story to colour with Spearhead from Space from Space the first colour story.

Spearhead from Space saw Sherwin, as he used to be an actor himself, in front of the camera in a cameo in a scene in which Pertwee got to tell off his boss Sherwin.

Sherwin’s other acting roles included The Invisible Man, Danger Man & The Baron.

He died on October 29 2018 at the age of 82 and his passing makes Philip Hinchcliffe the only surviving producer of classic Doctor Who.


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