Stairway to Heaven



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.



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.



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.





William Simons has passed away.

Born on November 17 1940, Simons appeared in Doctor Who in The Sun Makers playing Mandrel.

He was also in Coronation Street.

Other work included Dempsey and Makepeace.

He died on June 21 2019 at the age of 78.







Glyn Houston has passed away.

Born on October 25 1925, Houston appeared in Doctor Who in The Hand of Fear playing Professor Watson and in The Awakening playing Colonel Wolsey.

Outside Doctor Who his work included The Blue Lamp, A Stitch in Time (which deals with time travel like Doctor Who), Danger Man, The Saint, Dixon of Dock Green & Keep It in the Family.

He died on July 3 2019 at the age of 93.