Terrance Dicks, 84, UK TV scribe (Dr Who, 1968-74); kid-lit author
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That Derek
2019-09-02 14:43:46 UTC

Terrance Dicks dead: Doctor Who writer dies aged 84

By Irishmirror.ie
14:40, 2 SEP 2019Updated14:56, 2 SEP 2019

Terrance Dicks has died aged 84.

The Doctor Who writer was most famous for his work on the hit BBC show between 1968 to 1974.

Steve Cole led tributes to the writer, tweeting: "I'm so sad that Doctor Who legend #TerranceDicks has died. I know how many authors he inspired, and how many millions he entertained as a writer, script-editor, producer and raconteur. I first met him at a library talk when I was eight and edited his final short story this year."

Fellow Doctor Who writer Jenny Colgan wrote: "Terrance Dicks helped more children (especially boys) develop a lifelong love of reading than almost anyone else who's ever lived. I don't think he even got an OBE."

During his blossoming career, the writer became a script editor and a producer of classic serials for the BBC.

He oversaw the productions of Oliver Twist, David Copperfield and Vanity Fair.

Terrance was a veteran TV man who brought Doctor Who to life and made it a success by ensuring the show had "variety".

Previously, he told The Register in 2013: "I’ve always said that the reason for its success is its variety. The show constantly undergoes change, whether major or minor – getting a new Doctor, the changing companions – and if it’s working it just carries you along.

It evolves like a living thing, in fact, but the continuity and the central thread of the show is the Doctor, who is always the Doctor, with the same characteristics and attitudes, ideals and morals."

More to follow.


Terrance Dicks at 80

Sunday, 10 May, 2015 - Reported by Chuck Foster
Terrance Dicks (Credit: Chuck Foster)
Today we celebrate 80 years of the writer Terrance Dicks, who was born on the 14th April 1935.

Arguably the most prolific contributor to Doctor Who, as well as being script editor in the Pertwee era he also wrote a number of memorable adventures for the television series, including both the introductory story Robot for fourth Doctor Tom Baker and the series own 20th Anniversary celebration, The Five Doctors. His Target novelisations accounted for over sixty of the Doctor's adventures, and he was later invited to write a story for the launch of the Virgin New Adventures in 1991 (Timewyrm: Exodus), and then to launch the new official range of BBC Books in 1996 with The Eight Doctors. He has written for 21st Century Who, contributing the "Quick Reads" books Made of Steel and Revenge of the Judoon. He also wrote the novelisation of the Sarah Jane Adventures pilot, Invasion of the Bane.

Speaking of the Doctor's best friend, Dicks re-introduced the character for Big Finish, writing their first Sarah Jane Smith audio adventure Comeback.

He brought Doctor Who to the stage twice, with Doctor Who and the Daleks in Seven Keys to Doomsday in 1974 and then The Ultimate Adventure in 1989. He adapted both to be released on audio by Big Finish in 2008, and then wrote a followup to the latter, Beyond the Ultimate Adventure in 2011.

As well as fiction, he also co-wrote arguably the first ever reference book for the series, The Making of Doctor Who, first published in 1972 - a time long before the wealth of factual literature available to Doctor Who fans today! Other publications include The Doctor Who Monster Book and The Doctor Who Dinosaur Book.

For many of us of a certain age, however, he will always be *the* storyteller of the Doctor's early adventures.

Happy birthday, "uncle" Terrance!

Note: many Internet sites (including ourselves) had his birthday listed as the 10th May (hence today's post) - the writer has confirmed that he actually turned 80 in April! (with thanks to Andy Frankham-Allen, author of the forthcoming sequel to Terrance's Horror of Fang Rock, Beast of Fang Rock)
2019-09-04 13:47:30 UTC
It's very odd that there's no listing for him in the "Something About the Author" encyclopedia series, and when I looked in "Biography in Context," all I found were a few magazine articles - no biographies of him.

Assuming the books listed at Wikipedia are by the same man, that is! Leaving aside the Dr. Who books, there are well over 130! Including maybe as many as two dozen mysteries - and horror stories involving vampires and werewolves. Plus - I find this incredible - stories, beginning in 1984, about a dog named Goliath and his owner, a boy named David! (That's right, not Davey.) It turns out the dog is a golden retriever, unlike the other Goliath, which suggests there's no official connection between that book series and the American clay-animated Lutheran TV series (1961-2004).


2019-09-04 14:00:23 UTC


Author Jenny Colgan, who writes Doctor Who books under the
name JT Colgan, said that Dicks' novelisations were "always
the best".

"Like many children's authors he was wildly undervalued --
despite being a key ingredient in a lifelong love of reading,
particularly among boys, he received almost no official
recognition whatsoever," she said.

"He claimed to be no stylist but his short chapters, clear
sentences and ability to get to the point extremely quickly
influenced a generation of writers. When I met him as a new
Doctor Who novelist he looked at me and asked sternly if I
was planning to 'sex up' Doctor Who, as there were very few
female Doctor Who writers then. 'Yes,' I said. 'I'm calling
it 50 Shades of Gallifrey.' After that, I think we were