Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Doctor Who legend from Essex: Derek Martinus RIP

Sad news is that legendary Doctor Who producer Derek Martinus has died at the age of 82. Martinus directed The Tenth Planet, where William Hartnell regenerated into Patrick Trougfhton, and also other Who classics including The Evil of The DaleksThe Ice Warriors and Jon Pertwee's first story Spearhead From Space. Reading his obituary in the Guardian, it turns out he was an Essex Man, being born in Ilford, raised in Gidea Park and attending Brentwood School, where he would have been a contemporary of my late father. Martinus was the son of a meat wholesaler at Smithfield market and seems to neatly encapsulate the social mobility of the post-war years when after being in the RAF he became a respected BBC director and actor. A nice tribute to Martinus is that his famous scenes of Auton shop window dummies coming alive in Spearhead From Space was reprised by Russell T Davies in Rose when Doctor Who returned in 2005.

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