Monday, July 08, 2013

The Romans

Derek Francis as the amorous
Emperor Nero
Four episodes (The Slave Traders, All Roads Lead to Rome, Conspiracy, Inferno)
First broadcast Jan 16 to Feb 6 1965
Average audience for serial: 11.63m

William Hartnell (The Doctor) Jan 8 1908 to Apr 23 1975 (heart failure after a series of strokes) For a full career biography for William Hartnell, click here.

William Russell (Ian Chesterton) Born Nov 19 1924 For a full career biography for William Russell (aka Russell Enoch), click here.

Jacqueline Hill (Barbara Wright) Dec 17 1929 to Feb 18 1993 (bone cancer) For a full career biography for Jacqueline Hill, click here.

Maureen O'Brien (Vicki) Born Jun 29 1943 For a full career biography of Maureen O'Brien, click here.

Derek Sydney (Sevcheria) Jan 11 1920 to Jun 18 2000 (heart attack)
Career highlights
Derek's earliest credit was a 1949 adaptation of Macbeth, followed by roles in Hot Ice (1952), The Constant Husband (1955), Man from Tangier (1957), Sword of Freedom (1957-58), The Men from Room 13 (1959), Danger Man (1960), Carry On Spying (1964), The Likely Lads (1966), Carry On Up the Khyber (1968) and Timeslip (1971).

Nick Evans (Didius)
Doctor Who credits
Played: Dalek in The Dalek Invasion of Earth (1964), The Power of the Daleks (1966, uncredited)
Played: Slyther in The Dalek Invasion of Earth (1964)
Played: Didius in The Romans (1965)
Career highlights
Nick had previously appeared in The Forgotten Faces (1961).

Dennis Edwards (Centurion) Dec 28 1916 to Mar 15 2008
Doctor Who credits
Played: Centurion in The Romans (1965)
Played: Lord Gomer in The Invasion of Time (1978)
Career highlights
Debuted in Toad of Toad Hall (1953), followed by The Scarlet Pimpernel (1956), The Black Brigand (1956), The Prince and the Showgirl (1957), Private Investigator (1959), Ghost Squad (1963), Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1967), Jackanory (1971), Father Brown (1974), The Brothers (1976), Nicholas Nickleby (1977), People Like Us (1978), Ladykillers (1981), No Problem! (1983), Grange Hill (1985) and Birds of a Feather (1991).

Margot Thomas (Stallholder) Jan 16 1919 to Sep 26 2008 (cancer)
Career highlights
Margot debuted in Oliver Twist (1962), followed by roles in Katy (1962), Z Cars (1967), Take Three Girls (1969), The Befrienders (1972), The Dragon's Opponent (1973), The Stud (1978), Roger Doesn't Live Here Any More (1981), Bullseye! (1990) and After Henry (1992).
Margot was an ardent supporter of the theatre and in the 1960s helped revive the fortunes of Henley's Kenton Theatre, which first opened in 1805 but fell on hard times in 1963. Her husband was RAF pilot Gilbert Travers Thomas, who also wrote screenplays for the BBC in the 1940s and 50s.

Edward Kelsey (Slave buyer) Born 1930
Doctor Who credits
Played: Slave buyer in The Romans (1965)
Played: Resno in The Power of the Daleks (1966)
Played: Edu in The Creature from the Pit (1979)
Career highlights
Debuted in Mary Britten MD (1958), then The Men from Room 13 (1961), The Avengers (1962), St Ives (1967), The Saint (1968), Doomwatch (1970), Cranford (1972), Shoestring (1979), Minder (1982), Anna of the Five Towns (1985), Casualty (1987), The Vicar of Dibley (1994), Brush with Fate (2003) and Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005). Edward also memorably provided the voice of Baron Silas Greenback and Colonel K in the cartoon series Danger Mouse (1981-92). Since 1985 he has also played Joe Grundy on BBC Radio 4's long-running soap The Archers.

Bart Allison (Maximus Pettulian) Dec 1 1890 to Jun 29 1978
Career highlights
Bart's earliest credit was as an Ugly Sister in a TV adaptation of Cinderella, broadcast in December 1947, after which he secured work in Vengeance is Mine (1949), The End of the Affair (1955), Three Golden Nobles (1959), Bootsie and Snudge (1960), Sherlock Holmes (1965), Softly Softly (1966), The Forsyte Saga (1967), Late Night Horror (1968), Carry On Loving (1970), Hadleigh (1973), No Sex Please: We're British (1973), Moody and Pegg (1975), Angels (1976) and Maidens' Trip (1977).

Barry Jackson (Ascaris) Mar 29 1938 to Dec 5 2013
Doctor Who credits
Played: Ascaris in The Romans (1965)
Played: Jeff Garvey in Mission to the Unknown (1965)
Played: Drax in The Armageddon Factor (1979)
Career highlights
Barry enjoyed a long career, starting with An Age of Kings (1960) and taking in A for Andromeda (1961), The Desperate People (1963), Kenilworth (1967), Ryan's Daughter (1970), Doomwatch (1972), Diamonds on Wheels (1974), Poldark (1975), Moll Flanders (1975), The New Avengers (1976), Blake's 7 (1978), Churchill and the Generals (1979), Cribb (1981), Them and Us (1985), Fortunes of War (1987), Growing Rich (1992), Three Seven Eleven (1993-94), Bernard's Watch (1999-2000), Wimbledon (2004), Derailed (2005), Toscanini in His Own Words (2009), Foster (2011) and The Wedding Video (2012). He played Walter Peters in A Touch of Frost (1994/2002) and played Dr George Bullard in 76 episodes of Midsomer Murders (1997-2011). Barry also acted as a fight arranger under the name Jack Barry, most notably on Adam Adamant Lives! (1966).
Barry was named after the theatre impresario Sir Barry Jackson, founder of Birmingham Rep.

Peter Diamond (Delos) Aug 10 1929 to Mar 27 2004 (stroke)
Doctor Who credits
Stunts: The Daleks (1964, uncredited), The Rescue (1965, uncredited), The Daemons (1971, uncredited)
Fight arranger: The Dalek Invasion of Earth (1964), The Romans (1965), The Space Museum (1965), The Chase (1965), The Highlanders (1966-67), The Evil of the Daleks (1967), The War Games (1969), The Daemons (1971)
Played: Delos in The Romans (1965)
Played: Morok technician/ guard in The Space Museum (1965)
Played: Sailor in The Highlanders (1966-67)
Played: Davis in The Ice Warriors (1967)
Played: Extra in The Enemy of the World (1967-68, uncredited)
Played: Double for Dr Who/ Salamander in The Enemy of the World (1967-68, uncredited)
Played: Confederate horseman in The War Games (1969, uncredited)
Played: Alien guard in The War Games (1969, uncredited)
Career highlights
Peter was one of the most prolific stuntmen in the UK, starting out on The Three Musketeers (1954), followed by The Gordon Honour (1955-56), The Cabin in the Clearing (1959), Ghost Squad (1963), Children of the Damned (1964), Carry On Cleo (1964), Alfie (1966), Follyfoot (1971), Star Wars (1977), Poldark (1977), Return of the Saint (1978-79), Dick Turpin (1979), The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Superman II (1980), Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), An American Werewolf in London (1981), Return of the Jedi (1983), Lifeforce (1985), Superman IV (1987), Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988), TECX (1990), Zorro (1990-93, some episodes of which he also directed), Highlander (1992-93), Hamish Macbeth (1995-96), One Foot in the Grave (1996), Oktober (1998), Monarch of the Glen (2002) and Heartbeat (1996-2004), as well as a great many James Bond and Hammer films.
Peter learnt his craft from Hollywood action man Errol Flynn. He will be remembered by a generation of Star Wars fans as the Tusken Raider who attacks Luke in the original film, as well as the man who devised the definitive method of handling a light saber! He died returning home to Durham from Yorkshire after being on the set of the drama Heartbeat as its stunt coordinator (aged 74!).

Michael Peake (Tavius) 1918 to Apr 1 1967
Career highlights
Michael's earliest credit was the narrator of The Ambermere Treasure (1956), followed by roles in William Tell (1959), Strip Tease Murder (1961), Strongroom (1962), The Gorgon (1964), The Troubleshooters (1965), The Avengers (1966) and The Rat Catchers (1967).

Dorothy-Rose Gribble (Woman slave) 1917 to Oct 1 2014
Career highlights
Other credits include The Crucible (1959) and Monitor (1965). Dorothy-Rose was also a theatre producer, writer (in 1977 she wrote a book called My Servant Must Not Fail: A Story of Black Magic in Renaissance Times), poet and guesthouse owner.
She was a long-time resident of Highclere in Hampshire, and a member of the Highclere Society (Highclere being the location of Downton Abbey's filming).
In 2014, two months after her death, Toby Hadoke released his Who's Round interview with Dorothy-Rose here.

Gertan Klauber (Galley master) Mar 5 1932 to Aug 1 2008
Doctor Who credits
Played: Galley master in The Romans (1965)
Played: Ola in The Macra Terror (1967)
Career highlights
Gertan's lengthy career began in Assignment Foreign Legion (1957), then The Adventures of Ben Gunn (1958), The Big Pull (1962), Carry On Cleo (1964), Danger Man (1966), The Avengers (1969), The Goodies (1970), Carry On Henry (1971), Upstairs Downstairs (1974), Poldark (1977), Octopussy (1983), Blackadder the Third (1987), House of Cards (1990), The Famous Five (1997) and Red Cap (2003).
Czechoslovakian born Gertan was married to actress Gwendolyn Watts (sister of fellow actor Sally Watts), who appeared in three medical-themed Carry On films. They had two children, one of whom - Daniel - died before Gertan.

Ernest Jennings (First man in market) Jan 9 1902 to Mar 1 1994
Doctor Who credits
Played: First man in market in The Romans (1965)
Played: Peasant in State of Decay (1980, uncredited)
Played: Aged rebel in The Trial of a Time Lord (1986, uncredited)
Career highlights
Ernest debuted in Top Secret (1962), followed by Stand Up, Nigel Barton (1965), The Goodies (1970), Psychomania (1973), Steptoe and Son (1974), Kizzy (1976), Bless Me Father (1981) and Objects of Affection (1982).

John Caesar (Second man in market) Jan 23 1926 to Jun 11 2000
Doctor Who credits
Played: Second man in market in The Romans (1965)
Played: Egyptian warrior in The Daleks' Master Plan (1965-66, uncredited)
Played: Monoid Four in The Ark (1966)
Played: Cowboy in The Gunfighters (1966, uncredited)
Played: Guard in The Macra Terror (1967)
Played: Pirate guard in The Space Pirates (1969, uncredited)
Played: CPO Myers in The Sea Devils (1972)
Played: R/T soldier in Invasion of the Dinosaurs (1974)
Career highlights
John's first credit was in The Escape of RD7 (1961), then The Lenny the Lion Show (1961), Maigret (1963), Bat Out of Hell (1966), No Hiding Place (1967), War and Peace (1972), The Legend of Robin Hood (1975), Janet and Company (1982) and The Bill (1989).

Tony Lambden (Court messenger) Dec 10 1933 to Sep 21 2006
Career highlights
Tony's other credits include The Avengers (1964), Steptoe and Son (1965) and Frankie Howerd (1966).

Derek Francis (Nero) Nov 7 1923 to Mar 27 1984 (heart attack)
Career highlights
Hugely prolific Derek debuted in 1960's Knight Errant Limited, followed by roles in The Long Way Home (1960), The Six Proud Walkers (1962), The Tomb of Ligeia (1964), Danger Man (1966), The Forsyte Saga (1967), Nicholas Nickleby (1968), Middlemarch (1968), Up Pompeii! (1970), Jason King (1971), Whoops Baghdad! (1973), Churchill's People (1975), To the Devil a Daughter (1976), Rising Damp (1977), Bless Me Father (1978), Partners (1981), Jemima Shore Investigates (1983) and A Christmas Carol (1984). Derek also had a memorable long-running role as Father Matthew in the sitcoms Oh, Brother! (1969-70) and Oh, Father! (1973), and appeared in a number of Carry On films between 1967-72.
With sad irony, Derek played a character called Ernest in Channel 4's mini-series Winter Sunlight (1984), who died of a heart attack in the same week that Derek died himself.

Brian Proudfoot (Tigilinus)
Doctor Who credits
Played: Dr Who in The Reign of Terror (1964, uncredited)
Played: Tigilinus in The Romans (1965)
Career highlights
Other work includes The Andromeda Breakthrough (1962) and The Desperate People (1963).
Brian has the honour of being the first actor to appear in Doctor Who on location - and as the Doctor to boot! The shots of the Doctor wandering the French countryside in The Reign of Terror (1964) are actually Proudfoot, not William Hartnell.

Kay Patrick (Poppaea) Born Sep 2 1941
Doctor Who credits
Played: Poppaea in The Romans (1965)
Played: Flower in The Savages (1966)
Career highlights
Kay started her career in front of the cameras, appearing in The Call (1962), The Flying Swan (1965), Nana (1968) and The First Churchills (1969), but then moved behind the camera to become director on soaps such as Emmerdale (1998-99), Brookside and EastEnders (1986), as well as Jupiter Moon (1990), In Suspicious Circumstances (1993-94) and Sunburn (1999). In later years she became a producer on Coronation Street (1996-97), Crossroads (2001) and Mersey Beat (2002). Her latter career has concentrated on directing the soap opera Coronation Street (1994-2015).
In 2009 Kay was hit and injured badly by a car while working on Coronation Street (needing a plate in her shoulder and a reconstructed knee), but she was back on set in the new year.

Anne Tirard (Locusta) Jun 5 1917 to Aug 12 2003
Doctor Who credits
Played: Locusta in The Romans (1965)
Played: The Seeker in The Ribos Operation (1978)
Career highlights
Anne's earliest credit was on Nathaniel Titlark (1957), then Violent Playground (1958), Emergency Ward 10 (1960), The Avengers (1961), Let's Go Out (1965), Witchfinder General (1968), Rogues' Gallery (1969), Jane Eyre (1973), Crossroads (1966-67), Within These Walls (1976-78), Schalcken the Painter (1979), Moonlighting (1982), The Witches (1990) and Devil's Advocate (1995).
Anne was married to actor William Lyon-Brown.


Dennis Spooner (writer and story editor) Dec 1 1932 to Sep 20 1986 (heart attack)
Doctor Who credits
Wrote: The Reign of Terror (1964), The Romans (1965), The Time Meddler (1965), The Daleks' Master Plan (episodes 6 & 8-12 based on an idea by Terry Nation, 1965-66), The Power of the Daleks (final version, uncredited, 1966)
Story edited: The Rescue, The Romans, The Web Planet, The Crusade, The Space Museum, The Chase (1965)
Career highlights
Dennis had already written for Coronation Street (1961) before Doctor Who, as well as No Hiding Place (1962) and Hancock (1963). He also wrote for Fireball XL5 (1962-63), Pardon the Expression (1965), Stingray (1964-65), Thunderbirds (1965-66), The Baron (1966-67), Man in a Suitcase (1967-68), The Avengers (1961/68), The Champions (1968-69), Department S (1969-70), Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) (1969-70), UFO (1970), Paul Temple (1971), Doomwatch (1970-71), Jason King (1971-72), The Protectors (1973), The Adventurer (1972-73), Thriller (1975), The New Avengers (1976-77), The Professionals (1978), Bergerac (1981/83), Remington Steele (1984), Hammer House of Mystery and Suspense (1984) and Dramarama (1986). Dennis was instrumental in creating many ITC series in the 1960s, including Man in a Suitcase, The Champions, Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased), The Adventurer and Department S.
Dennis had just turned professional for Leyton Orient Football Club when he was called up for National Service in 1950; he was also a keen contract bridge player - often partnering his friend Omar Sharif - and even wrote two books on the subject (Useful Hints for Useless Players and Diary of a Palooka). Before settling on scriptwriting Dennis also tried entertaining himself, as a comedy double act with Leslie Garbon. Dennis was best man at the wedding of telefantasy legend Brian Clemens.

Christopher Barry (director) Sep 20 1925 to Feb 7 2014 (following a fall)
Doctor Who credits
Directed: The Daleks (episodes 1-2 & 4-5, 1963-64), The Rescue (1965), The Romans (1965), The Savages (1966), The Power of the Daleks (1966), The Daemons (1971), The Mutants (1972), Robot (1974-75), The Brain of Morbius (1976), The Creature from the Pit (1979).
Career highlights
His directing career began on an episode of Starr and Company (1958) and through his long career he worked on series such as Private Investigator (1958-59), Take a Pair of Private Eyes (1966), Paul Temple (1970-71), Moonbase 3 (1973), Poldark (1975), Nicholas Nickleby (1977), The Onedin Line (1977), All Creatures Great and Small (1978-80), Juliet Bravo (1981-82) and The Tripods (1984-85). He was also producer on The Net (1962), No Cloak - No Dagger (1962), Broome Stages (1966) and Nanny (1981-83). His earliest TV work was as an uncredited third assistant director on A Run for Your Money (1949).
Christopher was also one of the many faces used during the mind battle sequence in The Brain of Morbius. In 1995 he directed the straight-to-video fan production Downtime. Christopher died following a fall down an escalator in a Banbury shopping centre.

Verity Lambert (producer) Nov 27 1935 to Nov 22 2007 (cancer)
Doctor Who credits
Produced: An Unearthly Child, The Daleks, The Edge of Destruction, Marco Polo, The Keys of Marinus, The Aztecs, The Sensorites, The Reign of Terror, Planet of Giants, The Dalek Invasion of Earth, The Rescue, The Romans, The Web Planet, The Crusade, The Space Museum, The Chase, The Time Meddler, Galaxy 4, Mission to the Unknown (1963-65)
Career highlights
Doctor Who was Verity's first producing job on TV, quite an achievement for a woman of 28, and during her first months was accompanied by the more experienced Mervyn Pinfield as associate producer. Verity left the series to produce The Newcomers (1965), Adam Adamant Lives! (1966-67), Detective (1968), various Somerset Maugham adaptations (1969-70), Budgie (1971-72), Between the Wars (1973), Shoulder to Shoulder (1974), The Naked Civil Servant (1975), Rock Follies (1976), Couples (1975-76), The Norman Conquests (1977), Quatermass (1979), Fox (1980), Widows (1983), Reilly: Ace of Spies (1983), Minder (1979-84), Dreamchild (1985), Clockwise (1986), A Cry in the Dark (1988), Evil Angels (1988), GBH (1991), Eldorado (1992-93), So Haunt Me (1992-94), May to December (1989-94), She's Out (1995), Class Act (1995), Jonathan Creek (1998-2004), The Cazalets (2001) and Love Soup (2005-08).
1970: BAFTA TV Award for Best Drama Series (W. Somerset Maugham)
1989: Australian Film Institute Award for Best Film (Evil Angels)
1997: British Film Institute Fellowship
2002: Officer of the order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to film and television
Verity was married to director Colin Bucksey between 1973-87.

Mervyn Pinfield (associate producer) Feb 28 1912 to May 20 1966
Doctor Who credits
Associate producer: An Unearthly Child, The Daleks, The Edge of Destruction, Marco Polo, The Keys of Marinus, The Aztecs, The Sensorites, The Reign of Terror, Planet of Giants, The Dalek Invasion of Earth, The Rescue, The Romans (1963-65)
Directed: The Sensorites (episodes 1-4, 1964), Planet of Giants (episodes 1-3, 1964), The Space Museum (1965)
Career highlights
Mervyn was a BBC stalwart, joining the Corporation in the 1950s to produce live drama at Alexandra Palace. He was coupled with Verity Lambert to watch over the cub producer in her early days. His previous credits included directing Saturday Playhouse (1960), Compact (1962) and The Monsters (1962).
He was the inventor of a very early version of the Teleprompter or Autocue called the Piniprompter. He died almost exactly a year after his final work on Doctor Who.

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