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Doctor Who Writer Terrance Dicks Dies at 84

09/02/2019 04:37 pm EDT

Terrance Dicks, a beloved writer who frequently contributed to the world of Doctor Who, has died at the age of 84. According to The Agency, Dicks passed away on Thursday, August 29th, after a short illness.

Dicks got his start in the writing world after being discharged from the armed forces, sending radio play scripts to the BBC in between working as an advertising copywriter. Alongside Malcolm Hulke, he ended up co-writing several episodes of the action-adventure series The Avengers. Dicks was brought on to Doctor Who as an assistant script editor in 1968, and was promoted to head script editor that following year.

While contributed to and re-wrote previous Who serials, his first co-writing credit on the show was the iconic 10-part serial The War Games, which was the first to introduce the concept of Time Lords.

Dicks went on to write a prolific number of Who episodes, including Robot (the first episode involving Tom Baker's Fourth Doctor), The Brains of Morbius, Horror of Fang Rock, and State of Decay. His final episode for the show was the 20th-anniversary special The Five Doctors.

Dicks also wrote several stage plays and audio dramas centered around Who, and prominently worked on over 60 of the Who tie-in novels published by Target Books. He went on to contribute to Virgin Publishing's Who novels, which were published after the series was first canceled in 1989. His most recent novels involved David Tennant's Tenth Doctor and Sarah Jane Smith.

"I’ve always said that the reason for its success is its variety." Dicks said in a 2013 interview with The Register. "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."

Outside of the world of Doctor Who, Dicks' television work includes Crossroads, Moonbase 3, and Sunday Classics. He also was a prolific children's book author. Dicks is survived by his wife Elsa and his three children.

Our thoughts go out to Dicks' family, friends, and fans.

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