Terrance Dicks—a writer and script editor on the original run of Doctor Who in the 1960s, '70s, and '80s—has passed away at the age of 84, the BBC confirmed today. Dicks was involved with more than 150 episodes of the iconic sci-fi/fantasy series between 1968 and 1983. In addition, he penned over 60 Whovian novels for Target Books, adapting already-aired teleplays into print, during the '70s and '80s. To celebrate the franchise's 20th anniversary, he wrote an hour-and-a-half televised special entitled "The Five Doctors," which reunited all previous incarnations of the titular character.
“The lights of Doctor Who are dimmer tonight, with the passing of Terrance Dicks. He was one of the greatest contributors to Doctor Who’s history, on screen and off," said series writer Chris Chibnall in a statement. "As writer and script editor, he was responsible for some of the show’s greatest moments and iconic creations. As the most prolific and brilliant adaptor of Doctor Who stories into Target novels, he was responsible for a range of books that taught a generation of children, myself included, how pleasurable and accessible and thrilling reading could be. Doctor Who was lucky to have his talents. He will always be a legend of the show. Everyone working on Doctor Who sends his family and friends our love and condolences at this difficult time.”
Born in London in 1935, Dicks spent two years in the Army before he became a copywriter in the world of advertising, a job that lasted five years. During that time, he wrote radio scripts as a side gig before deciding to become a full-time writer, going on to pen a few episodes of The Avengers, a British spy-fi series that starred Diana Rigg. Dicks joined Doctor Who as a junior script editor in the early 1960s when the second Doctor, played by Patrick Troughton, had one foot out the door. Thanks to a good working relationship with producer Barry Letts, was responsible for co-creating Moonbase 3, a short-lived science fiction show about a futuristic lunar installation. In 1984, he was also credited as script editor for the miniseries based on H.G. Wells' The Invisible Man.
Dicks was mourned on Twitter by the likes of Jenny Colgan, Neil Gaiman, Mark Gattis, and more.
(certain biographical info via IMDb)