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Who's Who

Cast Members

John Alkin
Frank Skinner
Spencer Banks

Simon Randall
John Barcroft
Doctor Bukov
John Barron
Morgan C. Devereaux
Peggy Thorpe Bates
Doctor Edith Joynton
Derek Benfield

Frank Skinner
Cheryl Burfield

Liz Skinner
Sandor Eles
Gottfried
Ian Fairbairn
Alpha 4 / Dr. Frazer
David Graham
Controller 2957
Merdel Jordine
Vera
Mary Larkin
Maria
Robert Oates
Larry
Mary Preston
Beth
Denis Quilley
Traynor
Iris Russell
Jean Skinner
Teri Scoble
Miss Stebbins / Alpha 16
John Swindells
Pitman
Derek Sydney
DeSarem
Royston Tickner
George Bradley


Production

Ruth Boswell
Creator / script editor
John Cooper
Producer / Director
Peter Fairley
Introductions
Edouard Michael
Theme music composer
Victor Pemberton
Writer
Bruce Stewart
Writer

 

Victor Pemberton - Writer

  Victor Pemberton was an actor when a friend suggested he try his hand at writing scripts after he'd criticised a recent play.

His first science fiction material was a submission to the BBC TV series Doctor Who in 1964 of a script entitled "The Slide". Although it was rejected by then script-editor David Whittaker, Pemberton re-wrote the material (removing the Doctor Who characters) and submitted it as a one-off radio serial. It was commissioned by future Doctor Who producer Peter Bryant and was broadcast on the Light Programme from 13th February 1966 to 20th March 1966. It starred Roger Delgado, Maurice Denham and David Spenser. The serial was well received with the public and famed film producer Milton Subotsky even went as far as contacting Pemberton and the BBC with the idea of turning it into a movie.

Victor's association with Doctor Who didn't end with his lack of success with "The Slide's original script. He appeared briefly (as an infected scientist) in the 1967 adventure "The Moonbase" With Peter Bryant taking up the reign of Doctor Who producer, Pemberton found himself drafted in for a number of duties which included script-editing the classic "Tomb of the Cybermen". It wasn't long before Bryant commissioned him to write a story for the series. "Fury from the Deep" was a heavily adapted version of "The Slide" with parasitic seaweed and a North Sea oil refinery of the near future replacing the sentient mud and Kent new town of the original. Again the serial was an immense success and, although now missing from the BBC's archive of Doctor Who since the seventies, the serial remains one of the show's all time classics... No doubt, this is partly thanks to Victor's vivid (and somewhat belated) 1986 novelisation of the serial.

In 1970 Victor found himself at ATV drafted in to take over the writing of the children's serial "Timeslip". The serial had originally was only intended to run for six episodes and writer Bruce Stewart was rapidly running out of ideas as the serial had been expanded to twenty-six. Victor wrote the final episode of Bruce's "The Year of the Burn Up" (Part 8/Episode 20) and went on to contribute the coda six-part serial "The Day of the Clone". Working from elements in the previous episodes, it was Victor who came up with the series' most startling twists involving the show's 'villain' Commander Traynor.

Still at ATV, Victor created another children's serial for Timeslip star Spencer Banks and used many of the Timeslip production team. This was "Tightrope" and ran for one series of 13 episodes in 1972. As well as Spencer, it also starred David Munro and John Savident (who is now most famous as Fred Elliot in Coronation Street) It was set in the present day around the mysterious Redlow Comprehensive School. Spencer played Martin Clifford a member of the school's sixth form drawn into the world of espionage after being knocked from his bike on the way home.

The early seventies also saw Victor contribute two serials of the third and final season of the popular Thames fantasy series "Ace of Wands". "The Power of Atep" saw the hero Tarot come face to face with his evil twin in Egypt whilst "Sisters Deadly" pitted the magician against a group of hypnotised elderly spinsters. He also wrote scripts for the ITV film series "The Adventures of Black Beauty" as well as the adult crimes series, "New Scotland Yard" with John Woodvine.

Victor wrote further serials for BBC Radio including: Eyes of the Buddha (1972), Escape to Lhasa (1973), The Fall of Mr. Humpty (1975), Night of the Wolf [with Vincent Price] (1975) and The Trains Don't Stop Here Anymore (1978).

In 1976, Victor returned to Doctor Who and wrote a short 'radio' version of series entitled "The Pescatons" which starred Tom Baker, Elisabeth Sladen and Bill Mitchell. It was released as an LP record on the Argo label and has periodically been available to fans of the series ever since. (Victor even produced a short novel version of it in the late eighties.) Victor followed this with another children's story LP called Serefina about a young whale. It featured Tom Baker and Joanna Lumley.

Victor also adapted an Edgar Wallace story for the BBC in 1983 entitled "The Case of the Frightened Woman" which starred Warren Clarke, Tim Woodward and Virginia McKenna and was directed by Christopher Menaul.

During the eighties, Victor found himself producing the British segments for Jim Henson's Muppet venture Fraggle Rock. Fraggle Rock was a worldwide venture. Each broadcaster that brought the series supplied it own introductory segments. The British series produced by Tyne Tees Television began with Fulton Mackay as the keeper of a lighthouse under which the rock's Muppet-like inhabitants sang, danced and generally played the fools. With Fulton's death, the young Scottish actor John Gordon Sinclair took over. In the final series the lighthouse keeper was played by former Brookside star, Simon O'Brien.

Victor and his long time friend, David Spenser, formed the production company "Saffron Productions" whose output included a well-received Omnibus profile of the comedian Benny Hill which was made in 1991 shortly before his death. Saffron also acquired the rights to produce a sequel to the Timeslip series featuring the original cast. Although Bruce Stewart wrote a treatment for a new serial and Spencer Banks was approached to become involved in it, the project fell through due to lack of backing.

In 1989, Victor wrote a series of semi-autobiographical radio plays under the title "Our Family" This he adapted into a novel and it became an instant best seller. Since then, the majority of Victor's output has been novels of the family saga genre. His novels include: "Our Family", "Our Street", "Our Rose", "The Silent War", "Nellie's War", "My Sister Sarah", "Goodnight Amy", "Leo's Girl" and "Perfect Stranger".

His most recent novel is "Flying with the Angels" and was published in April 2003.

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