ByLewis Jefferies, writer at
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Lewis Jefferies

Victor Pemberton, who has written and starred in Doctor Who, has passed away at the age of 85. As it stands, his cause of death remains unknown; however, many fans of the long-running BBC series will deeply miss Pemberton.

Pemberton was born in 1931 in Britain's capital, London. During his early years, his first job was as a mail delivery boy for a timber magazine. As time progressed, Pemberton joined the Royal Air force, which is where he set up an entertainment system for his fellow colleagues. After leaving the RAF, Pemberton desired to be a writer, leading to his father buying him his first typewriter.

Before becoming a professional writer, Pemberton became an actor, starring as a scientist in Doctor Who alongside Patrick Troughton in the 1967 story "The Moonbase." Following his experience in writing and becoming familiar with , he later became a script writer for the science-fiction show, just like his best friend, Peter Bryant, who took over as the show's story editor.

While working on Doctor Who, Pemberton edited the script for the legendary story "Tomb of the Cybermen." Pemberton is responsible for writing a specific scene in that story: The moment when the Doctor explains how his life is different to his companion's life, who was Victoria at the time.

Creator Of The Sonic Screwdriver

'Doctor Who' [Credit: BBC]
'Doctor Who' [Credit: BBC]

Sticking with Doctor Who, Pemberton penned the story "Fury from the Deep," where Pemberton wrote Victoria out of the show. However, the story introduced an all-new and iconic item to the show: The Sonic Screwdriver. This is an object that has been associated with the Doctor ever since its first appearance, and is easily recognized today.

As Doctor Who continued over the years, the Sonic Screwdriver became even more popular, making it a lethal weapon for the Doctor to use against his enemies. The Screwdriver has taken many forms, and has also been used by almost every Doctor.

When Doctor Who was revived back in 2005, the Sonic Screwdriver became more flashy and technical. The Ninth and Tenth Doctor both used the same Screwdriver. However, the Eleventh and Twelfth Doctor both had their own uniques cases for the probe. The Sonic Screwdriver was taken to a new level in 2015. The Screwdriver disappeared for an entire season, as it was replaced by the Sonic Sunglasses, which didn't go down well with many fans. Both the Sonic Screwdriver and Sunglasses remain a part the show, as they were both seen in Season 10.

Victor Pemberton's Other Work

'Fraggle Rock' [Credit: The Jim Henson Company]
'Fraggle Rock' [Credit: The Jim Henson Company]

In 1961 Victor Pemberton wrote his first drama script for BBC Radio, The Gold Watch, a play based on his father's retirement. The Gold Watch proved to be a success, which lead Pemberton to write a seven-episode sci-fi series called The Slide about an earthquake in south England. In 1965, Pemberton wrote a script for the children's ITV series Send Foster.

As his television career grew, Pemberton wrote scripts for a number of series, including: Timeslip, Ace of Wands, The Adventures of Black Beauty and Within These Walls. Not only that, Pemberton created the character of the Lighthouse Keeper for the UP version of Jim Henson's extraordinary series Fraggle Rock.

Final Thoughts

In the late 1980s, Pemberton gave up television writing and moved to films, forming a partnership with Saffron Productions Ltd. During the 1990s, Headline Book Publications approached Pemberton, requesting him to write a novel based on his BBC Radio Drama series Our Family. Once the novel was published, he wrote 14 more.

Pemberton will be missed by many around the world for his work that touched many people's hearts.

What is your favorite production written by Victor Pemberton? Sound off in the comments!

(Source: Doctor Who News)


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