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Published on January 13th, 2006 | by Christian Cawley

John Woodnutt Dies

It is with sadness that we report the death of actor John Woodnutt, a popular British character actor who worked mainly on television throughout the 1970s and 80s.

The actor made several appearances in Doctor Who, beginning with Spearhead from Space in which he played the Nestene’s puppet, Hibbert. He later appeared in Frontier in Space as memorably as the Draconian Emperor, Terror of the Zygons both as the Duke of Forgill and his Zygon impersonator Broton, and in The Keeper of Traken as Consul Tremas’ friend Consul Seron; he appeared again as Broton during Fourth Doctor’s regeneration flashback in the closing moments of Logopolis.

Woodnutt also appeared in “The Avengers”, “The Tomorrow People”, “Z Cars” and notably in the Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie version of “Jeeves and Wooster as Sir Watkyn Bassett. (Thanks to “Frankymole” for pointing out a vital but now-rectified omission fromthis list!)

Meanwhile, DWAS has a special offer on the upcoming DVD “The Beginning”, which features the orginal 13 episodes of Doctor Who, starring William Hartnell:

30th January 2006 sees the long awaited release of ‘The Beginning’ on DVD, featuring restored versions of the first three televised stories along with the pilot episode and a wealth of extras. We have arranged for a limited number of copies to be available to DWAS members signed by designer and Dalek co-creator Raymond P Cusick. As usual there is no extra charge and these box sets are available post free in the UK.

This offer is open to current members, and you can pre-order this now via the DWAS website.

A few quick briefs, I think: Hackney Gazette features a positive mention of David Tennant’s performance inThe Christmas Invasion, noting that :”there’s plenty of hope that even if he can’t hope to emulate Christopher Ecclestone’s performance, the Casanova star will be carrying on the good work”; Broadway World meanwhile notes that Christopher Eccleston’s return to the stage in the play The School of the Night as lead character Christopher Marlowe has been cancelled, due to the project being shelved – according to Official London Theatre, “Eccleston is currently discussing other projects with Mick Perrin Productions” – and more information can be found at Whats on Stage; Billie Piper meanwhile is profiled in The Times as part of their preview and build up to the South Bank Show Awards, noting:

Much of the series’ success has to be credited to Piper. She confidently held her own against Christopher Eccleston’s showboating and by being everything from petrified to spunky to heartbroken, she has succeeded in making Rose every bit as central to the show as the Doctor himself.

We’re closing in on the end now: actor Nabil Shaban who appeared as the villainous Sil in the Colin Baker era stories Vengeance on Varos and Mindwarp is the current star of drwho-online‘s “Ask & Answer” feature. Oh and www.eyeofhorus.org.uk have let us know that Fifth Doctor Peter Davison has an entry in the 2006 Who’s Who. As they put it:

More than 1,000 new names have been added to Who’s Who, which now contains more than 32,000 biographies. To appear, a person must be of “distinction and influence”.

And finally… actor John Barrowman – who is about to marry his male partner – has revealed that he was turned down for the part of gay Will in the hit comedy “Will and Grace” because he was considered “too straight”, tells the Mirror

And news is all over the Internet about Doctor Who’s imminent arrival in America, of course!

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About the Author

A long-term Doctor Who fan, Christian grew up watching the show and has early memories of the Graham Williams era. His favourite stories are Inferno, The Seeds of Doom and Human Nature (although The Empty Child, Blink and Utopia all come close). When he’s not bossing around the news team, Christian is a freelance writer specialising in mobile technology and domestic computing, and enjoys classic rock, cooking and spending time in the countryside with his wife and young children. You can find him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.




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