1960s & 70s Doctor Who director David Maloney has died, reports the BBC’s Official Doctor Who site.
The director was responsible for some of Doctor Who’s most iconic moments in serials such as the Patrick Troughton-era The Mind Robber and The War Games as well as various 1970s adventures, such as the Third Doctor adventures Frontier in Space and Planet of the Daleks.
Not many directors have casued a national bed-wetting epidemic. David Maloney wasn’t popular with Mary Whitehouse, the self-appointed media guardian, who objected to the mattress-dampening effect of his amazing Tom Baker stories.
Under Maloney the series was at its most frightening, with slow-mo massacres, freeze-frame drownings, and blood-drenched psychopathic puppets.
It was Genesis of the Daleks, with its brutal depictions of warfare, and The Deadly Assassin’s use of freeze-frame as the Doctor appears to drown that led to Doctor Who coming under the beady-glare of TV campaigner Mary Whitehouse.
David’s final work on Doctor Who, The Talons of Weng Chiang, took the Doctor and his companion Leela to Victorian London to battle giant rats, a killer ventriloquist dummy and the insane Magnus Greel. A firm fan favourite, the story has regularly topped popularity polls ever since it was first shown in 1977.
David Maloney was well-regarded as a director within the sci-fi horror genre, with most notably the “Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines” movie referencing several shots from Genesis of the Daleks.
Maloney also produced the first two series of Blake’s 7, as well as the 1981 BBC TV adaption of John Wyndham’s Day of the Triffids
He died on 18th July at the Marie Curie Hospice, Hampstead and is survived by his wife, Edwina and children, Paul, Matthew and Sophia.
You can read more about one of David Maloney’s key Doctor Who serials The Talons of Weng Chiang in the Articles section. Kasterborous ran a 3-part appreciation of this wonderful story in February 2005; if you don’t own a copy, you really should think about it…