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Published on April 7th, 2008 | by Christian Cawley

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Johnny Byrne Dies

Former Doctor Who scriptwriter Johnny Byrne has died, aged 73. He is believed to have passed away on April 3rd.

Johnny Byrne DiesBorn in Dublin, Byrne was responsible for one of Doctor Who’s finest adventures, The Keeper of Traken which pitted the Doctor against the Master for the first time in 6 years – it also featured one of the shows greatest moments, as the Master claimed a new body at last…

Johnny Byrne also wrote 11 scripts for the Gerry Anderson serial Space: 1999, was main writer and script consultant on the BBC hit All Creatures Great and Small (the show that gave the world Peter Davison) and created that other Sunday night favourite, Heartbeat.

His other Doctor Who adventures were Arc of Infinity which pitted the Fifth Doctor against Omega once more, and the much maligned Warriors of the Deep. Both adventures suffered from poor production values, although it is generally considered that each harbours a good story bursting to get out.

In the late 1980s, Johnny Byrne was hired by the production company Daltenreys to rewrite a previous Doctor Who movie script by Mark Ezra. The result was The Time Lord, rewritten in 1991as Last of the Time Lords

Of course, this movie never saw a pre-production period, nevermind a suitable budget. Not the best way to end an association with Doctor Who, sadly, but we can be thankful that we got three great stories from a prolific television writer.

He will be sadly missed.

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About the Author

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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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