Fans in the know will no doubt have marked April Fool’s Day into their calendar for a different reason – the creator of Doctor Who and The Avengers, Sydney Newman, was born on that day in 1917. We’ll claim that the date is the reason this wasn’t posted earlier. Definitely.
Everyone at Kasterborous; indeed, every fan of Doctor Who owes this man a round of applause and sincere thanks. Without him, there’d be no Doctor travelling around space and time in a wonderful machine that is bigger on the inside. Although he did work with Donald Wilson and C.E. Webber, those essential concepts came from him (and there’s some debate about whether the title came from him too). When the show was commissioned, that was when Verity Lambert got involved and that was when the dream team came together.
This dream team was referenced twice in the new run, in two connected episodes (Human Nature and The End Of Time) wherein David Tennant’s Doctor, in human form as John Smith, referred to his parents as being “Sydney and Verity” in the former and met a character (descended from the nurse he was trying to bone at the time) called Verity Newman in the latter.
He died in 1997, having turned 80 a few months before. It’s sad that the last thing he saw of Doctor Who on television was the 1996 movie (if he did see that) but it’s a fitting tribute to his legacy that so many fans believed in Doctor Who that it was brought back just a few years after he died, and it’s been going from strength to strength ever since.