One of Doctor Who‘s most important directors, Derek Martinus, has died a few days short of his 83rd birthday, it has been announced. Responsible for notable serials such as The Tenth Planet, The Evil of the Daleks and Jon Pertwee’s debut Spearhead from Space, Martinus was a successful stage and TV director whose work spanned genres and age groups.
Born April 4th 1931, Martinus went to school in Essex, and studying acting and directing at Yale Drama School following a stint in the RAF. He spent some time in Sweden, learning the language, directing and meeting his wife there.
Here’s the tweet from BBC entertainment reporter and Doctor Who fan Lizo Mzimba:
Director Derek Martinus has died. Directed Tenth Planet, Evil of Daleks, Ice Warriors, Spearhead from Space, eps of Blakes 7 and much more.
— lizo mzimba (@lizo_mzimba) March 28, 2014
The firector died on Thursday evening, and according to BBC News, he had been suffering from Alzheimer’s. Said his daughter Charlotta Martinus, a former BBC documentary maker:
He was a legend, just an absolute legend. He taught me how to love, live and laugh, he was just such an amazing man.
Ten years after he left [the BBC], everyone used to say to me, ‘Are you really his daughter?’. He was really inspirational for me and my sister Pia who is a doctor. He was a leader of men and he inspired everyone.
Our esteemed readers might pay tribute to Mr Martinus this weekend by watching one of his Doctor Who serials (of course we’re pretty sure it’s a 50-50 choice between The Tenth Planet and Spearhead from Space unless you’re sitting on a treasure trove of missing episodes!). You might also cast your eye over this archive interview.