R.I.P. Bernard Horsfall 1930 - 2013

Written by Paul Mount Tuesday, 29 January 2013

TV News

Starburst Magazine has learned of the sad death of character actor Bernard Horsfall, a familiar name to fans of Doctor Who in the 1960s and 1970s.

Born in November 1930 in Hertfordshire Bernard worked steadily in films and television throughout his career, appearing in the George Lazenby Bond movie On Her Majesty’s Secret Service in 1968 and in Mel Gibson’s Braveheart in 1995. Other feature films appearances include Man in the Moon, Gold and Gandhi. TV roles included an appearance in the Jeremy Brett version of the classic Sherlock Holmes story Hound of the Baskervilles in 1988 and Bernard also featured in series such as The Persuaders! and Jewel in the Crown.

His first two appearances in Doctor Who were during Patrick Troughton’s tenure where he played Lemuel Gulliver in the fantasy story ‘The Mind Robber’ and in Troughton’s final serial ‘The War Games’ where he played one of the monolithic Time Lords who exiled the Doctor to Earth and forced him to regenerate into Jon Pertwee. In 1973 Bernard returned to the series as the earnest Thal space soldier Taron leading the attack on the Dalek stronghold on the planet Spiridon in ‘Planet of the Daleks’ but probably his best-known role in the series was as Time Lord Chancellor Goth in 1977‘s ‘The Deadly Assassin’, the surreal third episode of which saw a mental projection version of his character battle a projection of the Doctor (now played by Tom Baker) in a lengthy combat sequence which drew considerable criticism from the notorious Mary Whitehouse and her National Listeners and Viewers Association.

Bernard continued to work in television intermittently in later life - recent credits include daytime soap Doctors in 2005 and BBC drama Murder Rooms in 2000 and his association with Doctor Who continued when he loaned his vocal talents to the Big Finish audio production ‘Davros’ in 2003.

Starburst offers its condolences to Bernard’s family and friends.

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