R.I.P. Christopher Barry 1925-2014

Written by Paul Mount Monday, 10 February 2014

TV News

Starburst Magazine has learned of the death on 7th February of Christopher Barry who was the longest-serving director on the original BBC TV run of Doctor Who, having worked on the programme intermittently between 1963 and 1979. Barry worked on several of the series’ key stories including episodes of Terry Nation’s debut serial ‘The Daleks’, the two-part serial ‘The Rescue’ in 1965 which saw the first newcomer to the TARDIS crew as Maureen O’Brien’s Vicki replaced Carole Ann Ford who had played Susan since the series began in November 1963, Patrick Troughton’s debut serial ‘Power of the Daleks’ in 1966 and Tom Baker’s debut ‘Robot’ in 1974. Christopher also directed the classic 1971 five-part serial ‘The Daemons’, often regarded as one of the very best stories from the Jon Pertwee era as well as the classic 1975 four-parter ‘The Brain of Morbius’. Christopher’s last contribution to Doctor Who was 1979’s ‘Creature from the Pit.’

Throughout his career Christopher Barry worked extensively on BBC TV dramas such as Paul Temple, Poldark, Z Cars, Juliet Bravo and All Creatures Great and Small and dabbled with science-fiction again in anthology series Out of the Unknown in 1965, the gritty Moonbase 3 in 1973 and the ill-fated and short-lived Tripods series in 1984. He also directed the 1995 Doctor Who spin-off straight-to-DVD fan film Downtime which reunited ‘classic series’ regulars Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart (Nick Courtney) and Sarah Jane Smith (Elisabeth Sladen) and reintroduced 1960s companion Victoria (Deborah Watling) and professor Travers (Jack Watling), last seen in 1968’s ‘The Web Of Fear’. The story also introduced the character of Lethbridge-Stewart’s daughter Kate, played in Downtime by Beverley Cressman and portrayed by Jemma Redgrave since the character was brought in as UNIT UK’s boss in the TV series in 2012.

Christopher had retired to Oxfordshire and died after a fall at his home.

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