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RT celebrates the centenary of Doctor Who’s Patrick Troughton

Patrick Troughton, the man destined to turn into a Time Lord in Doctor Who, was born 100 years in the past on 25 March 1920 in Mill Hill, north London. He skilled as an actor in Swiss Cottage however his vocation was placed on maintain by the Second World Struggle, throughout which he served in the Royal Navy. After the struggle, he quickly gained performing work – his first BBC Radio credit score showing in Radio Occasions in 1946. He disliked stage performing, which he memorably referred to as “shouting in the evenings”, and shortly realised that tv was his most well-liked medium.

To a technology of children watching British telly in the 1950s, Troughton was the first Robin Hood, and Alan Breck in Kidnapped. In the 1960s, he created a terrifying Quilp in The Outdated Curiosity Store. In the 80s, he grew to become genial magician Cole Hawlings in the BBC basic, The Field of Delights. However his most enduring position was of course the second Doctor in Doctor Who.

To mark the centenary of this mesmerising character actor, we’ve scoured the Radio Occasions Archive to pick highlights and landmarks in his BBC TV and Radio profession – uncommon extracts and pictures from the 1940s till his loss of life in 1987.


Patrick Troughton acquired his first credit score in Radio Occasions at the age of simply 26, taking part in Nicolaus of Damascus, Herod’s biographer, in Christ’s Comet, a three-act play in verse by Christopher Hassall. It was broadcast on Christmas Day 1946 on BBC Radio community, the Third Programme.

His BBC Tv debut got here lower than a yr later (on 30 October 1947) when he performed Baldock in a manufacturing of Christopher Marlowe’s Edward II.

Science fiction got here surprisingly early in Troughton’s profession. On Four March 1948, in Karel Capek’s play R.U.R. (Rossum’s Common Robots), he performed Radius, an “clever robotic who leads the revolt”. This garnered the 27-year-old actor his first {photograph} in RT.

On 13 July 1948, he was photographed once more, wanting slightly slick as Lord Lebanon in an Edgar Wallace “homicide play”, The Curse of the Frightened Woman.

These have been the days of principally reside tv, and none of these productions have survived.


Throughout the subsequent decade, Patrick Troughton began to turn into a well-recognised face, particularly on BBC Youngsters’s Tv.

In 1952, he performed the swashbuckling Alan Breck in Kidnapped. Every episode of this reside model of the Robert Louis Stevenson basic was carried out twice every week in the summer time of 52. John Fraser performed the younger hero David Balfour. (Years later, Fraser would play the Monitor in Tom Baker’s Doctor Who story Logopolis.) Such was the reputation of this serial, tailored and produced by Pleasure Harington, it was utterly remounted in 1956, with Troughton again as Breck however with Leo Maguire as David Balfour. This model was telerecorded and at the very least one episode survives. When Kidnapped was repeated in 1957, Radio Occasions printed this uncommon shot of Troughton as Alan Breck.

In the meantime, in 1953, he had additionally turn into acquainted as the first vital Robin Hood on British TV. A six-part serial for Youngsters’s Tv, additionally produced by Pleasure Harington, Robin Hood was by no means repeated, however at the very least one episode survives in the BBC Archive.

In 1959, RT caught up with Troughton when he was taking part in “comical however terrifying outdated lag” Uncle Jim in The Historical past of Mr Polly. This was the first time he was quoted in the journal. Of being thrown in a river whereas filming, he mentioned: “It was all good enjoyable.”


1960 noticed an enormous enterprise for the BBC Youngsters’s Tv division when it offered Paul of Tarsus. Billed as “a cycle of ten performs telling the story of the Acts of Christ’s Apostles”, this bold Sunday-teatime serial, written and produced by Pleasure Harington, starred Patrick Troughton as Saint Paul. It referred to as for an extended location shoot in Crete and a month’s filming in Ealing Movie Studios. RT ran a full-page characteristic on the serial.

In 1962, Troughton made his first look on the Radio Occasions cowl for The Sunday Evening Play, The Sword of Vengeance.

Additionally that yr he joined the forged of the long-running collection, Dr Finlay’s Casebook. The truth is throughout eight years he would play three completely different characters. On 11 October 1962, he appeared as Dr Cameron’s gardener, Alex Dean. He returned in 1964 as a recurring character, schoolteacher Mr Miller. Lastly, in 1970, he performed Jack Baird. Miraculously – given what number of episodes of Dr Finlay have been made – photographs of all three characters (taken by Don Smith) stay the Radio Occasions Archive.

1962, Dr Finlay’s Casebook: Patrick Troughton as Alex Dean and Marion Mathie as Annie Dean (Don Smith, copyright Radio Occasions Archive)

1964, Dr Finlay’s Casebook: Patrick Troughton as Mr Miller (Don Smith, copyright Radio Occasions Archive)

1970, Dr Finlay’s Casebook: Patrick Troughton as Jack Baird (Don Smith, copyright Radio Occasions Archive)

1970, Dr Finlay’s Casebook: Patrick Troughton as Jack Baird (Don Smith, copyright Radio Occasions Archive)

In a letter written in 1980, Troughton wrote: “My favorite position, I feel, was Mr Quilp in The Outdated Curiosity Store – however Dr Who comes a really shut second!” Over the winter of 1962/63, he starred as the disreputable Quilp in an impressive 13-part adaptation of the Dickens basic. Many related serials of this era survive in the BBC Archive, so it’s a crying disgrace that not one episode of The Outdated Curiosity Store does. As small compensation, listed below are the articles we printed in Radio Occasions at the time.

In 1964, we printed a letter calling for Troughton to be given his personal starring position. Doctor Who was nonetheless a pair of years away.

On 27 February 1965, he guest-starred as troubled Cornish gentleman Mortimer Tregennis in The Satan’s Foot, half of BBC1’s glorious Sherlock Holmes collection starring Douglas Wilmer and Nigel Inventory.

Just a few weeks later he landed the main position of French doctor Dr Manette in BBC1’s ten-part adaptation of A Story of Two Cities. Don Smith took a collection of portraits of the character at completely different ages.

1965, A Story of Two Cities: Patrick Troughton as Dr Manette. (Don Smith, copyright Radio Occasions Archive)

1965, A Story of Two Cities: Patrick Troughton as Dr Manette. (Don Smith, copyright Radio Occasions Archive)

On Bonfire Evening 1966, there have been only a few fireworks – or fanfare in Radio Occasions – for Patrick Troughton when he changed William Hartnell in Doctor Who. Presumably the BBC wished to maintain his scruffy new look and off-the-wall portrayal below wraps. RT promoted his six-part debut, The Energy of the Daleks, with Daleks, not the new star, on the cowl. It was solely with Troughton’s second journey, The Highlanders, that RT splashed a one-page characteristic on the new Doctor and the man who performed him.

In 1967, RT’s Don Smith photographed the Doctor Who star on location in Snowdonia, alongside one of his new monsters, the Yeti.

1967, Doctor Who: Patrick Troughton on location in Wales with a Yeti

In January 1968, the second Doctor lastly appeared in color on the cowl. And later that yr we shot Troughton in color in the Tardis with co-star Frazer Hines (companion Jamie).

1968, Doctor Who: Patrick Troughton and Frazer Hines in The Thoughts Robber 

In 1969, fatigued after two and a half years on the Tardis treadmill, Troughton gave up the position. “It’s been nice enjoyable,” he advised RT, “however now I’m going to sit down at residence once more and look forward to the telephone to ring.”


He didn’t have to attend lengthy for a name from the BBC. On New 12 months’s Day 1970, he was taking part in the Duke of Norfolk in the prestigious The Six Wives of Henry VIII. Additionally early that yr he was in BBC1’s Paul Temple and Radio 4’s adaptation of Struggle and Peace. In November 1970 he was taking part in Mr March in Little Girls (under), and in June 1971 he popped up in The Chopper, an version of the sci-fi anthology Out of the Unknown.

Little Girls, 1970: Patrick Troughton as Mr March (Radio Occasions copyright)

It solely took three years for Troughton to be tempted again inside the Tardis. Christmas 1972 noticed him gleefully becoming a member of his predecessor William Hartnell and successor Jon Pertwee in The Three Docs. It was a superb, very early tenth-anniversary reward for his or her legions of followers. RT gathered the Time Lord trio for a particular photoshoot by Ray Rathborne in October 1972.

In 1973, Troughton guest-starred as Tamberlane the Horrible in Frankie Howerd’s fruity sitcom, Whoops Baghdad.

On 2 March 1976, he was again to a severe position for a BBC1 Play for At the moment. In Love Letters on Blue Paper, by eminent playwright Arnold Wesker, he performed Victor Marsden, described in RT as “an outdated commerce unionist who confronts loss of life and his unrealised hopes”. It was directed by Waris Hussein, the unique director of Doctor Who. Don Smith took photographs of Troughton on set with co-stars Elizabeth Spriggs and Richard Pasco.

1976, Love Letters on Blue Paper: Patrick Troughton, Elizabeth Spriggs and Richard Pasco (Don Smith/copyright Radio Occasions Archive)

1976, Love Letters on Blue Paper: Patrick Troughton (Don Smith/copyright Radio Occasions Archive)

After transmission, Wesker wrote to Radio Occasions, quoting Troughton’s views on theatre and tv: “After I requested him throughout rehearsals wouldn’t he prefer to be half of a everlasting firm, say like the Nationwide Theatre. ‘By no means!’ he replied. ‘This right here, this medium, that is the actual Nationwide theatre.’”

In 1977, Troughton performed Israel Fingers in a memorable teatime adaptation of Treasure Island.


1983 noticed the 20th anniversary of Doctor Who – and Patrick Troughton regularly embracing the worldwide phenomenon that the collection had turn into. He agreed to be half of BBC1’s particular The 5 Docs, and attended his very first conference, the large weekend-long Doctor Who Celebration held at Longleat Home in Wiltshire. The 5 Docs needed to work round the indisputable fact that first Doctor William Hartnell was useless (he was recast as Richard Hurndall) and fourth Doctor Tom Baker declined to look (outdated clips have been utilized in the particular and Baker’s Madame Tussauds waxwork was borrowed for the photoshoot!).

1983, Doctor Who, The 5 Docs: Richard Hurndall, Peter Davison, Tom Baker’s waxwork, Jon Pertwee and Patrick Troughton – and Ok•9. (copyright Radio Occasions Archive)

1983, Doctor Who, The 5 Docs: Richard Hurndall, Peter Davison, Jon Pertwee and Patrick Troughton. (Don Smith, copyright Radio Occasions Archive)

1983, Doctor Who, The 5 Docs: Patrick Troughton with Nicholas Courtney, aka the Brigadier. (Don Smith, copyright Radio Occasions Archive)

The Field of Delights, John Masefield’s kids’s basic printed in 1935, was lastly tailored for BBC TV in the winter of 1984. It gave Troughton one of his final memorable roles – Cole Hawlings, the centuries-old magician who befriends schoolboy Kay Harker (Devin Stanfield).

There’s a wealth of photographs from the manufacturing of The Field of Delights in the Radio Occasions Archive. Right here’s a uncommon choice of Troughton and Stanfield engaged on a blue- or green-screen set prepared for visible results.

1984, The Field of Delights: Devin Stanfield as Kay Harker and Patrick Troughton as Cole Hawlings (Don Smith, copyright Radio Occasions Archive)

1984, The Field of Delights: Devin Stanfield as Kay Harker and Patrick Troughton as Cole Hawlings (Don Smith, copyright Radio Occasions Archive)

1984, The Field of Delights: Patrick Troughton as Cole Hawlings (Don Smith, copyright Radio Occasions Archive)

1984, The Field of Delights: Patrick Troughton as Cole Hawlings (Don Smith, copyright Radio Occasions Archive)

Troughton gave his final RT interview in 1985 selling the BBC2 drama Lengthy Time period Reminiscence. Unusually, he was prepared to debate his sophisticated personal life.

In his latter years, Troughton lived with a severe coronary heart situation and had survived two coronary heart assaults. He died instantly of a 3rd assault on 27 March 1987, two days after his 67nd birthday, whereas attending a Doctor Who conference in Columbus, Georgia. His loss of life was famous in RT by a reader’s letter.

His final efficiency for the BBC aired posthumously on 9 April 1987. It was the Radio Four Afternoon Play, Daylight on the Backyard, wherein he performed a teen’s crusty neighbour, Mr Hammond. When it was repeated on eight April 1988, RT added a footnote of reward from The Guardian.

Many of these glorious performances could have been misplaced or forgotten in the mists of time however, by way of Doctor Who, the legend that was Patrick Troughton lives on.

Atone for Patrick Troughton’s period in the Radio Occasions Doctor Who Story Information

Additionally: The Three Docs  The 5 Docs and The Two Docs

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