Victor Pemberton Creator of Sonic Screwdriver Dies at 85

September 20, 2019

first_img HBO Max Scores Exclusive ‘Doctor Who’ Streaming RightsJo Tro Do Plo Plo No: ‘Doctor Who’ Welcomes Back Familiar Monster Doctor Who actor and writer Victor Pemberton has died at the age of 85.Born outside London in October 1931, Pemberton first met the Doctor in 1967’s “The Moonbase,” in which he played a non-speaking scientist opposite Patrick Troughton.“The only reason I did it was for the money,” Pemberton admitted on his personal website.“And I wasn’t even wearing makeup” (via Victor Pemberton website)“But those terrible pictures of my veins protruding out of my face and forehead have come to haunt me over the years,” he continued. “Especially when so many fans keep sending me photocopies of them.”The four-episode series—his only acting credit on IMDb—led to a gig as script editor during the production of the legendary story “The Tomb of the Cybermen.”Pemberton also wrote the 1968 story “Fury from the Deep,” which he subsequently novelised for British publishing imprint Target Books (not to be confused with the American discount retailer).The program, one of many missing from the BBC archives, was based on his earlier stand-alone radio serial “The Slide,” starring future Master actor Roger Delgado.While it marked the departure of the Second Doctor’s companion Victoria (Deborah Watling), “Fury from the Deep” also introduced one of Doctor Who‘s most famous gadgets: the sonic screwdriver.The multi-functional tool was first used by Troughton’s alien character (again in “The Dominators” and “The War Games”), and became popular with the Third (Jon Pertwee) and Fourth (Tom Baker) Doctors.via Victor Pemberton websiteDespite being written out of the show in 1982, the lock-picking, laser-pointing, sound-wave-amplifying, matter-scanning, glass-shattering flashlight/microphone/lighter was featured briefly in the 1996 Doctor Who TV movie, before making a triumphant return in the 2005 reboot.And, much like the TARDIS and Time Lord himself, the Doctor’s favorite utensil has been through various redesigns and refits. The Twelfth incarnation caused an uproar among fans (or was that just me?) when he replaced his lost screwdriver with a pair of sonic sunglasses.The out-of-this-universe tool even inspired a real-life attempt to mimic the Gallifreyan technology: Researchers at Dundee University in 2012 unveiled a machine that uses ultrasound waves to turn objects, rather than just push them.In 1976, Pemberton wrote the audio drama Doctor Who and the Pescatons for an experimental vinyl record and TV spin-off. Aimed at children, and heavily based on ideas used in “Fury from the Deep,” The Pescatons was later novelized.Other scriptwriting credits include Timeslip, Tightrope, Ace of Wands, The Adventures of Black Beauty, Tales from the Thousand and One Nights, and the UK adaptation of Fraggle Rock.Stream all of Doctor Who now for free with your Amazon Prime membership.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Stay on targetlast_img

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