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Victor Pemberton (10 October 1931 – 13 August 2017) was a British writer and television producer. His scriptwriting work included BBC radio plays, and television scripts for the BBC and ITV, including Doctor Who, The Slide, Timeslip and The Adventures of Black Beauty.[1] His television production work included the British version of Fraggle Rock (second series onwards),[2] and several independent documentaries including the 1989 International Emmy Award-winning Gwen: A Juliet Remembered, about stage actress Gwen Ffrangcon-Davies.[3]

Victor Pemberton
Victor Francis Pemberton

10 October 1931
Died13 August 2017(2017-08-13) (aged 85)
OccupationProducer, writer

Early lifeEdit

Pemberton grew up in Islington, London, and lived for many years in Essex. In his earlier years, Pemberton had several small screen acting roles. In addition to novelisations, he wrote many nostalgic novels set in London, prompted by the success of his autobiographical radio drama series Our Family.[4][5]

Doctor WhoEdit

Pemberton first worked on the programme in 1967 as Assistant Script Editor and was promoted to the role of Script Editor during the production of the story "The Tomb of the Cybermen".[6]

Pemberton wrote the 1968 Patrick Troughton story Fury from the Deep[7] (which he subsequently novelised for Target Books).[8] The story, now missing from the BBC archives, was based on an earlier stand-alone radio serial he had written called The Slide, starring future Master actor Roger Delgado.[9][10] It introduced the Doctor's trademark sonic screwdriver.[9]

In 1976, Pemberton wrote the audio drama Doctor Who and the Pescatons[11] for an experiment in Doctor Who on vinyl record and an early spin-off from the programme. The production was aimed at children and is heavily based on ideas Pemberton had used for Fury from the Deep.[12] He later novelised The Pescatons, which was the final Doctor Who book published with the Target logo on the spine.[13] He had previously appeared as an actor in the series, in a non-speaking role as a scientist in the 1967 story The Moonbase.[14]

Personal lifeEdit

In later life he lived in Spain,[15] where he continued to write novels. Pemberton was the life partner of the British actor, producer and writer David Spenser.[16]


Pemberton's death was announced on 13 August 2017.[17] He was 85.


  1. ^ "Victor Pemberton". BFI.
  2. ^ " - This website is for sale! - victor pemberton author playwright tv producer radio doctor who saffron productions david spenser Resources and Information".
  3. ^ "Gwen : A Juliet Remembered (1988)". BFI.
  4. ^ "Saturday-Night Theatre". 7 January 1989. p. 29 – via BBC Genome.
  5. ^ "Victor Pemberton radio drama - DIVERSITY WEBSITE".
  6. ^ " - This website is for sale! - victor pemberton author playwright tv producer radio doctor who saffron productions david spenser Resources and Information".
  7. ^ "Victor Pemberton". Doctor Who Interview Archive.
  8. ^ "Doctor Who Target Library 110 Doctor Who Fury From the Deep" – via Internet Archive.
  9. ^ a b "Obituary - Victor Pemberton, writer who invented the sonic screwdriver and produced Fraggle Rock | HeraldScotland".
  10. ^ "The Slide: 2: Down Came A Blackbird". 20 February 1966. p. 17 – via BBC Genome.
  11. ^ "Doctor Who - Doctor Who And The Pescatons". Discogs.
  12. ^ "BBC - Press Office - Doctor Who and the Pescatons".
  13. ^ "Doctor Who".
  14. ^ "BBC - Doctor Who Classic Episode Guide - The Moonbase - Details".
  15. ^ "Exclusive Interview: Victor Pemberton, Inventor of the Sonic Screwdriver!". 2 April 2016.
  16. ^ John Tydeman David Spenser obituary, The Guardian, 1 August 2013. Retrieved 1 August 2013
  17. ^

External linksEdit