Terrance Dicks (born Terrance William Dicks on 14 April 1935 in East Ham, Essex, died 29 August 2019) whom fans have long affectionately called "Uncle Terrance", script edited the Patrick Troughton and Jon Pertwee eras of Doctor Who and wrote many Doctor Who episodes, novels and novelisations, becoming one of the most prolific authors and scriptwriters.
Terrance Dicks began his long association with Doctor Who in 1968, when he joined the production team during the Second Doctor story The Invasion. He soon began writing scripts for the series. His first notable work was The War Games, an epic, ten-episode collaboration with Malcolm Hulke.
Dicks served as script editor through the Jon Pertwee era. He handed the reins to Robert Holmes with the coming of Tom Baker. Dicks continued to supply scripts for the series under his name and pseudonyms, specifically "Robin Bland" which was used when too many changes were made to his script for The Brain of Morbius.
At roughly the same time, he submitted what would become State of Decay to the Doctor Who production office. It remained unproduced for several years as the BBC had recently produced a new version of Dracula. His final script for televised Doctor Who was for the twentieth anniversary story The Five Doctors.
In 1973, Dicks, along with other writers from the TV series, were commissioned by Target Books to write novelisations adapting TV episodes. Over the next two decades, Dicks became the most prolific author of the line. He was editor of the range at one point. In later years, when Target adopted the policy of commissioning the original teleplay writers to novelise their works, Dicks became the "go-to guy" when the original teleplay writer was deceased, unable or unwilling to adapt their work in book form.
The Target Books line was retired in the early 1990s. Dicks wrote original novels for virtually every line of Doctor Who fiction, with notable exceptions being Virgin Missing Adventures, Telos Publishing, Big Finish Productions' Bernice Summerfield series of books and the current hardcover series of BBC Books novels, although he wrote two entries in the Quick Reads novella series, most notably Made of Steel, which introduced fans to Martha Jones a full month before her TV debut. He is one of only a handful of Classic Era TV writers to have written licenced Modern Era stories (others include Andrew Cartmel, who has written for the Doctor Who Adventures comic strip, and Rona Munro, who contributed a script to Series 10).
He also co-wrote The Making of Doctor Who, the first non-fiction book about the series.
In 2007, after a hiatus of seventeen years, Dicks returned to writing episode novelisations by adapting Invasion of the Bane for a new series of novelisations based upon The Sarah Jane Adventures, published by Penguin Character Books.
Although most closely associated with Doctor Who, Dicks has also worked on other projects, such as a mid-1970s series of novels featuring the adventures of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Of the first twelve incarnations of the Doctor, Dicks wrote novels and novelisations featuring all of them except the Ninth Doctor and Twelfth Doctor. In terms of novelisations, discounting the Modern Era Doctors, for whom novelisations have not been commissioned, along with the Eighth Doctor, the only Doctor era not receiving the Dicks treatment at some point was the Seventh Doctor (discounting the special case of Shakedown, a partial novelisation of the independent film Shakedown: Return of the Sontarans, which Dicks adapted for the Virgin New Adventures, expanding the story to include the Seventh Doctor).
He also contributed to the charity reference book Behind the Sofa: Celebrity Memories of Doctor Who.
Contributions to the Doctor Who universe
Major characters and concepts created in a Terrance Dicks script or substantially developed by him as script editor include the Time Lords (in The War Games, co-written with Malcolm Hulke), as well as the Master played by Roger Delgado. More minor creations include the Rutans, the War Lord, the Death Zone and Morbius.
- The War Games (with Malcolm Hulke)
- The Brain of Morbius (re-written substantially by script editor Robert Holmes and credited to the pseudonym Robin Bland)
- Horror of Fang Rock
- State of Decay
- The Five Doctors
As script editor
Virgin New Adventures
- Timewyrm: Exodus
- Blood Harvest
- Shakedown - (technically an expanded upon novelisation of his Shakedown: Return of the Sontarans)
BBC Eighth Doctor Adventures
BBC Past Doctor Adventures
BBC Quick Reads
Virgin Bernice Summerfield New Adventures
Junior Doctor Who
The Sarah Jane Adventures novelisations
The Target Storybook
Bernice Summerfield short stores
- The Making of Doctor Who (first edition co-written with Malcolm Hulke; second edition updated and revised by Terrance Dicks alone)
- The Doctor Who Monster Book
- The Doctor Who Dinosaur Book
- The Second Doctor Who Monster Book
Big Finish Doctor Who stage plays
Sarah Jane Smith
Contributions to the mythos
Major characters and concepts created for or debuting in a Terrance Dicks script include:
- The War Lords
- The Time Lords (first named)
- Gallifrey (not mentioned by name)
- The Fourth Doctor
- Harry Sullivan
- Sisterhood of Karn
- The Rutans
- The Great Vampires
- The Game of Rassilon and the Death Zone
- Raston Warrior Robot
- Time Scoop
- Eye of Orion