Doctor Who director Derek Martinus dies aged 82

image copyrightHandout
image captionDerek Martinus introduced the Cybermen and directed the first Doctor Who episodes in colour

Derek Martinus, who directed some of Doctor Who's best known episodes between 1965 and 1970, featuring the first three Doctors, has died aged 82.

His family told the BBC he died on Thursday evening having suffered from Alzheimer's for many years, calling him "an inspiration" and an "amazing man".

Martinus directed the introduction of the Cybermen in The Tenth Planet.

The four episodes culminated in first Doctor William Hartnell regenerating into Patrick Troughton.

He also directed the first ever Doctor Who episodes to be made in colour, the Spearhead from Space serial - which introduced third Doctor Jon Pertwee - as well as The Ice Warriors serial.

image captionMartinus with one of the Cybermen who first appeared in The Tenth Planet in October 1966

His career took in several other long-running series such as United, Z-cars, The Doctors, Angels, Blake's 7 and Penmarric.

"He was a legend, just an absolute legend," said his daughter Charlotta Martinus. "He taught me how to love, live and laugh, he was just such an amazing man."

She told the BBC her father had been full of exciting stories about filming shows such as Doctor Who while she and her sister were growing up.

"It was an amazing childhood to be living among the Doctor Who paraphernalia," she recalled.

"We used to go down and watch Doctor Who being made and see the Daleks, and even get inside the Daleks. Having those famous people walk through your door... Jon Pertwee would come for tea," she said.

Martinus started his career in the theatre, where he continued to work after meeting his Swedish wife Eivor, to whom he was married for 50 years.

They worked together on twelve productions and she translated many of the stage plays he directed.

His theatre credits include Ben Jonson's Volpone, Caryl Churchill's Mad Forest, Harold Pinter's The Homecoming and Stephen Lowe's The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists for different theatres in Sweden.

'The new boy'

Martinus also worked on several children's TV programmes including The Paper Lads and Dodger, Bonzo and the Rest, both of which won the Pye Award for best children's drama. He directed TV shows The Black Tulip, What Maisie Knew, A Legacy and A little Princess.

In an interview for a Doctor Who fan site, Martinus revealed the original Doctor, Hartnell, "regarded me with great suspicion when I arrived".

"He knew I was the new boy and he wasn't slow to remind me how many hundreds of films he'd done and how many directors he'd advised on how to get the shots," said Martinus.

"One did have to tread very carefully with him, but he warmed to me and I to him."

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image captionCharlotta Martinus, seen here with her dad on their sailing boat in Sweden, called him a "leader of men"

He also shared the secrets of working with Daleks, which had to be shot "very carefully and from exactly the right angle".

"If you shoot them without care they do look rather tame and ordinary," he explained. "You had to build up a Dalek's entrance. I used to make them lurk in the shadows."

Martinus was born on 4 April 1931 and went to school in Essex, later studying acting and directing at Yale Drama School after some time in the RAF.

He is survived by his wife, two daughters and three grandchildren.

His daughter Charlotta said he was the inspiration for her own career in TV, spanning 10 years at the BBC as a documentary maker.

"Ten years after he left, everyone used to say to me, 'Are you really his daughter?'. He was really inspirational for me and my sister Pia who is a doctor. He was a leader of men and he inspired everyone."

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