Tributes to Doctor Who novelist Terrance Dicks after death, aged 84

Tributes to Doctor Who novelist Terrance Dicks after death, aged 84

Terrance Dicks, children’s author and writer of numerous Doctor Who novels and episodes, has died at the age of 84.

Dicks died on 29th August after a short illness, his representatives at The Agency said. His final short story "Save Yourself" will be published next month in Doctor Who: The Target Storybook (BBC Books).

His agent Hilary Delamere told The Bookseller: "Not only was Terrance Dicks admired and respected by all his Dr Who fan-base but Brenda Gardner, who published him first at WH Allen and then on her Piccadilly Press list for over 30 years, said he was an editor’s dream author – delivering his well-written manuscripts on time, always open to editorial suggestions and felt that the author/editor relationship was always strengthened by alternating who paid for lunch!”     

Dicks was well known for his work on the BBC sci-fi show, which he joined in 1968 as a script editor. He penned the landmark 20th anniversary programme “The Five Doctors”, alongside writing episodes of “The Avengers” and “Space 1999”.

He was also a prolific author, writing children’s tales including The Pyramid Incident and The Transylvanian Incident from Picadilly Press’ The Unexplained series, plus novelisations of Doctor Who stories, originally published by Target.

Albert De Petrillo, Publishing Director, BBC Books, said: " There are few people in the world of Doctor Who whose shadow looms larger than Terrance Dicks. He was a legend, and a major influence not only as script editor for the show, but also as a novelist. His Target novelisations helped keep classic Doctor Who adventures alive in the minds of millions of young fans, creating an entire generation of new readers and writers. It was a privilege to work with him, and I’m so glad he was able to contribute a final short story to our upcoming Target Storybook."

Fans and writers paid tribute to him online today, including Neil Gaiman, who wrote: “I remember reading his and Malcolm Hulke's book The Making of Doctor Who when I was eleven or twelve, and deciding then that I would one day write an episode of Doctor Who, because they had shown me how. RIP Terrance Dicks.”

Writer Jenny Colgan tweeted: “Terrance Dicks helped more children (especially boys) develop a lifelong love of reading than almost anyone else who’s ever lived. I don’t think he even got an OBE.”

Marcus Gipps, editorial director at Gollancz & SF Gateway, said: "He genuinely was a hugely influential, formative author for so many of us, and I think he was underappreciated. He was certainly the first author I thought of as ‘mine’ rather than something chosen for me, and the first I learned to look out for on the library shelves. I know that he was what got me into reading SF, and without his books I wouldn’t be where I am now. I also think his direct style is much underrated as it looks so simple, but is so brilliantly done."