Doctor Who writer Terrance Dicks has died, aged 84.
Although the exact circumstances surrounding his death are currently unclear, his passing was confirmed to RadioTimes.com by his agent.
Affectionally nicknamed “Uncle Terrance” by Doctor Who fans, Dicks wrote or co-wrote many stories for the BBC sci-fi show, including 20th anniversary special ‘The Five Doctors’ and Patrick Troughton adventure ‘The War Games’.
Dicks served as the show’s assistant script editor and later script editor between 1968 and 1974 and was also a prolific writer of Doctor Who novels, including the much-loved Target novelisations of TV stories.
After the news broke, fans and Doctor Who writers past and present took to social media to pay tributes to “one of Doctor Who’s greatest writers”.
Very hard to express what Terrance Dicks meant to a whole generation. A brilliant TV professional, a funny and generous soul. Most of all, though, an inspirational writer who took so many of us on unforgettable journeys into space and time. Bless you, Terrance.
— Mark Gatiss (@Markgatiss) September 2, 2019
I’m so sad that Doctor Who legend #TerranceDicks has died. I know how many authors he inspired, and how many millions he entertained as a writer, script-editor, producer and raconteur. I first met him at a library talk when I was eight and edited his final short story this year.
— Steve Cole (@SteveColeBooks) September 2, 2019
Doctor Who without Terrance Dicks doesn’t bear thinking about. The programme and its fans were blessed by his presence – a hero of British television and children’s fiction. Surely no one has contributed more to Doctor Who, and in so many ways, than #TerranceDicks. RIP pic.twitter.com/YAXwdE4NzM
— Trevor Baxendale (@trevorbaxendale) September 2, 2019
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The very first book I bought written by Terrance Dicks. The first of so many. Ahh, sad news. I can’t I claim I knew him well, but he was charming and funny and modest whenever we spoke. He was, I think, the writer who sorted out how the Doctor thinks. He thinks, as it turns out, exactly the way Terrance wrote.
— Matthew Rimmer (@MatthewRimmer) September 2, 2019
Tragedy to have lost #TerranceDicks – among the true greats of Doctor Who, and the sweetest, most self-effacing man. One comfort… His work, which has inspired so many, will go on to inspire millions more who are not yet born, passed from parent to child for generations to come.
— Gary Gillatt (@Gary_Gillatt) September 2, 2019
Sad to hear Terrance Dicks has passed away. One of Doctor Who's greatest writers and perhaps the one who truly knew the Doctor inside and out. A inspiration to so many (myself included) and a proper legend. #TerranceDicks. pic.twitter.com/xjqRy9uABi
— Matt Dennis (@mattyjdennis) September 2, 2019
Farewell #TerranceDicks – the man who encouraged me to read and taught me how thrilling a well-told story could be ❤️
— Pete McTighe (@PeteMcTighe) September 2, 2019
Current Doctor Who showrunner Chris Chibnall also paid tribute to Dicks’ influence.
“The lights of Doctor Who are dimmer tonight, with the passing of Terrance Dicks,” he said in a statement.
“He was one of the greatest contributors to Doctor Who’s history, on screen and off. As writer and script editor, he was responsible for some of the show’s greatest moments and iconic creations.
“As the most prolific and brilliant adaptor of Doctor Who stories into Target novels, he was responsible for a range of books that taught a generation of children, myself included, how pleasurable and accessible and thrilling reading could be.
“Doctor Who was lucky to have his talents. He will always be a legend of the show. Everyone working on Doctor Who sends his family and friends our love and condolences at this difficult time.”
Outside of Doctor Who, Dicks also wrote episodes for ITV’s 1960s The Avengers series, plus provided scripts for Space: 1999 and BBC drama Moonbase 3.
Dicks also penned many novels for children including The Pyramid Incident and The Transylvanian Incident.