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Derek Martinus, who directed iconic episodes of Doctor Who, died Thursday at the age of 82. His family told the BBC the director had suffered from Alzheimer’s for years and died from complications related to the disease.
Martinus worked on the BBC series from 1965 to 1970, and directed episodes starring the first three Doctors. The key episodes he directed featured the first appearance of the Cybermen in The Tenth Planet as well as the first color episode of the series.
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“He was a legend, just an absolute legend,” his daughter Charlotta Martinus told the BBC. “He taught me how to love, live and laugh, he was just such an amazing man.”
Martinus, who also worked on TV series such as United, Z-cars, The Doctors, Angels, Blake’s 7 and Penmarric, got his start in the theater.
In a 2009 interview with a Doctor Who fansite, he said the first actor to play The Doctor, William Hartnell, was suspicious of the young director when he first came to the show.
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“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,” Martinus said.”I remember the dear old man saying ‘I have carte blanche on all the casting and all the script alterations, because they can’t do the serial without me.’ One did have to tread very carefully with him, but he warmed to me and I to him. We sort of found a way of communicating, as one had to do.”
Martinus is survived by his wife of 50 years, Eivor, two daughters and three grandchildren.
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