It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Anthony Read at the age of 80. Anthony played a key role as script editor of Doctor Who during Graham Williams time as producer in 1978. He also wrote the story The Horns of Nimon (How many Nimons have you seen today?) and collaborated with Williams to write The Invasion of Time under the pseudonym of David Agnew.
Born in 1935, Read attended the Central School of Speech and Drama and, following National Service, worked in Fleet Street in advertising, journalism and publishing before deciding to become a full time writer. He joined the BBC on 2nd November 1963 with his early work including writing for The Indian Tales of Rudyard Kipling and being a script editor for Peter Cushing’s Sherlock Holmes, a world he would return to over the years with The Baker Street Boys which earned him an award from the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain. The series followed the exploits of Sherlock Holmes’ young band of detectives starting with the disappearance of Conan Doyle’s famous detective himself.
It was later in the 60s that Read became known for The Troubleshooters, a series he script edited, wrote and later produced for. However it was in 1977 when he came to be associated with Doctor Who, invited by producer Graham Williams to take over from Robert Holmes, working alongside the outgoing script editor on Image of the Fendahl and The Sun Makers before formally taking charge of scripts with Underworld. Having co-written The Invasion of Time with Williams, the pair went on to devise the umbrella-themed Key to Time Season Sixteen, with Read also taking on producer duties when his colleague became ill.
A long-time friend with David Fisher (hailing back to the 1960s), the pair collaborated on a number of non-fiction works, including The Fall of Berlin, The Proudest Day: India’s Long Road to Independence and Colonel Z: The Secret Life of a Master of Spies.
Toby Hadoke’s interview with Anthony Read, conducted at the 50th anniversary celebrations, can be downloaded from the Big Finish website for free in which the pair discuss his time working on Doctor Who.
Anthony Read, 21st April 1935 – 21st November 2015.