Terry Nation

Terry Nation Terry Nation started his career writing jokes. He worked on many radio shows, including The Goon Show and Tony Hancock, before turning to the more lucrative world of television drama. There he contributed scripts to many of the most popular shows of the 60's and 70's, including The Persuaders, The Avengers, and The Saint. It was during this period that he created perhaps his most famous, and certainly his most enduring characters: the Daleks, the pepper pots with attitude for Dr Who. The Daleks would later go on to menace the universe in a number of series, two films, and even the Oxford English Dictionary.

As well as working on other peoples series, he created his own, most notably Survivors (the tale of a group of people who survive a deadly plague which obliterates the world's population) and Blake's 7. Originally pitched as "The Dirty Dozen In Space", the challenge - to come up a series that would appeal to both children and adults, replacing Survivors and Doomwatch - was a tall order but Nation's concept (which became more like Robin Hood than The Dirty Dozen) was tremendously popular, and the final episode was watched by more than 9 million viewers.

Nation wrote the entire first series and many episodes for the second and third before he moved to California in 1979. There he worked as a writer and producer for the likes Columbia and 20th Century Fox, hoping to achieve larger scale success than he could in the UK. He continued doing what he did best, but his work did not take off in the same way as before, and it was there that he died on the 9th of March 1997 aged just 66.

With the continuing popularity of many of his series -both Blake's 7 and the Avengers seem to be enjoying a resurgence, while Dr Who continues to make money in video and merchandise sales- we can be sure that Terry Nation's imprint on the national psyche will remain for some time to come.

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Last updated on 17th of December 2000.