British writer Chris Boucher, best known for his screenplays for Doctor Who and Blake’s Seven, has died at the age of 79.
One of his major contributions to Doctor Who was creating the character of the Companion Leela (played by Louise Jameson) .He also wrote one of the most important bits of dialogue for the Doctor ever written for the episode “Face of Evil.” Boucher passed away on 11 December 2022.
“The very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. They don’t alter their views to fit the facts. They alter the facts to fit their views, which can be very uncomfortable if you happen to be one of the facts that needs altering.” “The Face of Evil,” 1977
Chris Boucher wrote some of the most popular episodes of the Tom Baker era of Dr. Who, including “The Robots of Death,”, as well as some of the best episodes of Blake’s Seven, including the controversial and tragic series finale.
Chris Boucher was born in 1943 in England. After spending some time in his youth in Australia, he returned to the U.K where he attended the University of Essex, earning a bachelor’s degree in economics.
He worked briefly for a petroleum company as a management trainee before beginning his career as a television scriptwriter.
During an interview with playwright Alan Stevens in Kaldor City, he told his interviewer that he had been a science fiction fan from the moment he discovered American sci-fi pulp magazines.
“I was a fan from the moment of discovering American pulp mags like Amazing Stories, and Astounding Science Fiction, and British stuff like New Worlds. I went on from them to general anthologies, and then on to particular writers. I was lucky – my fandom coincided with the original golden age. They wrote all that great stuff just for me…“
Chris Boucher’s rich and varied career as a writer included other science fiction shows such as Blake’s Seven (he was script editor for all four seasons) and Star Cops (which he created). His mystery shows included The Bill (script editor), Shoestring (script editor), Juliet Bravo (script editor), and Bergerac (script editor). He also wrote books, primarily Dr. Who novels.
Shoestring was about a computer expert turned private investigator and radio host, starring Trevor Eve (Dr. Jonathan McKensie in Shadow Chasers) as Eddie Shoestring.
The Bill was the longest running police procedural crime show in the UK. It ran from 1983 to 2010.
Bergerac was a police drama starring John Nettles as De. Sgt. Jim Bergerac. He would later play Detective Inspector Tom Barnaby on Midsomer Murders.
Juliet Bravo was a police procedural about a female police inspector who takes over the police station in a small town in Lancashire. Her male subordinates are less than thrilled about this.
Boucher was famous for writing strong, intelligent three-dimensional female characters: Leela, Jenna Stanis, Cally, Servalan, Detective Inspector Jean Darblay, etc. With his passing, there are now no Doctor Who writers left alive who worked on the show in the 60’s and 70’s.
Ave atque vale, Mr. Boucher, thank you for the years of entertaining and thought-provoking stories, and for helping shape Doctor Who’s own golden age.
Susan Macdonald is the author of the children’s book “R is for Renaissance Faire”, as well as 26 short stories, mostly fantasy in “Alternative Truths”, “Swords and Sorceress #30”, Swords &Sorceries Vols. 1, 2, & 5, “Cat Tails” “Under Western Stars”, and “Knee-High Drummond and the Durango Kid”. Her articles have appeared on SCIFI.radio’s web site, in The Inquisitr, and in The Millington Star. She enjoys Renaissance Faires (see book above), science fiction conventions, Highland Games, and Native American pow-wows.