David Weir (writer)
|Born||11 February 1934|
|Died||25 June 2011(aged 77)|
|Occupation||TV and film writer|
|Education||Royal Academy of Dramatic Art|
|Notable work(s)||The Plane Makers, The Troubleshooters, The Lotus Eaters, Crown Court, Danger Man, A Family at War, Space: 1999, The Onedin Line, The Water Margin, Monkey|
David Weir (11 February 1934 – 25 June 2011) was a British writer, whose work was used primarily in television and film.
Early life and career
Born on 11 February 1934, Weir attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in the 1950s, and began writing scripts for television in the 1960s. He was the writer of many popular 1960s and 70s series, notably The Plane Makers (1963-64) and The Troubleshooters, (1966–69; known in the USA as Mogul), as well as The Lotus Eaters (1972). Weir also wrote occasional scripts for many other British TV series, such as Danger Man (1964), A Family at War (1970-72), The Onedin Line (1971-80), Crown Court (1972-84), Space: 1999 (1975-78) and others.
The Water Margin and Monkey
Weir's scriptwriting credits include the BBC English-language adaptations The Water Margin (1977, based on the traditional Chinese story Water Margin) and Monkey (1978–80, based on Journey to the West). These two series were produced in China and Japan using local actors and crew and dubbed into English using British voice over artists. The original English scripts were conceived and written by Weir without the aid of translations, using only brief plot synopses. Today, Monkey retains its strong fanbase and has been described as a cult classic. Weir later wrote a novelisation of The Water Margin, based on the BBC TV series.
Weir's only known interview was published in the BBC magazine Radio Times from 10 to 17 November 1979, to coincide with the start of the second series of Monkey. During the interview, he expressed an interest in Buddhism and Eastern culture and religion, which would remain with him for the rest of his life.
Weir wrote scripts for six episodes of the BBC science-fiction TV series Doctor Who that were considered too expensive for contemporary budgets and were never recorded, although they were originally due to form part of the fifteenth season, starring Tom Baker as the Fourth Doctor, in 1978. The episodes, collectively titled The Killers of the Dark, would have introduced a race of cat people found to be living on Gallifrey, the homeworld of the Time Lords. It is unknown whether Weir's scripts have survived, or whether the BBC has plans to produce the episodes in future.
Weir retired and lived a reclusive life in rural Norfolk and then West Yorkshire. He died from lung cancer on 25 June 2011.
- Radio Times, 10–17 November 1979, pp. 15-16
- Smith, Lizzie (24 March 2010). "Cult 70s series Monkey remade as £13m show ... but will it be as good as the original?". Daily Mail. Retrieved 14 May 2010.
- Weir, D. 1978, The Water Margin, Weidenfeld and Nicholson, London, ISBN 0-297-77485-9
- Doctor Who Magazine Winter Special 1992, DWM Special Edition #8, Doctor Who: The Seventies