Derrick Sherwin

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Derrick Sherwin
Born Derrick G. Sherwin
(1936-04-16) 16 April 1936 (age 78)
High Wycombe, England
Occupation Television producer, writer, actor
Spouse(s) Jane Sherwin (1956–1982) (divorced)

Derrick Sherwin (born 16 April 1936) is a British television producer, writer, and actor. He is now best remembered as the story editor (1968–69) and later producer (1969–70) of Doctor Who. With the death of Barry Letts in October 2009, he and Philip Hinchcliffe are the only producers of the classic series of Doctor Who who are still alive.

Early life[edit]

Sherwin began his career in the theatre and worked as a junior set designer, scenic artist, scene shifter, stage manager and lighting designer. He also spent two years of National Service in the Royal Air Force. Following this, Sherwin established himself as an actor in theatre, films and television. While still working as an actor, Sherwin also began work as a freelance writer, contributing scripts to series such as Crossroads and Z-Cars.[1]

Doctor Who[edit]

In 1967, Sherwin was offered a story-editing role on Doctor Who by BBC Head of Serials Shaun Sutton. He was script editor on the stories from The Web of Fear to The Mind Robber, and on the latter tale he wrote the first episode. He also wrote the script for The Invasion, which introduced the United Nations Intelligence Taskforce, having adapted the original storyline supplied by Kit Pedler.

In 1968/1969 Sherwin began to take a greater role in the producing side of the series and was the unofficial Assistant Producer for the rest of the series' sixth season, with Terrance Dicks succeeding him as script-editor. On The Space Pirates Sherwin briefly resumed his old role as Dicks was busy writing The War Games. Dicks has credited Sherwin with the creation of the Time Lords, who were introduced in The War Games, scripted by Dicks and Malcolm Hulke.

Sherwin succeeded Peter Bryant as producer of the programme in 1969, overseeing the production of The War Games and Spearhead from Space. Sherwin was also involved with Bryant in the casting of Jon Pertwee in the lead role on the programme.[2] He also made a small on-screen appearance as a car park attendant in Spearhead from Space – he had formerly been an actor and was still a member of the actors' union, and dismissed the actor originally cast in the part for not being able to perform the role adequately.

Sherwin was responsible for the idea of exiling the Doctor to Earth (which happens at the end of The Second Doctor's last story, The War Games), a decision he took in an attempt to improve falling viewing figures, reinvent the programme and bring more reality to Doctor Who by basing it more on The Quatermass Experiment. For this purpose, Sherwin created the United Nations Intelligence Taskforce in The Invasion as an organisation the Doctor could become allied to on Earth. UNIT became a prominent feature of Doctor Who throughout The Third Doctor's era, when the series was produced by Sherwin's successor Barry Letts.

Other work[edit]

After Doctor Who, Sherwin was the producer on Paul Temple (1969–71), The Man Outside (1972), Ski-Boy (1973), and The Perils of Pendragon (1974).

Selected filmography[edit]


External links[edit]


  1. ^ Doctor Who. The Seventies. Howe-Stammers-Walker
  2. ^ "The War Games". A Brief History of Time (Travel). Retrieved 6 July 2012. 
Preceded by
Peter Bryant
Doctor Who Script Editor
Succeeded by
Terrance Dicks
Preceded by
Peter Bryant
Doctor Who Producer
Succeeded by
Barry Letts