David Weir (writer)

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David Weir
Born(1934-02-11)11 February 1934
Died25 June 2011(2011-06-25) (aged 77)
OccupationTV and film writer
EducationRoyal Academy of Dramatic Art
Notable worksThe 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[edit]

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 and 1970s, including 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 (US: Secret Agent, 1964), A Family at War (1970–72), The Onedin Line (1971–80), Crown Court (1972–84), and Space: 1999 (1975–78).

The Water Margin and Monkey[edit]

Weir's scriptwriting credits include English-language adaptations of The Water Margin (1976–78, based on the Chinese story Water Margin) and Monkey (1978–80, based on Journey to the West). These two series were produced in 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[1][2] without the aid of translations, using only brief plot synopses. Today, Monkey retains a fanbase.[2] Weir later wrote a novelisation of The Water Margin, based on the BBC TV series.[3]

Weir's was interviewed for 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.

Doctor Who[edit]

Weir wrote scripts for six episodes of the BBC science-fiction TV series Doctor Who that were considered too expensive for the original series and were never made, 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,[citation needed] would have introduced a race of cat people found to be living on Gallifrey, the homeworld of the Time Lords.[4]

Later life[edit]

Weir retired and lived a reclusive life in rural Norfolk and then West Yorkshire. He died from lung cancer on 25 June 2011.


  1. ^ Radio Times, 10–17 November 1979, pp. 15-16
  2. ^ a b 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.
  3. ^ Weir, D. 1978, The Water Margin, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London, ISBN 0-297-77485-9
  4. ^ Doctor Who Magazine Winter Special 1992, DWM Special Edition #8, Doctor Who: The Seventies

External links[edit]