Deborah Watling

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Deborah Watling
DeborahWatling (cropped).JPG
Deborah Watling at the Television & Movie Store, Norwich on 20 September 2008
Born(1948-01-02)2 January 1948
Loughton, Essex, England
Died21 July 2017(2017-07-21) (aged 69)
Years active1958–2017
Parent(s)Jack Watling
Patricia Hicks

Deborah Patricia Watling[1] (2 January 1948 – 21 July 2017) was an English actress who portrayed the role of Victoria Waterfield, a companion of the Second Doctor in the BBC television series Doctor Who.[2][3]

Early life[edit]

Watling was born at Loughton, Essex, the daughter of actors Jack Watling and Patricia Hicks (1919–2011). Her brother Giles and her half-sister, Dilys, are also actors.[4]


Beginning as a child actress, she had a regular role as the niece of Peter Brady in The Invisible Man (1958) television series. She was later cast for the lead role in Alice (1965),[5] Dennis Potter's play about Lewis Carroll and Alice Liddell, for the BBC's The Wednesday Play, a small role in That'll Be the Day (1973)[6] and as Norma Baker in the ITV series Danger UXB (1979).[7] She also co-starred with Cliff Richard in the 1973 film Take Me High.[8]

Deborah Watling and Frazer Hines at a Doctor Who 50th Anniversary event

Watling played Victoria in Doctor Who from 1967 to 1968,[9] though owing to the BBC's wiping policy of the time, The Tomb of the Cybermen (1967) and The Enemy of the World (1967–1968) are the only serials in which she appeared that still exist in their entirety. She also appeared in Dimensions in Time (1993)[10] and Downtime (1995).

Watling also appeared in the Doctor Who audio drama Three's a Crowd and regularly attended Doctor Who conventions and events. In November 2013, she appeared in the one-off 50th anniversary comedy homage The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot.[11]


Watling died on 21 July 2017 at Beaumont Manor nursing home in Frinton-on-Sea, six weeks after being diagnosed with lung cancer.[12][13]



Year Film Role
1973 That'll Be the Day Sandra
1973 Take Me High Sarah Jones
1977 Where Time Began Glauben (English dubbed version)
1995 Downtime Victoria Waterfield
2001 Possessions Lady Winkworth

Selected television filmography[edit]

Year Title Role
1958–1959 The Invisible Man Sally Wilson
1965–1966 The Wednesday Play Alice Liddell/Gretchen Westermann
1967–1968 Doctor Who Victoria Waterfield (40 episodes)
1969 The Newcomers Julie Robertson
1978 Rising Damp Lorna
1979 Danger UXB Norma Baker
1993 Doctor Who: Dimensions in Time Victoria Waterfield
2013 The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot Herself

Audio dramas[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
2005 Doctor Who: Three's a Crowd Auntie[14]
2008 Doctor Who: The Great Space Elevator Victoria Waterfield[15]
2010 Doctor Who: The Emperor of Eternity Victoria Waterfield[16]
2012 Doctor Who: Power Play Victoria Waterfield[17]
2015 Doctor Who: The Black Hole Victoria Waterfield[18]
2016 Doctor Who: The Second Doctor Volume One Victoria Waterfield[19]


  1. ^ "Deborah Watling Official Site". Archived from the original on 24 July 2017. Retrieved 26 April 2020.
  2. ^ "Doctor Who – Classic Series – Companions – Victoria Waterfield". BBC. 24 September 2014. Retrieved 21 July 2017.
  3. ^ A critical history of Doctor Who on television, John Kenneth Muir, McFarland & Co (1999), p.144
  4. ^ Daddy's Girl: The Autobiography, Deborah Watling and Paul W.T. Ballard, Fantom Films, 2012
  5. ^ Hadoke, Toby (24 July 2017). "Deborah Watling obituary". The Guardian.
  6. ^ [1][dead link]
  7. ^ Variety international showbusiness reference, Mike Kaplan, Garland Publications (1981), p.687
  8. ^ Cliff Richard: The Biography, Steve Turner, Lion Books (2008), p.257
  9. ^ "Deborah Watling: Actress whose short stint as a Doctor Who companion made a lasting impression". 27 July 2017.
  10. ^
  11. ^ "The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot", BBC programmes, retrieved 26 November 2013
  12. ^ "Deborah Watling, Doctor Who companion dies aged 69". BBC News. BBC. 21 July 2017.
  13. ^ "Tributes paid to former Doctor Who companion Deborah Watling". Clacton Gazette. Newsquest. 21 July 2017.
  14. ^ "69. Three's a Crowd". Big Finish Productions. Retrieved 22 July 2017.
  15. ^ "3.2. The Great Space Elevator". Big Finish Productions. Retrieved 22 July 2017.
  16. ^ "4.08. The Emperor of Eternity". Big Finish Productions. Retrieved 22 July 2017.
  17. ^ "3.05. Power Play". Big Finish Productions. Retrieved 22 July 2017.
  18. ^ "2.3. The Black Hole". Big Finish Productions. Retrieved 22 July 2017.
  19. ^ "10. The Second Doctor Volume 01". Big Finish Productions. Retrieved 22 July 2017.

External links[edit]