John Wiles

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John Wiles
Edward John Wiles

(1925-09-20)20 September 1925
Died5 April 1999(1999-04-05) (aged 73)
Occupationtelevision writer and producer

John Wiles (20 September 1925 – 5 April 1999) was an South African novelist, television writer and producer, best known for being the second producer of the popular science fiction serial Doctor Who, succeeding Verity Lambert. He was credited as producer on four serials between 1965 and 1966, namely The Myth Makers,[1] The Daleks' Master Plan (which lasted for twelve episodes),[1] The Massacre of St Bartholomew's Eve,[2] and The Ark.[3]

As Producer of Doctor Who (1965-66)[edit]

Wiles found his time as producer difficult and frustrating.[citation needed] Although he had a good working relationship with story editor Donald Tosh,[3] Wiles found that he was unable to make many changes to the format of the programme. Attempts to make the series darker led to clashes with actor William Hartnell, who as the sole remaining member of the original team saw himself as the guardian of the series' original values. An attempt to give new companion Dodo Chaplet a cockney accent was vetoed by Wiles' superiors, who ordered that the regulars must speak "BBC English".[4] With Hartnell increasingly in poor health and hostile to Wiles, the latter sought a way to replace the actor. However, this was again opposed by Wiles' superiors.[5] Wiles also disliked the lengthy The Daleks' Master Plan story which had been commissioned by the previous production team[3] and which proved difficult to realise. One of his few changes that lasted even a short time was to limit nearly all stories to just four episodes.

In early 1966, Wiles resigned in frustration over an inability to steer the show in the direction he wished. Tosh resigned in sympathy. Of the episodes from his tenure, only the four episode serial The Ark, and three episodes from The Daleks' Master Plan, still survive in the BBC's archives. As Wiles chose not to employ John Cura and his Tele-snaps service, only a few publicity and behind the scenes photos give a visual record of his work on the series.

The tenure of the next producer, Innes Lloyd, coincided with a change in management. Consequently Lloyd was able to work in Ben Jackson, a character with a cockney accent, and to replace Hartnell with another actor.

After Doctor Who[edit]

After leaving Doctor Who, Wiles wrote two stories for the science-fiction anthology series Out of the Unknown. These were Taste of Evil and The Man in My Head, both broadcast as part of its fourth and final season in 1971.

Wiles also wrote several plays including Act of Hardness, Family on Trial and Blood and Roses. Wiles died on April 5, 1999 at the age of 73.[6]


  1. ^ a b "The John Wiles Interview - Part 1". DWAS Online. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  2. ^ Alex Westthorp. "Top 10 Doctor Who producers: Part One". Den of Geek. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  3. ^ a b c "John Wiles (1980s)". Doctor Who Interview Archive. 11 October 2009. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  4. ^ Mulkern, Patrick (7 March 2009). "Doctor Who: The Ark". Radio Times. Retrieved 26 November 2014.
  5. ^ Brendan Nystedt (22 November 2013). "10 of the Craziest Doctor Who Stories That Almost Happened". WIRED. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  6. ^ "John Wiles obituary". The Doctor Who Cuttings Archive. Retrieved 15 September 2017.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Verity Lambert
Doctor Who Producer
Succeeded by
Innes Lloyd