Doctor Who's chief Dalek actor dies

HE acted with Monty Python, Pink Floyd and even played the retiring “Mr 192” in the early 118 118 commercials.

Roddy Ashworth

HE was a star of stage and screen whose most memorable performance came as one of Doctor Who's greatest foes.

For John Scott Martin, who died earlier this month aged 82, played the chief Dalek in the long-running science fiction show, chasing a total of five doctors through more than 110 episodes of the classic show.

Mr Scott Martin, who lived in Great Maplestead, near Halstead, was born in Toxteth in 1926.

His career saw him taking to the stage in West End musicals such as Oliver and The Streets of London and, at the Manchester Opera House, he played the part of the rabbi opposite Topol in Fiddler on The Roof. He also appeared in Monty Python and the Flying Circus and, more recently, played the retiring “Mr 192” in the early 118 118 commercials.

While living in Great Maplestead, he became church warden at St Giles Church and governor of a local school.

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In 2003, he told the EADT that not only had he played the chief Dalek in Doctor Who, but also a number of other roles as well.

“I didn't start off playing a Dalek,” he said. “I was a Zarbi - which was a strange ant-like creature made out of fibreglass and was incredibly unstable.

“It was very easy to lose your balance and if you went over, it was impossible to get back up for yourself. You had to have people come over and help you up.”

Mr Scott Martin said that his favourite Dalek scene was in the William Hartnell story Dalek Invasion of Earth, in which a squad of the “mechanical pepper pots” were seen moving menacingly across Westminster Bridge with the Houses of Parliament in the background.

“That was marvellous - and I think the first location shooting we did on Doctor Who,” he said.

Other characters he played in the sci-fi series included a living church gargoyle in The Daemons, a mining robot in Colony in Space, a mutant in The Mutants and a nucleus in The Invisible Enemy.

He also played a Welsh miner who was struck down in 1973's The Green Death - now regarded by fans as a cult story, and often affectionately referred to as “the one with the maggots”.

Mr Scott Martin's daughter, actress Catriona Martin, described him in actors' newspaper The Stage as “a perfect gentleman, warm, kind and funny. He will be missed by so many.”

She said that even while battling Parkinson's disease, cared for by his wife Margaret, he took great pleasure in following and supporting her own acting career.