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 active1958–2016
Parent(s) Jack Watling (1923–2001)
Patricia Hicks (19192011)

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

Victoria Waterfield fictional character from Doctor Who

Victoria Waterfield is a fictional character played by Deborah Watling in the long-running British science fiction television series Doctor Who. A native of Victorian England, she was a companion of the Second Doctor and a regular in the programme from 1967 to 1968. Only two complete serials to feature her exist in the BBC archives. DVDs of her adventures The Ice Warriors and The Web of Fear were also released, where official BBC reconstructions complete the missing episodes of those serials.

Second Doctor fictional character from Doctor Who

The Second Doctor is an incarnation of the Doctor, the protagonist of the BBC science fiction television series Doctor Who. He was portrayed by character actor Patrick Troughton.

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters are at Broadcasting House in Westminster, London, and it is the world's oldest national broadcasting organisation and the largest broadcaster in the world by number of employees. It employs over 20,950 staff in total, 16,672 of whom are in public sector broadcasting. The total number of staff is 35,402 when part-time, flexible, and fixed-contract staff are included.


Early life

Watling was born at Loughton, Essex, the daughter of actors Jack Watling and Patricia Hicks. Her sister Dilys and her brother Giles are also actors. [4]

Loughton town in Essex, England

Loughton is a town and civil parish in the Epping Forest District of Essex and, for statistical purposes, part of the metropolitan area of London and the Greater London Urban Area. It is located between 11 and 13 miles (21 km) north east of Charing Cross in London, south of the M25 and west of the M11 motorway and has boundaries with Chingford, Waltham Abbey, Theydon Bois, Chigwell and Buckhurst Hill. Loughton includes three conservation areas and there are 56 listed buildings in the town, together with a further 50 that are locally listed.

Essex County of England

Essex is a county in the south-east of England, north-east of London. One of the home counties, it borders Suffolk and Cambridgeshire to the north, Hertfordshire to the west, Kent across the estuary of the River Thames to the south, and London to the south-west. The county town is Chelmsford, the only city in the county. For government statistical purposes Essex is placed in the East of England region.

Jack Watling British actor

Jack Watling was an English actor.


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]

<i>The Invisible Man</i> (1958 TV series) 1958 TV series

The Invisible Man is a British black-and-white science fiction/adventure/espionage television series that aired on ITV from September 1958 to July 1959. It was aired on CBS in the United States, running two seasons and totalling 26 half-hour episodes. The series was nominally based on the novel by H. G. Wells, one of four such television series. In this version, the deviation from the novel went as far as changing the main character's name from Dr. Griffin to Dr. Peter Brady who remained a sane man, not a power-hungry lunatic as in the book or the 1933 film adaptation. None of the other characters from the novel appeared in the series.

Dennis Potter English TV dramatist, screenwriter, journalist

Dennis Christopher George Potter was an English television dramatist, screenwriter and journalist. He is best known for his BBC TV serials Pennies from Heaven (1978), The Singing Detective (1986), and the television plays Blue Remembered Hills (1979) and Brimstone and Treacle (1976). His television dramas mixed fantasy and reality, the personal and the social, and often used themes and images from popular culture. Potter is widely regarded as one of the most influential and innovative dramatists to have worked in British television.

Lewis Carroll English writer, logician, Anglican deacon and photographer

Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, better known by his pen name Lewis Carroll, was an English writer of world-famous children's fiction, notably Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and its sequel Through the Looking-Glass. He was noted for his facility at word play, logic and fantasy. The poems Jabberwocky and The Hunting of the Snark are classified in the genre of literary nonsense. He was also a mathematician, photographer, and Anglican deacon.

Deborah Watling and Frazer Hines at a Doctor Who 50th Anniversary event Jamie & Victoria (11027723533).jpg
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) and Downtime (1995).

Wiping, also known as junking, is a colloquial term of art for action taken by radio and television production and broadcasting companies, in which old audiotapes, videotapes, and telerecordings (kinescopes), are erased, reused, or destroyed. Although the practice was once very common, especially in the 1960s and 1970s, wiping is now practiced much less frequently.

<i>The Tomb of the Cybermen</i> Doctor Who serial

The Tomb of the Cybermen is the first serial of the fifth season of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was originally broadcast in four weekly parts on BBC1 from 2 to 23 September 1967.

<i>The Enemy of the World</i> Doctor Who episode

The Enemy of the World is the fourth serial of the fifth season of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which originally aired in six weekly parts from 23 December 1967 to 27 January 1968.

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 . [10]

<i>The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot</i> 2013 film directed by Peter Davison

The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot is a 2013 comedy spoof and homage to the British science fiction television programme Doctor Who. It debuted on the BBC Red Button service after the broadcast of "The Day of the Doctor", the official 50th anniversary special. The programme was written and directed by Peter Davison, who stars alongside fellow former Doctor actors Sylvester McCoy, Colin Baker, and Paul McGann. It features appearances from more recent stars of the show David Tennant, Matt Smith, Jenna Coleman, and John Barrowman, as well as Doctor Who executive producer Steven Moffat, his predecessor Russell T Davies, and numerous others connected to the programme, all playing themselves in a more or less parodic manner.


She died on 21 July 2017 at Beaumont Manor nursing home in Frinton-on-Sea, a few months after being diagnosed with lung cancer. [11] [12]

Lung cancer cancer in the lung

Lung cancer, also known as lung carcinoma, is a malignant lung tumor characterized by uncontrolled cell growth in tissues of the lung. This growth can spread beyond the lung by the process of metastasis into nearby tissue or other parts of the body. Most cancers that start in the lung, known as primary lung cancers, are carcinomas. The two main types are small-cell lung carcinoma (SCLC) and non-small-cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC). The most common symptoms are coughing, weight loss, shortness of breath, and chest pains.



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

Selected Television filmography

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

2005 Doctor Who : Three's a Crowd Auntie [13]
2008Doctor Who: The Great Space Elevator Victoria Waterfield [14]
2010Doctor Who: The Emperor of Eternity Victoria Waterfield [15]
2012Doctor Who: Power Play Victoria Waterfield [16]
2015Doctor Who: The Black Hole Victoria Waterfield [17]
2016Doctor Who: The Second Doctor Volume One Victoria Waterfield [18]

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  2. "Doctor Who – Classic Series – Companions – Victoria Waterfield". BBC. 2014-09-24. Retrieved 2017-07-21.
  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 (2017-07-24). "Deborah Watling obituary". The Guardian.
  6. [ 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". 2017-07-27.
  10. "The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot", BBC programmes, retrieved 26 November 2013
  11. "Deborah Watling, Doctor Who companion dies aged 69". BBC News. BBC. 21 July 2017.
  12. "Tributes paid to former Doctor Who companion Deborah Watling". Clacton Gazette. Newsquest. 21 July 2017.
  13. "69. Three's a Crowd". Big Finish Productions . Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  14. "3.2. The Great Space Elevator". Big Finish Productions . Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  15. "4.08. The Emperor of Eternity". Big Finish Productions . Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  16. "3.05. Power Play". Big Finish Productions . Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  17. "2.3. The Black Hole". Big Finish Productions . Retrieved 2017-07-22.
  18. "10. The Second Doctor Volume 01". Big Finish Productions . Retrieved 2017-07-22.