William Russell (Ian Chesterton) Born Nov 19 1924
Doctor Who credits
Played: Ian Chesterton in 100,000 BC, The Daleks, Inside the Spaceship, Marco Polo, The Keys of Marinus, The Aztecs, The Sensorites, The Reign of Terror, Planet of Giants, The Dalek Invasion of Earth, The Rescue, The Romans, The Web Planet, The Crusade, The Space Museum, The Chase (1963-65). William also played Ian in the linking material for the VHS release of The Crusade in 1999 (these links can also be seen on the 2004 DVD Lost in Time).
Played: Harry in An Adventure in Space and Time (2013).
William was actually born as Russell Enoch, and he often used his birth name as his professional name, particularly in the early part of his career. There was also a very brief variation, Enoch Russell. William's very first work according to the IMDb is an uncredited field judge in the May 1940 Paramount film The Biscuit Eater (aka God Gave Him a Dog), but I'm not convinced this is the same man as this film was the first sound movie ever to be filmed entirely on location - in Albany, Georgia, USA! It's not beyond possibility that William was trying to get big in Hollywood at the age of 16, but I remain to be convinced with evidence. The same goes for his second IMDb entry, Virginia, released in July 1941, in which he apparently plays an uncredited loafer.
|William as seen in Gift Horse (1952)|
|William in Appointment in London|
Also on the bill were Walter Fitzgerald (The Dominators, 1968), Bill Kerr (The Enemy of the World, 1967-68), Campbell Singer (The Celestial Toymaker, 1966), Edward Evans (Image of the Fendahl, 1977) and Nigel Stock (Time-Flight, 1982). You can watch the whole film on YouTube (William appears at 39m 10s for a couple of scenes).
Next was the romantic drama Intimate Relations (aka Disobedient), released in March 1953. Based on a 1938 play by Jean Cocteau called Les Parents terribles, the film was written and directed by Charles Frank, who was nominated for the Grand Prize at the 1953 Cannes Film Festival for his work on it. The story is about a devoted mother who smothers her son with misdirected love, and moves to destroy his blossoming romance with a young girl (who also happens to be his father's mistress!). It starred Harold Warrender, Marian Spencer, Elsy Albiin and Ruth Dunning, and William plays Michael, the unfortunate son!
|William smooches with Swedish actress Elsy Albiin in|
the 1953 film Intimate Relations
|William in Malta Story|
In October 1953, William played gambler Keith Merton in The Saint's Return (known as The Saint's Girl Friday in the US), a Hammer production which saw the final appearance as the title character by the first man to ever play Leslie Charteris's character Simon Templar, Louis Hayward. The film co-starred Diana Dors, Naomi Chance, Sydney Tafler and Charles Victor and it was hoped it would kickstart a new run of films featuring the Saint, but this was not to be - it was actually the last English language feature film outing for the Saint until Val Kilmer's turn 44 years later. The film is available to view in a rather scratchy format on YouTube (William first appears at 17m 30s, but can be seen throughout on and off).
|William as Keith Merton in The Saint Returns (1953)|
|William with Kay Callard and Dirk Bogarde in They Who Dare|
In June 1954, Coronet Films released The Gay Dog, in which Wilfred Pickles played miner John Gay, a man who loves racing greyhounds but, out of town, finds a dog with a better chance to win, so his friends bet on his dog, while he bets against! The fabulous thing about this film is that it also stars Third Doctor Jon Pertwee and Meddling Monk Peter Butterworth as a double act of betting men, as well as Petula Clark, Megs Jenkins and John Blythe. Jack May (The Space Pirates, 1969) also appears uncredited, while William plays Leslie Gowland, Clark's love interest. You can see pictures of William, Peter and Jon below, along with a trailer for the DVD featuring all three.
|William Russell in The Gay Dog (1954)|
|Peter Butterworth and Jon Pertwee as two betting men in The Gay Dog|
|William in One Good Turn (1955)|
|William as Ramsey in Above Us|
the Waves (1955)
On September 18th, 1955, William appeared in his third and final BBC Sunday Night Theatre, this time in an adaptation of Baroness Emmuska Orczy's novel The Scarlet Pimpernel. Tony Britton played Sir Percy Blakeney, and Harriette Johns his wife, while William played the Vicomte de Tournai. Other notable names in the cast included Peter Cellier (Time-Flight, 1982), Peter Stephens (The Celestial Toymaker, 1966, and The Underwater Menace, 1967) and Jack May (The Space Pirates, 1969). Naturally, this play is absent from the BBC archives.
William's next work was also for BBC TV, an adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson's unfinished novel St Ives from 1897, adapted by Rex Tucker (who would go on to direct The Gunfighters in 1966). This six-part serial, which ran from October 30th to December 4th 1955, was for the children's slot at 5pm, and formed part of an overall offering which included Sooty with Harry H Corbett, a newsreel, and the Sunday at Six strand, which profiled different interesting people. William played the title character of Viscomte Anne de Keroual de St Ives, a Napoleonic soldier captured by the British and imprisoned at Edinburgh Castle in 1813. In another wonderful casting juxtaposition, William's co-stars included none other than Roger Delgado as Gautier, who would of course go on to play the Master between 1971-73. Also on the bill was Geoffrey Palmer (Doctor Who and the Silurians, 1970; The Mutants, 1972; and Voyage of the Damned, 2007), Peter Diamond (who had various small roles in Doctor Who in the late 1960s), Bart Allison (The Romans, 1965), Gladys Spencer (The Ark in Space, 1975) and Jack May (The Space Pirates, 1969). This adaptation of St Ives is apparently intact in the BBC Archive, whereas the second version William starred in (from 1960) is missing.
On Boxing Day 1955, William played the Prince in a festive adaptation of The Sleeping Beauty, again written for TV by Rex Tucker. Also on the bill was Colin Douglas (The Enemy of the World, 1967-68, and Horror of Fang Rock, 1977). This play was recorded, and repeated the following Christmas, on December 18th, 1956.
|William with Gloria Grahame in 1956's|
The Man Who Never Was
|William as the star of The Adventures|
of Sir Lancelot (1956-57)
On September 21st, 1956, William appeared as Boy in the 30-minute play The Assassin, in the Theatre Royal strand. Directed by Don Chaffey and written by Winston Clewes, it co-starred Andre Morell (The Massacre of St Bartholomew's Eve, 1966) and concerned the assassination of a German general being planned by Resistance men. However, although the IMDb lists this as being broadcast this day, it is not included as such on the BBC Genome website. Theatre Royal was also known as the Lilli Palmer Theatre, so may have been shown in another territory under that name.
William next turned up in an episode of the comedy series The Adventures of Aggie, broadcast on November 19th, 1956 and called Hypertension. The series starred Joan Shawlee as international fashion designer Aggie Anderson, and William played Ted Jordan, joined by Jacqueline Ellis, George Bradford, John McLaren and Doris Nolan. Annoyingly, 26 episodes of this series were made by Mid-Ocean Productions, but only three are missing - and this is one of them!
|William with Adrienne Corri in The|
Big Chance (1957)
The BBC filmed a 10-part adaptation of Charles Dickens's Nicholas Nickleby, broadcast between October 18th and December 20th, 1957, with William taking the lead role. The serial was popular enough at the time to be repeated in the children's serial slot between April and June 1958. The series also featured Anthony Jacobs (The Gunfighters, 1966), Bartlett Mullins (The Sensorites, 1964), Graham Crowden (The Horns of Nimon, 1979-80), John Baskcomb (Terror of the Autons, 1971), William Mervyn (The War Machines, 1966) and Aubrey Woods (Day of the Daleks, 1972), as well as a high quota of actors from The Space Pirates (1969) - Brian Peck, Jack May and Esmond Knight. Predictably, the series is now missing from the BBC archives, but a clip from episode four has survived as part of a recording of the children's literature series Fact in Fiction, broadcast on March 28th, 1958 and presented by Peter Forster. The clip, which lasts 4m 17s, features William with Wensley Pithey, playing Vincent Crummles. Sadly, this clip has not made it to the public domain, and neither can I find a photograph of William as Nicholas. Can you help?
Assignment Foreign Legion was an anthology series about - you guessed it - the Foreign Legion during World War Two, presented by Merle Oberon as a reporter (who also appeared in several episodes). William had a guest turn in the episode The Ghost, shown on October 20th, 1957, in which he played Gerry Brooke, opposite Clifford Evans, Paula Byrne, Peter Allenby and Keith Pyott (later to appear as Autloc in The Aztecs, 1964). Sadly, this is one of the 18 episodes of Assignment Foreign Legion's 26-part series missing from the ATV archives.
|Screenshots of William Russell in Sword|
of Freedom: The Strange Intruder (1957)
The Circle of Chalk (broadcast by the BBC on March 9th, 1958, as part of Television World Theatre) was an adaptation by James Laver of Klabund's German translation of the original Chinese play by Li Qianfu, dating back to the 14th century, and tells the tragic tale of Hai-tang, who has to deal with paternal grief, prostitution, jealous love rivals and even a maternity test! In this 90-minute version, William played Prince Pao, while the heroine was played by Chin Yu. Co-stars included Peter Stephens (The Celestial Toymaker, 1966, and The Underwater Menace, 1967), Olaf Pooley (Inferno, 1970) and Aubrey Woods (Day of the Daleks, 1972). This play is missing from the BBC archive.
|William as the vicar in The Adventures|
of Hal 5 (1958)
That same month, William appeared in BBC TV's Who Fought Alone: Epitaph on a Scottish Soldier, written by Moultrie Kelsall and directed by James Crampsey. The 75-minute production was based on Kelsall's radio play and was broadcast from BBC Scotland's studios, starring Frank Wylie (Castrovalva, 1982) as Jock McNeil, with Tom Conti, Andrew Keir and, of course, William Russell. Unfortunately, the actors' roles are not shown on BBC Genome, but it's likely that the original radio play was written by Kelsall while he was at the BBC's Aberdeen radio station 2BD in the 1930s. This television adaptation is missing from the archives.
William next appeared in a Saturday Playhouse production called The Duke in Darkness, aired on December 6th, 1958 and based upon Patrick Hamilton's 1942 play set during France's civil wars of the 16th century. Now missing from the archives, the play featured Stephen Murray as the imprisoned Duke of Latteraine who is joined in incarceration by his mentally unstable servant Gribaud (David Markham). William played Voulain, a friend of the Duke's who now works for the enemy but who also offers a plan of escape. Should the Duke trust Voulain?
William's final work in 1958 was Evan Jones's In a Backward Country, shown in the Television Playwright strand on December 30th on BBC TV (and now missing). Set in a small Caribbean colony, it dealt with the struggle between the old and secure, and the new and untried, which comes to a head with the granting of self-governance and a General Election. It starred Wilfrid Lawson as Charles Broderick, a pioneer English settler who has become the biggest land owner on the island. William played his son Anthony, while others on the bill included Jack Hedley, Christopher Burgess (The Enemy of the World, 1967-68; Terror of the Autons, 1971; and Planet of the Spiders, 1974, Walter Hudd and Cyril Shaps (a Doctor Who guest star stalwart between 1967-78).
|Maggie Smith was The Girl on the|
Beach in 1959, which co-starred
On Boxing Day that year, William appeared in the 90-minute play Never Die, written by John Elliot, who would later go on to write A for Andromeda and The Andromeda Breakthrough. William, who played Inspector Sauve, was joined by Dorothy Alison, Raymond Barry, Andre Charisse, George A Cooper (The Smugglers, 1966), Gordon Jackson, David Nettheim (The Enemy of the World, 1967-68), Jack Watling (The Abominable Snowmen, 1967, and The Web of Fear, 1968) and Bill Owen. The play was a detective thriller set in a chateau in Northern France during Christmas week.
|William with Marjorie Steele|
in Our Betters (1960)
On March 13th, 1960, William was back in another BBC Sunday Night Play called The Fanatics by actor Miles Malleson, directed by Terence Dudley (who would go on to write and direct for Doctor Who between 1980-83). In this production, which exists in the archives, William played John Freeman who, in 1920, returns to London after four years in the trenches but finds that a huge gulf has developed between both he and his father (played by Peter Stephens - The Celestial Toymaker, 1966, and The Underwater Menace, 1967), and their two generations. Ironically, Stephens was only four years older than William, but still played his father! Also on the bill was Naomi Chance, Laurence Payne (The Gunfighters, 1966; The Leisure Hive, 1980; and The Two Doctors, 1985) and Valerie White.
Just two weeks later William's third BBC Sunday Night Play aired, J B Priestley's 1937 play I Have Been Here Before. Now missing from the archive, it is set in a pub on the Yorkshire moors and concerns three people who experience deja vu, as well as a physicist trying to prevent a catastrophe. William plays schoolmaster Oliver Farrant, and shares billing with Michael Hordern, Ursula Howells and Joseph Furst (The Underwater Menace, 1967).
On May 22nd, 1960 William was in his fourth BBC Sunday Night Play, this time T S Eliot's 1958 play The Elder Statesman. He played Charles Hemington, the lover of Monica, daughter of the possessive Lord Claverton. The production also featured Eileen Peel, Eric Portman, Vanessa Redgrave, Clive Revill and none other than Derrick Sherwin, who would go on to write and produce Doctor Who in Patrick Troughton's final years.
Five years after he'd played the title role in a Children's Serial adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson's story St Ives, William reprised the role for another version, shown in six parts between June 12th and July 17th, 1960. However, this adaptation is missing from the archives. The 1955 version co-starred future Master Roger Delgado as Gautier, but this time the role was taken by Geoffrey Palmer (Doctor Who and the Silurians, 1970; The Mutants, 1972; and Voyage of the Damned, 2007), who has actually played another role in the earlier serial! Also on the bill were Audrey Nicholson, Leslie Perrins, Frederick Treves (Meglos, 1980), Denis Goacher (The Macra Terror, 1967), Patsy Smart (The Talons of Weng-Chiang, 1977), Ivor Salter (The Space Museum, 1965; The Myth Makers, 1965; and Black Orchid, 1982) and Bruce Wightman (The Crusade, 1965; The Daleks' Master Plan, 1965-66; and Terror of the Zygons, 1975).
|Audrey Nicholson, William Russell and Denis |
Goacher in St Ives (1960)
|William in Triton|
On February 19th, 1961 William appeared in his penultimate BBC Sunday Night Play, J B Priestley's An Inspector Calls. Now missing, it starred William as Gerald Croft, the suitor to Sheila Birling (played by Heather Sears). Co-stars included John Gregson, Nora Swinburne, Edward Chapman and Alan Dobie.
In 1800, two British officers - Belwether and Lamb - are sent to gather intelligence about French plans for Napoleon's impending attempted invasion of England. Triton was a four-part serial broadcast by the BBC between June 4th and 25th, 1961 (and repeated in April 1962), written by Rex Tucker (director of The Gunfighters, 1966) and starring William as Captain Belwether, with Francis Matthews as Lieutenant Lamb. It also featured Leonard Trolley (The Faceless Ones, 1967), Reed De Rouen (The Gunfighters, 1966), Robert James (The Power of the Daleks, 1966, and The Masque of Mandragora, 1976), Peter Mayock (Pyramids of Mars, 1975, and The Deadly Assassin, 1976), and none other than future Master Roger Delgado as the mysterious Man with the Patch! Naturally, this serial is now missing.
|William in Adventure Story|
IMDb next has William playing Hamlet in an adaptation broadcast between September 14th and October 19th, 1961, but I can find no evidence of William having ever played the Prince of Denmark on TV. BBC Genome shows no results for it, and the listings for the days IMDb claims the serial was shown gives no clue either. Oddly, following this elusive five-part adaptation (subtitled The Dread Command) was another five-part adaptation but starring Barry Foster as Hamlet, for which pictorial evidence does exist (but again, no BBC Genome listing). If anybody can shed any light on this anomaly, please leave a comment!
|William in his two Edgar Wallace mysteries - The Share Out|
(left and centre) and Return to Sender (right)
Debuting on the very same day (April 7th) but over on the BBC was a six-part adaptation of Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre, again directed by Rex Tucker and with incidental music by none other than Tristram Cary, who would later that year score the first Dalek story. Ann Bell played Jane, while others on the cast list included Richard Leech (The Sun Makers, 1977), Stephanie Bidmead (Galaxy 4, 1965), Anthony Jacobs (The Gunfighters, 1966), Michael Bilton (The Massacre of St Bartholomew's Eve, 1966; Pyramids of Mars, 1975; and The Deadly Assassin, 1976), Arthur Hewlett (State of Decay, 1980, and The Trial of a Time Lord, 1986), Leonard Trolley (The Faceless Ones, 1967), Margot Van der Burgh (The Aztecs, 1964, and The Keeper of Traken, 1981) and Joan Young (The Massacre of St Bartholomew's Eve, 1966). William took the role of St John Rivers in episodes five and six (broadcast in May 1963). Both of William's episodes exist in the BBC archives, as only episodes 2 and 3 are missing. The serial was repeated in October 1963.
|William as Fl Lt Sorren in The |
|William in Suspense: The Patch Card|
|William with Maurice Denham and|
Rona Anderson in Pig in the Middle,
shown just three weeks after William
had been contracted for Doctor Who
On September 27th, 1963, studio filming began at the BBC on the very first episode of Doctor Who, An Unearthly Child. William played schoolteacher Ian Chesterton in 77 episodes of the programme, broadcast between November 1963 and June 1965, but is the only member of the original cast never to return to the programme - William Hartnell returned for The Three Doctors (1972-73), Carole Ann Ford for The Five Doctors (1983) and Jacqueline Hill for Meglos (1980). However, William would reprise the role of Ian Chesterton in the 1990s, and have a brush with Doctor Who again in the 21st century...
On July 1st, 1966, William was in This Man Craig again, as a different character called Peter Woodburn in Old Flame. That episode co-starred Gordon Jackson and the aforementioned Maguire.
On January 29th, 1967 William was a guest star in a now missing episode of Dr Finlay's Casebook called Who Made You?, by John Pennington. William's character was called Neville, and he was joined on the bill by Don McKillop (The Daemons, 1971) and Colette O'Neil (Snakedance, 1983).
Just over a week later William appeared in his third and final episode of This Man Craig, entitled You Can Choose Your Friends, in which he played Peter Rogers. It also featured David Collings (Revenge of the Cybermen, 1975; The Robots of Death, 1977; and Mawdryn Undead, 1983) and Ilona Rodgers (The Sensorites, 1964), as well as series regular Leonard Maguire (Full Circle, 1980). The episode revolved around how the private life of French teacher Violette Johns (Rodgers) was affecting her teaching abilities.
Next up was the appropriately named Who-Dun-It, an ATV crime anthology series created by Lewis Greifer (later to write Pyramids of Mars, 1975). There's no footage of this online (although it does exist), but you can revel in the bumptious theme tune by Tony Hatch here. In Don't Shoot the Cook (broadcast October 20th, 1969), William played Marcel Dupre, accompanied by Gary Raymond, Keith Ashley (Genesis of the Daleks and Terror of the Zygons, both 1975), Patrick Barr (The Moonbase, 1967), Arthur Cox (The Dominators, 1968), Phyllida Law and Ralph Watson (The Web of Fear, 1968; The Monster of Peladon, 1974; and Horror of Fang Rock, 1977). The audience for the programme was asked to try and solve the mystery presented to them before the credits rolled, rather like the game show Cluedo.
William appeared in another anthology series next, Detective, which was presented each week by Rupert Davies. And So to Murder (now missing), broadcast on October 26th, 1969, was an adaptation of John Dickson Carr's 1940 novel, and featured William as Bill Cartwright, a whodunit script writer for a film production company. Others on the cast list included John Bailey (The Sensorites, 1964; The Evil of the Daleks, 1967; and The Horns of Nimon, 1980-81), Stephanie Bidmead (Galaxy 4, 1965), Sheila Dunn (The Daleks' Master Plan, 1965-66; The Invasion, 1968; and Inferno, 1970) and Roger Brierley (The Daleks' Master Plan, 1965-66, and The Trial of a Time Lord, 1986), while Douglas Camfield directed.
Parkin's Patch was a Yorkshire TV series about a policeman's exploits on the North York Moors. In the episode No Friendship for Coppers, William played a character called Wilkins, opposite star John Flanagan (who would later go on to co-write Meglos (1980), which featured the return to Doctor Who of Jacqueline Hill), Gareth Thomas (of Blake's 7 fame), James Grout and Thelma Whiteley.
In 1970-71, William appeared in a handful of Shakespearean productions, including Hamlet: An Introduction, The Merchant of Venice: An Introduction and Henry IV Parts 1 and 2: An Introduction (with Roy Marsden (Smith and Jones, 2007), David Suchet (The Haunted Hub, 2017) and Natasha Pyne). There is very little information on these productions, sadly.
|William and his thoroughly 1970s hair|
and collars in Harriet's Back in Town
During the run of Harriet's Back in Town, William appeared in his first of three ITV Playhouse productions, Arthur Hopcraft's Buggins' Ermine, directed by Michael Apted. Broadcast on December 18th, 1972, it concerned the inauguration of a mayor in a northern town and featured William as Frank, as well as Mary Miller, Barbara Young, Anne Reid (The Curse of Fenric, 1989, and Smith and Jones, 2007) and David Warwick (The Pirate Planet, 1978, and Army of Ghosts, 2006).
After his year-long series was over, William next had a guest part in Justice, a series starring Margaret Lockwood as a female barrister in the north of England. In the episode Point of Death, broadcast on ITV on August 9th, 1974, William played Dr Victor Ainsworth, and was joined by James Maxwell (Underworld, 1978) and Barbara Shelley (Planet of Fire, 1984).
|William in Father Brown (1974)|
On Boxing Day 1974, Ian Chesterton was reunited with the Doctor again - sort of! William appeared in A Piece of Cake, a festive special of the series Whodunnit?, another spin on the Cluedo detective genre. The programme involved a panel of celebrities watching a recorded film and having to ask questions of the in-character actors in the studio to work out the killer. The series was hosted by Third Doctor Jon Pertwee, and William played the eyepatch-wearing Captain Alexander Anderson, who is the one killed so sadly doesn't make it to the studio to meet Pertwee!
|Jon Pertwee and William Russell as they appeared in the|
Whodunnit? 1974 Christmas special
|William in The Hanged Man (1975)|
On April 23rd, 1975 William had a guest role on Crown Court, in the first of a three-part story called Dead Drunk. He played Edward Birkland in a story which also featured Patrick Barr (The Moonbase, 1967), Meg Wynn-Owen (A Christmas Carol, 2010) and William Simons (Underworld, 1978).
On July 11th, William popped up in The Main Chance, a series about the changes in the life of a solicitor after he moves from London to Leeds. John Stride played David Main, and in the episode William appeared in, We're the Bosses Now (the penultimate one in the entire four series run), the cast included Peter Miles (Doctor Who and the Silurians, 1970; Invasion of the Dinosaurs, 1974; and Genesis of the Daleks, 1975) and Bernard Kay (various roles between 1964-71). William's character was called Arnold Galbraith.
|William in The Main |
|William (standing left) with John Fraser|
in 1975's The Doll
|William in Three Men in a Boat (1975)|
William's first work in 1976 was for the drama/ documentary series for teenagers, Scene. In The Girl Who Saw a Tiger, aired on November 18th, William played Mr Rose, joined on the cast list by David Brierly (the voice of K9 in Season 17) and Michael Troughton, son of Second Doctor Patrick. There is little information about BBC Schools programmes online, so I have no further information about this production.
|William in Crown Court in 1977|
|Patrick Troughton and William Russell|
as they appeared in Van der Valk: Accidental
|William as Lord Garrick in Terror|
William was a guest on the This is Your Life edition for National Youth Theatre founder Michael Croft on February 15th, 1978, but sadly the only footage available on YouTube is the latter 15 minutes, in which William does not appear.
Strangers was a gritty Granada TV series of police procedurals based around the regular characters of Derek Willis (played by Dennis Blanch) and George Bulman (Don Henderson from Delta and the Bannermen (1987)). In Accidental Death (broadcast on June 26th, 1978), William played Bamford Harker.
On August 6th, William played Peter Vernon in an episode of the series Parables called A Gentle Rain, written by Brian Finch and directed by Les Chatfield. There's very little information as to what the series was about, but this episode also starred Jill Melford, Geraldine Newman and Blake's 7's own Steven Pacey.
|William Russell in Disraeli: Portrait|
of a Romantic (1978)
Fearless Frank was a rather bawdy BBC2 Play of the Week broadcast on October 4th, 1978 and written by Andrew Davies. It was a dramatisation of the outrageous, but not entirely reliable, memoirs of Irish writer Frank Harris - sometime Old West cowboy, friend to famous literary names, essayist, critic, and seducer of beautiful women. Leonard Rossiter played Harris, while William played the triple roles of Lord Folkestone, Chapman and a Headmaster. Also on the bill were Susan Penhaligon (The Time Monster, 1972), Ben Aris (Invasion of the Dinosaurs, 1974), Andrew Downie (The Highlanders, 1966-67), Keith Jayne (The Awakening, 1984), Denis Lawson and John Rhys-Davies. The play was produced by Louis Marks, who'd written Planet of Giants (1964) during William's time on Doctor Who (as well as others since).
|William as the 8th Elder in Superman|
Southern Television's Spearhead depicted what life was like in the British Army's fictional 1st Battalion Royal Wessex Rangers, and the second series was set in Germany. In the episode Repercussions, broadcast on July 16th, 1979, William played Mr Dickson BFS, joined by Roy Holder (The Caves of Androzani, 1984).
|William as DJ David Carn in Shoestring|
Testament of Youth was a five-part dramatisation of the memoirs of World War One nurse Vera Brittain, and in the first episode - Buxton 1913, broadcast on November 4th, 1979 - William played Marriott, accompanied by Cheryl Campbell, Emrys James (State of Decay, 1980) and Michael Troughton (Last Christmas, 2014). John Marriott was a lecturer on Modern History at Oxford University who inspired Vera to pursue a better education and ultimately become a champion of feminism in the 1930s and beyond.
|William in Death Watch|
The Armchair Thriller serial Dead Man's Kit began broadcasting on January 29th, 1980 (and repeated in November 1981), and concerned the possible presence of a double agent in the British Navy. William played a senior officer in the serial's first episode, and was joined on the cast list by Timothy Block (Black Orchid, 1982), Maurice Colbourne (Resurrection of the Daleks, 1984, and Attack of the Cybermen, 1985), Jamie Foreman (The Idiot's Lantern, 2006), Richard Kane (The Power of the Daleks, 1966), Clive Merrison (The Tomb of the Cybermen, 1967, and Paradise Towers, 1987) and Philip Locke (Four to Doomsday, 1982). Of the 12 Armchair Thriller serial shown between 1978-81, Dead Man's Kit was one of two made by Southern Television rather than Thames, and so is harder to come across. It has been released on DVD, but not in the commonly found Thames TV collection.
|Armchair Thriller: Dead Man's Kit|
On July 22nd, 1980, William played Dr Crane in his second ITV Playhouse, Lindsey, written by Stephen Bill and also featuring Maggie Steed and Jan Carey. There is very little other information about this play.
|William in The Professionals|
William appeared in two episodes of the BBC's Mackenzie, which charted the relationship between a father and son over the course of 19 years (1955-74). William played Francis Hammond in Sole Agent and Without Prejudice, shown on October 16th and 23rd, 1980, also featuring Lynda Bellingham (The Trial of a Time Lord, 1986), Jack Galloway (The Awakening, 1984) and Sheila Ruskin (The Keeper of Traken, 1981); the first episode was directed by Kenny McBain (who helmed The Horns of Nimon, 1979-80).
On March 10th, 1981, William played Daddy in his third ITV Playhouse, Little Girls Don't, written by Frances Galleymore and directed by Mike Newell. As with his previous two, there's very little information about this play, except that it co-starred Robert Glenister (The Caves of Androzani, 1984), Anna Massey and Toyah Willcox.
Mark Gertler: Fragments of a Biography was produced by the Arts Council of Great Britain in 1981, directed by Phil Mulloy and written by Mulloy and Antony Sher. Based on the letters of British artist Gertler, the film reconstructed episodes from his life and interspersed them with colour shots of his paintings. Sher played Gertler (who gassed himself in 1939, aged 47), while William played Roger Fry, an artist and critic and member of the famous Bloomsbury group. The 50-minute film also featured Janet Henfrey (The Curse of Fenric, 1989, and Mummy on the Orient Express, 2014), Clive Merrison (The Tomb of the Cybermen, 1967, and Paradise Towers, 1987) and Richard Wilson (The Empty Child/ The Doctor Dances, 2005).
|William with two other|
Doctor Who actors, Brian
Blessed and Arthur Hewlett,
in The Black Adder (1983)
|William in Robin of Sherwood (1986)|
The Four Minute Mile was a two-part miniseries co-produced by the BBC and ABC in Australia, and featured Richard Huw as Roger Bannister, with Adrian Rawlins (Planet of the Ood, 2008), Michael York, Adrian Dunbar, Richard Wilson (The Empty Child/ The Doctor Dances, 2005) and John Tordoff (Colony in Space, 1971). William had the minor role as an Australian Athletes' Alliance official. The series debuted on ABC on September 13-14, 1988.
The Kill-Off was a film which premiered in Toronto in September, 1989 and was later shown at the Sundance Film Festival, receiving wider but restricted release in October 1990. It was about a bar owner who tries to turn the flagging fortunes of his business around by turning it into a strip joint. It was written and directed by Maggie Greenwald, based on a 1957 pulp novel by Jim Thompson, and starred Jackson Sims as Pete, and William as Rags McGuire, his bartender.
On October 2nd, 1990, William had a guest part in an episode of comedy crime series Boon called Tales from the River Bank, starring Michael Elphick, Neil Morrissey and David Daker (The Time Warrior, 1973-74, and Nightmare of Eden, 1979). William played John Losely, that week's bad guy! The episode also featured Jonathan Newth (Underworld, 1978).
William's IMDb next mentions that he was in low-budget slasher flick Deadly Manor (aka Savage Lust) playing disfigured killer Alfred, but he wasn't. If you manage to see the film (there's footage here), you'll that's a completely different actor, not our man!
|The marriage and death of Ted Sullivan,|
William's character in Coronation
Street for seven months in 1992
Three years later William had a role in the HBO TV movie The Affair, directed by Paul Seed (who'd appeared in The Ribos Operation in 1978). A black soldier in World War Two England begins an affair with a white woman whose husband is currently serving overseas and has himself been having an affair with his secretary. The film featured Courtney Vance, Kerry Fox, Ned Beatty, Ciaran Hinds, Beatie Edney, Adrian Lester, Rory Jennings (The Idiot's Lantern, 2006), Anna Cropper and Burnell Tucker (The Angels Take Manhattan, 2012), and William played the role of Dr Hastings.
On October 14th, 1995, William played Mo Meredrew in the Casualty episode Halfway House, also featuring Derek Thompson, Clive Mantle, Patrick Robinson, Sorcha Cusack, Patsy Byrne and Barbara Young.
|William (with Zoe Wanamaker) in the|
Globe Theatre's Henry V (1997)
IMDb next claims William is in the 1998 film Mob Queen playing Swede Carlson, but I'm not convinced this is the same man. You can watch the trailer on YouTube, and it simply doesn't seem like the sort of film he'd be in (the fact it's about a mob boss unwittingly having an affair with a drag queen is neither here nor there!). If you know better, leave a comment!
In July 1999 - 33 years after last playing the part - William reprised the role of Ian Chesterton in the narrating links on the BBC VHS release of Doctor Who: The Crusade ("a fantastic adventure!"), for which only two episodes of the four exist. William filled the narrative gaps in character, and these links were also included on the 2004 DVD box set Lost in Time. The links are also on YouTube, including the introduction:
|William as Gabriel Firth in |
William's acting appearances were coming much scarcer now that he was approaching his 80th year, and the next part was in Agatha Christie's Poirot, playing Lanscombe the butler in Philomena McDonagh's adaptation of the Agatha Christie novel After the Funeral. Broadcast on March 26th, 2006, the murder mystery also starred David Suchet (The Haunted Hub, 2017), Philip Anthony (The Daleks' Master Plan, 1965-66), Robert Bathurst, John Carson (Snakedance, 1983), Michael Fassbender, Geraldine James, Julian Ovenden and Anthony Valentine.
|William as Lanscombe in Agatha Christie's|
Poirot: After the Funeral (2006)
|William as Harry the|
security guard in An
Adventure in Space and
William's most recent acting role was as a hospital patient in the 14-minute short film The Visit (released September 10th, 2016), written and directed by Romina Schwedler and starring Sean Maher, June Squibb and Sadie Katz. William can't be seen in it, but here's the trailer:
William is the father of actor Alfred Enoch, who played Dean Thomas in the Harry Potter films (2001-11) and Wes Gibbins in How to Get Away with Murder (2014-17) - William was 64 when Alfred was born. As of December 2016, William is the only member of the original TARDIS crew not to make a return appearance in Doctor Who (although he was due to return in 1983's Mawdryn Undead, but scheduling conflicts prevented it). Hartnell, Hill and Ford all returned to the series in some form.
|William with his son Alfred, who is mixed race as|
his mother is Brazilian