Eric Saward


Eric Saward

Eric Saward (pronounced SAY-ward) was born in December 1944 and became a script writer and script editor for the BBC, resigning from the latter post on the TV programme "Doctor Who" in 1986.

His career as a script writer began with drama for radio while he was working as a teacher. Later he was able to cross into full-time writing. He was approached by then "Doctor Who" script editor Christopher H. Bidmead to submit some ideas to the series on the strength of a recommendation from the senior drama script editor at BBC Radio. He received a commission to write the story "The Visitation". This in turn led to his appointment as script editor on the recommendation of Antony Root, who had briefly replaced Bidmead. In addition to his role as script editor, Saward also wrote the television stories "Earthshock", "Resurrection of the Daleks" and "Revelation of the Daleks".

He has claimed in interviews that he also performed uncredited writing duties, over and above that normally expected of a script editor, on "The Awakening," "The Twin Dilemma", "Attack of the Cybermen" and "The Trial of a Time Lord," amongst others. Not all of these claims have been substantiated by other sources.

Saward's other "Who" writings include the 1983 short story, "Birth of a Renegade" in the "Doctor Who 20th Anniversary Special" one-off magazine, published by "Radio Times" (and Starlog Press in the U.S.) and the 1985 radio play "Slipback". He wrote the novelisations of "The Twin Dilemma" and "Attack of the Cybermen", as well as those of "The Visitation" and "Slipback", for Target Books' "Doctor Who" range. His two Dalek stories remain among the few never novelised, while "Earthshock" was novelised by Ian Marter.

He did not have a harmonious relationship with Doctor Who's producer John Nathan-Turner which gave rise to occasional tensions behind the scenes. Saward often complained at Nathan-Turner's insistence on not hiring experienced Doctor Who writers, which led to his having to work hard, not always successfully, on unsuitable scripts submitted by rookie writers. This came to a head during the production of "The Trial of a Time Lord" in the middle of 1986 and he resigned as Script Editor before the completion of production. Nevertheless, Saward's association with the show continued — in the 1990s he wrote linking narration for Doctor Who audio releases of missing episodes, and more recently he has appeared in interviews on DVDs of his serials and contributed a short story to the Big Finish "Short Trips" collection. He also writes for German radio drama.

In terms of personal life, Saward lived in Holland for three years where he was briefly married. He also had a relationship with fellow writer Paula Woolsey for a number of years. He has a daughter named Natasha.

External links

*imdb name|id=0768047|name=Eric Saward
* [http://www.personal.leeds.ac.uk/~ecl6nb/OnTarget/authors/sawa/saward.htm Biography of Eric Saward at On Target]


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