Entertainment & Arts

Deborah Watling, Doctor Who companion, dies aged 69

Deborah Watling with an Ice Warrior in a 1967 episode of Doctor Who
Image caption Watling appeared with an Ice Warrior in a 1967 episode of Doctor Who

Actress Deborah Watling, who played one of Patrick Troughton's companions in the early years of Doctor Who, has died at the age of 69.

Watling played Victoria Waterfield in 40 episodes between 1967 and 1968, most of which were wiped after transmission.

Her father was the actor Jack Watling, who appeared alongside her in two Doctor Who adventures.

Her brother Giles Watling, Conservative MP for Clacton, said she would be "sorely missed".

"She was a lovely, lovely girl, bubbly and vibrant," he said of his sibling.

Born in Loughton in Essex in 1948, Watling made her first TV appearance as a child in William Tell.

Image caption Her character, Victoria Waterfield, travelled with Patrick Troughton's "second Doctor"

She went on to appear in a TV version of HG Wells' The Invisible Man and played Alice Liddell in a Wednesday Play by Dennis Potter about author Lewis Carroll.

Watling made her first appearance in Doctor Who in the second part of 1967 serial The Evil of the Daleks, the only episode of that adventure that still exists.

She went on to appear in six more serials, only two of which - The Tomb of the Cybermen and The Enemy of the World - still exist in their entirety.

After Doctor Who, Watling appeared in The Newcomers, Rising Damp and World War II drama Danger UXB.

In 1993 she reprised her companion role for a Children in Need short called Doctor Who: Dimensions in Time.

Earlier this week it was announced that Jodie Whittaker will be the first female Doctor when Peter Capaldi relinquishes the role at Christmas.

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