Now that Matt Smith’s first season has concluded, there’s time enough to indulge other eccentricities, notably in the case of the THT Brain Trust, vintage 1970’s ITV fare. It’s always a joy to occasionally see actors wither before or after their association in Doctor Who. It’s as if Doctor Who were the gateway drug leading ones curiosity further into the realm of British television.
Such was the case with The Zoo Gang, a short-lived series made in 1973 and broadcast in 1974. Only six episodes were made, with the (typical) cross-continental cast including Brian Keith and Barry Morse. Episode 4 was ‘The Lion Hunt‘ and it featured Roger Delgado in what turned out to be (according to IMDB and everybody else) his last performance before his untimely death during a film shoot in Turkey on June 18th, 1973 (the picture shown here is not from that appearance). He appeared as Pedro Ortega, a South American revolutionary whose accidental arrest in France brings him to the attention of the regular cast who proceed to bust him out of prison. It was fun escapist ITV fare.
Delgado’s last Doctor Who appearance was in episode six of Frontier in Space on March 31, 1973 so given the vagaries of television production it’s not unreasonable to assume he went to do The Zoo Gang immediately after his work on Frontier in Space was finished.
Other Masters in Doctor Who have come and gone of course, but for us here at THT Worldwide he was the definitive article. Go watch him in Terror of the Autons to see for yourself.