Australian composer Dudley Simpson, best known for Doctor Who scores, has died aged 95.
Simpson wrote music for around 290 episodes of the classic sci-fi between the 1960s and 1970s.
He first began working on Doctor Who during William Hartnell’s tenure as the first Doctor, even appearing on the show during the 1977 episode ‘The Talons of Weng-Chiang’, playing an on-screen composer. When John Nathan-Turner took over as producer in 1980, Simpson was removed as composer, his last episode being ‘The Horns of Nimon’.
He also composed for 50 of Blake’s 7’s 52 episodes, including the theme song.
Other credits include Jack’s Horrible Luck, Moonstrike, The Tomorrow People, The Ascent of Man, along with several BBC adaptations of Shakespeare’s work.
Simpson was principle conductor at the UK’s Royal Opera House for three years, retiring in the 1990s, before returning to Australia.
He once said in an interview, “I used to sit up all night doing “Doctor Who. It used to be such a rush. I would have to deliver music to my copyist at all hours. I got pulled up once by a policeman, who said I’d been past him three or four times each way. I said ‘It’s alright, I’m delivering music’. ‘What for?’ he asked. When I told him, he said ‘What? Doctor Who? Well, you’d better be going on your way, then.”