Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Ian Marter (born October 28 1944 in Coventry, England, UK; died October 28 1986 in London, England, UK) was a British actor and writer, best known for his role as Harry Sullivan in the BBC television science-fiction series Doctor Who from 1974 to 1975.
After graduating from Oxford University in 1969, Marter initially worked at the Bristol Old Vic theatre, where he was a stage manager as well as acting in various minor roles. To support his low actor's wages, he also worked for a time as a milkman and a schoolteacher.
In 1971 he auditoned for the regular role of Captain Mike Yates in the eighth season of Doctor Who, and although he did not win the part, he sufficiently impressed the production team to be kept in mind and cast in a supporting role in the 1973 story Carnival of Monsters , broadcast as part of the tenth season of the programme.
The following year, he was cast in the role of Harry Sullivan, a character developed by the production team when they planned that the incoming Fourth Doctor would be portrayed by an older actor, and thus would not be able to handle the more physical action scenes. However, after forty year-old Tom Baker was cast, this was no longer an issue and Harry was written out after only one season, despite being a popular character who gelled well with Baker and their fellow lead Elisabeth Sladen.
Marter remained involved with Doctor Who after his departure from the cast. He co-wrote the script for a potential feature film version, provisionally titled Doctor Who Meets Scratchman, in collaboration with Baker and film director James Hill , although this never eventually came to fruition. He later became involved with the writing of novelisations of Doctor Who television stories for Target Books, penning nine adaptations in the late 1970s and early 80s, the last of which, The Rescue , had to be completed by range editor Nigel Robinson due to Marter's unexpected death.
He also wrote an original spin-off novel for Target, Harry Sullivan's War, starring the character he had played on screen, which was published in 1985. Marter was planning both a sequel to this and an adaptation of the unused Doctor Who Meets Scratchman script at the time of his death. In addition to his Doctor Who work for the company, he wrote novelisations of several 1980s American films such as Splash and Down and Out in Beverly Hills for Target and their Star Books imprint. Some of these books were published under the pen name 'Ian Don'.
Marter's acting career outside of Doctor Who consisted mainly of guest roles in episodes of series such as the BBC's Bergerac (in 1981) and Granada Television's The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (in 1986). He also had minor roles in several films, such as The Abominable Dr. Phibes (1971) and The Medusa Touch (1978).
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