Victor Pemberton - the man who created the iconic sonic screwdriver for Doctor Who - has passed away, aged 85. He is also one of the few production staff to have an acting credit on the show having being turned into a Cyberman in The Moonbase.


Pemberton wrote an assortment of radio serials, plays and soap opera episodes for the BBC before he became Assistant Script Editor on Doctor Who. A number of classic episodes fell under his purview, including Tomb of the Cyberman. He also wrote the decidedly creepy Fury from the Deep which stoked paranoia about North Sea gas conversion. This was the tale that introduced the sonic screwdriver which was used to undo screws on an inspection hatch. Cue really natty animation of screws removing themselves from the metal plate.

He returned to Doctor Who for an early spin off - a vinyl record, The Pescatons, an audio play that pitted Tom Baker’s Doctor and Sarah-Jane Smith against aquatic monsters. Previously, he wrote the closing episodes of ITV’s Timeslip, and created the paranoid Sunday afternoon spy thriller Tightrope, as well as contributing adventures to Ace of Wands. He also wrote extensively for Fraggle Rock and penned a series of romantic, nostalgia tinged novels.