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Biography

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Overview (2)

Date of Birth December1944
Nickname Slasher Saward

Mini Bio (1)

Eric Saward was born in December 1944 and attended school until the age of 18. After working for a short time as an estate agent he moved to Holland, where he lived for three years and was briefly married. On his return to England he took a succession of jobs, including as a publisher's proof editor and as a bookshop sales assistant. He then trained and worked for a while as an English teacher. He also started to write and found some success with drama scripts for radio, the first he had accepted being a play entitled "The Fall and Fall of David Moore." At around the age of 30 he gave up teaching in order to pursue a full-time writing career. To supplement his income he also filled in with some odd jobs, including a stint in the theatre as a self-taught electrician working on productions such as "Hair" and "The Canterbury Tales" at the Phoneix in Shaftesbury Avenue. He was then approached by Doctor Who script editor Christopher H. Bidmead to submit some ideas to the series, having been recommended to him by the senior drama script editor at BBC radio. This led to a commission to write the season nineteen story "The Visitation," on the strength of which he was subsequently appointed as Bidmead's successor. Since his acrimonious and controversial departure from the series some five years later he has continued to pursue a career as a freelance writer, including for German radio (his scripts being translated into German for production.)

- IMDb Mini Biography By: David J Howe and Stephen James Walker taken from the book Doctor Who: The Eighties

Trivia (3)

Has a daughter called Natasha.
He considers Doctor Who: Revelation of the Daleks: Part One (1985) to be the best story he wrote for Doctor Who (1963).
He was dubbed "Slasher Saward" by Doctor Who (1963) fans due to the violence, morbid themes and high body counts of the scripts he either wrote or script-edited. BBC One controller Michael Grade also took exception to the violence of the series during this period and cited it as a reason he put it on hiatus in 1985.

Personal Quotes (5)

Violence in Doctor Who (1963) is very difficult. The Doctor is involved in adventures that deal with violent people and sometimes the only way to deal with violence, unfortunately, is to be violent in return. Personally I feel that if you display violence you should show it for what it is. I don't think you should dwell on it, I don't think it should be gratuitous, but I think that when you do display violence you should show it hurts.
I was getting very fed up with the way Doctor Who (1963) was being run, largely by John Nathan-Turner - his attitude and his lack of insight into what makes a television series like Doctor Who (1963) work.
Most of the directors on Who haven't got the lightness of touch necessary. And if they've got it they don't hang around Who for very long because of the budget restrictions, working atmosphere, quality of the scripts and so on. The show isn't that enticing to a rising director.
John [John Nathan-Turner] can become so unpleasant to someone he's employed, such as his director. The likes of Graeme Harper will not come back to Doctor Who (1963) if they've got something else to do. People like Peter Grimwade, who I suppose is the only other director of any note who has come out of Who since John has been producer, says he wouldn't work with John Nathan-Turner any more - and I don't think Nathan-Turner would employ him.
[on Michael Grade] I must admit that I didn't understand Grade's note about comedy, last season we had three very comic stories (Doctor Who: Vengeance on Varos: Part One (1985), Doctor Who: The Two Doctors: Part One (1985), Doctor Who: Revelation of the Daleks: Part One (1985)). It was a pity that two out of the three stories were poorly directed.

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