Richard Carpenter, who has died of a blood clot aged 82, brought intelligent, imaginative entertainment to generations of young television viewers through the fantasy series he created. After almost two decades as an actor, he found his first success as a writer with Catweazle (1970-71), starring Geoffrey Bayldon as a dishevelled, eccentric, 11th-century magician transported to the 20th century. Comic misunderstandings were mixed with slapstick as Catweazle befriended a farmer's son, Carrot (played by Robin Davies), who unravelled for him modern-day mysteries such as "electrickery" and the "telling-bone".
In the second series, Carpenter had Catweazle searching for symbols of the 13 signs of the Magic Zodiac and being taken in by another boy, Cedric (Gary Warren), at his parents' country estate. "I've always been interested in the person who is outside society," said Carpenter in a 1990 interview with the magazine Time Screen.