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Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Happy Birthday, Valentine Dyall!

I expected no less of you! You whimpering wraith! But your death is already compassed in my designs. For now, the Doctor shall release the key to ME, and chaos shall break upon the universe!
-The Black Guardian, The Armageddon Factor
Man, he looks more like he got poor night's
sleep than anything.
And right on the tail of a post wondering if Who is a religion, we wish a very hectic birthday to Valentine Dyall, the scheming Black Guardian and the ultimate Devil figure of the Whoniverse (well, until they decided Satan actually existed, in any case), who would be turning 105 today had he not died in 1985. His character is kinda responsible for two of my favorite things in Who--thanks to being the driving motivator in the search for the Key to Time, he's inadvertantly responsible for the presence of Romana on board the TARDIS as well as one of the finest stretches of episodes Who ever got, and he recruited Turlough, my favorite Fifth Doctor companion, to kill the guy. So, yeah, without him--no Romana. No Turlough. No Key to Time. And he's played in this delightfully hammy way, too, a way only the most powerful Who villains can really get away with these days. 
 But that's not the only fantastically nerdy thing he's done. He's been both the upkeeper of the Total Pespective Vortex and Deep Thought in a combined three versions of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which was created by Douglas Adams, who wrote part of the Key to Time Saga. And he guest starred with Colin Baker in Series C of Blake's 7, and in that very same episode is John J. Carney, who played one-off character Bloodaxe in the Doctor Who serial The Time Warrior--which means he was guest starring in a show created by Terry Nation in an episode with the Sixth Doctor and a Robert Holmes character...the latter of whom also means that he's still tied back to the Key to Time. Kevin Bacon's got nothing on this guy! 
For more information on his life and whatnot, see here.