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Stratford Johns (1925-2002)

  1. Bill Fraser, Doctor Who #110: Meglos, TV, 1980.      Co-writer John Flanagan created General Grugger for Lee Marvin (!) - and was staggered when new producer John Nathan-Taylor chose Fraser, a sitcom clown. Akin to subbing Marvin with Phil Silvers. Some thought was also given to four Z Cars cops - Johns, Brian Blessed, James Ellis, Frank Windsor - and the Houston brothers, Donald and Glyn. Plus Harry Andrews, Bernard Archard, Peter Cushing, Ronald Fraser, Peter Gilmore, TP McKenna, Donald Pleasence, Leonard Sachs, George Sewell, Nigel Stock, John Stratton, Richard Todd and Peter Vaughan… very familiar names on Nathan-Taylor’s casting (dart) board throughout his eclectic and scandalous 80s reign.
  2. Clifford Rose, Doctor Who #113: Warriors’ Gate, TV, 1981.      Cheekily on the wish list for the treacherous Commander Rorvik were the BBC’s most famous cops :  Stratford Johns and Frank Windsor.   The South African-born Johns was the burly Barlow in five series (Z Cars; Soflty, Softly; Softly, Softly: Task Force; Jack The Ripper; Barlow) during 1962-1975. (After which Johns  finally had time to join Doc5 Peter Davison in  Doctor Who #117:  Doomsday, 1982). Windsor, his Z Cars co-star, continued as Watt for  for three years longer, 1962-1978, in Z Cars and both Softly, Softly shows
  3. George Sewell, Doctor Who #148:  Remembrance Of The Daleks, TV, 1988.       TV cops were probably surprised to find themselves considered for fascist leader Ratcliffe. Stratford Johns and Frank Windsor had co-starred in the iconic 60s’ BBCop art Z Cars - and the winning Sewell was top dog of Special Branch, 1973-1974. Also considered for opening the 25th anniversary season of the timeless Time Lord.: Joss Ackland, George Baker, Keith Barron, Steven Berkoff, John Carson, Kenneth Colley, Kenneth Cope, Peter Gilmore, Bernard Hill, Glyn Houston, Del Henney, Ronald Lacey, TP McKenna. Two other Z Cars discoveries - Brian Blessed, James Ellis - were also invited into Who; Johns had already Whoversed as the Urbanka ruler, Monarch, in #117:Four To Doomsday, 1981.




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