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Digital Subscriptions > Doctor Who Magazine > 529 > ROLLING WITH THE PUNCHES


Planet Earth was a dangerous place to be in the early 1970s, when the Third Doctor began his exile. Fortunately, Roy Scammell and his colleagues in the stunt team HAVOC were ready and willing to take the knocks…


The Doctor (Jon Pertwee) in Inferno (1970).
Former stuntman Roy Scammell.
Photo © Matt Adams.

Roy Scammell is one of the few surviving members of HAVOC – Doctor Who’s first and arguably foremost association of stunt men.

Doctor Who Magazine is visiting Roy at home to discuss the initial years of the Third Doctor’s era. “It’s such a long time ago,” Roy reflects, “and I’ve got such a deep, sad memory now…”

Keeping Roy focused on the subject at hand can be difficult, particularly when his digressions range from devising the Singin’ in the Rain sequence for Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange (1971) to testing the flying rigs on the 1978 version of Superman.

Born in north-west London – Kingsbury, to be precise – in 1932, Roy picked up various talents as a teenager that were to come in handy in his later action work. “I was a high diver with Highgate Diving Club,” he recalls, “and I would’ve gone for the Olympics in 1948 as I was national standard, probably the best amateur diver in the country at the time. But in those days you had a choice. I was trying to make a living, I had my mum to support, and I’d already turned pro in ice shows so I couldn’t do the Olympics as a result.

“During that period,” he continues, “a great mate of mine was [the then-child actor] Anthony Newley. His agent rang me up because she’d seen me diving in Highgate. I was quite a pretty kid and she wanted me for an advert. My mum said to her, ‘There’s a film Tony’s doing; can my son do some action work – running about and all that?’ So I did [the 1948 film] Vice Versa with Tony. That was my first action work, and from that I learned a bit of acting.”

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About Doctor Who Magazine

SERIES 11 COMPANIONS MANDIP GILL AND TOSIN COLE WRITE FOR DOCTOR WHO MAGAZINE! READ THEIR DOCTOR WHO DIARY IN THE LATEST ISSUE. Doctor Who Magazine 529 also includes: • Meet the writers and directors of Series 11 • An interview with Roy Scammell, who was part of Doctor Who's stunt team in the 1970s • The life and work of Don Harper, the composer responsible for the soundtrack to 1968 epic The Invasion • Big Finish's Lisa Bowerman answers questions from the TARDIS tin • Games company Gale Force 9 reveal the background to Time of the Daleks • A tribute to Alan Bennion, who played three Ice Warriors in the 1960s and 70s • Part Six of The Clockwise War, a new comic strip adventure featuring the Doctor and Bill • The Time Team watches three pseudo-historical Doctor Who stories • The Fact of Fiction explores the 2013 Eleventh Doctor story Hide • Third Doctor cosplay with Rob Lloyd • Previews, audio, DVD and game reviews, news, The Blogs of Doom, prize-winning competitions and much, much more!