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A Man For All Seasons

The late Pat Gorman made a remarkable contribution to Doctor Who. Between 1964 and 1985 this unassuming actor appeared in well over 100 episodes across 41 stories.
Pat Gorman is helped into his Sea Devil costume during the making of Frontier in Space Episode Six (1973). Image copyright © 1972, 2019 Andrew Beech.

Pat Gorman – extra, supporting artiste and bit-part player – was the Doctor Who equivalent of the title character in Where’s Wally? There’s fun to be had, spotting his distinctive face in the crowd. Sometimes that face was hidden behind latex. The first Silurian? That’s him. Need a Sea Devil? Pat’s your man. And who’s under the fur in that Primord photoshoot? Have a guess.

“He was a man of many monsters, willing to take on anything thrown at him,” says Katy Manning, who played Jo Grant in numerous early 1970s episodes that Pat appeared in. In the flesh Pat could also be relied upon to deliver the odd line – a UNIT soldier here, a medic there. Naturalistic, unobtrusive, convincing. “He was every production manager’s favourite background artist,” recalls Marcia Wheeler. “Punctual, obliging, a really pleasant person to have around: something not true of all extras. If there was an odd line or something that merited additional payment, he would be offered this precisely because he was so nice.”

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About Doctor Who Magazine

DOCTOR WHO MAGAZINE 537 REVEALS THE REMAKE OF MISSION TO THE UNKNOWN! This issue also includes: • What does it takes to become a Stenza warrior? Actor Samuel Oatley explains. • An interview with the man behind the new version of Mission to the Unknown. • Colin Baker and the cast of The Ultimate Adventure look back on the Doctor Who stage play. • Backstage with Colin Baker at Leeds' Grand Theatre in 1989. • War World – an in-depth look at the script originally intended for the 1989 stage production. • Cyber Leader David Banks dips into the TARDIS tin. • Tributes to the king of Doctor Who extras Pat Gorman and visual effects designer Richard Gregory. • Former script editor Andrew Cartmel remembers Happiness Patrol writer Graeme Curry. • A preview of this year’s Record Store Day releases. • Part Three of Herald of Madness, a new comic strip adventure featuring the Thirteenth Doctor and her friends. • How to dress like the First Doctor – along with his friends and foes. • Does the 1996 TV movie impress the Time Team? • The Blogs of Doom, audio reviews, previews, news, prize-winning competitions and much, much more!