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THE IMAGINEER

Doctor Who has frequently relied on talented freelancers to bring its menagerie of monsters to life. In the 1980s this responsibility often fell to a company whose driving force was the late Richard Gregory.
One of the Cybermen designed by Richard Gregory; and Richard himself in 1983, with an original head from Earthshock (1982).

Richard Gregory, who died on 7 February, started his career building body panels and superstructures for Panther Westwinds, a manufacturer of sports cars. Then in 1979 he set up his own company with fellow technician John Powell and sculptor Rod Vass. The name Imagineering came from Richard, who was a science-fiction fan. Adopting the motto “We do anything, anytime, anywhere”, Imagineering began by sending out their portfolio to film and television companies, with the BBC and independent producer Gerry Anderson among the recipients. Richard explained the ethos behind Imagineering in an interview with Doctor Who Magazine in 1983: “Basically it’s a team of artists working for themselves. Anyone hiring us can get a wide range of experience because we’re not tied to any specific subject. It’s a talent pool really.”

Costume designer Dee Robson and visual eff ects designer Jim Francis, who had worked with Richard on the BBC2 production The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, brought Imagineering to the attention of the Doctor Who production office in 1981. Robson had commissioned Imagineering to make Hotblack Desiato’s fibreglass zoot-suit, while Jim Francis was so impressed by their work that he asked Richard to create the new computer, Slave, for the fourth series of Blake’s 7.

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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!