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Tuesday, 7 May, 2002, 15:37 GMT 16:37 UK
Doctor Who producer dies: Your tributes
John Nathan-Turner, the longest-serving producer of the sci-fi series Doctor Who, died at the age of 54.
Known to his fans as JNT, he began working on the programme when Patrick Troughton was Doctor Who, and became producer at the end of Tom Baker's reign as Time Lord.
Mr Nathan-Turner produced a total of 130 episodes of the show and was responsible for casting Peter Davison, Colin Baker and Sylvester McCoy as Doctor Who.
He was credited for bringing a "lighter" edge to the long-running show, which did not always go down well with loyal fans.
Send us your tibutes to John Nathan-Turner.
This Talking Point is now closed. A selection of your comments are posted below.
Sanjay Khosla, United Kingdom
We met JNT several times at the Llangollen weekends and at conventions. He was a lovely man, very warm, witty and always fascinating to listen to. It was such a shock to hear he had died. He was the sort of man you always expected to be there. Things won't quite be the same, now he isn't.
This man who we knew as JNT was and still is a big part of the magic that is and always will be Doctor Who. He will never be forgotten! It's come as a huge shock that he could die so young.
The news has only just reached this end of the space-time continuum.
JNT, wonderful Chap, all of him.
I met JNT at Forbidden Planet in New York and he signed my book and talked with us for about 5 minutes about the show. Not a lot of people would do that. He really enjoyed talking about the show with us. He died way too soon. We'll miss you guy.
Derek Hartley, UK
Some people's names are etched in stone, John your will be etched in time. so long and thanks.
Dr Who has been a part of my life since I was 10 years old. It was very special! I am sorry to hear of John Nathan-Turner's death.
I am very sorry indeed to hear that this man has been taken from us at such an early age. He brought pleasure to millions through dedicated hard work, including my son, an avid Dr Who fan. May he rest in peace.
I have read recently in the official site on about JNT, and when I saw it, I began to cry. Even now as I'm writing this message. I'm still crying. So please forgive me if you see any spelling mistakes. My eyes are filled up. And will be from now on deep down. I've wanted to write scripts for you if you ever brought it back and came back as the best producer. But now we won't get the chance. You have really inspired me to take Doctor Who on as a Script Writer for a new series that will be able to go on and on.
John always came across as being genuinely enthusiastic about Doctor Who - and it showed on screen. His reign on the show saw me regenerate from a child into an adult. It would have been nice to meet you just to say thanks for the memories, John. Rest in peace and thank you.
Dean Stoner, UK
He was a very imaginative and true individual. I did not know him personally, but one thing I will miss is those late night discussions in the Bar on Saturday nights at Doctor who conventions. He was a link in a very long chain.
Thank you JNT for giving us so many hours of a wonderful program. The Doctor and the TARDIS have a special place in my heart and you are one of the reasons it is there. Rest in Peace.
Your tenure as Producer gave us some of the worst ("Time and the Rani") and some of the best ("Curse of Fenric") Doctor Who ever. But your dedication gave us more Who than we ever would have had, had you not been steering the TARDIS. JNT, I'm sure you've ended up in a better place.
Very sad news, only 54... This man was the person who got me watching Doctor who in 1988 when I was 8 or 9 years old with Sylvester McCoy and I have love Doctor who ever since. Thank you much JNT, lots of happy time. You will be missed.
Paul Dawson, UK
I found out at the Nicholas Courtney/Anneke Wills/Terrance Dicks signing at 10th Planey on 4th May. It was the only topic of conversation, all were shocked and saddened that another name has to be included in the biggest Convention of them all.
I met JNT in 1987 or '88 at a sci-fi convention in Atlanta, GA, along with Peter Davison. He was a very nice man and I think he was able to do a lot with the good Doctor when the powers that be were trying to shut the show down. He will be missed.
David Vaughn, USA
The output of John Nathan-Turner brought much pleasure to many people everywhere, whether it was the seasons of Doctor Who he produced or the subsequent video specials that have been played again and again. He made many people happy for many years and that is a legacy to be proud of.
I have only just read the sad news that the longest and certainly most controversial producer of Doctor Who - John Nathan-Turner has passed on, at only 54.
It is heartening to read several messages of condolence, which have been left by people who obviously did not always agree with his production decisions but have had the decency to say that JN-T was a thoroughly decent bloke!
My thoughts are with his friends and family at this sad time.
Very sad news. JNT made my era of Doctor Who special. May he rest in peace.
Thanks JNT for keeping the programme going for so long and all of the time you dedicated to the fans. You will never be forgotten. Best wishes to all John's friends and family - he was a smashing guy and is already missed by many.
To JNT The WHO of WHO's, we will miss you.
Richard Flowers, London, UK
Very sad and shocking news. JNT we'll miss you. You can say what you want about his tenure with the show but it's obvious the man loved the show and tried his best to save it on many occasions. He kept the show going for eight more seasons and he gave us three more doctors. For that alone, we are all in his debt. Thanks, JNT!
I'm gutted. If it was not for JNT I may never have got into Doctor Who.
My thoughts are with his loved ones and friends.
Rest in peace.
Thank you for so many years of enjoyment. I grew up with Dr. Who and will never forget the joy and wonderment you brought into my life in the past 30 years. Thank you and may you rest in peace.
It's a tragedy that John has succumbed to the inevitable at such a
comparatively young age. His contribution to "Doctor Who" was
controversial in the eyes of many fans, but there can be no doubt
that he was a talented, creative man with a love of the series and
his own individual vision for it. It is no understatement to say that
without John Nathan-Turner, in his sterling efforts both on screen
and off, "Doctor Who" would not be talked about today as much as
it is. His contribution to the series was massive and he deserves all
the accolades he has received since his sad death. Rest in peace,
Saul Nasse, UK
My overriding memory of JNT will always be his kindness and generosity - he gave so much of his own time to talk and mix with fans. God Bless, John - definitely one of the good guys.
Thank you for all the adventure!!
John came to a meeting of the Brighton Doctor Who society when I was involved with it, oh, 19 years ago. He was a hell of a nice bloke who didn't mind spending his Sunday afternoon with a bunch of strangers hung up on a TV programme with which he was involved if they asked nicely, and he never lost his enthusiasm for the show and its viewers. Given the criticisms sometimes levelled at him, this was gracious in the extreme. He'll be much missed.
Michael Harris, Great Britain
I never met him, but JNT's impact on the lives of all Dr. Who fans was incalculable. Every one of us owes him a debt of gratitude for his dedication to the show he loved. He is irreplacable, and he will be missed.
I hail from Iowa City in the State of Iowa in the centre of the US. Our state is known for corn and hog production. Dr. Who reached "Middle America" and "the breadbasket of the world" here through Iowa Public Television. John Nathan-Turner's genius, sense of humour, and ability to entertain will be sorely missed.
Chris Daniels, UK
Thank you for the magic, mate - even "The Twin Dilemma". Rest in peace.
I didn't always approve of Jonathan Nathan Turner's choices for the show (or his wardrobe choices, for that matter), but I admired his willingness to stretch the show's boundaries. He gave us some impressively complex and thought-provoking stories toward the end, especially "The Curse of Fenric." Thank you, JNT.
Doctor Who would not have been the same with out you!
Glen A. Boettcher, South Milwaukee, WI, USA
JNT had been my friend and neighbour for 27 years and was one of the kindest and loyal friends anyone could wish to have, rest in peace John
I met JNT for the first time last year and found him charming and genuine person. His colourful character is already being missed by us Dr Who fans.
JNT was producer of our lovely, creaky old show during my childhood days, and I feel terribly sad about him passing away so young. He obviously loved the show and worked extremely hard on it...what more could a fan ask? Doctor Who is a special programme. It represents the triumph of good over evil, friendship over enmity, and imagination over plain old reality. At its centre is a gentle and wondrous hero, and John was responsible for introducing the magic of that hero to scores of children on both sides of the Atlantic. The little boy inside of me will always be in his debt for that. Thank you, John, for all the wonderful dreams you gave us kids.
John put so much hard work into Doctor Who, was a vigorous ambassador for it and gave lots of his time to its fans. His first story as producer, "The Leisure Hive", was a stunning production for its day. We will miss him terribly.
Garry Jones, S. Wales, UK
May be not a time traveller, but JNT has left his mark in time.
It was such a shock to hear of JNT passing away. My early memories of the show were of JNT's era of Doctor Who way back in 1980. In the 1980's JNT fought the BBC heads for Dr Who's credibility and all fans should always be grateful that he defended and believed in the good Doctor.. We have lost a flamboyant person, and a very charming man. Rest in peace..
My sympathy to JNT's family and work associates.
Perhaps as believed, in material passing we go on to a place without limitations.
So being, I'm sure JNT would be off for a jaunt around the Cosmos, to see what it's like and check to make sure there aren't any unattended "Masters" floating about.
What about a week's televised coverage of the best Dr Who in tribute to the inspiration of such a great programme?
Rossa McPhillips, UK
Thanks for repeatedly scaring the living daylights out of me as a kid!
Whilst he had his faults JNT was always willing to fight for the show (Shada, Greatest Show) and who else can we thank for The Kandyman, probably the funniest and most inventive Who villain ever?
Far from brining a "lighter edge", JNT managed, with the Davison and McCoy era, to make the show much more realistic, and much more relevant, than it had been before. He also ensured - both through campaigning, and through his choice of McCoy, Andrew Cartmel, etc. - that the attempt to cancel the show after season 22 failed, and instead of ending after one of its worst seasons, it went on to end after one its best (season 26).
Bad news. God bless.
It's a tragedy that he had to die so young, but it is blessing for lifelong Dr. Who fans world wide.
I am deeply saddened on hearing about the death of JNT, I remember meeting him at a convention years ago and he was lovely! My deepest sympathy to his family and friends, he was far too young to die.
Rest in peace JNT
Jason Davies, UK
John Nathan-Turner was clearly dedicated to Doctor Who, and much of the criticism levelled at him was unjustified. He produced many more good stories than bad and overall he was an asset to the programme. So especially for Seasons 18, 19 & 26 I thank you John.
I was completely shocked to hear of the death of JN-T. Having seen him a month ago at a convention in Coven I knew he wasn't very well, but this has come as a terrible shock. I greatly admired his work and dedication to the series. He was a talented and gifted producer who gave his all to Doctor Who. JN-T thank you and god rest you.
While I am sure Mr Nathan-Turner was a lovely man, and admire him for his commitment to his program, your earlier correspondent saying "a nation mourns" is vastly over the top. Though doubtless ground-breaking in it's conception and early years, Dr Who never moved on and at the end was pathetically out of date and laughably poor, especially when it was up against programs such as Knight Rider and the A-Team. The real shame here is Mr Nathan-Turners obvious talent for storytelling wasn't better employed by the BBC, instead of him being stuck helming such a shambles of a program.
A Nation mourns.
Having recently listened to his memoirs on CD, John had such an obvious enthusiasm for the show. There were times when he felt he'd been pushed into continuing producing the programme when he wanted to move onto new projects, but that never compromised his commitment. For the fans there was always plenty to discuss during his tenure. It was never a dull time.
Duncan Hurwood, England
Whilst some of John Nathan Turner's creative decisions during his time as producer of "Doctor Who" have been criticised, it should be remembered by all that he fought against almost impossible odds to keep the programme running at all in the face of apathetic and increasingly hostile soap-opera orientated management policies.
John Nathan Turner was one of Doctor Who's greatest ambassadors. He had to resurrect the programme during the eighties, when TV politics proved a barrier for Doctor Who. John did it with dedication and foresight. We can sit back now and enjoy stories on audio featuring Doctors he cast in stories that don't have to 'please all' to get the ratings. He was a legacy for the programme and it is very sad that he has lost his life so young. Rest in peace JNT and best wished to all who were close to him.
I had the pleasure of first meeting JNT back in 1988. He could be irascible and stubborn, but this was due to his overwhelming love for Doctor Who - he could equally light up a room with his anecdotes and joi de vivre. He brought the series into the 1980s, and protected it when certain elements at the BBC would rather have consigned it to the scrapheap, even though he effectively sacrificed furthering his own career to ensure the series' survival. God bless, John - you'll be sadly missed. Thanks for everything.
Steve Berry, UK
You may not have been my favourite producer, John - but you were a lovely bloke, a great entertainer and someone who always had time for fans. Rest in peace, you've earned it.
Sad news. I grew up with the JNT era, and, although it perhaps wasn't the best the series had been, it was still better and more imaginative than most of the TV being produced now.
It's doubly sad given that there is a plaque unveiling to the first three Doctors by a charity called The Heritage Foundation at BBC TV Centre in two weeks' time; it would have been great if JNT could have been there.
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