Welcome to ‘Bradley’s Basement’ blog and I’m Tim Bradley!
(sigh) Dear Debbie Watling. I shall miss you lots! 😦
I was saddened and shocked to hear that the lovely Deborah Watling had passed away. Debbie played Victoria Waterfield, companion of Patrick Troughton (The Second Doctor) in ‘Doctor Who’. She played Victoria in the TV series and also in the Big Finish audios of ‘Doctor Who’, which I’ve enjoyed.
The departure of Debbie Watling has meant a big deal to me, since I’ve been lucky to meet her at ‘Doctor Who’ conventions since 2010. Debbie was a kind-hearted and friendly lady when I met her at conventions. I’m glad I met her more than once and I had lots of nice chats with her during signings.
I first saw Debbie at the ‘Regenerations 2010’ convention in Swansea. But I didn’t meet and chat to Debbie until the ‘Memorabilia Birmingham’ convention in November 2011. Since then, I’ve seen Debbie at more conventions and shared my favourite Victoria moments with her.
Debbie made her first appearance as Victoria in ‘Doctor Who’ in ‘The Evil of the Daleks’ during Season 4 of the classic series in 1967. She went on to co-star with Patrick Troughton’s Doctor and Frazer Hines’ Jamie in Season 5 of ‘Doctor Who’, featuring in many wonderful stories of the TV show.
Her most memorable story in the TV show is ‘The Tomb of the Cybermen’, one of the missing TV stories that was recovered in 1991. I shared with Debbie at the ‘Project Motor Mouth 2’ convention in Slough, August 2013 how much I loved her in that story. I told Debbie that my favourite scene with her as Victoria was when she had a quiet moment with Patrick Troughton’s Doctor in the story.
Debbie shared with me that during that scene she had a cold whilst filming it with Patrick Troughton. It was lovely to chat with Debbie about her work in ‘Doctor Who’ and she clearly enjoyed working with Patrick Troughton and Frazer Hines. It was nice to hear her share happy memories of the show.
The other stories that Deborah Watling appeared in as Victoria in the TV show include ‘The Abominable Snowmen’; ‘The Ice Warriors’; ‘The Enemy of the World’ and ‘The Web of Fear’. Debbie also worked alongside her father Jack Watling in ‘The Abominable Snowmen’ and ‘The Web of Fear’.
For a long time, Debbie’s stories in ‘Doctor Who’ were mostly missing from the BBC Archives. Thankfully in 2013, ‘The Enemy of the World’ and ‘The Web of Fear’ were recovered for the 50th anniversary of ‘Doctor Who’. I was so happy to see those two lost stories found with Debbie in them!
I’ve been fortunate in meeting Debbie during the 50th anniversary celebrations of ‘Doctor Who’ at three conventions in 2013. These included the ‘Project Motor Mouth 2’ convention in Slough, August 2013; the ‘Regenerations 2013’ convention in Swansea, September 2013 and the ‘Dimensions 2013’ convention in Newcastle, October 2013. I’ve happy memories of seeing Debbie at those conventions.
Debbie has also reprised her role as Victoria since leaving the TV series in 1968, including ‘Dimensions in Time’; ‘Downtime’ and the Big Finish audios of ‘Doctor Who’. I’ve enjoyed hearing Debbie as Victoria again on audio with stories including ‘The Great Space Elevator’ and ‘Power Play’. Debbie also made a cameo appearance in ‘The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot’, directed by Peter Davison.
The last time I saw Debbie Watling at a convention was last year at the ‘Regenerations 2016’ convention in Swansea. I’m pleased I saw Debbie at that convention as it was really good and I’ve happy memories of chatting and sharing with Debbie about ‘Doctor Who’ in general.
I’m so saddened that I didn’t get to meet Debbie again at a convention this year. But I’m happy that I’ve met her more than once and she clearly enjoyed playing the role of Victoria in ‘Doctor Who’ through the TV series and the audios. I’ll never forget her and I’ll always have happy memories of Debbie.
This is my letter to Deborah Watling:
It was lovely meeting you at ‘Doctor Who’ conventions. The times I’ve met you have been happy ones and I always enjoyed you as Victoria in ‘Doctor Who’ in the TV stories and Big Finish audios.
See you soon.
Love from Tim. X
Here’s a photo gallery of some of my memories meeting Deborah Watling at conventions.
Also check out the tributes made by the people at Big Finish to Deborah Watling here – https://www.bigfinish.com/news/v/rip-deborah-watling
Thanks for reading!
Bye for now.