Monday 25 December 2023

Richard Franklin (1936 - 2023)

Hate to put a damper on Christmas Day, but we've just had the sad news that Richard Franklin - UNIT's Captain Yates - has passed away at the age of 87.
When Barry Letts was looking for a new regular, to work alongside the Brigadier, he went to the theatre and saw a play in which Franklin was appearing. At the interval he mentioned his quest to the person sitting next to him, stating that Franklin was the sort of actor he was after. His neighbour turned out to be Franklin's agent.
He featured as Yates from The Terror of the Autons onwards, but theatre work sometimes led to him sitting some stories out (such as The Three Doctors).
Very rare for its time, Franklin was given a story arc for his character, which got underway in The Green Death, in which he was hypnotised into trying to kill his friends. The affect this had on him led to him actually turning traitor, as he joined Operation Golden Age in Invasion of the Dinosaurs.
His treachery uncovered, he was quietly retired from UNIT, but found redemption in Planet of the Spiders - his last full-time story.
Franklin appeared in the CiN adventure Dimensions in Time, and his final appearance as Yates was as a phantom version of him in The Five Doctors.
More recently he appeared on the sofa with Katy Manning and John Levene to review Season 10 episodes.
He attempted to enter Parliament many times, including standing for the Lib Dems, the Referendum Party, UKIP, and his own "Silent Majority" party - obtaining votes ranging from 78 to 5273.
One of his last screen roles was in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
Richard Franklin, RIP.

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