By Greta King
BM November 1986
Dennis Spooner, scriptwriter and bridge personality, died suddenly last month at the age of 54.
He started his career at Leyton Orient as a footballer and graduated to scriptwriting where he amused members of the bridge world by naming villains in The Avengers after members of the Harrow bridge club. His Useful Hints for Useless Players and his Diary of a Palooka will long be remembered.
We extend our sympathy to his wife, Pauline, and three children.
Successfully submitted scripts to the Gerry Anderson's programme, Fireball XL5 in 1962. After two episodes there, he received more substantial work on Stingray, and Thunderbirds, writing almost 20 episodes for the two shows.
Spooner worked on Doctor Who almost exclusively in the formative William Hartnell era. Perhaps most significantly, he was the script editor from The Rescue to The Chase. In addition, he wrote the stories The Reign of Terror, The Romans and The Time Meddler for Hartnell's Doctor Who.
After the BBC he moved to ITC. Starting in 1967, Spooner became a sort of "contracted freelancer" with ITC. He was obliged to write 10 episodes annually for ITC, although he wasn't exclusively bound to them.