Loose Cannon's Hall Of Fame:
Peter Purves was born in New Longton, Lancashire, on 10 February 1939. After leaving school he took a four-year teacher-training course. In 1961, after only one year as a teacher, he turned to acting, initially with the Barrow-in-Furness Repertory Company and later with the Wimbledon Theatre Company. His first television role was in ZCars and more television work followed, including leads in an Armchair Theatre presentation called The Girl in the Picture (1964) and a series entitled The Villains (1965). Late in 1964 he auditioned for the part of a Menoptera in the Doctor Who story The Web Planet, but was turned down. However, the director, Richard Martin, later cast him as Morton Dill in The Chase, and this led to him playing Steven Taylor later on in the same story.
The character of Steven is probably one of the strongest companions ever to travel with the Doctor. Steven was extremely headstrong and would give as good as he got against especially when up against the Doctor. The success and popularity of this character is mainly due to the marvellous portrayal by Peter Purves. When Peter left Dr Who he encountered a period of bad luck, being out of work for many months. He attributed this to a souvenir that he took from the show - the Trilogic game of the Toymaker. Peter is convinced that the game retained some of the benign influence of the Toymaker.
After Doctor Who, he eventually became a regular presenter on the children's magazine programme Blue Peter. More presenting work followed, primarily on sports-based programmes, and he has also been managing director of a video production company. He is married to writer Gilly Fraser and has two children. For many years Peter did not have many encounters with Dr Who fandom. In fact his convention appearances were few and far between. However, recently he has been making more frequent public appearances to the delight of the fans.
Peter Purves was interviewed in DWM issues 220 and (with William Russell) 274.
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George A. Cooper
Edward de Souza
Carole Ann Ford