In Memoriam: Johnny Byrne

downthetubes is sad to report the death of writer and script editor Johnny Byrne.

Byrne, born in Dublin in 1935, worked on many British television shows including Heartbeat, Tales of the Unexpected and the two BBC One vets series All Creatures Great And Small and One By One.

For us, he will be best remembered as the script editor during the first season of Gerry Anderson’s Space:1999 and as the writer of the Doctor Who stories Arc of Infinity, Warriors of the Deep and The Keeper of Traken.

In writing The Keeper of Traken for Doctor Who he reintroduced The Master, played by the late Anthony Ainley, to the series and created the Doctor’s companion Nyssa, played by Sarah Sutton. For Space:1999 he wrote eight of the first season episodes and another three in the second season including The Metamorph which introduced the regular alien character Maya, played by Catherine Schell.

Fanderson chairman Nick Williams said, “Although we didn’t get the chance to have Johnny along to many events, everyone who got a chance to meet him quickly learned what a warm, intelligent and humourous man he was. He was always very supportive of Space:1999 and the club’s activities and will be greatly missed.”

John Freeman

The founder of downthetubes, John describes himself as is a “freelance comics operative”, currently working as a freelance editor for TITAN COMICS, as Creative Consultant on the new DAN DARE audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the LAKES INTERNATIONAL COMIC ART FESTIVAL and LANCASTER COMICS DAY.

John has worked in British comics publishing for over 30 years, starting out at Marvel UK, where he edited a number of the Genesis 1992 books with Paul Neary. His numerous credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine at Marvel and Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine at Titan Magazines, where he was Managing Editor.

He also edited STRIP Magazine and worked as an editor on several audio comics for ROK Comics, including TEAM M.O.B.I.L.E. and THE BEATLES STORY.

Most recently he is writing CRUCIBLE as a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and DEATH DUTY and SKOW DOGS with Dave Hailwood for the digital comic 100% Biodegradable.

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