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.”
The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War” and “Dan Dare”.
He’s the writer of “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.
Categories: Doctor Who, Obituaries, Television