We are sad to report the death of the actor Scott Fredericks who has passed away at the age of 74.
Fredericks made two guest appearances in Doctor Who in the 1970s, firstly in 1972 alongside Jon Pertwee in Day of the Daleks as Boaz and later with Tom Baker’s Doctor as Maximillian Stael in 1977’s Image of the Fendahl.
Boaz was one of the guerrilla fighters who travelled back in time from the 22nd Century to kill Sir Reginald Styles, the diplomat blamed for the Daleks’ conquest of the Earth. Headstrong and courageous, Boaz died protecting resistance leader Anat from the Daleks.
Speaking to Kaldor City, Fredericks recalled:
“We were a kind of trio of freedom fighters against the Daleks. There was no great subtlety to the script, but it was amazing fun. Very much a cowboys and Indians kind of story. The Ogron monsters were wonderful. They were like giant apes and were played by these huge guys.”
“I also had a few scenes with Jon Pertwee. We got on fine, but there were a few ‘tricks’ he used to play that I wasn’t too happy about. One of them was to tell gags just before a take, to make you laugh. There was also this joke fight I did with him, which he choreographed. He’d convinced the director that he knew all about fighting as he’d been some sort of commando, but it ended up looking quite comical. My kids, though, loved it. All the things I’ve ever done, and that’s their favourite!”
Maximillian Stael was a scientist who worked alongside Dr Fendelman at Fetch Priory. Unbeknownst to his colleagues, he was also the leader of a coven who dabbled in the forces of darkness to resurrect the Fendahl, a god-like being which fed on the life forces of others.
In the same interview Fredericks shared his memories of director George Spenton-Foster:
“He was slightly mad and he would go bananas on some things, but we got on very well and he always chose splendid parts for me. I think George had me in mind to play Stael because of a performance I had given as a murderous Scientologist in a series called Barlow. I’d had this 25-minute scene with Stratford Johns in which I talked about chopping people up and putting them in black plastic bin bags. And said things like ‘Each man has his time. Christ had his time, now it’s mine.’ Maximillian Stael was a little similar, in that he had this plan to take over everything. I recall one scene were Stael had to shove a gun into someone’s face and say, ‘I’m going to enjoy your terror.’ I was really getting into it, until George said, ‘Tone it down. We don’t want any more complaints!'”
“Working with Tom Baker was an education. The way he delivers lines, it’s so beautiful. The rhythm of his speech is wonderful. And he subtly adjusted a few speeches so that they just tripped off the tongue. Tom was great fun as well, and a very generous actor.”
Scott Fredericks was born in Ireland in 1943 and after training at RADA he made several TV appearances in some of the most popular shows of the era including Z-Cars, Dad’s Army, and Dixon of Dock Green. Fans of Blake’s 7 will remember him from his guest role as Carnell, a psychostrategist who assisted Servalan (Jacqueline Pearce) in her latest plot to kill Blake in Season 2’s Weapon. The character would later return in Chris Boucher’s Doctor Who novel, Corpse Marker and in the Kaldor City audios.
Read more of Scott Fredericks’ interview at Kaldor City.
Our thoughts go out to Scott’s family and friends. He’ll always be an important part in the Doctor Who universe, and that of Blake’s 7.