We’re very sad to report the passing of Alan Bennion, the actor who played three members of the Ice Warrior race in the 1960s and 1970s.
Bennion made a huge impact on Doctor Who lore, perhaps becoming most synonymous for the role of Izlyr in The Curse of Peladon (1972); this was, however, his second appearance as a Martian, his first coming in The Seeds of Death (1969), in which he played the Ice Lord Slaar. He subsequently played Azaxyr in 1974’s The Monster of Peladon. He was superbly threatening as these leading Ice Warriors, but many will have fondest memories of Izlyr, the Ice Lord unfairly judged by the Third Doctor (Jon Pertwee) and who turned out to be a force for good, contrary to what we’d learnt about the species in their previous 1960s adventures.
His first acting role came in the 1967 Send Foster episode, The Drama Critic, followed by three episodes of Sexton Blake and the documentary, Meeting Point in the same year. Between 1968 and 1972, he appeared in 6 episodes of Z Cars; further TV parts included in Juliet Bravo, Paul Temple, 1985’s Oliver Twist, The Troubleshooters, The Return of Sherlock Holmes, and Next of Kin. He also starred in a 1971 production of Hamlet with Ian McKellan (The Snowmen) and Tim Pigott-Smith (The Masque of Mandragora).
Rest in Peace the man of which I based one of my first ever impressions, Alan Bennion. His performance as Slaar/Izlyr/Azaxyr always left an impression on me. The finest Doctor Who monster-performance There has ever been. pic.twitter.com/tgbhWDrP1r
— Chris Walker-Thomson (@ChrisW_T) July 29, 2018
On Twitter, Toby Hadoke said, “Great physicality and fine characterisation despite the layers of latex. It’s no wonder they used him & never sought another actor when a new one cropped up“; and Gary Russell recalled, “the first actor I ever interviewed for my DW fanzine back in 1980 (it was never published sadly cos the tape failed), famous as, well, all the 70s Ice Lords has died. Lovely encouraging man, wrote amazing letters, very self-deprecating and witty.”
Our thoughts go to Alan’s family and friends.