Graeme Curry (1965- 2019)

We’re very sad to report the passing of Graeme Curry, writer of the Seventh Doctor story, The Happiness Patrol, at the age of just 54.

The news was announced by then-Script Editor, Andrew Cartmel, who said that Curry died yesterday (24th February 2019) after a serious illness.

Curry’s superb Happiness Patrol saw the Seventh Doctor (Sylvester McCoy) and Ace (Sophie Aldred) on the planet Terra Alpha, where “happiness will prevail” – indeed, anyone found not to be happy would disappear. It most famously introduced the Kandy Man, a sweet creation that would get rid of the unhappy population (“Killjoys”) in a sugary manner. While some derided the character, he fitted the concept perfectly and was a brilliant villain.

The story gained extra publicity a few years ago when the press realised its main antagonist, Helen A (Sheila Hancock) was a thinly-veiled caricature of British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher.

After Curry left university, he pursued a number of avenues, including acting and singing, but his main focus was writing; in 1982, he won the Cosmopolitan Young Journalist of the Year award, and, on the strength of his radio drama, Over the Moon, was told to contact Cartmel, who was looking for new voices for Doctor Who. The pair became good friends, as did many of the writing staff during that era.

Curry’s subsequent writing credits include EastEnders, The Bill, and Radio 4’s Citizens.

He also played a tourist wandering around Windsor Castle in Silver Nemesis, and novelised The Happiness Patrol for Target Books.

Our thoughts and condolences go to Graeme’s family and friends.