Deborah Watling, best known to Doctor Who fans as Victoria Waterfield, has sadly passed away at the age of 69.
Born to actors Jack Watling and Patricia Hicks, Deborah began performing from a young age. Her first role was in the short-lived ITC series ‘The Adventures of William Tell’ at the age of eleven. She would continue to make regular TV appearances throughout the 1960s.
In 1967, Watling was cast as the latest addition to the TARDIS alongside Patrick Troughton and Frazer Hines. Victoria Waterfield first appeared in ‘The Evil of the Daleks’, the daughter of an eccentric scientist experimenting with time travel. Her life is changed forever when her father draws the attention of the Daleks and she joins the Doctor.
Watling was a mainstay on the show throughout series five, departing in its penultimate story ‘Fury from the Deep‘. During her time on the show, she again acted alongside her real-life father playing Professor Travers in two stories. Watling was originally scheduled to reprise her role in ‘The Five Doctors’ but was unavailable for filming.
After leaving Doctor Who, Watling continued to work prolifically on television. The following year, she landed a role in BBC soap opera ‘The Newcomers’ in which Verity Lambert was a producer. She appeared in an episode of sitcom ‘Rising Damp’ and had a regular guest role in ‘The Jim Davidson Show’ during the 1980s.
In her later years, Watling shied away from the limelight and appeared on TV less often. She would, however, reprise the role of Victoria twice more on TV and video. Once for the 30th anniversary special ‘Dimensions in Time’ and again to star in the 1995 Reeltime Productions spin-off ‘Downtime’. Watling also appeared as Victoria in numerous Big Finish audio productions as recently as last June.