Malcolm Hulke (Malcolm Hulke)

Malcolm Hulke

Malcolm Hulke (21 November 1924 – 6 July 1979) was a British television writer and author of the industry “bible” Writing for Television in the 70s. He is remembered chiefly for his work on the science fiction series Doctor Who although he contributed to many popular television series of the era. His first major television work was a series of early 1960s children’s science fiction serials – Target Luna, Pathfinders in Space, Pathfinders to Mars, and Pathfinders to Venus – which he co-wrote with Eric Paice for the British ABC television company. The producer of the series was Sydney Newman, who was later responsible for the creation of Doctor Who as Head of Drama at BBC Television. His first produced script for Doctor Who was in 1967, though he had submitted proposals earlier. In addition to the Pathfinders series and Doctor Who, Hulke contributed scripts to The Avengers, The Protectors, Danger Man, Crossroads, football soap United! and Gideon’s Way. His scripts for Doctor Who were known for avoiding black-and-white characterisation and simplistic plotting. Military figures are usually presented unfavourably – Invasion of the Dinosaurs and The Ambassadors of Death both have a general as the ultimate villain. One of his best-known contributions to the series is Doctor Who and the Silurians. This story depicts an encounter between the human race and the remnants of a technological reptilian race that ruled Earth in prehistoric times. Hulke avoids casting either side as heroes or monsters.

Malcolm Hulke also contributed to Target Books’ range of Doctor Who novelisations, adapting many of his scripts before his death, as well as 1973’s The Green Death. Hulke’s novelisations were noted for providing a wealth of additional background detail and character depth. He was a friend and mentor to Terrance Dicks, with whom he collaborated in 1962 on The Avengers episode “The Mauritius Penny”, which was Dicks’ first television credit; The War Games, Dicks’ first Doctor Who script, and on the non-fiction book The Making of Doctor Who. He was a member of the Communist Party of Great Britain, but may have later resigned, possibly after the suppression of the Hungarian Revolution in 1956. His politics remained firmly on the left, and was reflected in his writings. In January 2015 Five Leaves Press published a short study of his work Doctor Who and the Communist: Malcolm Hulke and his career in television, written by Michael Herbert.


  • November, 21, 1924
  • United Kingdom
  • Hampstead, London, England


  • July, 06, 1979
  • United Kingdom
  • Cambridgeshire, England


  • Cambridge City Crematorium
  • Cambridgeshire, England
  • United Kingdom

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