The actor Hugh Walters (Vic Thatcher, series one Survivors, Revenge–A Beginning) has died at the age of 75. Walters, who was was born in Mexborough, Yorkshire, on 2 March 1939, passed away in London on 13 February 2015.
Walters enjoyed a long and successful career as a TV actor, appearing in numerous series including the 1970 version of Ivanhoe, Sentimental Education and Never Say Die. He also appeared in The Fenn Street Gang, The Train Now Standing and three Doctor Who stories: “The Chase” (Hartnell, 1965), “The Deadly Assassin” (Tom Baker, 1976) and “Revelation of the Daleks” (Colin Baker, 1985).
Walters took over the role of Vic Thatcher part way through the first series of Survivors after the original actor Terry Scully was taken ill and unable to perform in the upcoming episode “Revenge”: the pivotal story for his character. Walters’ introduction in to the role was, at producer Terry Dudley’s insistence, ‘disguised’ by Thatcher’s facial disfigurement in a cry-for-help suicide bid. Walters excelled in the role, bringing out the vulnerability and warmth in the character of Thatcher (abandoned to his fate by the ruthless Anne Tranter at their quarry hideaway when he is injured in a tractor accident). Walters also captured Thatcher’s devious and deeply driven nature, as he pursues his bid for vengeance against the woman who left him for dead. Thatcher’s eventual acceptance of Tranter’s nature (and her desire for life at any cost) is also sensitively and convincing played by Walters.
By the time of “A Beginning”, Walters’ Thatcher is a more reconciled and enaged figure within the Grange community, contributing to plans to form a new defensive alliance between communities. The character of Thatcher is killed off, along with many others, in the devastating fire which engulfs the Grange at the start of series two. (Vic Thatcher is briefly glimpsed attempting to escape the fire – but Walters did not return to perform this fleeting farewell cameo).
Hugh Thornton Walters (2 March 1939 – 13 February 2015).