Morris Men who starred in Dr Who take centre stage at sci-fi convention

The Morris Men with Jon Pertwee

Bagman Steve Parker

First published in Oxford Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by

OXFORD Morris dancers who featured in a 1970s episode of Doctor Who are to take centre stage at a science fiction convention.

Four of the original 10 members who featured in 1971’s episode will travel to Aldbourne in Wiltshire for the Return To Devil’s End convention.

The Headington Quarry Morris Men members were seen attacking Doctor Jon Pertwee in the village as part of a five-part ‘Daemons’ plotline that has passed into show legend.

Among the original members set to attend the April 16 convention will be 79-year-old John Graham, who is still in the Morris group.

He said: “It was a great thing to be a part of Doctor Who has always been big, and in those days it was the biggest family show on television.

“We spent a whole day filming and got to meet all the stars. We had to show Jon Pertwee our dance and make sure we didn’t really hurt him.

“We could have done some damage with those sticks, and he was a big guy.”

Current bagman Steve Parker, 56, said: “Lots of the men who featured in that episode are still dancing with us now, and others are still friends, even if they no longer dance.

“Some of the bigger parts were played by actors, but as a group, we are honoured to have been in such an iconic show.”

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Other stars from the show, including the Doctor’s former companion Jo, played by Katy Manning, will also attend. Two of the original 10 have died.

In the episode, the Morris dancers capture the Doctor during a dance after being possessed by the evil Master.

Jon Pertwee and Roger Delgado, who played the Master, died in 1996 and 1973 respectively.

The Morris group meets every Monday evening and performs at events around the year and are on the look-out for new members.

Mr Parker said: “There is this impression that Morris dancers are all fat, bearded guys with beer bellies, but we have lots of young dancers.

“And there are women’s groups across Oxfordshire for ladies who want to join in.

“I think we have well and truly joined the 21st century.”

The group will hold an open session on Saturday, February 12, at the Mason’s Arms pub in Quarry School Place from 10am-2pm.

Mr Parker said: “We want to welcome anyone who is interested, however old they are.”

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