Geoffrey Bayldon (1924-2017)

May 12, 2017 | By | Reply More

Geoffrey Bayldon, like many British actors, was a chameleon in his roles. Compare him as the crazy medieval wizard Catweazle in the 1970-71 TV series to the Crowman in ‘Worzel Gummidge’ (1979-1981) and you think you’ve caught him in all his parts. You haven’t. Looking at IMdB, Bayldon was everywhere in his very long career, irrespective of genre, only given away by his distinctive low softly gravelly voice and he could change that with a few inflections.

Many of his roles were pivotal. My earliest recollections of him were the spy in ‘Where The Spies Are’ (1966) with a twist at the end of his performance at the beginning of the film and the supposed psychiatrist in the film ‘Asylum’ (1972) and it took a while to realise he was Catweazle, so different were the roles. Bayldon beguiles and so you only saw the performance. But he was everywhere and in great demand. In our own genre, he appeared several times in ‘Doctor Who’ (including playing the Doctor in a couple audio plays, not to mention earlier turning down the TV role twice), ‘The Tomorrow People’ and ‘The Avengers’. There wasn’t a TV series he missed and countless films. A true jobbing actor and always in demand.

Today, all the British newspapers acknowledge his death on 10th May which shows the high regard he was placed in although I suspect he would have been astonished by the response.

One of the last of the greats.

GF Willmetts

May 2017



Category: Culture

About the Author ()

Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 15 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’ If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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