2001: A Space Odyssey – Doctor Who Actor Connections

Lately, I’ve been writing from time to time about the actors (or other creative personnel) that Doctor Who has in common with other science fiction programs or franchises. (For example, Blake’s 7, Star Wars, Red Dwarf). Then, kind of randomly, I thought…

…what about 2001: A Space Odyssey?

(Daily Doctor Who #235)

Stanley Kubrick’s epic philosophical science fiction masterpiece is one of those movies that some love and some are mystified by. I’m one of the ones who love it–at least enough to make it onto my 101 Movies I Love the Most. It came out in 1968 which makes it a contemporary of the Second Doctor (it was literally released in between Episodes 3 & 4 of Fury from the Deep). Still, as a production it’s from such a different world then Doctor Who that I wasn’t really expecting to find any common actors.

But…I was wrong!

There are four

Robert Beatty

Robert Beatty plays Dr. Ralph Halvorsen in 2001–one of the scientists who accompanies Heywood Floyd to the moon. In Doctor Who, he was General Cutler in The Tenth Planet–the First Doctor’s final regular story. He also appeared in the first episode of Blake’s 7, and appeared as a Tanker Captain in Superman III. Then, in 1987, he was the president of the United States in Superman IV: The Quest for Peace (presumably a different character). In the same year, he also played real-life US President Ronald Reagan in the TV movie Breakthrough at Reykjavik.

Glenn Beck

Glenn Beck, who at this writing is still alive, played “Astronaut” in 2001. Interestingly, in Doctor Who he also showed up in The Tenth Planet, as a TV Announcer and uncredited as the voice of a Silo Technician. He also had a part in a TV show called Travelers that I liked, and appeared in another Kubrick film, Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.

Terry Duggan

Maybe Terry Duggan or Bob Wilyman are in this picture; I don’t know

Terry Duggan is listed on IMDb as “Ape Attacked by Leopard” for 2001. His Doctor Who role was uncredited, but it was for The Invasion with the Second Doctor (the same years as 2001), where he appeared in two of the eight episodes as “I E Guard”. I’ve rewatched the first half of that story recently and a lot of it involves the Doctor and his companions running around a suspicious company called International Electromatics, so presumably he’s one of the guys chasing them. He’s also in a movie called Murder by Decree which I watched a little while ago.

Bob Wilyman

Finally, Bob Wilyman is listed as simply playing “Ape” in 2001 (one of many). His Doctor Who role is also uncredited–he appears in The War Games, the Second Doctor’s last story from 1969, in two episodes. In one, he is listed as “German / Roman Soldiers / Alien Student” and in the other he is simply “British Soldier.”

I’ve also had a look at 2010: The Year We Make Contact (the movie’s sequel), but I didn’t find anyone there to mention.

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