Sad news hit the world of Doctor Who this morning: it was announced that Bernard Cribbins, the actor who played Wilfred “Wilf” Mott’s popular companion, has died at the age of 93., including David Tennant and Russell T. Davis, shared their most vivid memories of the man’s career.
Having worked with Cribbins several times during his tenure as the 10th Doctor, David Tennant occasionally shared the screen with the British showbiz legend. In particular, Wilfred Mott was Tennant’s main companion in the heartbreaking finale of Doctor Who, consisting of two parts, “The End of Time”. It is reported that in a short but respectful statement, David Tennant reacted on social media (via The Mirror) as follows:
Sad news that Bernard Cribbins has passed away.
The head of this collaboration with Doctor Who was then showrunner Russell T. Davis, who chose Bernard Cribbins to play Wilfred Mott in the 2007 Christmas special “Journey of the Damned”. What was originally a one-time appearance turned into a recurring role for Cribbins, as health problems forced him to delete the role of Donna Noble’s father.
Thus, Wilf was retconned as the grandfather of companion Catherine Tate, which allowed Bernard Cribbins to return several times during Davis’ tenure. Here’s how Russell T. Davis honored Cribbins:
A post posted by Russell T. Davis (@russelltdavies63) (opens in a new tab)
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The whole story between Russell T. Davis and Bernard Cribbins allowed for one last meeting with Wilf. As Cribbins and Catherine both return for a Doctor Who 60th anniversary special, Wilf and Donna will embark on one last adventure together. In fact, it is obvious that it was Bernard Cribbins’ involvement that caused major changes to the TARDIS, as it has now become more wheelchair accessible.
Other “Doctor Who” veterans paid tribute to the memory of Cribbins, who was also known for his performances in shows such as “Faulty Towers” and “Wombles”, as well as in several films from the “Carry On” series. With a legendary resume that also included appearances in non-canonical films like Doctor Who, alongside The Dalek Invasion of Earth in 2150 AD, and in the 1967 non-EON movie Casino Royale, this man had a lot of stories to tell.
It is here that former Who writer/performer Mark Gatiss enters with his tribute. Gatiss tweeted his memoirs, which read as follows:
There was no one like Cribbins. A gifted comedian with an incredible combination of pathos and a real heart. From Sellers to Star Turn, from Wombles to Wilf. One day I told him about his wonderful game of “She” Hammer. On that day, he went to play five at the age of almost 90.
The work of Bernard Cribbins was so legendary that it covered generations of fans. It just so happens that this includes comedian Matt Lucas, who played a similarly upgraded Nardole companion during Peter Capaldi’s 12th Doctor working on Doctor Who. Sharing a selfie with Cribbins from the performance, the message also accompanied the tweet.
Thank you, Bernard Cribbins, for making us all happy. A wonderful, cheerful, brilliantly talented person. pic.twitter.com/4eyrOIQPi828 July 2022
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The legendary wit, warmth and wisdom of Bernard Cribbins will not soon be forgotten. Co-authors and fans will continue to admire his work, primarily due to the fact that it exists. CinemaBlend expresses its deepest condolences to the friends and family of Bernard Cribbins who are going through this difficult time.