Richard Franklin played Captain Mike Yates on Doctor Who from Terror of the Autons to Planet of the Spiders. He reprised the role for the twentieth-anniversary special The Five Doctors and the thirtieth-anniversary adventure Dimensions in Time. Franklin also wrote The Killing Stone, a spin-off novel featuring Mike Yates and released as a BBV audio book.
Mr Franklin left a career in advertising to join the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in 1963. Soon afterward he began his first professional work as an actor with the Century Theatre. His first television role was as a guard in an episode of The Saint, and he also worked for eighteen months as a member of the Birmingham Repertory Theatre.
After a run on the popular drama series, The Crossroads, Franklin made his first appearance as Mike Yates in the 1971 Doctor Who story Terror of the Autons. For the next three seasons of the series’ run, he made semi-regular appearances as the dashing young officer, a member of United Nations Intelligence Taskforce. Though he only appeared in nine stories, the character became immensely popular with fans. He was invited back for a cameo appearance in the 1983 twentieth anniversary episode, The Five Doctors. He also returned in 1993 for Dimensions in Time, a skit televised on the BBC as part of its Comic Relief charity drive. It brought past cast members from the show together in an adventure which also featured cameos by members of the cast of EastEnders.
Franklin has remained a frequent and popular guest at fan conventions. He also wrote and directed a sketch, Recall UNIT: The Great Tea-Bag Mystery, in which members of the old troop were brought back into action to search for a shrunken Margaret Thatcher.
In 1997, Franklin ran unsuccessfully as a member of the Referendum Party for Hackney South/Shoreditch in the General Election. The Referendum Party opposes UK membership in the European Union. Franklin’s entry into politics and his association with a party perceived by some as radical was something of a surprise to his fans. In 2005 he ran for Hove as a member of the Silent Majority Party and was again unsuccessful.
Richard Franklin continues to act and appear at Doctor Who fan conventions. He reprised the role of Mike Yates opposite Tom Baker for the 2009 AudioGO series Hornets' Nest and the 2010 series Demon Quest.