Saturday, 15 May 2010

A Matter of Time: Peter Grimwade

(08/06/1942 – 15/05/1990)

Twenty years ago today, Peter Grimwade died at the young age of 47. He was a British television writer and director, and best known for his extensive work on Doctor Who. Grimwade first worked on Doctor Who in 1969 as a Production Assistant on Jon Pertwee’s first story, ‘Spearhead from Space’, which was shown the following year.

In 1977 he got his first chance to direct, when he was asked to film some model shots for the Tom Baker story ‘The Robots of Death’, while Michael E. Briant directed the rest of the story in the studio. In 1980, Grimwade directed ‘Full Circle’, which proved to be a great success. He was then given the task of directing Tom Baker’s final story, ‘Logopolis’.

When Peter Davison became the Doctor, Grimwade directed him in ‘Kinda’ and ‘Earthshock’. The filming of ‘Earthshock’ was very intense, with hardly any time to shoot the required shots in studio. This story also featured the dramatic return of the Cybermen and the death of Adric.

Although he did not direct any more stories for Doctor Who, Grimwade wrote ‘Time-Flight’ and ‘Mawdryn Undead’, and started to write ‘Planet of Fire’. Although his strict techniques were not popular with the actors at the time, Eric Saward stated in an interview that he regarded Peter Grimwade as one of the best directors he had ever worked with.

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