Friday, November 23, 2007

Verity Lambert, OBE (1935 - 2007)

It has not been my intention to write every night this week, there just seems to be a lot to talk about recently. Most of it has been good news but today brought a sad, sad development. This afternoon I was dismayed to read on Outpost Gallifrey that Verity Lambert had passed away.

There were a lot of amazing things about An Unearthly Child, the first ever episode of Doctor Who. Beyond the genius of Sydney Newman's initial concept there's the fact that it was produced by a twenty-eight year old woman; the BBC's youngest producer and the only female one (pictured with Carole Ann Ford courtesy of Steve Hill). Of course it also had an Asian director, Warris Hussein, so it was a remarkably progressive show before you even consider the TARDIS or the Daleks that were to follow.

Despite going on to a career that spanned forty-four years and saw Verity involved in many successful shows she was always happy to talk about her first offspring. It was a beautiful touch when the team behind the current series of Doctor Who name checked Verity and Sydney Newman as the fictitious parents of the Doctor's alter ego John Smith.

It's simultaneously terribly sad and yet somehow fitting that this sad news should fall on the forty fourth anniversary of the broadcast of that first episode of Doctor Who, extraordinary in so many ways.

Thank you Verity, and God bless.

BBC News article

Official Doctor Who site

The Guardian


1 comment:

  1. I've just heard this sad news because I've been out of the loop for a while. I hope some of the other things she produced won't be forgotten:
    -the ITV version of Quatermass,
    -Reilly: Ace Of Spies (which I was allowed to watch as a kid),
    -Minder (!),
    -Sleepers from 1991 which I haven't seen since but made a big impression on me,
    -Jonathan Creek,
    -and, most importantly for me, Alan Bleasdale's G.B.H.