MORE - Dr Who
I shall always be grateful to Barry Letts who gave me the opportunity to direct my first major production COLONY IN SPACE and then went on to allow me to direct SEA DEVILS, THE GREEN DEATH & DEATH TO THE DALEKS
Barry was a clever and talented producer with a nose for a good script and an idea.
He let me get on with things, for the most part, without interference but did not hesitate to step in when he felt I had got it wrong. I think he was probably the best producer Doctor Who had after Verity created it. He certainly liked and understood the science fiction genre, understood acting and the theatrical effects. I shall always be grateful to him for opportunities he gave me early in my career.
I am sad that I was probably very difficult to work with. Directors have to follow their own dream but sometimes I wish I had done it a bit more diplomatically and politely. You have a choice as a director - do what you believe to be right - that which pleases you or try to please other people - producers et al. The former does not always make you friends and the latter does not make good productions. There is a line between the ideas of the producer and what a director can bring to the story. The good producers find directors who are creative and imaginative. When you let slip the dogs of war there is no knowing who they will bite - the inferior producers select directors who will toe the line, be really respectful and obey orders. None the less like Doctor Who are very reliant on the 'taste/instincts' of the producer running them and Barry was creative and imaginative and a good leader.
For me the great times of Dr Who were the days of Bill, Patrick, Jon and Tom. After that I feel it lost it's way a bit and certainly stopped developing or innovating. I thought it tended to rehash old ideas and rely too much on special effects.
When Patrick took over as a 'space hobo' he was totally different from the 'mad professor'. When Jon arrived he turned the Doctor into an elegant, charming intellectual with aikido! Tom was determined to be different and despite scripts that were designed for Jon's interpretation of the role he became this apparently shambling, bumbling Marx brothers character WHO outwitted the villains of this world.
If you are interested in my memories of the Doctor Who's I directed the following links will take you there.