Michael Imison

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Michael Imison (born 9 February 1935) is a retired British television director and literary agent. He directed a number of productions for the BBC in the 1960s, including Doctor Who, and subsequently served as the story editor on the second series of the science-fiction anthology series Out of the Unknown.

BBC career[edit]

Imison began his career at the BBC working for the Script Department. Initial successes included directing Magnyfcence by John Skelton at the Tower Theatre, Canonbury in May 1963.[1] Under contract as a director at the BBC, Imison directed Compact and a classic serial adaptation of Thomas Mann's Buddenbrooks.

In 1966, he was assigned to direct the Doctor Who serial The Ark, which starred William Hartnell as the First Doctor. Imison is credited with helping to create the monsters featured in the serial, the Monoids.[2]

Talking in an interview back in 1974 Imison said:

The Monoids were my idea. I can't remember what they were called originally. They were fairly indefinite creatures, but I had this idea, which I thought was brilliant, of having actors with ping-pong balls in their mouths so that they could play these one-eyed creatures, which would appear to have a living eye. I thought this would be a great thing for BBC Enterprises to market, but of course it was a total damp squib! I don't remember what else I got them to change. Having worked quite a lot as a script editor I was quite happy to get people to rewrite.[3]

Although his contract as a staff director was not renewed following the completion of his Doctor Who serial,[4] Imison remained at the BBC and acted as story editor on the second series of Out of the Unknown under producer Irene Shubik.

Literary agent[edit]

Later in his career Imison became a literary agent. His company represented Noël Coward and Terence Rattigan, among many other playwrights. He also helped previously unknown dramatists such as David Edgar (The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby) and Bernard Pomerance (The Elephant Man) to international success. It has now been incorporated into Alan Brodie Representation Ltd.,

Personal life[edit]

Imison is married to the educator Dame Tamsyn Imison and he now lives in Suffolk.[5] Apart from chairing the Noël Coward Society which he founded, and working for the British Humanist Association,[6] his proudest achievement was founding and chairing the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society when he was the undergraduate director of the Oxford University Theatre Group, known for its late-night revues which launched the careers of Alan Bennett and Dudley Moore among others.

References[edit]

  1. ^ List of Tower Theatre plays
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ http://www.shillpages.com/howe/b-h1.htm
  4. ^ Voice-over commentary on the BBC DVD "The Ark" (1966, 2011)
  5. ^ [2]
  6. ^ [3]

External links[edit]