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|Born||Henry Peter Grimwade
8 June 1942
Ayr, Ayrshire, Scotland
|Died||15 May 1990
|Cause of death||Leukaemia|
After joining the BBC in the late 1960s, he first worked on Doctor Who as a Production Assistant on Jon Pertwee's first serial, Spearhead from Space (1970). He occupied this position on a further five serials. In 1977, he got his first chance to direct, being asked to film some model shots for the serial The Robots of Death while the serial's actual director, Michael E. Briant, directed the rest of the serial in the studio. Tom Baker, meanwhile, used Grimwade's name to replace the scripted "Grimwold's Syndrome" illness mentioned in the script. The serial's Production Unit Manager, George Gallaccio, later allowed him to make his full directorial debut on the episode "Out of Body, Out of Mind" in the series The Omega Factor (1979). Grimwade was also at this time Production Assistant on the BBC's serialised dramatisation of John le Carré's Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (1979).
Grimwade next directed some episodes of the drama series All Creatures Great and Small (1978) (which coincidentally featured Peter Davison, who Grimwade would direct twice and write for three times on Doctor Who) before returning to Doctor Who as a director. After directing the serial Full Circle (1980) Grimwade was given the task of directing Tom Baker's final serial, Logopolis. When Peter Davison became the Doctor, Grimwade first directed him in the serial Kinda (1982) and then directed Earthshock, featuring the return of the Cybermen to the show after eight years and the death of the character Adric.
Earthshock was the last time he was a director on the series. A year later, Grimwade was scheduled to direct the serial The Return (which ultimately became Resurrection of the Daleks). Industrial action initially prevented the serial from being filmed. When the story was postponed, Grimwade took the cast and crew out to dinner, but did not invite John Nathan-Turner, because he had intended to take Nathan-Turner out separately. But Nathan-Turner felt slighted by the omission and refused to allow Grimwade to direct the story when it was re-scheduled for Season 21. Prior to this, Grimwade had written two serials - Time-Flight and Mawdryn Undead (1983). Afterwards, Grimwade was asked to write Davison's penultimate story, which became Planet of Fire. Because the story's requirements were in constant flux, mainly due to uncertainty over the filming location and cast changes, he eventually became frustrated and allowed script editor Eric Saward to finish the serial.
Outside of Doctor Who, Grimwade wrote and directed The Come-Uppance of Captain Katt for the ITV children's drama series Dramarama. The play was about events behind-the-scenes on a low-budget television science fiction series, which Grimwade openly acknowledged was inspired by his experience working on Doctor Who.
When the BBC gave the publisher W. H. Allen the rights to use Vislor Turlough in the novel Turlough and the Earthlink Dilemma, W. H. Allen offered Grimwade a chance to publish an original novel. The result was Robot (ISBN 0-352-32036-2), a book filled with Doctor Who references.
Afterwards, Grimwade left the BBC and mainly worked in producing industrial training videos. He died in 1990 of leukaemia.
Notes and references
- Richards, J and Martin, A: Doctor Who - the Book of Lists BBC Books 1997