Rachel Talalay

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Rachel Talalay
Born (1958-07-16) 16 July 1958 (age 61)
Alma materYale University
  • Director
  • producer
  • professor
Years active1981–present
Spouse(s)Rupert Harvey
Parent(s)Paul Talalay

Rachel Talalay (born 16 July 1958) is a British-American film and television director and producer. She is also a University of British Columbia film professor.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Talalay was born in Chicago, Illinois. Her father Paul Talalay was a pharmacologist, born in Berlin in Russian Jewish family, and her mother Pamela is an English biochemist. She has two sisters and a brother.[2] She was raised mostly in the United States, with two years of her childhood in Britain.[1] Talalay attended Yale, where she majored in mathematics.[3] She also ran the Yale Film Society.[3]


Talalay has worked in a number of different capacities in filmmaking before making her directorial debut with the film Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare (1991).[4] Talalay also worked on the first four A Nightmare on Elm Street films.[3] Her work with the earlier Nightmare films utilized her computer skills and finding ways to create better special effects while still keeping costs low.[3] Despite her familiarity with the Freddy movies, when she directed Freddy's Dead, she was given internal memos telling her not to be "too girly" or "too sensitive."[5]

Talalay also directed Tank Girl in 1995, and was looking into re-optioning the rights to make a new film in 2008.[6] As a film producer, Talalay worked with director John Waters on the films Hairspray (1988) and Cry-Baby (1990). She was also a production assistant on Waters' 1981 film Polyester.[7]

Talalay states that ever since Doctor Who was revived in 2005, she wanted to work on the show.[8] Talalay directed the Series 8 finale episodes, "Dark Water" and "Death in Heaven".[9] She returned for Series 9, directing that season's finale episodes "Heaven Sent" and "Hell Bent"—the former one of the most critically acclaimed since the revival began, considered by many to be one of the best episodes in the show's 54-year history.[10] She returned for Series 10, again directing the final two episodes "World Enough and Time" and "The Doctor Falls," [11] as well as the Doctor Who 2017 Christmas special, "Twice Upon a Time".[12] In 2019, she was hired by Netflix to direct an adaption of Joe Ballarini's A Babysitter’s Guide To Monsters.[13]

Selected filmography[edit]


Year Title Director Producer Writer Notes
1988 Hairspray
A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master
1990 Cry-Baby
1991 Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare
1993 Ghost in the Machine
1995 Tank Girl
1997 The Borrowers
2003 A Tale of Two Wives
Television film
2006 The Wind in the Willows
2012 Hannah's Law
2014 The Dorm
2016 Unclaimed


Year Title Role Notes
1997 Band of Gold Director Episodes:
"Tainted Love (part one)" (3.05)
"Tainted Love (part one)" (3.06)
1998 To Have & to Hold Director Episodes:
Turkey Day Blues (1.08)
Who's Sorry Next? (1.12)
1998 Touching Evil (U.K. Series) Director Episodes:
"War Relief: Part 1" (2.03)
"War Relief: Part 2" (2.04)
1999-2002 Ally McBeal Director Episodes:
"Saving Santa" (3.07)
"Prime Suspect"(3.15)
"Two's a Crowd" (4.03)
"Blowin' in the Wind" (5.09)
2000 Boston Public Director Episode: "Chapter Five" (1.05)
2000 Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased) Director Episodes:
"Mental Apparition Disorder" (1.02)
"A Blast From the Past" (1.05)
2001 That's Life Director Episode: Miracle at the Cucina (1.18)
2001 State of Grace Director Episode: Eve of Discussion (1.07)
2001 Wolf Lake Director Episode: Tastes Like Chicken (1.04)
2001 Dice Director Episodes:
"Episode #1.1"
"Episode #1.2"
"Episode #1.3"
"Episode #1.4"
"Episode #1.5"
"Episode #1.6"
2002 Without a Trace Director Episode: "He Saw, She Saw" (1.03)
2002 Crossing Jordan Director Episode: "Four Fathers" (1.14)
2002-2007 The Dead Zone Director Episodes:
"Shaman" (1.12)
"Symmetry" (5.07)
"Ego" (6.02)
2002-2003 The Division Director Episodes:
A Priori (2.07)
Castaways (3.17)
2003 Cold Case Director Episode: "Sherry Darlin'" (1.09)
2004 Touching Evil (U.S. Series) Director Episode: "Y Me" (1.02)
2004 Life as We Know It Director Episode: "Natural Disasters" (1.06)
2004 Unfabulous Director Episode: "The Perfect Couple" (2.10)
2005 Sex, Love & Secrets Director Episode: "Protection" (1.08) (Unaired)
2005 Terminal City Director Episodes:
"Episode #1.1"
"Episode #1.2"
"Episode #1.7"
"Episode #1.8"
2006 What About Brian ? ?
2006 Whistler Director Episodes:
"In The Air" (1.07)
"After The Fall" (1.08)
"Scratching The Surface" (1.11)
"Meltdown" (1.12)
2007 Supernatural Director Episode: "Hunted" (2.10)
2007 Greek Director Episode: "Separation Anxiety" (1.08)
2007 Kyle XY Director Episodes:
"Hands on a Hybrid" (2.11)
"Leap of Faith" (2.13)
2008 Flash Gordon (2007) Director Episode: "Blame" (1.18)
2009 Da Kink in My Hair Director Episodes:
"Of Papers and Patois" (2.03)
"Playing Social" (2.04)
"Honesty the Best Policy?" (2.07)
2009 Durham County Director Episodes:
"Boys Do Things" (1.03)
"Consumed" (1.04)
2010 Cra$h & Burn Director Episodes:
"Lawyers, Guns & Money" (1.08)
"Bond Blame Baptize" (1.11)
2010 Bloodletting & Miraculous Cures Director Episodes:
"How to Get Ahead in Medical School" (1.01)
"Family Practice" (1.04)
"Unhappy Endings" (1.05)
2010 Haven Director Episodes:
"Harmony" (2.05)
"Surviving the Fall" (2.06)
2011 Endgame Director Episode: "Gorillas in Our Midst" (1.07)
2011 Hiccups Director Episode: "Sexual Healing" (2.08)
2012 Continuum Director Episode: "Time's Up" (1.06)
2012 XIII: The Series Director Episodes:
"Breakout" (2.07)
"Mousetrap" (2.08)
2013 Bomb Girls Director Episodes:
"Party Line" (2.07)
"Fifth Column" (2.08)
2013 Played Director Episodes:
"Cars" (1.07)
"Revenge" (1.13)
2014 Reign Director Episode: "Sacrifice" (1.10)
2014–2017 Doctor Who Director Episodes:
"Deep Breath (8.1) (1 scene, uncredited)
"Dark Water" (8.11)
"Death in Heaven" (8.12)
"Heaven Sent" (9.11)
"Hell Bent" (9.12)
"World Enough and Time" (10.11)
"The Doctor Falls" (10.12)
"Twice Upon a Time" (2017 Christmas Special)[14]
2015 South of Hell Director Episodes:
"Judge and Fury" (1.02)
"White Noise" (1.04)
2016-2019 The Flash Director Episodes:
"Fast Lane" (2.12)
"The Present" (3.09)
"Fury Rogue" (4.19)
"Cause and XS" (5.14)
2016 Legends of Tomorrow Director Episode: "Last Refuge" (1.12)
2016-2019 Supergirl Director Episodes:
"Welcome to Earth" (2.03)
"Suspicious Minds" (4.10)
2017 Sherlock Director Episode: "The Six Thatchers" (4.01)
2018-2019 Riverdale Director Episodes:
"Chapter Twenty-Five: The Wicked and the Divine" (2.12)
"Chapter Forty-One: Manhunter" (3.06)
"Chapter Fifty-Seven: Survive the Night" (3.22)
2018 Iron Fist Director Episode: "The City's Not for Burning" (2.02)
2018 Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Director Episode: "Chapter Six: An Exorcism in Greendale" (1.06)
2019 Doom Patrol Director Episode: "Puppet Patrol" (1.03)
2019 American Gods Director Episode: "Donar the Great" (2.06)[15]


  1. ^ a b Bailey, Ian (8 August 2014). "Q&A: UBC professor went from Doctor Who fan to director of this season's finale". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 6 September 2015.
  2. ^ "Dr. Paul Talalay, Johns Hopkins molecular pharmacologist who made broccoli famous as a cancer fighter, dies". The Baltimore Sun. 13 March 2019. Retrieved 14 March 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d Wigler, Stephen (27 September 1991). "'Freddy's Dead' Gives Rise to Career". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on 5 May 2016. Retrieved 31 March 2016 – via HighBeam Research.
  4. ^ "A Nightmare On Elm Street : Interviews - Rachel Talalay". Nightmareonelmstreetfilms.com. 2005-03-22. Retrieved 2014-12-27.
  5. ^ Rohter, Larry (17 March 1991). "Are Women Directors an Endangered Species?". The New York Times. Retrieved 31 March 2016.
  6. ^ Anderson, Martin (August 5, 2008). "Rachel Talalay for Tank Girl reboot". Den of Geek!. Archived from the original on May 5, 2018.
  7. ^ Rachel Talalay Biography, Film Reference
  8. ^ Collis, Clark (3 November 2014). "Doctor Who Director Rachel Talalay Talks 'Dark Water'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 31 March 2016.
  9. ^ "Film Prof Directs Doctor Who Season Finale". The University of British Columbia. Retrieved 31 March 2016.
  10. ^ Reynolds, Andrew (20 December 2015). "Directing Doctor Who: Rachel Talalay's Notes on Heaven Sent". Katerborous. Retrieved 31 March 2016.
  11. ^ "Original Mondasian Cybermen return to Doctor Who!". BBC. 6 March 2017. Retrieved 6 March 2017.
  12. ^ "The 2017 Doctor Who Christmas special will be called..." Radio Times. 23 July 2017. Retrieved 23 July 2017.
  13. ^ Fleming Jr., Joe (April 15, 2019). "Netflix Turning 'A Babysitter's Guide To Monsters' Into Family Film; Rachel Talalay To Direct". Deadline. Archived from the original on April 15, 2019. Retrieved April 15, 2019.
  14. ^ Marcus (23 July 2017). "Twice Upon A Time - Official Doctor Who 2017 Christmas Teaser | SDCC 2017 | BBC America". Retrieved 23 July 2017.
  15. ^ "Home - American Gods S2 Presskit". Starz]. Retrieved February 12, 2019.

External links[edit]