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Doctor Who creator Sydney Newman discusses his career

The Story

From film editor at the fledgling National Film Board of Canada through a seven-year stopover at CBC to BBC Head of Drama Group, Sydney Newman has had a remarkable journey. Newman, a Canadian expat, oversees 660 separate drama shows for the BBC each year and developed the highly innovative "kitchen sink drama" style. Dressed in a blazer and bow tie for this 1966 talk with CBC Umbrella interviewer William Ronald, Newman brandishes a toy Dalek which resides on his desk and mentions the creation of Doctor Who, a "silly little program" initially written for Saturday afternoon family viewing. (Note: the first minute of this video is silent).

Medium: Television
Program: The Umbrella
Broadcast Date: Nov. 27, 1966
Interviewer: William Ronald
Guest: Sydney Newman
Duration: 42:46

Did You know?

• Born on Apr. 1, 1917, Sydney Newman began his career with the National Film Board in 1941 and moved to CBC Television in 1952, the year it debuted. During that time he produced the drama series General Motors Presents. He left for England to work for ABC Television in 1958, producing Armchair Theatre and creating the series The Avengers. He died in 1997. 

• During this interview Newman makes a passing reference to the program Doctor Who, which was produced to fulfill a need for family entertainment late on Saturday afternoons. The first show went to air on Nov. 23, 1963, and in November of 2013 the BBC celebrated 50 years of Doctor Who. The show was created by Newman and produced by Verity Lambert. According to 2008 a article on the BBC website, Newman wanted the show to 'educate and inform' and not to include 'tin robots'.


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