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Bookmark and Share Fiona Cumming 1937-2015

1/05/2015 03:46:00 pm - Reported by Marcus

Doctor Who director Fiona Cumming has died at the age of 77

Fiona Cumming had a long and illustrious career, working on over 34 episodes of the original Doctor Who series.

She began as an actress, working at the Royal Scottish Academy before going on to a variety of theatre and television work, including a spell at Border Television in the dual role of announcer and features interviewer. She appeared in Dr. Finlay's Casebook and Suspense.

Deciding that she would prefer production work, in 1964 gained a post as an assistant floor manager at the BBC. She first worked on Doctor Who on the season three story The Massacre of St. Bartholomew's Eve.

By 1966 she had won promotion to the role of Production Assistant and in this capacity she worked on the second Doctor story The Highlanders, Patrick Troughton's second story and the one which saw the introduction of the character Jamie. She worked alongside the second Doctor again in 1969 on The Seeds of Death. In 1972 she worked with Jon Pertwee on the story The Mutants.

In 1974 she become a BBC Staff Director and in the 1980's she was asked to direct four stories featuring the Fifth Doctor, Peter Davison. She directed his first story Castrovalva as well as the Mara sequel Snakedance, Enlightenment and the story which saw the introduction of Peri and the departure of Turlough, Planet of Fire. In 1988 she made an uncredited cameo appearance as a tourist at Windsor Castle in the 25th anniversary story Silver Nemesis.

Other productions on which she worked included two episodes of Blakes 7, Sarcophagus and Rumours of Death, as well as Emmerdale, The Walls of Jericho, God's Wonderful Railway, The Omega Factor, Play for Today, Angels, Jackanory Playhouse, Z Cars and the ill fated Eldorado.

After leaving the BBC she remained active as a freelance director while also pursuing a number of other projects, including some with John Nathan-Turner in their Teynham Productions organisation.

Fiona Cumming died on the 1st January.
With thanks to Margot Hayhoe