The recent loss of first Doctor Who producer Verity Lambert has inspired a boatload of reaction and tributes across the press.
For instance, the Liverpool Daily Post paid tribute to a woman they described as having “carried one of the finest reputations in British TV“, noting that:
Quick to grab her opportunities, she worked on the acclaimed Armchair Theatre series and then followed Sydney Newman, its producer, to the BBC
Elsewhere in The Stage, her attitude and determination were demonstrated:
Although it was her first series as producer, Lambert was not afraid to butt heads with her superiors. It was against their advice that the seriesâ€™ second major storyline introduced a range of single-minded pepperpots, the Daleks, which would transform the fortunes of the series and help it remain in the public consciousness to this day.
And this parting line puts her reputation and impact into perspective:
In Cardiff, one hundred people are working on a show which was born 44 years ago today
Finally, SFX have reprinted one of their better interviews of recent times, a discussion between Russell T Davies and Verity Lambert that first appeared in SFX 150, in which Lambert wonderfully admitted that there was no written background to the Doctor:
I had no idea. We had this mystery character, who didnâ€™t have a background, who was just there, and could have been anything, and that was actually more interesting than trying to give him a background. At that point we wanted him to be a mystery. If heâ€™d stolen the ship, were they in the hands of some lunatic?
The interview is certainly worth the read, if you have the time.
So we’ll end this tribute round up with a big thank you to the late Verity Lambert. She did a wonderful job on Doctor Who, and I think we would all agree on a moments reflection that we wouldn’t be here today enjoying Doctor Who if someone else had been at the reins 44 years ago.