Monday, 5 January 2015

RIP Fiona Cumming

It's been announced that veteran TV director Fiona Cumming has passed away aged 77. 


Scottish born Fiona Cumming started out as an actress and an announcer for Border TV before deciding her future lay behind the camera, a future that became a long and illustrious career with the BBC at a time when women in positions of power and responsibility was something of a rarity. She became an assistant floor manager in 1964, commencing a long association with Doctor Who by working on the William Hartnell story, The Massacre of St. Bartholomew's Eve, before serving as production assistant on the Patrick Troughton stories The Highlanders and The Seeds of Death and the Jon Pertwee story The Mutants. Other shows she worked on in this role include Shoestring,The Pallisers, Murder Most English and the acclaimed 1977 TV adaptation of Bram Stoker's Dracula starring Louis Jordan and Frank Finlay.

In 1974 she became a staff director with the BBC and during this golden period of British TV she worked on several productions including Play For Today, Angels, The Omega Factor, Blake's 7, Jackanory and The Master of Ballantrae. Her association with Doctor Who continued to prosper and she directed the Peter Davison stories Castrovalva (Davison's debut) Snakedance, Enlightenment and Planet of Fire.

Yes, it's hard to believe but a woman was responsible for this legendary pervy introduction for Nicola Bryant's companion, Peri





By the mid 80s, Cumming had left her staff role with the BBC to go freelance and directed episodes of Emmerdale, Dramarama and Take The High Road for ITV as well as episodes of the BBC soap Eldorado. In 1988, Cumming concluded her association with the good Doctor in a very special way, appearing in an uncredited cameo role in the Sylvester McCoy 25th anniversary story, Silver Nemesis


RIP

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