Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

The original run of Doctor Who had an insane number of different directors working on it at different times over the course of its 26-year saga, but the work of one man is remembered by fans as standing head and shoulders above the rest.

The late Douglas Camfield.

As a director, he turned in about 50 episodes across its first 13 years, including the first and last UNIT stories of its era. The influence of his own military background in realising that fictitious wing of the army surely cannot be underestimated.

There were many other episodes on which he worked as Production Assistant, including the pilot. At one point he was even trying to get made a script that he'd written for the series.

Some of his earliest Doctor Who episodes are no longer known to exist, including the fourth ever story Marco Polo. Despite its never getting repeated, for the rest of the series' decades-long run it always remained my father's favourite story, bar none.

But this post is not really about those programmes. For me, growing up as a Doctor Who viewer and later fan had the unusual spin that Douglas Camfield also attended my local church.

Well, perhaps that should more accurately read, had attended my local church. I only really learnt of his name after he had sadly died at the ghastly age of just 52.

So did I ever meet him then? Probably not, not least because I rarely even went to services, but I did find myself within its walls on multiple ocassions throughout the year. School events and so on.

However if, rather than a building, a church is rather the group of people, then Douglas' voice still echoes there amongst so many other memories to this day. It seems that he used to be quite active. It's not just that his old friends still remember him, but among the church's records are Douglas' contributions to the community's newsletter of the day Crossroad - the circular which was partly responsible for his coming into the church in the first place. I remember these things getting pushed through all the local letterboxes every other month, or however often they were printed.

I've read so many pieces in books and magazines over the years about his work on my favourite TV show, but I've never got to read about his walk with God.

Well, if you too are interested, then please feel free to click on the pages below to hear a bit more from and about who this guy was, both inside work, and out…

With thanks to Faith Honeysett of St Stephen's Church, East Twickenham.

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