Graeme Harper Interview

Graeme Harper Interview

Interview with the legendary director

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Graeme Harper and Susie Liggat

Grame Harper and Producer Susie Liggat on location.

Verity: In series four, you directed The Unicorn and the Wasp, in which the Doctor and Donna meet Agatha Christie. If you could go back and meet a favourite author, who would it be?

Graeme: Definitely John Buchan and definitely Arthur Conan Doyle. Great exciting thriller writers. Edge of your seat stuff and intriguing, yet both very different in their styles.

Mark: Are there any monsters that you'd really love, or dread, to direct?

Graeme: No! Bring them on!!! Even the Magma Creature from The Caves Of Androzani

Rachael: What do enjoy most about your work on Doctor Who, and what do you think Steven Moffat will bring to the show?

Graeme: I get to do action adventure stories with endless possibilities. Each story is so different; it keeps you on your toes. All that I really enjoy. I think Steven will bring a much darker side to the stories, much more hiding behind the sofa. Oh dear! I love it!

Stewart: When you were shooting classic Who, I believe it was multi-camera, and new Who is single camera. Which is the most problematic?

Graeme: They both have their own problems, but the best way to make a drama is single camera. Each shot is considered and lit for, whereas in a multi-camera studio you cannot light perfectly for 3/4 cameras so there are many compromises to be accepted. It is swifter, whereas with single camera it is a slower process - but you learn to be exact in your decisions on shot building, being very aware of how long you have to cover each scene. I prefer single camera, but I can do both.

Mark: Many Who fans agree with me that your first directing gig on the show, The Caves of Androzani, is one of the greatest Doctor Who adventures of all time. What are your feelings today when you look back on this seminal work?

Graeme: Yes, I had been directing for two years which is very short for such a complex production as Doctor Who is, but I feel I have learnt about pace and energy for scenes and how to give a story a real drive. I was really still learning big time then.

I think I work very differently now, and it is still not easy. I am not sure of how good a production Caves of Androzani was compared to now but I guess of its time it romped along. I thought it was gripping, the writing was terrific and that was a huge help towards its success, thank you for mentioning it.

Daniel: Is there one film or TV show from the past that you would like to have directed?

Graeme: Yes Rawhide or Wagon train and any of those other classic Westerns of the 60's and 70's or The Sweeney.

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