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Stalwart director of Doctor Who Graeme Harper coming to VideOdyssey Liverpool for special event

by Rob Lea. Published Thu 21 Feb 2019 00:30

This weekend sees Stalwart director of Doctor Who and classic British TV Graeme Harper coming to VideOdyssey Liverpool

 for special audience with event - where he will show off rushes from his time at the helm of some of the best Whovian tales.

Liverpool’s VideOdyssey – located at Toxeth TV – welcomes one of Britain’s most seasoned television directors, Graeme Harper, who will be answering questions, signing autographs and discussing his work with fans.



Even though associated as with programmes as varied as Coronation Street and Inside no 9, Harper’s name will be one that is most familiar to Doctor Who fans having directed some of the show’s most iconic and historic moments.



In addition to wrangling such fiends as the Daleks, the Cybermen and the Master Graeme also handled the 1984 serial Caves of Androzani – featuring one of the classic show’s most emotional and fondly remembered moments – the farewell of the fifth Doctor- Peter Davison.

The regeneration scene in which a poisoned fifth Doctor transforms into the bombastic sixth Doctor – portrayed by Colin Baker – has a surprising connection to Liverpool.

As Graeme explains: “it was quite an emotional moment for Peter Davison as I think he had great concern as to whether he should be leaving after all and I wanted to make it as memorable as possible.

“I based the drive of the visuals around "Day in the life " by the Beatles, which ends with a huge climatic crash of notes on a grand piano and takes a good 30 seconds to disappear.”

The stunning scene, coupled with the Doctor’s heroic sacrifice to save new companion – Peri – and the Robert Holmes crafted story’s unusually bleak narrative for classic-Who, has made it one of the most popular amongst fans.

In 2009 it topped a poll of fans all-time favourite Who-tales held by Doctor Who Magazine beating out other highly-regarded tales like Blink and Genesis of the Daleks.



It’s little wonder that when Russell T Davies revived the show he brought Harper back tasking him with the return of both the Cybermen and the Master, an all-out war between the Daleks and Cybermen in Canary Wharf and the heart-breaking farewell to Billie Piper’s Rose Tyler.



When you wanted the end of the world, Graeme was clearly your man. 

But Harper has also handled far creepier elements of horror than the alien monstrosities of Doctor Who.

In particular, he directed the 2016 Christmas episode of macabre black-comedy anthology show - Inside No9. The episode ‘the Christmas Devil’ was particularly notable because it was filmed in the style of a 1970’s thriller. 



As Graeme tells it: “We shot this production with 70's Link studio cameras which had been restored by a company and hired to the BBC for this production and the sound boom stands were authentic of the period, as were the mics.

Plus, the cameras were manned by an experienced crew all from the period so it was all pretty authentic and a lot of fun to do, a lot of giggles from the floor.”

There were probably few giggles from the audience at home as the episode’s chilling denouncement unfolds in a manner that would likely have a Cyberman scuttling for a position behind the sofa. 



If your able to stop your hands from shaking long enough after hearing Graeme recount that episode, VideOdyssey’s collection of retro arcade machines are available to play as part of the £8 ticket price. 



Tickets for the event, this Sunday, February 24th at 2.30pm, are available from 5064 Productions ticket hub:  https://bit.ly/2Nb7iPK



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