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Sydney Newman

Early Life

Born in Toronto, Newman was the son of a Russian-Jewish immigrant father who ran a shoe shop. After studying at Ogden Public School, which he left at the age of thirteen, he later enrolled in the Central Technical School, studying art and design subjects. He initially attempted to follow a career as a stills photographer and an artist, specializing in drawing film posters. In 1938, he travelled to Hollywood, where he was offered a role with the Walt Disney Company on the strength of his graphic design work. However, he was unable to take the job due to a failure to secure a work permit. Returning to his native country, in 1941, he gained a job as a film editor at the National Film Board (NFB) of Canada. He was eventually to work on over 350 films while an editor for the NFB.

 
 
 

 



Start of A Show

In 1963 he initiated the creation of the science fiction television series Doctor Who. The  series  has  been  described by the British Film Institute as having "created a phenomenon unlike any other British TV programme", and by The Times newspaper as "quintessential to being British". Newman had long been a science-fiction fan: "Up to the age of 40, I don't think there was a science-fiction book I hadn't read. I love them because they're a marvelous way—and a safe way, I might add—of saying nasty things about our own society."

Although much work on the genesis of the series was done by Donald Wilson, C. E. Webber and others, it was Newman who created the idea of a time machine larger on the inside than the out and the character of the mysterious "Doctor", both of which remain at the heart of the program.

 


 

 

 

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