Philip Hinchcliffe


Philip Hinchcliffe

Infobox Person


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occupation = Television producer
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Philip Hinchcliffe (born 1944) is a former British television producer, who is probably best known for the overseeing of British television series "Doctor Who" in the mid-1970s. He has worked extensively on productions since 1971, with "Alexander the Greatest" being his first major project as a script editor.

After an education at Slough Grammar School and Pembroke College, Cambridge, he joined the "Doctor Who" production team at the age of 29, trailing and then succeeding long-serving producer Barry Letts in 1974. Although he trailed Letts on Tom Baker's first story "Robot", he was first credited on "The Ark in Space". Throughout his first year he was mostly producing scripts that had been commissioned by the previous production team prior to their departure and it not until a year later that Hinchcliffe's full influence came to bear, with "Planet of Evil" in late 1975 — Tom Baker's second season in the title role of the Doctor.

Hinchcliffe, together with script editor Robert Holmes, ushered in a change in tone for the television series. The series became darker and more adult than previously, with a gothic atmosphere influenced by the horror films produced by Hammer Films. This is especially evident in serials like "Pyramids of Mars" and "The Talons of Weng-Chiang".

During Hinchcliffe's tenure the BBC received complaints from Mary Whitehouse, chairwoman of the National Viewers' and Listeners' Association, that the programme was unfit for children and could traumatise them. The NVLA had been critical of the series ever since the beginning of the 1970s, and the complaints reached their height in the Hinchcliffe-produced "The Deadly Assassin", where Chancellor Goth was seen to attempt to drown the Doctor by forcing his head into a swamp. While the BBC publicly defended the programme, after three seasons Hinchcliffe was moved onto the adult police thriller series "Target" in 1977, and his replacement Graham Williams was specifically instructed to lighten the tone of the storylines.

Hinchcliffe also wrote several novelisations of "Doctor Who" serials for Target Books, adapting "The Keys of Marinus", "The Seeds of Doom", and "The Masque of Mandragora".

After "Doctor Who" Hinchcliffe worked on numerous series, including "Target", "Private Schulz", "Friday on My Mind", "The Last Musketeer" and many others. He left the BBC and became a producer and executive producer for STV in Scotland.

His daughter, Celina Hinchcliffe, is a television presenter, who works on sporting events for the BBC.

In recent years, Hinchcliffe has made numerous appearances on DVD releases of "Doctor Who" serials made under his producership. His most notable appearance is in "Serial Thrillers", a documentary focusing on Hinchcliffe's three-year reign as producer in some depth, examining what made the show so successful during that period.

He now teaches Media at Brooklands College, Weybridge, Surrey.

External links

*imdb name|id=0385472|name=Philip Hinchcliffe
* [http://www.personal.leeds.ac.uk/~ecl6nb/OnTarget/authors/hinc/hinchcli.htm Biography of Philip Hinchcliffe at On Target]

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NAME = Hinchcliffe, Philip
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SHORT DESCRIPTION = Television producer
DATE OF BIRTH = 1944
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