Verity Lambert (1983)

A short interview with Verity Lambert, shown on ‘Nationwide’ as part of the celebrations for hte 20th anniversary back in 1983.

Q: Verity Lambert was the first producer of ‘Doctor Who’ at 27. Did you ever dream that you were in on the creation of an institution?

A: No. It was commissioned to run for a year.

Q: What did you initially see the series being?

A: Well it was a series that was designed to appeal to eight to fourteen year-olds, which of course it didn’t, it appealed to everyone, which is wonderful. And the only way I could judge that, because I didn’t have any children, was to say well if it pleases me, hopefully it will please them.

Q: Looking back, what do you think is the magic ingredient that gives it universal appeal? I mean, thirty-eight countries watch it…

A: Well I think it’s the thing of being fantastical, really, never quite conforming to what you expect, and changing every four to six weeks a serial, so you change completely a locale.

Q: There’s a difference, though, between something that the audience can believe, and something that’s a bit of a send-up. The TARDIS, for instance, a spaceship that’s in the shape of a phonebox…

A: Well there’s a story behind that, because in fact it was supposed to change shape and blend in with its surrounding wherever, and of course it was found in England. But we couldn’t afford to keep changing it, so we stuck the mechanism and it remained a phonebox.

Q: In the end, they’re moral tales, aren’t they?

A: Yes, good and evil are very well defined and I think people like that.

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