In 2012, 2 years after I designed the first series of Doctor Who featuring Matt Smith I was asked to design a new series called Broadchurch starring David Tennent and Olivia Colman, it was hard to make, emotional and I was completely involved with all the characters. It was a huge hit, we didn’t know it would be, but I had also said that I would do three series, the trilogy that Chris Chibnall had in his head.
In the meantime, I had been making what I would call my social conscience drama. Things like, Silk, Law and Order and Code of a Killer. These dramas deal with controversial things like gang rape, racism, misogyny, false arrest and miscarriages of justice, they deal with human things and reflect the society we live in. I love that.
I also kept my hand in with Wizards Vs Aliens, so a little bit of fantasy with green screen and adventurous characters and then returning to do the 10th series of Doctor Who with Peter. I loved every minute of that series and intended to go back and make another series. Straight after the Who Festival I started designing Apple Tree Yard which was another one of my social conscience pieces but this one was based on a best selling novel, I loved it and I felt like I had the best of both worlds.
Then we realised that the dates for Doctor Who and the final instalment of Broadchurch were going to collide. I had to make a big decision and that decision wasn’t the obvious one. I had to go back to 2012 and remember the vow I made to see the Broadchurch trilogy through and the decision was made with integrity, I had to see it through to the end especially knowing the subject matter of Broadchurch 3. I had to say goodbye to Who.
There are some huge differences in the design styles of my work. Ranging from the period and futuristic and fantasy that Who brings to the stylish Silk and the emotional use of colour through Broadchurch. They all come from me. I miss each of these styles when I’m not working with them. My work ethic is not led by ambition. I don’t work on films, I work on television series which are generally made very quickly with small budgets. The thing that stirs me is being sent a script that means something, that thrills me, that pricks my conscience and makes me think I would like to tell that story. The writing is everything.
So for personal reasons I have made drama dealing with many different social stories and now I am lucky to be on a roll with the subjects I cover in drama. I think they are important. I’m passionate about equality through race and gender and my work in 2017 will reflect that. When it’s appropriate I will say what the drama I’m designing next, after Liar. I’m looking forward to it.
This industry is always secretive, but I will say as soon as the agreement is sorted, all I can say for now is that I’m very excited about it……..watch this space.