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Hayes was initially reluctant to direct Doctor Who, which he thought of as "a children's show with dodgy effects". However, due to his friendship with head of serials Graeme MacDonald and thanks to the persuasion of producer Graham Williams, he agreed to do one, hoping it would never actually happen. He came to like the show, agreeing to do two more.
According to his reccolections recorded on the audio commentary for The Armageddon Factor, he only attended one meeting with the producers and writers, which seemed to him to go on forever. At one point he told the others to carry on with the meeting while he went off to the bar. Later, Douglas Adams gave him an autographed copy of one of his books that read "To Michael Hayes, a man who really knows where the bar is."
He was glad to find that his first Doctor Who story, the four part The Androids of Tara was mostly shot on location instead of on a soundstage made up to look like an alien planet. During the night shoot at Leeds Castle, Hayes' then 14 year old son helped out by navigating the little rowboat that K9 ends up in at the very end of the serial.
By contrast, according to his audio commentary, the six part The Armageddon Factor was the most tiresome and exhausting directing job he ever had. This was because it was filmed back to back with The Androids of Tara and he did not enjoy the constant filming on despressing, dimly lit studio sets.
For City of Death, Hayes travelled to Paris. In this story, he made a "Hitchcock" style cameo appearance as the shifty-looking passenger wearing a cloth cap and carrying a metal case seen exiting the train at the Metro station Boissère after the Doctor and Romana — as well as dubbing one of the lines where a gendarme tells the Fourth Doctor that the Mona Lisa has been stolen.[source needed]
- Internet Movie Database at the