TARDIS Index File

Tony Virgo

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Tony Virgo directed The King's Demons, which was his first directorial assignment for the British Broadcasting Corporation. Immediately prior to his involvement on Doctor Who, he had been a production assistant (with duties now more consonant with those of a 1st assistant director) on various BBC productions and had just finished the BBC's directorial course. Aside from Geoffrey Sax, he is the only director, as of 2010, to have given a solo commentary on a Doctor Who DVD release. He claimed to have received inspiration for the jousting sequences in Demons from Douglas Camfield, with whom he worked on Blake's 7. (BBC DVD: The King's Demons)

His career in directing continued throughout the 1980s. Just after Demons — though released before it — he notably worked on Angels, after it had switched format to become a twice-weekly soap opera. This experience put him into direct contact with Hartnell-era director Julia Smith, who then produced Angels. The meeting was fortuitous as it led to work on Smith's co-creation, EastEnders. Around this time he also directed episodes of The Bill. His directorial efforts ended after he helmed most of the penultimate (and Peter Davison-less) series of All Creatures Great and Small During this stint, he directed several Johnny Byrne-penned scripts, and Ray Holman was once his costume designer. Beginning in about 1987, he moved into producing, in which capacity he returned to EastEnders and The Bill.

Though he produced many other shows in the 1990s, by far his longest stint was on the series Peak Practice, on which he was the programme's producer throughout its run from 1993 to 2002. In that role, he variously employed Doctor Who actors such as Sarah Parish, Clive Swift, Georgia Moffett, Elizabeth Sladen, Lucy Cohu, and Dean Lennox Kelly, and also gave director Jonny Campbell one of his first jobs.

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