Verity Lambert

Hello, kittens.

I’m back!

Before we get to today’s name, I just have to ask: did anyone else notice that the BoFN boys’ posting schedule went completely off the rails when I wasn’t around last week?!? Arto and Rob were clearly so devastated by my absence from the blogsphere that they just couldn’t bring themselves to write anything at all* Good for a girl’s ego, maybe; not so good for when she needs reading material at the airport.

Verity Lambert

I’d smile like that too, if I was a producer on one of the greatest television shows ever produced in the history of television shows.

But today we’re back to our regularly scheduled programming and talking about (appropriately enough) funny names in television. Specifically, a very funny named individual who was responsible for the development of one of my very favourite television series ever in the entire history of television. Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce you to Verity Lambert.

In my original notes for this post, I had written: Produced the original Doctor Who in the 60s. Legend at the BBC and in the broadcasting world in general. My hero.

I’m not just calling her that because she gave me one of my most meaningful relationships with one of my favourite fictional characters, either. Verity broke barriers for women in television and created truly innovative, exceptional material while working under conditions that I can’t even begin to imagine. Do me a favour? The next time I complain about how stressed out I get at my office job where I sit at a computer all day, remind me of Verity’s first job in television, as a production assistant in 1958, when an actor died during a live broadcast of “Armchair Theatre”. Died, you guys. Here I am complaining when my inbox goes over its storage limit, and 23 year old Verity is stepping in to direct a live, nation-wide television show because her boss is busy dealing with a dead body.

Most people would be forgiven for coming away from an incident like that wanting a change in profession; instead, Verity decided to change her entire industry. At age 28 she became the first female producer in the BBC’s prestigious drama department, and the youngest producer the network had ever had. She was recruited for the position by the Canadian(!) head of the department, Sydney Newman, who was her boss back during The Armchair Incident. When he was told his idea for a new BBC show would be “impossible to film”, he called Verity. My showbiz sources tell me this is exactly how their conversation went, and it must be true, because this is how it played out on my television, last Saturday:

Together,with director Waris Hussain, (who got the job because he was the most junior director at the BBC, and the only one who couldn’t say no),

My Doctors, saving the world and looking scruffy. No, I'm not getting over this any time soon, why do you ask?

My Doctors, saving the world and looking scruffy. No, I’m not getting over this any time soon, why do you ask?

no budget, and the crappiest, oldest studio on the BBC lot, Verity created “Doctor Who”. Last Saturday marked the show’s 50th anniversary. The episode aired in 94 countries on 6 continents, and broke the Guinness World Record for most simulcasts ever.

I personally think the show needs to run for at least 50 more years, because, as I’ve stated before on my home blog, it’s thoughtful and philosophical and touching and funny, and asks viewers to ponder timeless questions about free will and destiny and what it means to be human and what it means to love. Also, sometimes there are dinosaurs. On spaceships. I don’t think Rob will mind when I close this post by stealing his line:

You go, Verity!

love amb

 

 

 

You know that’s not what happened and I know that’s not what happened … but I’m here back at work and wishing I was still on vacation, so let’s just pretend that’s what happened, ok? Thanks, kittens.

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About amb

Would rather spend time in TV land than Corporate World. Writes at wordsbecomesuperfluous.com and wishes she was more like Ingrid Bergman.
This entry was posted in funny names in tv and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to Verity Lambert

  1. Bonnie says:

    This…

    “…it’s thoughtful and philosophical and touching and funny, and asks viewers to ponder timeless questions about free will and destiny and what it means to be human and what it means to love. …” totally gets me. One of these days…I’m gonna watch. You have me at ‘what it means to be human’.

    • amb says:

      Aww, Bon!! Thank you!! I’m so glad you liked it. I think you’d enjoy the show, although I don’t know if I’d recommend starting all the way back at the beginning. Liz gets a kick out of the episodes from the 60s, but me, I started in the 2000s. You know, with the boys. The scruffy ones. 😉

      PS: Thanks for stopping by even though I *still* haven’t responded to your message and answered your question. The short answer is – yes. you’re brilliant. I love you to bits. The long answer has oh so many more words than that, of course. We’ll talk soon!

  2. wdydfae says:

    I’ve only seen snippets, but I know how you and a few others I know rave about it, so somewhere down the road. This post was truly edgeuhkeshanul!

    • amb says:

      I think you’d like this one, it’s quirky and “non-Hollywood” enough to suit you. Definitely isn’t afraid to try different things (see the above-mentioned dinosaurs on a spaceship 😉 )

  3. Liz says:

    didn’t know the beginnings and had no idea there was a woman behind it. You go, Verity, indeed!

    Here’s what I’ll say about the early episodes: I got through ’em because I said I would. But most of the time I didn’t have a clue what was happening and who was doing what and why. (though the safe bet is that Dr. Who was trying to save the world and more often than not from aliens) It was tough in part because netflix didn’t offer every single episode, so there was plenty I missed. But I said I was going to do it, so I did it gol dern’ it. (there I go, speaking French–just like Arto 🙂 )

    Am only five or so episodes into the contemporary and it’s still early days, but has yet to grab me like it’s grabbed you. Will that happen when Matt or that other scruffy Dr. you pictured arrives?

    At least I finally know what a tardis is. Though, I’ve seen the Dr. carrying around that sonic screwdriver and still don’t know what it is. ?? To me, a SS is a cocktail waiting to be invented 😀

    Excellent post, amb. Can tell you’re a professional!

    • amb says:

      I didn’t either – only learned it when I watched that tv movie on Saturday night! Isn’t that just the coolest?!?

      Totally hear you on the early episodes. I’ve never managed to sit through a single one from start to finish, so my hat’s off to you for even making the attempt! You’re a better woman than I 😉

      My two scruffy Doctors don’t arrive on the scene until … the 2006 or 2007 seasons, I believe? I was late to the party and only started watching when Eleven, aka Matt Smith, aka my most beloved of all the Doctors, showed up. Had read all sorts of media buzz about how he was the youngest actor to ever play the part and was curious. Then of course he hooked me with that whole tall, funny, terrifying British thing.

      A sonic screwdriver is like … a magic wand. But science-y. LOL. I’m not up on my Who cannon and don’t know the details, but if any readers do, please chime in!

      So glad you liked the post – thanks much for the lovely compliment! And you’re just as awesome as Bonnie, showing up to comment when I haven’t been around and owe you a message (or two). Hope things are well on your end. We will catch up soon!

      • Liz says:

        why yes, yes I am just as awesome as Bonnie 🙂 (just trying on my rodomontade, lol)

        you owe me a message? trust me, I don’t know which end is up right now. Write when you can and I’ll do the same. Figure you’re still paddling–despite the California glow you still sport–and apparently it pays off what with the award and all, so do what you gotta do 🙂 I’m always here for cocktails and cupcakes.

        • amb says:

          I love it when my Wednesday words show up here! Oh, well done Liz 😀
          Home now after staying late at the office and staying out recovering with Deb and wine and chocolate. Cupcakes (and you!) would have made the night top notch! Thanks as always for continuing to be my virtual life preserver while I paddle around here. Happy Thanksgiving 🙂

  4. ksbeth says:

    yes, the show must go on, corpses be damned

    • amb says:

      Right ?!?! Can’t you just hear Verity muttering that to herself as she’s trying to man the cameras ?!? I LOVE HER SO MUCH I CAN’T EVEN.

  5. Dave says:

    As someone who likes to watch shows from beginning to end, Dr. Who is terrifying to me. 700 episodes is like a full year of TV watching. That’s quite the commitment.

    I agree… everyone went off the rails when you were gone. You’re neglecting to mention Mark, who had to cancel his post as well, which is why I wrote Pepper Roach on Tuesday. I was just so excited by the fact that you were closer to me that I managed to step in and keep things afloat.

    “You go, Blanky Blankenship” is my favorite way of summing up posts that I can’t figure out how to end.

    It’s good to have you back, Amb!

    • amb says:

      Agreed. I don’t think Doctor Who would be good for you – knowing your completist/competitive nature, you’d probably take it as a personal challenge to watch the entire series, and then your family would never see you again. Please. I already get into enough trouble with Rob as it is!

  6. wdydfae says:

    Amb, did you know you can rearrange the letters of Verity Lambert and spell your name? Well, OK, almost spell your name.

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