Timothy Combe

Born: 17th October 1936 (as Timothy Harvey Christian Combe)
Episodes Broadcast: 1967, 1970-1971


Timothy Combe was born in Guildford, Surrey. After his National Service, he moved to the United States to work for the Pepperidge Farms bakery company. They facilitated Combe's enrollment at a university in Pennsylvania and, while there, he became involved with amateur dramatics. Deciding that this was where his future lay, Combe abandoned his studies to return to England, where he attended the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Arts. He intended to become an actor but, in 1962, BBC production assistant Julia Smith (later a Doctor Who director herself) encouraged him to apply for a temporary position with the Corporation as an assistant floor manager. The position became permanent and, in 1964, Combe was assigned to Doctor Who, working on The Keys Of Marinus.

Later that year, Combe was promoted to production assistant and was assigned to The Reign Of Terror. When its director, Henric Hirsch, became overwhelmed and fell ill, Combe assumed some of his duties. He married actress Angela Ellison in 1965; they would have five children. In 1967, Combe had another opportunity to acquire directorial experience on Doctor Who when he assisted Derek Martinus on film sequences for The Evil Of The Daleks.

Combe was held responsible for significant cost overruns on The Mind Of Evil

Combe then completed the BBC's directors' training course in 1968; he would be the last person appointed as a staff director with the Corporation. He worked on The Newcomers and Z Cars before returning to Doctor Who in this new capacity for The Silurians, Jon Pertwee's second serial as the Third Doctor. Unfortunately, Combe's second Doctor Who serial -- 1971's The Mind Of Evil, during which he made an uncredited appearance as a prisoner -- also proved to be his last. Combe was held responsible for significant cost overruns, which producer Barry Letts felt would preclude his further involvement with the programme.

Combe's other directorial work during the Seventies included episodes of The Doctors, Ballet Shoes and The Brothers, as well as a number of additional Z Cars installments. He also served as a producer on behalf of the BBC for Golden Soak, one of the Corporation's first co-productions with the Australian Broadcasting Commission. Combe's last directing credit came on Angels in 1979. Combe then became a producer with BBC Videograms, an early creator of direct-to-video content. One of his projects was to have chronicled the history of Doctor Who. Combe worked on the video with Terrance Dicks, who had been the programme's script editor during the Pertwee era, but nothing came of it. In 1981, he left the BBC to become an agent. Combe also taught at the Guildford School of Acting.

Dalek fight film sequence directed by
The Evil Of The Daleks
The Silurians
The Mind Of Evil

Updated 1st July 2020