Home Directors Sydney Newman

Sydney Newman

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B: April 1 1917 in Toronto, Ontario
D: October 30, 1997 in Toronto, Ontario

Born Sydney Cecil Nudelman, Sydney Newman was the son of a Jewish Russian immigrant father who ran a shoe shop in Toronto. He dropped out of school at thirteen but later enrolled at Central Tech ( Central Technical School), studying commercial and fine arts. He began his career as a film editor at the National Film Board of Canada. During the Second World War, he was promoted to film producer, working on documentaries. In this role he oversaw acclaimed features such as Fighting Norway and Banshees Over Canada, along with various other wartime propaganda pieces. In 1952 he moved to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). He moved to Britain in 1958, working first with the Associated British Corporation (ABC) then moving to the BBC in 1962 as Head of Drama. It was during this time that he cemented his stature as a brilliant program creator, responsible for two hugely popular fantasy series, The Avengers (for ABC) and Doctor Who (for BBC), as well as overseeing the production of groundbreaking social realist drama series such as Armchair Theatre and The Wednesday Play. Much like The Avengers and Dr. Who, although he was the creator of these programs, as far as we can tell he never produced or wrote any of the scripts for these programs. Sadly, on both the original Dr. Who series (1963-1989) and the reboot (2005-2017) there was no credit for him as creator. The website of the Museum of Broadcast Communications describes Newman as “the most significant agent in the development of British television drama.”

Many of his drama productions were broadcast as part of a named series, for example General Motors Theatre, First Performance or Armchair Theatre. We list those productions as TV movies, and credit the originating program following the year of broadcast. We list Sidney Newman’s credits as a Producer first.

Features & TV Movies:
VR indicates Direct-to-Video Release

Banshees Over Canada (1943, documentary, short)
Trans-Canada Express (1944, documentary, short)
Fighting Sea-Fleas (1944, documentary, short)
Suffer Little Children (1945, documentary, short)
The New North (1946, documentary, short)
Ski Skill (1946, documentary, short)
Montreal by Night (1947, documentary, short)
Johnny at the Fair (1947, documentary, short)
Careers and Cradles (1947, documentary, short)
Canada Dances (1947, documentary, short)
Science in Bloom (1948, documentary, short)
Pay-off in Pain (1948, documentary, short)
It’s Fun to Sing (1948, documentary, short)
A Capital Plan (1949, documentary, short)
Summer Is for Kids (1949, documentary, short)
Red Runs the Fraser (1949, documentary, short)
Passport to Canada (1949, documentary, short)
Choral Concert (1949, documentary, short)

Talent Showcase (1951, documentary, short)
Sing with the Commodores No. 1 (1951, documentary, short)
Sing with the Commodores No. 2 (1951, documentary, short)
Sing with the Commodores No. 3 (1951, documentary, short)
Screaming Jets (1951, documentary, short)
Royal Canadian Army Cadets (1951, documentary, short)
Music Master (1951, documentary, short)
Gangway for Navy (1951, documentary, short)
Eye Witness No. 30 (Executive Producer, 1951, documentary, short)
Eye Witness No. 33 (1951, documentary, short)
Chansons créoles (1951, documentary, short)
Cadet Holiday (1951, documentary, short)
After Prison What? (1951, documentary, short)
The Man in the Peace Tower (1952, documentary, short)
Wits End (1952, documentary, short)
Eye Witness No. 39 (Executive Producer, 1952, documentary, short)
Yoho: Wonder Valley (1953, documentary, short)
Alfie’s Tulip (Production Supervisor, TV-1953, Ford Theatre Playbill)
Suspicion (Production Supervisor, TV-1953, Ford Theatre Playbill)
Turn of the Road (Supervising Producer, TV-1954, Ford Theatre Playbill)
Sweet Larceny (Supervising Producer, TV-1954, Ford Theatre Playbill)
Tobacco Farm (Supervising Producer, TV-1954, Ford Theatre Playbill)
The Bottle Imp (Supervising Producer, TV-1954, On Camera)
Edwina Black (Supervising Producer, TV-1956, Folio)
Broadway Story ((Supervising Producer, TV-1955, On Camera)
The Sand Castle (Supervising Producer, TV-1955, General Motors Theatre)
Forever Galatea (Supervising Producer, TV-1955, General Motors Theatre)
The Sponger (Supervising Producer, TV-1956, General Motors Theatre)
Flight Into Danger (Supervising Producer, TV-1956, General Motors Theatre)
Shadow of Suspicion (Supervising Producer, TV-1956, General Motors Theatre)
Distinguished Gathering (Supervising Producer, TV-1956, General Motors Theatre)
Queen of Spades (Supervising Producer, TV-1956, General Motors Theatre)
The Owner (Supervising Producer, TV-1956, On Camera)

Aunt Mary (Supervising Producer, TV-1956, On Camera)

They Shot an Arrow (Supervising Producer, TV-1956, On Camera)

Stagecoach Bride (Supervising Producer, TV-1956, On Camera)

The Idealist (Supervising Producer, TV-1956, On Camera)

Some Are So Lucky (Supervising Producer, TV-1956, On Camera)

Enchanted Nightmare (Supervising Producer, TV-1956, On Camera)

The Return of Don Juan (Executive Producer, TV-1957, General Motors Theatre)
The Acrobats (Supervising Producer, TV-1957, General Motors Theatre)
Whiteoaks (Executive Producer, TV-1957, General Motors Theatre)
Black Chiffon (Supervising Producer, TV-1957, General Motors Theatre)
Passport to Yesterday (Supervising Producer, TV-1957, General Motors Theatre)
Course For Collision (Supervising Producer, TV-1957, General Motors Theatre)
Lady’s Choice (Supervising Producer, TV-1957, General Motors Theatre)
The Plastic Item (Supervising Producer, TV-1957, General Motors Theatre)
99 Times Around the Block (Supervising Producer, TV-1957, General Motors Theatre)
Night of the Plague (Supervising Producer, TV-1957, General Motors Theatre)
Birthday Party (Supervising Producer, TV-1957, General Motors Theatre)
Brass Tacks (Supervising Producer, TV-1957, On Camera)

Reunion (Supervising Producer, TV-1957, On Camera)

Street Music (Supervising Producer, TV-1957, On Camera)

The Witness (Supervising Producer, TV-1957, On Camera)

Big League Goalie (Supervising Producer, TV-1957, On Camera)

A Godmother for Amy (Supervising Producer, TV-1957, On Camera)

Just Try It (Supervising Producer, TV-1957, On Camera)

The Telephone Rings for Bertha Schrumm (Supervising Producer, TV-1957, On Camera)

Time Exposure (Supervising Producer, TV-1957, On Camera)

A Trip for Mrs. Taylor (Supervising Producer, TV-1957, On Camera)

Double Exit (Supervising Producer, TV-1957, On Camera)

Romantic Interlude (Supervising Producer, TV-1957, On Camera)

A Woman’s Point of View (Supervising Producer, TV-1957, On Camera)

Black Cats Are Good Cats (Supervising Producer, TV-1957, On Camera)

The Stowaway (Supervising Producer, TV-1957, On Camera)

Mama’s Sidewalk Cafe (Supervising Producer, TV-1957, On Camera)

Countess Keller (Supervising Producer, TV-1957, On Camera)

The Swamp (Supervising Producer, TV-1957, On Camera)

A Lesson in Psychology (Supervising Producer, TV-1957, On Camera)

Wait for Me (Supervising Producer, TV-1957, On Camera)

The Egghead Approach (Supervising Producer, TV-1957, On Camera)

Seeds of Power (Supervising Producer, TV-1957, First Performance)
Ice on Fore (Supervising Producer, TV-1957, First Performance)
Janey Canuck (Supervising Producer, TV-1957, First Performance)
The Widower (TV-1958, Armchair Theatre)
The House of Bernarda Alba (TV-1958, Armchair Theatre)

Murder in Slow Motion (TV-1958, Armchair Theatre)
I Can Destroy the Sun (TV-1958, Armchair Theatre)
Time of Your Life (TV-1958, Armchair Theatre)
The Terrorist (TV-1958, Armchair Theatre)
The Greatest Man in the World (TV-1958, Armchair Theatre)
Underground (TV-1958, Armchair Theatre)
The Report on Jessie Dean (TV-1958, Armchair Theatre)
Dangerous World (TV-1958, Armchair Theatre)
The Criminals (TV-1958, Armchair Theatre)
he Break (TV-1959, Armchair Theatre)
Soundings (TV-1959, Armchair Theatre)

Hot Summer Night (TV-1959, Armchair Theatre)
The Fabulous Money Maker (TV-1959, Armchair Theatre)
No Gun, No Guilt (TV-1959, Armchair Theatre)
Strange Meeting (TV-1959, Armchair Theatre)
The Trouble with Benny (TV-1959, Armchair Theatre)
Hand in Glove (TV-1959, Armchair Theatre)
Till Death Do Us Part (TV-1959, Armchair Theatre)
The Big Client (TV-1959, Armchair Theatre)
The Girl on the Beach (TV-1959, Armchair Theatre)
Wedding Day (TV-1959, Armchair Theatre)
My Guess Would Be Murder (TV-1959, Armchair Theatre)
The Devil’s Instrument (TV-1959, Armchair Theatre)
The Model Marriage (TV-1959, Armchair Theatre)
Lysette (TV-1959, Armchair Theatre)
Black Laughter/Double Exit (TV-1959, Armchair Theatre)
The Scent of Fear (TV-1959, Armchair Theatre)

After the Show (TV-1959, Armchair Theatre)
Worm in the Bud (TV-1959, Armchair Theatre)
Light from a Star (TV-1959, Armchair Theatre)
No Trams to Lime Street (TV-1959, Armchair Theatre)
A Trick of the Sun (TV-1959, Armchair Theatre)
Small Fish Are Sweet (TV-1959, Armchair Theatre)

The Last of the Brave (TV-1959, Armchair Theatre)
Dr Kabil (TV-1959, Armchair Theatre)

Roast Goose and Walnut Stuffing (TV-1959, Armchair Theatre)
The Golden Horn (TV-1959, Armchair Theatre)
A Phone Call for Matthew Quade (TV-1959, Armchair Theatre)
Three on a Gas Ring (TV-1959, Armchair Theatre)


Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime (TV-1960, Armchair Theatre)

Where I Live (TV-1960, Armchair Theatre)

Fifth Floor People (TV-1960, Armchair Theatre)
Cold Fury (TV-1960, Armchair Theatre)

Night Panic (TV-1960, Armchair Theatre)
Guardian Angel (TV-1960, Armchair Theatre)
Pink String and Sealing Wax (TV-1960, Armchair Theatre)
China Doll (TV-1960, Armchair Theatre)
Some Talk of Alexander (TV-1960, Armchair Theatre)
The Girl in the Market Square (TV-1960, Armchair Theatre)
Roman Gesture (TV-1960, Armchair Theatre
After the Funeral (TV-1960, Armchair Theatre)
Hold My Hand, Soldier (TV-1960, Armchair Theatre)
A Night Out (TV-1960, Armchair Theatre)
The Innocent (TV-1960, Armchair Theatre)
Nest of Four (TV-1960, Armchair Theatre)
On the Spot (TV-1960, Armchair Theatre)
A Heart and a Diamond (TV-1960, Armchair Theatre)
Lena, O My Lena (TV-1960, Armchair Theatre)
I’ll Have You to Remember (TV-1960, Armchair Theatre)
The Cake Baker (TV-1960, Armchair Theatre)
Mr Nobody (TV-1960, Armchair Theatre)
Clip Joint People (TV-1960, Armchair Theatre)
Rain (TV-1960, Armchair Theatre

I’ll Have You to Remember (TV-1961)
Till the Day I Die (TV-1961, Armchair Theatre)
The Picture of Dorian Gray (TV-1961, Armchair Theatre)
Honeymoon Postponed (TV-1961, Armchair Theatre)
A Head Full of Crocodiles (TV-1961, Armchair Theatre)
The Money Makers TV-(1961, Armchair Theatre)
Tune on an Apron-String (TV-1961, Armchair Theatre)
The Man Out There (TV-1961, Armchair Theatre)
The Conscientious Gauger (TV-1961, Armchair Theatre)
Danger! Men Working (TV-1961, Armchair Theatre)
Man on a Mountain Top (TV-1961, Armchair Theatre)
The Ship That Couldn’t Stop (TV-1961, Armchair Theatre)
The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz (Executive Producer, TV-1961, Armchair Theatre)
The Omega Mystery (TV-1961, Armchair Theatre)

Looking for Frankie (TV-1961, Armchair Theatre)
The Rose Affair (TV-1961, Armchair Theatre)
The Trouble with Our Ivy (TV-1961, Armchair Theatre)
Murder Club (TV-1961, Armchair Theatre)
The Rank and File (TV-1961, Armchair Theatre)
The Full Chatter (TV-1962)
Night Conspirators (TV-1962, Armchair Theatre)
Girl in a Bird Cage (TV-1962, Armchair Theatre)
Night Stop (TV-1962, Armchair Theatre)
The Irish Boys (TV-1962, Armchair Theatre)
Dumb Martian (TV-1962, Armchair Theatre)
The Hard Knock (TV-1962, Armchair Theatre)
North City Traffic Straight Ahead (TV-1962, Armchair Theatre)
The Fishing Match (TV-1962, Armchair Theatre)

Nothing to Pay (TV-1962, Armchair Theatre)
The Sin Shifter (TV-1962, Armchair Theatre)
Afternoon of a Nymph (TV-1962, Armchair Theatre)
Dead Letter (TV-1962, Armchair Theatre)
Always Something Hot (TV-1962, Armchair Theatre)
Thank You and Goodnight (TV-1962, Armchair Theatre)
The Big Ride (TV-1962, Armchair Theatre)
Joker (TV-1962, Armchair Theatre)
Hear the Tiger See the Bay (TV-1962, Armchair Theatre)
Hold My Hand, Soldier (TV-1963)
Workshop Limits (TV-1963)
Blue and White (TV-1963, Armchair Theatre)

The Push Over (TV-1963, Armchair Theatre)

The Trial of Dr. Fancy (TV-1964, Armchair Theatre)
Tea Party (TV-1965)

Utilities (Associate Producer, 1983)

TV Series:
Space Command (Supervising Producer, 1953-1954)
Counter Attack (1960, 7 episodes)
Target Luna (1960, 6 episodes)
Inside Story (1960, 13 episodes)
Pathfinders in Space (1960, 7 episodes)
Pathfinders to Mars (1960-1961, 6 episodes)
Pathfinders to Venus (1961, 8 episodes)

Credits as a Screenwriter:
Fighting Sea-Fleas (1944, documentary, short)
Ski Skill (1946, documentary, short)

Credits as a Director:
Fighting Norway (1943, documentary, short)
Train Busters (1944, documentary, short)
Flight 6 (1944, short)
Fighting Sea-Fleas (1944, documentary, short)
Suffer Little Children (1945, documentary, short)
8 (1949, short)

Talent Showcase (1951, short)