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David Sullivan Proudfoot
Born 1935 - Died on 27 March 2002 (66)

Look in any film & television directory and you will find the name David Sullivan Proudfoot. An iconic figure to many, he directed countless episodes of popular television drama series for the BBC from the 1960s to the early 1980s. These included Z Cars, Softly, Softly, The Onedin Line & Blake's Seven. In the mid-sixties he directed a series that helped change the face of British television drama, Adam Adamant. At the time, many saw this to be the peak of his television career but, perhaps, this was overshadowed by the Doomwatch series in 1970.

“As well as being a talented director, David was an extremely funny man and to work on location with him was a laugh from start to finish. In the 60s, when he was affectionately known as "Prouders", I acted as his Production Secretary, doing film continuity, and remember one occasion when he was shooting a longshot of an actor playing the hero on a hillside some distance away, who kept asking how he should play a short scene - what his motivation was, etc. After many patient explanations which the actor failed to understand, David picked up a megaphone and shouted in a camp voice "Just butch it up, love!", resulting in the collapse of the entire unit. But the actor got it. No matter how bad the weather - whether blisteringly hot in August in Malta, to drenchingly wet and bitterly cold in March in North Wales - he would keep up everyone's spirits, ensuring that the filming was always successfully completed.

In private life, he was a wonderful companion, enjoying the company of fellow TV professionals and actors, to whom he was a staunch and supportive friend all his life. In the 1970s and 80s David suffered serious health problems, from alcoholism to cancer, beating them all and becoming a BBC executive before taking early retirement in 1986, going to live in Portland, Dorset, which was far healthier for him, and from which he made long phone calls to all his chums. He eventually succumbed to liver failure in March 2002 and is very sadly missed by all of us. Hence the "celebration" of his life being held to mark the first anniversary of his death on 24 March 2003, where memories will be shared of all the fun we had with him. Pity David can't be there, he would have loved it!”

by Maggie Allen

Doomwatch Filmography

The Logicians (1971) TV episode
The Battery People (1970) TV episode
The Devil's Sweets (1970) TV episode

Other Filmography

Blake's 7
Assassin (1981) TV episode
Stardrive (1981) TV episode
Traitor (1981) TV episode


You'll Never Walk Alone (1978) TV episode
Whatever Happened to Cardinal Wolsey? (1977) TV episode
Voice from the Past (1977) TV episode
When Did You Last See Your Father? (1977) TV episode
The Expert
Suspicious Death (1976) TV episode
Inheritance (1976) TV episode
Blood Line (1976) TV episode
The Thin Red Line (1975) TV episode
Tango Briefing (1975) TV episode
Oil Strike North
The Floating Bomb (1975) TV episode
The Decision (1975) TV episode
The Venturers (1975) TV series
(unknown episodes)
Fall of Eagles (1974) TV mini-series
(unknown episodes)

The Onedin Line
Ice and Fire (1973) TV episode
Black Gold (1973) TV episode
Amazon Cargo (1973) TV episode
The Stranger (1973) TV episode

Warship (1973) TV series
(unknown episodes)
Deliver Us from Evil (1973) TV episode
Nine Bean Rows (1970) TV episode
Softly Softly
... aka "Softly, Softly: Task Force" (UK title)
Ground Level (1971) TV episode
Codename (1970) TV series
(unknown episodes)
The Jazz Age
Nine Bean Rows (1968) TV episode
Nine Bean Rows (1968) (TV)
The First Lady
You Too Can Change the World (1968) TV episode
A Time of Fear (1968) TV episode
Vacancy (1968) TV episode
King of Furness (1968) TV episode
The Noble Tradition (1968) TV episode
A Man and His Mother-In-Law (1968) TV episode
The Revenue Men
Better Dead Than Alive (1967) TV episode
The Troubleshooters
... aka "Mogul" (USA)
Long Knives Cut Deep (1967) TV episode
Nothing to Do with Mogul (1967) TV episode
We're Not One of Us Perfect (1967) TV episode
Safety Man (1965) TV episode
Adam Adamant Lives! (1 episode, 1966)
A Vintage Year for Scoundrels (1966) TV episode

The Spies
I Don't Even Volunteer (1966) TV episode
Go Ahead, I Only Live Here (1966) TV episode
The Mask of Janus
Why Not Call Me Kruschev? (1965) TV episode
The Devil You Know (1965) TV episode
And the Fish Are Biting (1965) TV episode


Codename: Portcullis (1969) (TV) (producer)
The Spies" (producer) (15 episodes, 1966)
I Don't Even Volunteer (1966) TV episode
If I Can't Win, I Don't Pay (1966) TV episode
There's Only One End for Traitors (1966) TV episode
Don't Go Away, This'll Kill You (1966) TV episode
The Trouble with Aristotle (1966) TV episode
(10 more)


Codename (1970) TV series
(unknown episodes)

David Sullivan Proudfoot Director
Doomwatch -The Logicians

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