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David Tomblin, OBE was a film and television producer, assistant director, and director.

As a producer, he was best known for The Prisoner TV series. As a first assistant director, he worked on a number of high-profile films, including the Star Wars and Indiana Jones series and the 1978 Superman, and with commercially and critically successful directors including Richard Attenborough, Steven Spielberg and Sydney Pollack. As a director, he was best known for work on Gerry Anderson's productions, including Space: 1999.

Early life and career[]

Tomblin was born in Borehamwood, Hertfordshire, England. He began working in film as a runner at the age of 14. He worked on numerous productions, and (with an interruption for National Service in the Royal Marines), became a First Assistant Director in 1954. As well as films, he worked on a number of British-made TV series, including William Tell, One Step Beyond, The Count of Monte Cristo, The Adventures of the Scarlet Pimpernel, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Presents and The Invisible Man.

McGoohan and Anderson[]

After working with Patrick McGoohan on Danger Man, McGoohan and Tomblin decided to set up a company to make their own series, The Prisoner, with story editor George Markstein. Tomblin was producer of the series, and wrote and directed several episodes.

Tomblin worked as a director on Gerry Anderson's live-action productions UFO, The Protectors and Space: 1999.

Lucasfilm, Superman and Gandhi[]

Having worked on The Return of a Man Called Horse, directed by Irvin Kershner, when the production unit filmed for a few days in England, Tomblin was invited by Kershner to be first assistant director on The Empire Strikes Back. He subsequently worked as first assistant director for Lucasfilm on Return of the Jedi and the first three Indiana Jones films Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. During production of Return of the Jedi, Tomblin directed Return of the Ewok, a short, never-finished film about Warwick Davis who played the Ewok Wicket W. Warrick. Tomblin later worked with Kershner again when Kershner directed 1983's Never Say Never Again, and with Spielberg on Empire of the Sun.

Tomblin often maintained multi-film working relationships with directors. He worked with Richard Donner on The Omen, Superman and those parts of Superman II directed by Donner. With Richard Attenborough, Tomblin worked on Attenborough's major multinational productions A Bridge Too Far, Gandhi, Cry Freedom and Chaplin. For Gandhi, Tomblin supervised the reconstruction of Gandhi's funeral in Delhi, to which the general public were invited, involving the direction of 250,000 extras. With Sydney Pollack, Tomblin worked on Out of Africa and Havana.


Tomblin was awarded OBE in the 1994 Birthday Honours.

He was presented with BAFTA's Michael Balcon Award (now known as The Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema Award) in 2003. With Richard Attenborough, he was named as a winner of the 1982 DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film for Gandhi.

Personal life[]

Tomblin had four children, including Lisa Tomblin, a film make-up department chief hairdresser, and Jane Tomblin, a production designer.[1]

Episodes directed by David Tomblin[]

Force of Life, Another Time, Another Place, The Testament of Arkadia, The Infernal Machine[2]