DAVID TOMBLIN 1931-2005
David Tomblin, widely regarded as the finest 1st Assistant Director in the World, and co-creator, Producer, Director, and writer of "The Prisoner" died on August 4th 2005. He was 74.
Born accross the road from Borehamwood Studios in 1931, Tomblin would enter the film business at the age of 14 before National Service saw him take a break for a stint in the marines. He returned to the industry in 1952, later taking up a post as 1st Assistant Director to Stanley Kubrick.
In the late 1950s he would move into television, working on series such as "The Invisible Man", and "One Step Beyond". In 1959 he would join the crew of the ITC series "Danger Man", and it was here that he would meet Patrick McGoohan for the first time. He later recalled: "I met Patrick McGoohan on Danger Man when we did the first half-hour series, and we got on very well, struck up a good relationship".
Shortly after, McGoohan and Tomblin would create "Everyman Films Limited", under whose banner "The Prisoner" would later be made. Tomblin co-created "The Prisoner", working on ideas formulated by McGoohan and story-editor George Markstein (with whom Tomblin would co-write the opening episode, "Arrival"). Tomblin was credited as Producer on all 17 "Prisoner" episodes, and also Directed and co-wrote two more ("Living in Harmony" and "Girl Who Was Death", as well as Directing all of the March 1967 Portmeirion location shoot). It is not doubted that without David Tomblin, "The Prisoner" would have looked very different, and possibly would not have been made at all.
He continued in TV after "The Prisoner", Directing several episodes of the Gerry Anderson series' "UFO", "Space 1999", and "The Protectors". However, it was to be in his role as 1st Assistant Director in blockbuster films that he was to make his name. His credit list is endless, and when interviewed about this list for the Channel 4 Documentary "Six Into One: The Prisoner File" in 1984, he recalled: "I have just worked on a George Lucas film called 'Return Of The Jedi' and, to get permission to work in the States, I had to write down every film that I had been on. I got to 478 and then decided that was probably enough to convince them that I had a reasonable amount of experience."
Some of the best-known films on which he worked were "Ghandi", "Out of Africa", "Superman", "A Bridge Too Far", all 3 "Indiana Jones" films, "Return of the Jedi", "Never Say Never Again", "Cry Freedom", "Chaplin", "Star Wars: The Phantom Menace", and "Braveheart" (a post which would re-unite him with Patrick McGoohan).
In 2003, David was awarded a BAFTA for outstanding contribution to film, and he was working right up until his death, after a short illness, on the film "Beyond the Horizon". The Unmutual Website would like to offer its sincere condolences to the family, friends, and many colleagues of a true legend of the industry, and an individual whose contribution to "The Prisoner" is almost unrivalled. Rest In Peace.
News Announced 27/9/2005, Archived 26/12/2005