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Michael Pickwoad (11 July 1945-27 August 2018[1]) was a production designer for Doctor Who from the 2010 Christmas Special A Christmas Carol to the 2017 Christmas Special Twice Upon a Time. He was also a production designer for Class.

He was the son of Doctor Who guest actor William Mervyn. (CON: Christmas Special 2010)

He discussed his Doctor Who work on the 138th edition of Big Finish Productions' charity podcast series Toby Hadoke's Who's Round.

Career history[]

Pickwoad's career began in the early 1970s and he has worked steadily since — first as an art director and beginning in 1986, as a production designer. One of his very earliest jobs as the full production designer was Withnail and I, the film which was crucial to the careers of both Richard E Grant and Paul McGann. He designed another Grant vehicle, How to Get Ahead in Advertising, which also starred Richard Wilson.

By the early 1990s he had begun to head the art departments of ongoing television programmes, such as when he designed the initial series of the Dawn French mystery-comedy Murder Most Horrid, which was co-written by Steven Moffat and a substantial number of episodes for the John Thaw legal drama Kavanagh QC.

In the early 2000s, he designed a few episodes of Agatha Christie's Poirot, including one which featured Paul McGann and Geoffrey Beevers, alongside David Suchet. In 2007, he lent his talents to the Derek Jacobi/Toby Jones version of Dickens' The Old Curiosity Shop. That same year, he also got his first BAFTA nomination for the highly-acclaimed film Longford starring Jim Broadbent and Lindsay Duncan.

More recently, he was responsible for the first episode of Lost in Austen, the 2008 story of a modern-day girl who suddenly finds that she's become a Jane Austen character. The production was likely the first time he'd worked with Alex Kingston, one of the stars with whom he'd work on Doctor Who. It also featured a number of other Doctor Who alumni, including: Jemima Rooper, Christina Cole, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Florence Hoath, and Lindsay Duncan.

His final production before coming to Doctor Who was the 2009 revival of The Prisoner. His art design team were nominated for an Excellence in Production Design Award from the Art Directors Guild, making him one of the few people who have worked on Doctor Who to have been nominated for an award by a chiefly American guild.

In 2012, Pickwoad was nominated for a Craft & Design Award, for his work on The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe.

He passed away on 27th August 2018, just eight months after his last Doctor Who credit was broadcast.


Production designer[]

Behind the scenes[]

Pickwoad's name is referenced within Class, as one of the names - J. C. Pickerswold - on the Coal Hill School Roll of Honours Board. This was an in-joke by the members of the art department.

External links[]