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PJ Hammond

Wednesday, 20 February 2008 14:55

Detective writer in his element with Sapphire & Steel ...

 

Best known as the creator of Sapphire & Steel, Peter J Hammond studied art at Hammersmith School of Arts and Crafts, drama at Goldsmiths College, and wrote several radio plays for the BBC before breaking into television.

First commissioned to write the play "Four Way Incident" for Thirty Minute Theatre, he wrote all six episodes of the children’s thriller Ramshackle Road for BBC Bristol. Eventually joining the BBC as a script editor, Peter worked on the police drama Z Cars, when the programme ran bi-weekly, before leaving to write full time.

During the 1970s, as well as writing for Thames Television's daytime series Couples and the nursing drama Angels, he scripted episodes for numerous police series including Z Cars, The Sweeney, Hunter’s Walk, Target and Manhunt. He also wrote for the prison drama Within These Walls, Crown Court, and the The Professionals using the pseudonym James McAteer.

After dramatising of Arthur Morrison's Victorian novel "The Hole in the Wall" and writing for Thames' successful children's adventure Ace of Wands, Peter set out to create a fantasy show of his own. Wanting to write a detective story that incorporated the notion of time he came up with Sapphire & Steel. Initially designed as a one-off half-hour drama for children, the series was developed for a family audience. Running for six stories between 1979 and 1982, the series starred Joanna Lumley and David McCallum as mysterious elemental beings repairing rifts in Time through which malignant forces enter the everyday world.

After Sapphire & Steel finished with an enigmatic cliff-hanger, Peter tried his hand at comedy with the 1984 BBC series Lame Ducks starring John Duttine. In later years, with the exception of an episode for Sky One’s science fiction series Space Island One, he returned to mainstream dramas writing for The Bill when it was in a half-hour format, two EastEnders specials, Dangerfield and HTV’s Wycliffe.

Since 1999 he has been writing for ITV's popular Midsommer Murders, created for television by Anthony Horowitz and starring John Nettles as Detective Chief Inspector Barnaby.

 

Last modified on Thursday, 10 May 2012 16:37

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