Director Hettie Macdonald, long associated with Doctor Who, has been selected to direct the BBC adaptation of EM Forster’s ‘Howards End’. A British institution such as Forster paired with a brilliant director promises to be a riveting production. The book will be adapted by Kenneth Lonegan, the Academy Award nominee and screenwriter of the masterpiece ‘You Can Count On Me’ and ‘Gangs of New York’. ‘Howards End’ will be a four-part drama and will be produced by Colin Callender’s Playground in association with City Entertainment and KippSter Entertainment.
Hettie Macdonald is best known to Doctor Who fans for the majestic episodes she has directed for the show. Macdonald, began Series 9 by making history – the first woman to direct a series opener, with ‘The Magician’s Apprentice/The Witch’s Familiar’ and created a haunting, visually stunning landscape of hand mines, Skaros, Sarff, and Davros in that chair…..incredible work.
She was also the first woman to direct an episode of the rebooted Doctor Who series, and her first episode was ‘Blink’ (Episode 10, Series 3) which is widely recognised as one of the greatest of the modern episodes. The pivotal moment of the episode, when the Angels begin their slow attack on Sally and Larry, was voted by SFX as the “scariest moment” in Doctor Who history. In 2009 the episode was voted the second best Doctor Who story ever by readers of Doctor Who Magazine (Day of the Doctor was first).
Previous credits also include both theatre and television. One of her earliest films, ‘Beautiful Thing’ won a Grand Prix award, an International Jury Award – Honorable Mention and a People’s Choice Award.
Most recently Macdonald directed episodes of Fortitude, a Sky Atlantic thriller set in the fictional Arctic Norwegian town called ‘Fortitude. Three episodes featured ninth Doctor Christopher Eccleston. The series is shot in Iceland and won critical acclaim. The town of ‘Fortitude’ was free of crime, until the day it wasn’t. Macdonald directed six episodes of the show.
Macdonald’s association with the Steven Moffat era has been indelible, and hopefully they have another episode together before Moffat leaves.