BAFTA-nominated director Jamie Magnus Stone returns as Lead Director for Series 13 and personally directs three episodes of Jodie Whittaker’s finale season of Doctor Who. In fact, having directed both the Series 12 premiere, Spyfall Part One, and the Series 13 premiere, he is one of the key creative forces in the Thirteenth Doctor’s history.
Jamie Magnus Stone started his commercial directing career with Doctor Who. Back in 2013, he directed two mini-episodes that appeared during the 50th anniversary. The Last Day, followed a new trooper as he witnesses the day the Daleks finally broke through Gallifrey’s defences during the fall of Arcadia.
Clara and the TARDIS, focused on the strained relationship between Clara (Jenna Coleman) and the Doctor’s time machine. The brief comic one-hander featured the irascible ship folding time back in on itself. And in the process sending multiple Claras around the ship bickering as they looked for their vanished bedroom.
But he’s also been a director who’s shown innovation and a keen eye in his own work. He marked his early career with a strong creative urge that drives him to write his own material to direct. The resulting shorts demonstrate a mix of whimsy, big ideas and visual flair that establish him as natural Doctor Who material. Even his earliest film, Fritz, taps directly into the best kind of madness. After all, how many films have a boy discovered an ancient WWII German soldier living in a bunker under his bed? Meanwhile, The Pitts exists in a similar Jeneut style continuum. It’s a tale of a cash strapped couple digging a steampunk powered silver mine beneath their suburban housing estate.
In both his self-created projects, and his TV directing jobs, Stone shows a keen instinct for genre storytelling
Shorts such as Skyborn and Orbit Ever After feel like they could have ripped directly from a Doctor Who pitch meeting. The former is a post Apocalyptic tale of hope between father and son. A father obsesses with building a flying machine to show his son the blue skies above the ash and dust. While Orbit Ever After is a love story between teenagers trapped on ramshackle space stations with opposing orbits. But what lengths will they go for even a moment together? Starring Thomas Brodie-Sangster (Human Nature/The Family of Blood) and Mackenzie Crook, it garnered a BAFTA nomination for Stone.
Other work has included directing Tripped, the science fiction comedy from Jamie Mathieson (Mummy on the Orient Express, Flatline, The Girl Who Died, Oxygen), in which two teenagers find themselves hunted across the multiverse. Somehow an inter-dimensional assassin is so irked that he’s determined to kill them in every single timeline. The piece also featured Tonight’s guest start Blake Harrison.
Stone has a strong visual identity of frames crammed with intricate detail and beautiful lighting. And from his actors, he elicits heightened humanity – crafting with them characters completely believable but experiencing lives of extremes. With his storytelling instincts leaning towards worlds where hope is the most powerful force in the universe, but death is never far away, and getting out alive is never guaranteed, he seems a perfect fit for Doctor Who.
You can watch several of Stone’s short films on his official Vimeo page
Flux – Chapter One: The Halloween Apocalypse
A universe-spanning adventure in space and time starring Jodie Whittaker, Mandip Gill and John Bishop. On Halloween, all across the universe, terrifying forces are stirring. From the Arctic Circle to deep space, an ancient evil is breaking free. And in present-day Liverpool, the life of Dan Lewis is about to change forever. Why is the Doctor on the trail of the fearsome Karvanista? And what is the Flux?
Doctor Who returns to BBC One and BBC iPlayer at 6.25pm on 31st October
The episode is also available on BBC America and other territories around the world.