PAUL WILMSHURST

freelance director & writer

Drama

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PSYCHOLOGICAL DRAMA: FORGIVEN was a 90-minute single drama about child abuse and treatment for sex offenders, a challenging account of a real family's experience, starring Lucy Cohu and Derek Riddell, which Paul wrote, produced and directed. Lucy Cohu won an International Emmy for her performance, and the programme was widely and well reviewed. It won an RTS award for Best Drama Editing, as well as being nominated for Best Single Drama in the Broadcast Awards, and was nominated for a Grierson Award. FORGIVEN was listed in The Observer’s Top 10 TV Programmes of the Year and the Times’ Best 50 TV Programmes of the Decade.

HISTORICAL DRAMA: Paul worked on the first two series of JAMESTOWN, made by Carnival Films for Sky 1. He directed the final four episodes of the Channel 4 drama series INDIAN SUMMERS. And he also directed the final block of the NBC series A.D., set in 1st Century Jerusalem, and shot in Morocco.

SCI-FI: He directed three episodes of DOCTOR WHO, in Peter Capaldi's first season on the show. All three were well received. Kill the Moon featured giant spiders and an even larger space dragon. Mummy on the Orient Express was set on a space train and featured a mummy that could only be seen by its victims. And Last Christmas (the 2014 Xmas special) starred Nick Frost as Santa and featured a story set on a polar base with monsters and multiple levels of dreams and nightmares.

CRIME: Paul’s episode of LAW & ORDER UK (made for Kudos/ITV) was broadcast in January 2011, and explored the emotional fallout after the sudden death of a baby; with Gemma Redgrave guest-starring. He directed the closing two-part story (set in Cape Town) in the 2010 series of SILENT WITNESS, about a traumatised Zimbabwean asylum seeker (Shoki Mokgapa) who is deported to Cape Town and then co-erced into working in a brothel. He directed a two-part episode of TRIAL & RETRIBUTION, the long-running crime thriller made by Lynda LaPlante for ITV (with guest stars Maurice Roeves, Johnny Harris and Kierston Wareing).

ACTION: Paul directed on the first three seasons of STRIKE BACK for Sky and Cinemax/HBO, a full-throttle action adventure genre piece with a team of covert Special Forces operatives chasing terrorists across the globe, packed with explosions, shoot-outs, sex and violence; with exotic locations, glossy production values and classy guest actors, starring Sullivan Stapleton and Philip Winchester. This vastly ambitious show filmed in Budapest and Cape Town, and involved highly complex and demanding stunts and action set pieces. He then returned for the reboot, filming episodes in Malaysia and Croatia in 2018 and 2019.

FANTASY: Paul directed two episodes in the opening season of DA VINCI’S DEMONS for StarZ and BBC America. This historical fantasy series - scripted by David S. Goyer (co-writer of The Dark Knight trilogy and Man of Steel) - was shot on location in Wales, principally using constructed sets in Swansea.

KIDS: Paul produced and directed COMBAT KIDS for Lime Pictures and CBBC -- a 3-part series telling the story of a group of kids growing up on an army base who meet an alien in the woods and choose to believe he’s real, perhaps to avoid the pain of the real world. It screened in November 2010, achieving a mixture of strong reviews and high viewing figures. Paul also wrote and directed the three-part children’s mini-series RUNAWAY (about child runaways), transmitted on CBBC and BBC1 in March 2009.