Published on: 06 March 2024 in Industry

Remembering Tristram Powell

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We were saddened to hear of the passing of Tristram Powell, whose directing career spanned TV and film over five decades.

Tristram’s career as a television director began in the 1960s, directing episodes of the literary game show Take It or Leave It (1965). Alongside many TV series, he would also go on to helm a TV movie adaptation of Philip Roth’s The Ghost Writer (1983) and direct on Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads (1988). His later career saw him behind the lens on episodes of beloved dramas such as Judge John Deed (2005) and Foyle’s War (2008).

In 1991, Powell released the feature film American Friends, starring Michael Palin and Bryan Pringle.  

Paul Unwin, former Vice-Chair of Directors UK, wrote in remembrance of Tristram:

“I knew Tristram both personally and professionally. I first came across his work when he was directing Foyle’s War and then we crossed paths again when we were both working with Lynda LaPlante. What struck me repeatedly was how graceful and precise a director he was. His shot-making and management of actors heightened everything about the story he was telling. Away from the camera in pre-and post production Tristram managed production, writers and editors with the same grace and precision. He was charming, patient, and very intelligent. More recently I have got to know him and his wife the artist Virginia Powell as a neighbour and friend. Until very recently he was working on a variety of projects and seemed to be brimming with ideas and ambition. I will miss him very much as a friend and colleague.”

Our thoughts are with Tristram’s friends and family at this time. 

Have Your Say

Darcia Martin

I first met Tristram when I directed Judge John Deed. He introduced me to the skill of filming a court room. He was an incredibly generous man who collaborated beautifully with actors and crew alike. He is a great loss to our industry.

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