9 December 1938
Lucknow, United Provinces, British India
|Alma mater||Queens' College, Cambridge|
|Occupation(s)||Television and film director|
Waris Hussein ( né Habibullah; born 9 December 1938)  is a British-Indian television and film director. At the beginning of his career he was employed by the BBC as its youngest drama director.  He directed early episodes of Doctor Who , including the first serial, An Unearthly Child (1963),  and later directed the multiple-award-winning Thames Television serial Edward & Mrs. Simpson (1978).
Hussein was born Waris Habibullah in Lucknow, British India, into a family of the aristocratic Taluqdar class,  and spent his early years mainly in Bombay. He came to the UK with his family in 1946, when his father, Ali Bahadur Habibullah, was appointed to the Indian High Commission. After the independence of Pakistan in 1947, his father returned to India, but his mother, Attia Hosain, chose to stay in England with her children,  and worked as a writer and as broadcaster on the Indian Section of the BBC's Eastern Service from 1949. 
He was educated at Clifton College, and then studied English literature at Queens' College, Cambridge, where he directed several plays.  His contemporaries included Derek Jacobi, Margaret Drabble, Trevor Nunn, and Ian McKellen,  whom he directed in several productions, including a Marlowe Society  revival of Caesar and Cleopatra . 
After graduating in 1960, he joined the BBC to train as a director. He also changed his name from Habibullah to Hussein:
"It sounded like the King of Jordan then, but [later] turned out to be more like Saddam – and that doesn't help in life". 
Hussein directed the first Doctor Who serial, An Unearthly Child , in 1963, although he was unsure about the effect directing television science fiction would have on his career:
"[I was] a graduate from Cambridge with honours, and you're directing this piece about cavemen in skins [..] I thought, 'Where have I landed up in my life?'" 
In 1964, Hussein returned to the series to direct most of the fourth serial, Marco Polo .  He went on to direct many other productions such as a BBC television version of A Passage to India ( Play of the Month , 1965);  the BBC serial Notorious Woman (1974); the suffragette movement BBC drama Shoulder to Shoulder (1974); and the Thames Television serial Edward and Mrs Simpson (1978). During production of the latter two series, he worked once more with former Doctor Who producer Verity Lambert. He also directed for Thames the first story (a four-parter) in the Armchair Thriller series.   
Hussein's feature film A Touch of Love (1969), with Ian McKellen among the cast, was entered into the 19th Berlin International Film Festival.  Other theatrically released films include Melody (1971), also known as S.W.A.L.K, with Jack Wild and Mark Lester, and Henry VIII and his Six Wives (1972), starring Keith Michell, Charlotte Rampling, and Donald Pleasence. 
In the 1980s and 1990s, Hussein directed several television movies in the United States. One British project was Intimate Contact (1987), a four-part drama for Central TV with Claire Bloom and Daniel Massey, portraying the experience of a couple where the husband has contracted and ultimately dies from AIDS. Although he did not reveal it to anyone on the production at the time, the subject was particularly close one for Hussein, who lost his own partner Ian to the disease. 
Hussein directed Sixth Happiness (1997), a film whose screenplay was written by Firdaus Kanga, the author of the semi-autobiographical novel Trying to Grow . Meera Syal, Nina Wadia, and Firdaus Kanga starred in the film. 
In the BBC docu-drama An Adventure in Space and Time (2013), about the creation of Doctor Who, Hussein was portrayed by Sacha Dhawan.  He, however, does not appear in the film.
Hussein received a Best Drama Series or Serial BAFTA award in 1979 for Edward and Mrs. Simpson (shared with producer Andrew Brown),  and an Outstanding Directing in a Variety or Music Program Emmy Award in 1985 for Copacabana . 
Hussein is gay, lost a partner of twelve years to AIDS in the 1980s,  and discussed his own sexuality and the wider subject in a 2017 episode of the Doctor Who: The Fan Show . 
Sir Ian Murray McKellen is an English actor. With a career spanning over six decades, he is noted for his performances on the screen and stage in genres ranging from Shakespearean dramas and modern theatre to popular fantasy and science fiction. Regarded as a British cultural icon, he has received various accolades, including a Tony Award, a Golden Globe Award and six Laurence Olivier Awards, in addition to nominations for two Academy Awards, five BAFTA Awards and five Primetime Emmy Awards.
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Verity Ann Lambert was an English television and film producer.
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Marco Polo is the fourth serial of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. It was first broadcast on BBC TV in seven weekly parts from 22 February to 4 April 1964. It was written by John Lucarotti and directed largely by Waris Hussein; John Crockett directed the fourth episode. The story is set in Yuan-era China in the year 1289, where the Doctor, his granddaughter Susan Foreman, and her teachers Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright meet the Italian merchant-explorer Marco Polo and Mongolian Emperor Kublai Khan.
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Susan Foreman is a fictional character in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. The granddaughter of the Doctor and original companion of their first incarnation, she was played by actress Carole Ann Ford from 1963 to 1964, in the show's first season and the first two stories of the second season. Ford reprised the role for the feature-length 20th anniversary episode The Five Doctors (1983) and the 30th anniversary charity special Dimensions in Time (1993).
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Kazimierz Piotr "Peter" Brachacki was a production designer who worked for BBC Television in the 1960s. Although he worked on several programmes, he is best remembered as the first production designer for Doctor Who in 1963, making him responsible for the iconic design of the TARDIS interior.
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Attia Hosain was a British-Indian novelist, author, writer, broadcaster, journalist and actor. She was a woman of letters and a diasporic writer. She wrote in English although her mother tongue was Urdu. She wrote the semi-autobiographical Sunlight on a Broken Column and a collection of short stories named Phoenix Fled. Her career began in England in semi-exile making a contribution to post-colonial literature. Anita Desai, Vikram Seth, Aamer Hussein and Kamila Shamsie have acknowledged her influence.
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