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Digital Subscriptions > Doctor Who Magazine > DWM Special 49 - In the Studio > All the Worlds a Stage

All the Worlds a Stage

In the early days of Doctor Who ingenious BBC design teams squeezed alien worlds, Space Age rockets and historical settings into tiny spaces at Lime Grove and Riverside. For the more ambitious special effects sequences, however, the series had to spread its wings…
The Skaro city from The Evil of the Daleks was filmed at Ealing in April 1967.

In the 1960s most of the model work and visual effects in Doctor Who were shot at Ealing Film Studios. Many stories from this period involved some pre-filming at Ealing; indeed, some of the most memorable moments in the series history were filmed here, including the first sight of the Dalek City on Skaro, the Cybermen emerging from their tombs on Telos, and a Martian warrior trapped in ice.

Shooting on film was the ideal solution for miniature effects sequences as it allowed the models to be shot at high speed, giving the small-scale objects weight and creating more convincing results. Working at Ealing also offered the production team more time to get things right, together with the option to reshoot if necessary. For example, the Dalek City from The Mutants (aka The Daleks, 1963-64) was reshot weeks later when the first model was deemed to be unsuitable. This simply wouldnt have been an option if the work had been done at Lime Grove.

Toy Daleks produced by the Louis Marx company were used in the model work for The Evil of the Daleks.
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About Doctor Who Magazine

In 1963 Sydney Newman and Donald Wilson devised an ambitious concept that would stretch the BBC’s technical resources to the limit. In its earliest days Doctor Who was jeopardised by a fierce dispute over facilities. The programme survived, but never stopped demanding the very best from its studios and dedicated crews. This is the inside story of Doctor Who’s evolution from relatively primitive beginnings to the cutting edge of modern television production.