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Digital Subscriptions > Doctor Who Magazine > DWM Special 49 - In the Studio > Time and (Studio) Space

Time and (Studio) Space

As part of Doctor Whos brand team from 2006 to 2017, Edward Russell has inside knowledge of all the major studios the series occupied during these years.
Edward Russell joined the Doctor Who team in 2006 and stayed for 11 years.

I have a theory that Doctor Who fans are far more knowledgeable about the making of a television show than the average viewer. Maybe its because of books and magazines like this, or perhaps its the episodes of Doctor Who Confidential that weve absorbed, but I certainly had a very good idea of what a TV studio would be like before I stepped inside one. Even as a young boy, I was familiar with the names Lime Grove, Television Centre and the Acton Hilton. I knew what a producer did, what the directors role was, and had a very clear understanding of terms like multi-camera, mixing gallery and the difference between scenes recorded on film and videotape.

I joined the BBC in 2000, first working on Top of the Pops, which was recording at Television Centre in Wood Lane. It was very exciting to be in a TV studio and even more so, a few months later, when production moved to Riverside Studios, which I knew to be the location of many 1960s episodes of Doctor Who. By the end of 2001, Top of the Pops was back in its spiritual home – studio TC3 in Wood Lane. As exciting as it was to be working on the UKs flagship music show, I was fully aware that I was standing in the same place where stories such as The Daleks Master Plan (1965-66), The Ark in Space (1975) and Logopolis (1981) were made.

Back then, I had no idea that Doctor Who would be relaunched and I certainly didnt think that I would be working on it. However, by October 2006 I was on board and had my very first experience in the Doctor Who studio. The crew were shooting scene 4/21 of The Girl in the Fireplace and I stood quietly to one side of the spaceship set while David Tennant, Billie Piper and Noel Clarke performed under the guidance of director Euros Lyn. Even today, when I watch that scene, I can picture where I was standing as the Doctor and friends examine the clockwork robot.

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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.