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Digital Subscriptions > Doctor Who Magazine > DWM Special 49 - In the Studio > TIME AND REVOLUTIONARY DAYS IN STUDIO

TIME AND REVOLUTIONARY DAYS IN STUDIO

Doctor Whos studio scheduling has evolved from the continuous recording of as live performances to more flexible – and less nerve-racking – techniques.
The new Doctor, Patrick Troughton (Reece Shearsmith), meets the old Doctor, William Hartnell (David Bradley), in the 2013 drama An Adventure in Space and Time.
Polly actress Anneke Wills (Ellie Spicer) and Ben actor Michael Craze (Robin Varley) on the set of the TARDIS in An Adventure in Space and Time.

“Good Lord! Its taken as long to do a couple of shots of this as it did to do the entire recording! How things have changed in 47 years!” Anneke Wills has slipped down her own timeline, co-existing in Studio A of Wimbledon Studios (Deer Park Road: 2.50pm, Thursday 28 February 2013) and in Riversides Studio 1 (Crisp Road, Hammersmith: 6.20pm, Saturday 8 October 1966). Shes sitting on the edge of a recreation of the original TARDIS set, watching Ellie Spicer play her 24-year-old self in the drama An Adventure in Space and Time while Reece Shearsmith (as Patrick Troughton) prepares to inherit the title role of Doctor Who from David Bradley (as William Hartnell).

The set is appropriately dressed with 1950s 405-line Marconi Mk III cameras, the kind originally used for continuous multi-camera recording, in which the control gallery cut from image to image and mixed a finished programme to tape. But the action is actually captured with modern high-definition digital equipment, repositioned shot-by-shot on the set. Running to 1 52”, this scene – one of eight scheduled for recording from 8.00am to 7.00pm – takes around two hours. In 1966, all but one of the 23 scenes of The Tenth Planet Episode 4 (complete running time: 24 02”) were recorded between 8.30pm and 9.45pm. Across Doctor Whos long history, then, studio time has changed a lot. Here are some of the major milestones…

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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.