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Digital Subscriptions > Doctor Who Magazine > DWM Special 43 – Special Effects > PHYSICAL Effects

PHYSICAL Effects

Physical effects can be either completely invisible to an audience, or utterly spectacular and unmissable.

The most common physical effects are probably those connected to the weather, such as wind, snow, rain and fog.

A common observation on film shoots by members of the general public is, “Why are you creating rain when it’s already raining?” But the truth is that a filming schedule can’t be left at the mercy of the British weather, and that by using effects a degree of control and repeatability can be achieved. This approach can be applied to something as simple as a fire burning in a grate. Filming a scene takes time, and to avoid the continuity issues of having a fire burning down, and then having to be replenished with new fuel, almost all fires seen in television productions are created using ceramic or plaster logs and a controllable gas flame.

Reuben (Colin Douglas) and the Doctor (Tom Baker) peer through the fog in Part One of Horror of Fang Rock (1977).
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About Doctor Who Magazine

Special effects can transport audiences to alien planets, render familiar surroundings unrecognisable and bring terrifying monsters to life. Doctor Who has been at the forefront of such television trickery for more than 50 years. This richly illustrated publication celebrates the series’ greatest effects and meets the people who created them. From the trailblazers of the 1960s to the digital artists of today, here is the story of Doctor Who’s journeys into the impossible.
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