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Digital Subscriptions > Doctor Who Magazine > DWM Special 44 - On Location > THE SONTARAN EXPERIMENT

THE SONTARAN EXPERIMENT

Director: Rodney Bennett Producer: Philip Hinchcliffe Broadcast: 22 February – 1 March 1975

In the autumn of 1974, the first serial to be recorded under the tenure of new producer Philip Hinchcliffe was unusual in a number of respects. The Sontaran Experiment would be the series’ first two-part story since The Rescue in 1965, and it would also be the first serial to be taped (as opposed to filmed) entirely on location, with no interiors whatsoever.

In order to fill a vacant six-episode slot in the new season, the story was planned in tandem with a spacebound four-part serial, The Ark in Space. Both would employ the same production team, but while The Ark in Space was to be recorded solely on studio sets at Television Centre, The Sontaran Experiment was conceived as being taped wholly in the open air using three lightweight Outside Broadcast (OB) cameras linked to an OB scanner van, equipment which had already been successfully employed for the location recording on Robot five months earlier. Although The Sontaran Experiment was to follow The Ark in Space on transmission, it was recorded first.

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About Doctor Who Magazine

In its early days, Doctor Who was recorded on cumbersome cameras tethered to claustrophobic and often inadequate studios. The show rarely escaped these confines in the 1960s, but as technology improved, producers and directors became more adventurous. Location shooting has helped to create some of the most memorable episodes in the series’ long history. In this unique publication, new features, exclusive interviews and rare images tell the story of those episodes and the people who made them happen.
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