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Digital Subscriptions > Doctor Who Magazine > DWM Special 49 - In the Studio > Riverside

Riverside

The cast and crew of Doctor Who were delighted when the series graduated from Lime Grove to a more sophisticated studio in Hammersmith.

Feature by ANDREW PIXLEY

Riverside Studios was home to numerous episodes of Doctor Who in the 1960s.
Julia Smith on the set of An Age of Kings at Riverside Studios in 1960. Julia would later direct the Doctor Who stories The Smugglers (1966) and The Underwater Menace (1967).

“BBC reopens Riverside Studios for TV – MOST MODERN IN THE WORLD” announced the West London Observer on Friday 8 June 1956. Reporting on another repurposing of a former film studio by the industry that was crippling British cinemas, the article quoted lighting superintendent Raymond McCulloch: “These are the most modern studios in the world. The building contains two of them.” The article went on to emphasise the new lighting system, in which 300 lights could be controlled by one person, giving clearer long-shot images in particular.

Lime Grove had been purchased in 1949 as a stop gap pending the completion of Television Centre. But when construction of the White City complex took longer than predicted, it became clear after a few years that the premises austerity studios required re-equipping. To keep the expanding service on air during refurbishment, two new studios would be developed.

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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.