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Peter Logan’s association with Doctor Who began in 1967 and culminated with effects design on stories featuring the Fourth and Fifth Doctors.
Peter Logan pictured in 1998, with one of the Movellan side-arms he designed for Destiny of the Daleks. Photo © Steven Cambden.

I had to go to Wales to blow up a cow,” says Peter Logan matter of factly. A lot of Peter’s conversations start like this – the inevitable product of almost 30 years, man and boy, with the BBC’s Visual Effects Department, where blowing up Welsh cows counted as just another day at the office. On the occasion in question, he was also carrying a car-load of fake bombs – proper, Acme-style black spheres with ‘BOMB’ written on them – when he was involved in a shunt on the motorway.

“The chap behind went slap bang into the back of me, and the boot shot up,” Peter recalls. “He got out to remonstrate, took one look at the bombs in the back, and ran. There was quite a lot of explaining to do to the police about that.”

Filming Fury from the Deep at Denham Aerodrome on 12 February 1968. Photo © Victor Pemberton

Peter worked on a total of 17 Doctor Who serials between 1967 and 1982, ultimately taking charge as visual effects designer. Over the course of his BBC career, he was also called upon to supply everything from a dummy on a bicycle (for the Monty Python team to send over a cliff ) to a Harold Wilson ‘pipe periscope’ (as used by The Goodies). He tells a story, entirely typical of the era, about smashing a wax bottle over Terry Wogan’s head during a to-camera item about the Visual Effects Department. “He said, ‘Would you like to hit me over the head with it?’ I said, ‘With pleasure.’ The problem was it was a little bit stronger than it ought to have been. It really hurt him, and he had to go to the BBC doctor for treatment.”

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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.