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Lime Grove

Doctor Whos original production team had to launch the new series in a dated and inadequate facility that wasnt even designed for television production…
A street view of the Lime Grove studios. A BBC Television Film Unit van can be seen the foreground.
BBC Television was originally broadcast from Londons Alexandra Palace.
The original glass Gaumont Film Company building which was to become Lime Grove under the BBCs ownership.

“The announcement on Wednesday that the BBC has bought the Rank film studios at Lime Grove, Shepherds Bush, in order to expand their television service will reinforce the belief held by many people in the film industry that television will, eventually, supersede films as a medium of popular entertainment,” wrote AT Weisman of the West London Observer on Friday 4 November 1949. “One thing is certain; it will mean BETTER programmes and more of them.”

Since the start of its regular television service in November 1936, the British Broadcasting Corporation had generally relied on the two studios at Londons Alexandra Palace to create its output.

Following the war, plans to create a new Radio City were announced in April 1949, but while this customised centre was under construction, the fast-growing medium demanded new space and facilities – and the lease on Alexandra Palace was due to expire in 1956.

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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.