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Production

Clara enjoys an intimate lesson in archery.

The first weeks of Block 3 were mainly devoted to The Caretaker (2014).

For Robot of Sherwood, the early scenes of the Doctor and Clara in the TARDIS were recorded on the standing TARDIS set on Day 2 – Tuesday 25 March – with some time having been lost due to a fire alarm at Roath Lock. The opening TARDIS scene – which used a crane camera for the high angle shots of the time travellers – was then completed from 11.00am the following morning before further work on The Caretaker. It had been planned that recording would conclude at 10.30pm with a scene of the Doctor in the TARDIS (hearing a knock at the door – this being Robin who wanted to say goodbye) but this was dropped.

The shooting script – dated Monday 7 April – was now very close to what was recorded; originally, the police box did not heal itself from the arrow, nor did the Doctor eat and scan the apple. At the tournament, Robin suggested putting the targets back another hundred paces.

The sequence of the Sheriff visiting Quayle was recorded at Cosmeston Medieval Village near Penarth, an educational attraction constructed on the remains of stone buildings from around 1350; it had featured in episodes of the BBC One series Merlin.

Livestock was provided by Rockwood Animals while the equestrian stunt team The Devil’s Horsemen furnished a horse for Ben Miller. With the BBC Interactive team present, recording on Tuesday 8 April began at 11.30am and ran to 3.45pm, after which the crew travelled to Tonyrefail to record material for The Caretaker. It had been decided that a hog’s head would be used as the emblem for the Sheriff , eff ectively a cruel branding like a Nazi swastika. The faces of the robot knights had been based on ancient stone effi gies, giving a cross in their centres which would open to reveal lasers. During the day, the BBC announced Ben Miller’s guest role in the episode.

While the main unit worked on The Caretaker in Tonyrefail again on Wednesday 9, stunt arranger Crispin Layfi eld supervised a sword fi ght rehearsal from 10.30am to 4.30pm; Riley and Miller were taught basic moves for the climactic duel, with Rob Pavey, Chris Pollard and Adrian McGaw present to act as doubles for the Doctor, Robin and the Sheriff respectively. Riley and Miller also had make-up tests and costume fi ttings, as did Ian Hallard the following day.

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About Doctor Who Magazine

Doctor Who Magazine continues its in-depth chronicle of the show’s production with a volume dedicated to the first four episodes of Series 8: Deep Breath, Into the Dalek, Robot of Sherwood and Listen. Andrew Pixley’s unparalleled behind-the-scenes coverage – reproduced in magazine format for the first time – examines every aspect of the stories’ development, from scripting through to transmission and beyond. Richly illustrated with rare and previously unseen images, this is the essential guide to the series that took Doctor Who in a remarkable new direction…