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Where is ‘Doctor Who’ Filmed?

January 4, 2020
4 min read

‘Doctor Who’ is a British sci-fi show that has spurred a massive fandom and has remained to be a popular franchise ever since its inception in 1963 and reboot in 2005. It depicts the adventures of a Time Lord known as “the Doctor” as he travels through time and space to various otherworldly locations. His time-travel machine is a police box and has become a notable set piece that is instantly recognizable.

Doctor Who Filming Locations

Over time, the show has seen multiple actors reprising the role of the protagonist. These cast changes are written into the show’s plot. Other than that, most episodes feature a self-sustained narrative and hence, are set in a variety of places. As a result, ‘Doctor Who’ has been filmed at multiple locations over the years. Continue reading if you want to know some of the locations that the series has been most notably filmed at or ones where the show was shot at more recently:

Cardiff, Wales

The capital city of Wales has been the primary filming location of ‘Doctor Who’ since its reboot in 2005. This is primarily because BBC’s production studio, Roath Lock is situated in the city and has served to be the filming location for multiple episodes of ‘Doctor Who.’ Places like the Millennium Centre and Senedd have appeared numerous times in the television show.

The city is starting to become synonymous with ‘Doctor Who’ like the area, Shepherd’s Bush was with pre-2005 ‘Doctor Who.’ The reason for that is that the show’s primary filming base was the Bush Studios in Shepherd’s Bush until its primary shooting location was shifted to Roath Lock in 2005. Bush Studios housed many constructed sets for the series until it had enough budget to be filmed in actual locations from around the world.

Since then, Cardiff has welcomed the arrival of Doctor Who. There are several bus tours available in the city which take tourists to some of the show’s filming destinations. Moreover, a ‘Doctor Who’ experience center was also present in the city but it was shut in 2017.

Continuing the tradition of sorts, the latest season of ‘Doctor Who’ also had various scenes that were filmed in Cardiff. For instance, many fans noticed Mandip Gill, Bradley Walsh and Tosin Cole at Tyndall Street, shooting for the show.

South Africa

The showrunner for ‘Doctor Who’ commented on how the increased number of high-quality television shows has meant that British sci-fi series faces a lot of competition. In order to level the playing field, the show’s latest season has been filmed in multiple places outside the United Kingdom. “We filmed in South Africa, we filmed in various places across Europe,” he said, “We try and do as much location filming as we can really because we were competing with some very big shows out these days.”

In January last year, ‘Doctor Who’ began filming in Cape Town and areas around it. This is not the first time that the show was filmed in the African country however. The eleventh episode in the eleventh season, ‘The Ghost Monument’ had also been filmed in South Africa.

Bristol

Apart from Cardiff and London, Bristol has been a city in the United Kingdom where ‘Doctor Who’ was filmed on multiple occasions. It has had over nine appearances in the show so far and the latest season will also witness a return to the English city.

The Clifton Suspension Bridge, for instance had become repeatedly mentioned in local news and on the social media when several locals spotted the Doctor Who team filming there. They noticed (SPOILER ALERT) several props of the “Daleks,” a fictional race of mutants that has appeared on the show before.

Granada, Spain

One of the more recent filming locations of ‘Doctor Who’ that was in the talks is Granada, Spain. This is where the episode, ‘Demons of the Punjab’ was shot in. The reason that this filming location was in the news is because that episode witnessed the Doctor travelling to India when it was going through the Partition and that excited many fans around the globe.

London

Good’ol London has undoubtedly been the most common filming location for ‘Doctor Who.’ Even after its shift to Cardiff, the capital of United Kingdom remained to be a frequently visited place for the show. It makes complete sense too since TARDIS, the time machine is a London police box and many of the Doctor’s “companions” are depicted to be Londoners. There have been over 80 scenes that were shot in London and that in itself is remarkable.

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