Unwilling Adventurer

Katie and Claire.

-First Doctor era obsessed, Ian and Barbara worshippers, William Russell devotees,The Adventures of Sir Lancelot fans.

Expect a lot of One era gushing. Feel free to say hi!

"As we learn about each other, so we learn about ourselves."- First Doctor.

Filming in 2005-present is very different from the way in which Doctor Who was filmed in the 60’s.

Modern Who is filmed with one camera and can have multiple takes. There are no rehearsals as such. Everything for the actors is blocked and worked out as they begin filming (With certain aspects possibly rehearsed or choreographed beforehand) with the director having planned shots and storyboards ahead of time. There’s plenty of opportunities to look at the monitors after shooting scenes from various angles and deciding which is the right look. If an actor isn’t quite right or something goes wrong, there is a chance to re-shoot (Unless of course on a night shoot or they are running out of time). It can take a huge amount of time to film just one scene in New Who because of the little rehearsal period. Scenes are shot out of order through a series, with location generally in one bulk and then studio in another.

1963 Doctor Who was filmed as you would film a live entertainment show, though it isn’t entirely live as broadcast.  There would be 3-5 hulking great cameras that are pushed around the studio floor, constantly re-positioned by the camera men for the carefully planned ‘as live’ recording. The director would sit in the ‘gallery’ with his vision mixer and carefully select when to cut to each camera.  The recording time was about an hour and a half for a half hour episode.

They had to have as minimal breaks as possible and only major errors of technical stuff could be re-shot. The actors would learn a script, do rehearsals and any publicity stuff on Monday to Thursday, and then on Friday, everything turned theatre mode and the studio would put up the sets, the lighting would be finalised and the actors worked with all this for the first time. At 8.30pm they would record it in scene order and ‘as live’, the only stops for re-positioning cameras, costume changes and technical issues.  

At the first ever studio, the cameras were unable to zoom in and had to be pushed manually towards the actor’s face to get a close up.  There was no room for long shots and there were no crane shots as there are today.  The odd scene would have been pre-filmed on film at Ealing studios if there was a major fight scene, special effect or something technically too difficult for the little studios. If they needed an explosion they were forced to use ‘stock footage’ from BBC archives.

The directors managed to be creative and occasionally achieved high and low shots by various methods but they had little money and resources and space. Despite this though they made some beautiful moments and had wonderful shots and ideas. Eventually the studios got better and so did the equipment.

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