Doctor Who stars Ncuti Gatwa and Millie Gibson

Doctor Who Series 14: latest production news

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Scott Handcock’s Production Diary in Doctor Who Magazine 586 gives some insights into Doctor Who Series 14 and specials filming production.

Filming Block One:

Sam Care is the cinematographer (DOP) working with director Dylan Holmes Williams.

Some recce (pre-filming locations reconnaissance) was reported for this block on 21 November in “urban environments”, 22 November in a “sporty location” which required life jackets, and 24 November in “the most stunning, perfect location to open and episode” at what appears to be a coastal location according a photo of Handcock at the location on a particularly stormy day.

Ncuti Gatwa, Millie Gibson and other cast and crew participated in a Block One read-through on 30 November.

There are “unique script requirements” for the supporting artists (extras) in this block. Agency casting calls which were likely for this block requested trendy types and smart-looking business types.

Principal photography began on 5 December as we previously reported.

Filming Block Two:

Handcock’s notes confirm that Block Two contains the festive special in which Ncuti Gatwa makes his full-episode debut starring as the Fifteenth Doctor. This special will air in the festive season after the three Doctor Who 60th anniversary specials air in November 2023. It is provisionally referred to as the Christmas Special — though the air date is not yet confirmed. It is not uncommon for episodes to be filmed in blocks in a different order than their air dates.

We previously reported Mark Tonderai is directing a Series 14 filming block. DWM confirms that Tonderai is filming Block Two. This block consists of at least two episodes according to an article in the Glamorgan Star which says he is “directing episodes of Doctor Who.”

On 10 November, potential DOPs were interviewed to work with Mark Tonderai. The first tone meeting for the block is convened.

On 28 November, heads of departments run through a Block Two scripts page turn.

Ncuti Gatwa & Millie Gibson leaning on the TARDIS

Other Production News:

On 18 November, the art department planned a Block Three story location — an exterior built in studio.

On 1 November, showrunner Russell T Davies and producer Ellen Marsh discuss a second draft script for Block Four.

On 15 November, the third draft of a Block Four script is delivered.

On 28 November, Davies delivers the first draft script for Episode Seven.

In his monthly Letter from the Showrunner in DWM 586, Russell T Davies states “…here I am with episode two in front of me (it contains the words Liverpool, legions and non-diegetic)…”. He gives no information on which filming block contains Episode Two.

Davies also promises there are plans “still unfurling” and there are ideas that “have not even begun” which he discussed in an early 2021 Zoom meeting with BBC Chief Content Officer Charlotte more and then BBC Director of Drama Piers Wenger.

Doctor Who will return in November 2023 with three 60th anniversary specials starring David Tennant as the Fourteenth Doctor. In the following festive period, Ncuti Gatwa will star in his first full Doctor Who episode as the Fifteenth Doctor.

Doctor Who Magazine 586 is available Thursday 5 January from Panini and WH Smith. A digital edition is also available from PocketMags.