- Not to be confused with Designing Doctor Who, a different documentary about Ed Thomas' work.
Designs on Doctor Who was an episode of On Show, the BBC 2W arts programme. As such, it was mainly only available in Wales. Narrated by Tom Baker, it investigated the work of production designer Edward Thomas and his team. It concentrated mainly on the role of the design department in a few scenes of The Runaway Bride, then the most recent episode of Doctor Who.
Making The Runaway Bride Edit
The designs of three key scenes were examined, all explaining different aspects of Thomas' job.
The rooftop scene between Donna and the Tenth Doctor was revealed to have contained a small design error in that the Doctor's fire extinguisher was silver. Thomas criticised this, because he had asked for either a red or gold entinguisher to fit in with the overall colour scheme of the TARDIS interior.
Next, the street scene in front of Henrik's where the Doctor sonics the ATM was explored as a model of how the art department liaised with both the special effects team and property holders on location. It was mentioned, for instance, that the shop doubling for Henrik's obliged Thomas by dressing their windows with their own Christmas decorations — in July. The segment also showed the design, production, use and eventual cleanup of all the currency that spewed forth from the ATM.
Finally, the documentary uncovered the production designer's role in performing a location recce. This portion of the documentary showed Thomas running into Julian Luxton, who was preforming a recce in Cardiff for Torchwood. It then followed Thomas as Euros Lyn and he explored a disused industrial lot that eventually became the home of the Empress of the Racnoss. The documentary then showed how the Empress, was designed, manufactured and operated by Thomas and his team.
Other topics Edit
In addition to these three main areas of examination, the documentary touched a bit on the design of the "hub" set for Torchwood. It had a degree of "employee review", as Julie Gardner and Russell T Davies both gave their opinions of what it was like to work with Thomas. The programme touched on the move of the TARDIS console from Doctor Who's original Welsh studio to Upper Boat Studios.
Editorial bias Edit
The documentary can be fairly accused of some bias, as the producer and director, Gwenllian Llwyd, was a member of Thomas' staff. This undoubtedly contributed to the rather uncritical view of Thomas' work.