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Pebble Mill Studios was the main production facility for BBC Birmingham. Located in the Birmingham suburb of Edgbaston, they were used by the regional broadcaster from 1971 to 2004. During that time, Pebble Mill was considered a major studio, second only to Television Centre. It was eventually demolished as Series 1 of the BBC Wales version of Doctor Who was being broadcast in 2005.

Association with Doctor Who Edit

Though critical to the filming of many classic BBC dramas and news programmes, including All Creatures Great and Small and Pebble Mill at One, Pebble Mill had somewhat lesser importance to Doctor Who. Studio A was the principal studio for the recording of Horror of Fang Rock. Due to a lack of space in London facilities at the time, the entire production of Doctor Who briefly moved to Birmingham.

Fang Rock is commonly identified as the only serial of the 1963 version of Doctor Who to be filmed entirely outside London. However, it is perhaps more accurate to say Pebble Mill was the only studio outside London to have hosted the majority of studio filming for an original series story. The final scene of episode 4 was in fact completed at Ealing.

Regardless of the technicalities of filming, though, Fang Rock may have been seen by the staff of Pebble Mill as an opportunity to lure Doctor Who permanently to Birmingham. They were said to have been unusually accommodating to the production. However, the staff's lack of familiarity with colour separation overlay — a ubiquitous special effect used on Doctor Who — may have been partially responsible for the facility never being used again by Doctor Who.[1]

References Edit

  1. Shannon Sullivan's exploration of Horror of Fang Rock

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