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Script secretary

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RealWorld

A script secretary — sometimes also called a production secretary or a production/script secretary — is a key member of the Doctor Who production office. Nothing like this post was credited in the 1963 version of Doctor Who, but the essential elements of the job would nevertheless have been accomplished by someone. The position has been occasionally credited in the BBC Wales version, but the likelihood is that the position has been necessary on every episode, even if it has not been credited on every episode.

The script/production secretary ensures that the flow of information is maintained between all key personnel on the programme. Specifically, they will:

  • ensure that scripts are typed and that the production crew is delivered script changes in a timely fashion. He or she will particularly liaise with the script editor and the 2nd assistant director, who is actually responsible for the physical delivery of scripts
  • make sure that scripts have updated cast and location information, once these issues have been decided by more senior members of staff
  • type call sheets indicating where and when actors and crew members are required
  • organise the practical details of staff meetings that may be required, such as department head conferences
  • control the flow of information into and out of the production office through the organisation and prioritisation of correspondence and phone calls
  • liaise with the location manager so as to book accommodation for artists and crew for location filming[1]

This term seemed to have fallen out of favour at the BBC by the 2010s. While BBC Wales began by using "script secretary", "production secretary" and "production/script secretary" —the production secretary was seemingly split off and "rebranded". By the fifth series, the BBC had introduced the term "production management assistant". Even though long-term script secretary Clare Thomas was the first to receive the new title, the BBC's job advertisements for the new position indicated no responsibilities for the script whatsoever. The PMA title seemed to be the new name for the "production secretary" only.[2]

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