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TARDIS Index File

Studio lighting

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This article is written from a real world point of view

Studio lighting and lighting were credits for people who were in fact lighting directors during the 1963 version of Doctor Who. However, they were often not formally credited at all. In fact, the job was never credited until Eric Monk appeared in the end titles of the first part of Terror of the Autons.

They were responsible for devising and implementing a lighting plan for episodes, but had no direct control over the camera operators, as do modern directors of photography. As with most other behind-the-scenes personnel of that era, lighting directors were not employed by the Doctor Who production office, but were BBC employees who floated around the many programmes in production as ordered by the head of the BBC lighting department. Nevertheless, directors and producers could request specific lighting directors to light their programmes.

In modern BBC Wales Doctor Who, the lighting director has two rough analogues. In that the lighting director was responsible for creating a broad lighting plan, he had one of the two main functions of the modern director of photography. However, as he often physically hung lights and otherwise actually executed that plan, it would not be unreasonable to compare some of his responsibilities to those of a gaffer.

In the early days, because of the studio-bound nature of the original Doctor Who, the lighting director was actually much closer to being a theatrical lighting designer than a modern cinematographer.

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The Mysterious Planet - Mike Jefferies
Mindwarp - Don Babbage
Terror of the Vervoids - Don Babbage
The Ultimate Foe - Don Babbage

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