Doctor Who - Documentary s01e03 Episode Script

Inside the Spaceship

The Tardis.
I remember you saying something which meant that you'd worked out what the name should be of the ship - as the character - I named it, didn't I? - You named it.
You christened it.
That's right.
- I named it, all down to me.
- Yes.
Time And Relative Dimension In Space.
- That's right.
That's right.
- And I was - And we all looked at you in utter amazement.
- That's right.
- Yeah, that's right.
- But it was called from then on - The Tardis.
- It was called the Tardis.
- It was never called anything else.
No, that's right.
Because in the earlier ones I think Bill would refer to the ship.
- The ship, yes.
The ship.
- The ship.
You know, so that it was always the ship.
And then suddenly it became the Tardis, after your remark.
Well, I made up the name Tardis from the initials, Time And Relative Dimension In Space.
I thought you'd both understand when you saw the different dimensions inside from those outside.
The design of the Tardis was designed by a designer called Peter Brachacki.
That was the one and only set he designed.
There was a difference of opinion between him and, I suppose, the director and/or producer.
I think Peter felt he was given a bit of an impossible task.
And he got fed up, basically, and so there was a parting of the ways.
I was very lucky in that I had the most creative people around.
I mean, Raymond Cusick one of the designers, Barry Newbery was another designer, very, very creative.
Daphne Dare, costumes.
They just made things work.
Well, I have to be honest with you, I never really liked the set.
It was cobbled together by the designer who had very little money to work with.
And what we got was three flats with circles on them in a hexagonal shape.
And we also got this hexagonal control panel which was cobbled together again.
If you actually examined it with any degree of attention, you'd see how sadly lacking it was in anything technological.
But, interestingly enough, that hexagonal shape has now become iconic.
As, indeed, have those walls with the circles.
I mean, they did have a sort of glowing texture to them.
I mean, I know they didn't use luminous paint but there was something about that paint which wasn't actually I know it looked a sort of brilliant white on the set but it was a sort of very, very, very pale green.
And when the lights hit it, it almost throbbed.
The Tardis set was very limited, in the first episode, just to the control area and the surround.
Nobody, I don't think anybody, ever knew where the Doctor went to bed.
But certainly there were no beds or reclining areas.
There wasn't any kitchen, and there certainly wasn't a loo which is a bit worrying! But when we had to make a whole two episodes in the Tardis, we had to explore it domestically.
We had to find places where they could lie down.
And as far as I can remember, Ray Cusick will verify this, the folding-down beds that came down out of the wall, that whole sleeping pod area was an adytum at that point.
I had to design sleeping machines, which were built by Shawcraft Models at Uxbridge.
And I think the reason I gave them that job was because I had very little budget to build any additional set.
Very little.
And I probably had a larger visual effects budget.
So I got them to make those sleeping machines and also the food machine.
LAMBERT: We also had the most terrific special effects people.
Shawcraft they were called.
We first saw The first episode, I think, the BBC did and then they just They couldn't service it so it was put out to Shawcraft.
And Bill Rogers, I think, was the name of the man who was managing director.
They were just wonderful and they made things work for very little money and were very creative.
That fault-finder wall was a large structure.
And it, I think, had a metal frame behind it on which there was a monitor that was meant to go up and down.
And this was a bit of a struggle.
And by the time the crew got round to this they were absolutely shattered.
That is the reason why it never lasted.
It took up a lot of space.
And it took up too much setting time, which there was very little of.
Now, Peter designed that set.
He tried to make it, I suppose, look as impressive as possible.
But I think he did quite well for the budget.
We had to make do with what we got and we were allowed to put maybe a flat here or a flat there.
But it was this nil budget thing that we had to work to.
So it couldn't have been otherwise.
I'm sure if my imagination had got to work on it, we'd have had something much bigger and much more elaborate.
We had somewhere else to go.
There was a concept of going to bed.
There was a concept of eating things and drinking things.
And the whole vision, the whole view of the Tardis became much more expanded.
In the days when this was shot, the design of the Tardis, which had been established, was relatively hi-tech.
- K7.
- K7? Yes, of course, the fluid link.
If you compare it with Star Trek, which was in colour right from the start, it does look a bit grey, of course, because it was monochrome.
But it certainly had, in those days, in 1964, quite a hi-tech feel about it.
And the central control went up and down.
The doors worked, the windows worked, the monitors worked.
And I think it was as good as, for the period, it's as good as you got.
I mean, considering there was no role model to follow, I mean, we were the first, you didn't have Star Trek to follow or any of those things, I think it was an extraordinarily innovative design.
We were allocated a studio in Lime Grove, Studio D.
I have to tell you that that building was just about standing on its own.
The studio facilities were incredibly old-fashioned and antique.
It didn't have quite the equipment that the Television Centre had.
Of course, you have to remember that in those days the cameras didn't have zooms.
They had turrets, which were changed rather noisily.
And if you listen to the soundtrack, you can hear occasionally the sort of "clump" as the camera that wasn't being used was changing its lens.
My memories of Lime Grove are, mainly, that it was very hot.
Very, very hot.
Very intense.
Quite mad.
Busy, busy, rush, rush.
Never enough time to do anything.
I was asked to make the sound of the Tardis takeoff.
It hadn't got to be an ordinary rocket.
It had to be something quite different because the fabric of time and space was being broken.
And that sort of went in my head and I thought of a ripping sound.
We had an old piano in the Radiophonic Workshop, all the keys had been taken out and I just had the iron frame with the strings on.
I had a key, it was my mum's front door key actually.
And I scraped it along the base strings.
That sounded really (IMITATING RUMBLING) And then we started cutting them together and changing the speeds and then we started putting feedback on, which is where you put echoes and repeats on it.
Then we wanted some sort of sounds that suggested coming and going.
And so I used the technique of putting feedback on the sound backwards and then on the sound forwards, so that the things came towards you and went away from you.
We would have planning meetings.
You would work out how you were going to do the thing technically and then you would get the soundmen and the designer and the cameraman, the chief cameraman, and you would all sit around a model.
And it would be the model of, in this case, it would be the Tardis.
And this was no exception, I wanted a roof on the Tardis.
The first thing that would happen to me always is the soundman would get his pencil out and start tapping this bit of cardboard that represented the ceiling and say "I'm sorry, Richard, I can't get my microphone into there.
I mean, how can I get" And then another pencil would come out, or a Biro from the other side and say, "If you put that there, I can't get my lights in there.
" 'Cause it was all lit from above.
We hadn't the chance at that time to get lighting from the side.
It was all lit, soft lighting, from above.
Inevitably, this necessary ceiling for the low shot would be edged back and back and back, and if you were very lucky, you kept on to about three foot of it.
And then you had to pray that your actor hit the spot absolutely accurate and you could come in underneath.
I mean, I did think, although I didn't get on terribly well with Peter Brachacki, I can't say anything bad about his design.
I thought it was very, very clever and it looked very, very good.