Doctor Who – Planet Unknown

During the second lockdown in the UK due to the rise in the spread of COVID-19, as part of my exercise regime, I decided to venture out to Parys Mountain, Anglesey with a 1/8 scale Police Box to see what interesting footage I could take of the model against various backgrounds.

Back at the studio, After Effects came into play to turn the location from a landscape in Anglesey to something alien landscape.

Before and after special effects were applied to this shot.

Having taken a few shots of the model Police Box against the views offered by Parys Mountain and applying special effects using After Effects, this gave me an idea to do a quick episode in the TARDIS whereby the Doctor lands on a mysterious planet not recognised by the TARDIS databanks with an almost disastrous outcome.

After the basics of the script was written, I went back to Parys Mountain to film some action shots. In the image comparison below, the before image shows me running away from something, but what?

Action shot of me running away from something at Parys Mountain.

Following on from the previous Doctor Who episode, Master of Death, you may recall I made a mistake in the positioning of the CGI background in accordance with the TARDIS console as illustrated below.

Comparison of how the TARDIS background should have looked.

Not only did I correct this error for this episode, but also added quite a lot of detail to the TARDIS CGI set for future storylines as illustrated below.

TARDIS set before and after effects are applied.

This episode was more of an experiment to test the potential use of the 1/8 scale model Police Box, location work and look at how the CGI set of the TARDIS could be expanded for use in future episodes.

Doctor Who – Planet Unknown

Location filming took place over 2 days and the studio filming 3 days. The editing took 2 weeks to complete due to all the special effects applied.

Fun facts:

  • This explosive episode was made as a test for the new TARDIS set, working with a 1/8 scale model TARDIS, location filming and ability to create an alien world and explosive sequences.
  • The location used is Parys Mountain in Anglesey.
  • The areas used at Parys Mountain were all within 100 meters of each other next to the main car park.
  • The “large lake” seen where the meteor splashed into is actually a pond.
  • Camera positions and angles made small locations look higher and bigger than they appear in reality.
  • The temperature outside during filming was 7 Celsius.
  • The TARDIS set consists of a fixed green screen and camera locked in position with the console on a turntable to allow it to be turned for the various camera angles.

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