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On Prime: Special Effects

Oscar-winning London-based effects house The Mill has been at the forefront of Visual/Special effects for 15 years. Their credits include the Academy Award-winning "Gladiator" for which they won the Oscar for special effects.

Approximately 800 special effects have been created for the new series of Doctor Who compared with only 100 for the multi-Oscar-winning "Gladiator".

No other British TV production has been this ambitious in scale with the number of SFX and VFX created for a series.

It took a team of 21 people, working over 10 months, doing six-day weeks of 12 hours per day to bring the new series up to date.

Episode two involves the highest volume and biggest diversity of effects. This episode entailed characters built entirely in CG, entirely CG space and environments, green-screen composites and matt painting. This episode alone sucked up over a fifth of The Mill's total VFX work quota.

On Prime: Production Design

Edward Thomas has been a production designer on 32 films for cinema and TV but says he still felt a rush of excitement when he got a call to come and chat to Russell T Davies about working on the new Doctor Who.

Edward has overseen the look of the entire series, and played a major role in the design of the new TARDIS. "To be able to completely re-design the interior of the TARDIS was amazing," he enthuses. "Its basic mechanism is the same but we've gone for a more organic look as in material such as glass, porcelain and even coral, with a raised central area and a domed roof."

The roundels in the walls remain, as does the coat-stand by the door, but look closely at the central console and you will spot old handbrakes, pressure dials, loose nuts and bolts, an old trim-phone, post-it notes, glass balls, hammers and even a navigation sextant.

Edward Thomas admits he has probably been blessed with a bigger budget than previous Doctor Who designers, and also has the benefit of computer-generated imagery.

There have been approximately 650 sets created during the series from location builds to studio builds. Each episode has specific colouring dependent on Alien/bad guys. The interior TARDIS was designed with contributions from a design team of six.

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Material presented here has been supplied by Prime and is shown as-is.