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Doctor Who episodes filmed in Kent revealed

Tomorrow marks 50 years since Doctor Who hit our screens... at 5.15pm on the BBC, nestled in between Grandstand and the Telegoons.

The show was overshadowed by the assassination of John F Kennedy the previous day, and was repeated the following week ahead of the second episode.

For the next 18 years it would continue to keep its place in the Saturday teatime slot before being bounced around the schedules and finally cancelled for good in 1989.

But throughout its original run, the space and time adventures of the Doctor would be closer to home than some would think.

Dover Castle, Kingsnorth Industrial Estate at Hoo, Leeds Castle, Dungeness, the Red Sands Sea Fort at Whitstable and Botany Bay near Margate all featured in the 1960s and 1970s.

Jon Pertwee played the third incarnation of the Time Lord when the production of The Ambassadors of Death materialised at Lafarge Cement in Northfleet in February 1970.

At the time it was run by Blue Circle Industries. The quarry closed in 2008 and is now running as Crossrail, transferring millions of tonnes of excavated material from London to Northfleet.

The Doctors so far: William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton, Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy, Paul McGann, Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant and Matt Smith
The Doctors so far: William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton, Jon Pertwee, Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy, Paul McGann, Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant and Matt Smith

One of the tunnels on the site was used as the entrance of the Space Control centre and can be seen on film as the Doctor drives his faithful car Bessie to the entrance.

The cliffs around Bluewater, then Western Quarry, were used as an alien planet in the 1972 adventure The Mutants, while John’s Hole Quarry in Stone was used in 1964 for the Dalek Invasion of Earth, featuring the first Doctor, William Hartnell.


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Dungeness A and B were used by the programme’s cast and crew, who filmed there between January 4 and 8, 1971 for a four-episode serial called The Claws of Axos.

The Britannia pub was a base for the make-up and wardrobe assistants.

Filming also took place around Dengemarsh Road as well as the power station site, used as the fictional Nuton Power Complex that came under threat from villainous aliens the Axons.

Billie Piper plays Rose and Matt Smith The Doctor in Day of the Doctor. Picture: Adrian Rogers
Billie Piper plays Rose and Matt Smith The Doctor in Day of the Doctor. Picture: Adrian Rogers

Soldiers from St Martin’s Camp at Shorncliffe took part in some of the scenes and the area around their base was also used for filming on January 7.

William Hartnell’s very first story was penned by Herne Bay resident Anthony Coburn.

Even the Doctors themselves have close Kent links: First Doctor William Hartnell spent his last years in Marden; second Doctor Patrick Troughton joined a repertory company in Tonbridge once out of the army; Jon Pertwee was schooled in Westgate in Thanet; Tom Baker lives in Tunbridge Wells; and former companion Tegan, played by Janet Fielding, lives in Ramsgate.


Did you know?

Gravesend twins Daniel and David Beck appeared in The Power of Three playing evil hospital porters.

The pair, who live in Thelma Close, were barely recognisable with strangely deformed mouths and villainous intent as the Doctor took on an attack from sinister black cubes.

The 28-year-olds were seen kidnapping Rory’s dad, played by Fast Show and Harry Potter funnyman Mark Williams.

The Day of the Doctor. Photographer: Adrian Rogers
The Day of the Doctor. Photographer: Adrian Rogers

Former Thamesview School pupil Daniel, who trained with David at the Miskin Theatre in Dartford, said: “Doctor Who has got such a cult status so when we received the call, you can imagine how ecstatic we both were. We’d love to do it again.”

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Tenth Doctor David Tennant and Billie Piper, who played his companion Rose filmed in Margate as the backdrop for BBC1 drama Love Life.

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Ashford resident Steve Clark sued the BBC for breach of copyright claiming he invented the Dalek creator Davros.

The father-of-three said he entered a competition to create a monster and came up with the evil genius, only for the idea to be stolen and appear 12 years later.

The matter remains in the High Court.

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Another claim has recently been made by Herne Bay’s Stef Coburn, whose father wrote the very first episode, who believes he’s entitled to the copyright for the TARDIS.

Matt Smith and David Tennant in the Day of the Doctor episode
Matt Smith and David Tennant in the Day of the Doctor episode

The BBC says it is looking into the complaint, but added there have been no challenges to the copyright since it registered it in the 1980s.

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