It’s fair to say that the filming of Jodie Whittaker’s first Doctor Who series has been kept under wraps, with the BBC working hard to stop any series 11 leaks or photos appearing that might spoil the upcoming adventures for the Thirteenth Doctor and her team.
However, as we get closer to the series 11 air date this autumn, more and more information is being released – and that includes some new details about the filming, with the Doctor Who cast finally confirming the long-running rumours about them shooting in South Africa.
Describing the experience as “absolutely amazing,” Jodie Whittaker explained that it wasn’t her first time shooting in South Africa, though it was probably the most ambitious.
“I played a British backpacker in a film called White Wedding,” she told Doctor Who Magazine.
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“It was shot over 18 days. We started in the middle and drove to Cape Town, basically stopping and shooting. It was incredible. But I only spent about two days in Cape Town, whereas the Doctor Who shoot was three weeks.”
“It was warm, so that was good,” she continued.
“The ambition was huge and the landscapes there – you couldn’t have got that here. But it required a lot of focus because we knew we had a lot to do in three weeks.
“We were working with a really great South African crew. They recommended things for us to do on our days off!”
“They were in the middle of a drought,” her co-star Tosin Cole added, also noting that they “had to have two-minute showers” to preserve water supplies.
“But other than the water crisis, we had a really good time out there.”
The interview with Whittaker also confirms that the above picture is from the episode filmed in South Africa, which based on the companions’ outfits matches up with trailer footage of the Tardis team (see main image) facing new threats in mid-20th century America (rumoured to involve the civil rights movement and Rosa Parks).
In other words, the dry areas of South Africa they filmed in are probably doubling for America’s Deep South, and overall it’s a good sign of Doctor Who’s continuing scope and ability to tell new and interesting stories using all the resources available to them.
And hey – if nothing else, it was a good chance for the new Tardis crew to pick up some rays.
“A secret shoot? Will this work?”
In the new issue of DWM showrunner Chris Chibnall reveals the meticulous preparations that went into announcing Jodie Whittaker as the Doctor.
Plus the new TARDIS crew describes filming for Series 11!
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Doctor Who returns to BBC1 this autumn