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Jodie Whittaker Spotted Filming Doctor Who in South Africa

It’s been rumoured for a little while now, but the first unofficial filming photos seem to confirm it: Doctor Who is being filmed in Cape Town, South Africa!
This is the first time we’ve seen Jodie Whittaker as the Thirteenth Doctor in her costume, consisting of a striped t-shirt, long jacket, and braces. And it’s also the first time Doctor Who has filmed in South Africa.
Showrunner, Chris Chibnall has stayed true to his word: nothing has been confirmed and all the details have been kept under wraps; instead, he’s relying on fandom to do his job for him. Uh, that’s you and me, folks. (Someone ask the BBC if we get a share of Chibbers’ wages.)
It appears from vehicles and a sign also spotted on location that this serial – likely episodes 2 and/or 3 of Series 11 – takes place in America… Yes, America, not Africa, judging from the insignia on the police car on scene. Legal racial segregation in the USA ended with the Civil Rights Act 1964, so our money is on a 1950s setting, possibly involving the African-American Civil Rights Movement.
However, we might be reading too much into that one sign. Comparisons could be made to Remembrance of the Daleks, which included a racist sign… although the Daleks’ racial hatred is a major part of the tale.

Classic Who, 1963- 1989, rarely filmed in foreign territories, but New Who, i.e. since 2005, has made something of a habit of it – at least since Series 4’s trip to Rome for The Fires of Pompeii. Series 3 also partly shot in New York City for Daleks in Manhattan/ Evolution of the Daleks, but the shoot was very limited, largely for reference angles of the cityscape. However, the 2009 specials went to Dubai (Planet of the Dead), Series 5 included trips to Trogir, Croatia, for The Vampires of Venice and Vincent and the Doctor, and Utah featured heavily in the Series 6 opener, The Impossible Astronaut/ Day of the Moon.
Just for fun, here’s a neat Series 7b trailer for BBC Entertainment to South African viewers.

This is the first time Doctor Who has filmed abroad since… last series. Smile was filmed in Valencia, Spain.
(I’ve just heard back. Sorry everyone – apparently we can’t claim any money off Chibnall. Dang. Nice try, eh?)
Doctor Who Series 11 begins in Autumn 2018.

Philip Bates

Editor and co-founder of the Doctor Who Companion. When he’s not watching television, reading books ‘n’ Marvel comics, listening to The Killers, and obsessing over script ideas, Philip Bates pretends to be a freelance writer. He enjoys collecting everything. Writer of The Black Archive: The Pandorica Opens/ The Big Bang, The Silver Archive: The Stone Tape, and 100 Objects of Doctor Who.

Jodie Whittaker Spotted Filming Doctor Who in South Africa

by Philip Bates time to read: 2 min
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