Doctor Who is set to move from the Roath Lock Studios to Wolf Studios Wales, presumably for the 60th anniversary in 2023 and onwards.
Roath Lock has been a key part of the BBC Wales landscape, situated a stone’s throw away from Roald Dahl Plass (which Who fans will recognise from Boom Town and Torchwood), and used to be next to the Doctor Who Experience until that event shut in 2017.
Wolf Studios, meanwhile, is the home of Bad Wolf Productions (set up by Julie Gardner and Jane Tranter), which will co-produce Doctor Who when former showrunner, Russell T Davies, becomes the new showrunner once more after Chris Chibnall exits the role.
In an interview about the business, Bad Wolf director, Natasha Hale, said:
“We have also got Doctor Who, which is pretty major and back to the dream team of Russell T Davies writing, and that is going to be based in Wolf Studios, Wales.”
It’s actually not too far away from Cardiff Bay anyway, and offers 125,000 square feet of space across five stages (well, six, but four and five are listed together). So far, His Dark Materials and A Discovery of Witches have both been filmed there. Presumably, this will be the new permanent home of the TARDIS.
Construction of Roath Lock began in 2010 and it opened in 2012. Before this, Doctor Who was filmed at Upper Boat Studios, similarly in Cardiff, and you can easily tell when production changed venue because that’s when the Eleventh Doctor got his new TARDIS interior in The Snowmen!
It’s an interesting move, ensuring Doctor Who‘s future in Wales but also potentially outside of the BBC. And it’s especially intriguing because Sony is set to acquire Bad Wolf.
Jane Tranter said:
“The decisions that we made to put Bad Wolf up for sale was to secure its long-term stability here in Wales. Ultimately you need to do that when you grow to a certain point so that is what we have done.
“There will be future investment in Wales in the same way that there would always had been future investment with Bad Wolf. So I am not imagining any major kind of changes and all I can say is that the support for the area and for what we are doing is absolute.”
This means that Jodie Whittaker’s last episode as the Thirteenth Doctor will be the last story to be shot at Roath Lock for the foreseeable future. And actually, that’s in the can too, so… Roath Lock’s doors are now shut to Doctor Who!
Doctor Who‘s future is forging ahead already, furniture is being moved in the background, and yet, Davies’ return in 2023 seems so far away. Tempus fugit.