Friday, 25 June 2010

Construction/Destruction

Building of the new BBC Studios at Cardiff Docks commenced yesterday. The press release reports:
Basic building work is due for delivery from the developer in summer 2011. Once the studios, offices and external filming lots are fully fitted out, filming will begin for Casualty and Pobol y Cwm in autumn 2011, with Doctor Who and The Sarah Jane Adventures moving from their current Upper Boat studios in 2012. The first episode of Casualty to be made in Wales will be on screens in early 2012.
The press release suggests that, as well as the forthcoming series six, series seven would also continue to be filmed at the current Upper Boat Studios, assuming the schedule follows the pattern of previous years (i.e. from Summer 2011 to Spring 2012).

Meanwhile, demolition has commenced on the BBC premises on Victoria Road in London, originally built on the site of TCC Condensers (seen in stories like The Invasion and Spearhead from Space) and subsequently used as rehearsal rooms in the production of many other classic Doctor Who stories. It is believed that the site will be developed into flats (a fate already received by the former BBC Visual Effects Unit site nearby!).

It has also been reported that the building that was once home to Shawcraft Models in Uxbridge is also threatened with demolition. Shawcraft built many specialist props for the early seasons of Doctor Who, most notably remembered for the original Daleks (you can find out more about the company in a feature on the Doctor Who DVD release of The Space Museum/The Chase).

The BBC in-house magazine Ariel published an article on the future of BBC Television Centre itself this week:
Even after it sells Television Centre, which it wants to do by 2013, the BBC hopes the building will 'live on' as part of a new creative hub in west London, chief operating officer Caroline Thomson has declared.

The listed landmark, which is about to celebrate its 50th anniversary, could form the centrepiece of a community of media organisations, performing arts groups, facility providers and even fashion houses, Thomson told a conference hosted by the BBC in White City today.

'Our vision is to turn this area [W12] into a global centre for London's creative industries with the BBC at its heart,' she said. 'In doing so, we shall be shaping an entire community, replacing the buzz of Television Centre with the buzz of an entire neighbourhood.

'We see the BBC as a catalyst for a regeneration project that will provide a range of jobs in a working environment designed for people to be as creative as possible. That means not just people who work for the BBC but all our partners and all the other media people who will be attracted to the area.'